Open Access Journals in the Middle East and Iran

Almost 650 journals are currently published in the Middle East (http://applications.emro.who.int/library/imjournals/). Almost two-thirds of these journals are published in Iran (http://journals.research.ac.ir/). Many research institutions publish their own journals. For some incentives, even a single university publishes several journals. For example, currently Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences publishes 62 journals (http://journals.sbmu.ac.ir/site/); Tehran University of Medical Sciences, 57 (http://journals.tums.ac.ir/). This large number of journals published by a scientific institution such as a university in a developing country, is because the raison d’être for scientific publishing in developing countries is quite different from that in developed nations….

All, but a few, of these journals are OA. In fact, almost all biomedical journals published in the Middle East (and many other developing countries) have been published and distributed internationally gratis long before the era of the Internet, online publishing, and the OA movement. They have merely published for enjoying the prestige and bringing promotion credit for the institution and the faculty members. After the introduction of OA movement, nonetheless, another incentive has come into play—making money….”

700 Years of Persian Manuscripts Now Digitized and Available Online | Open Culture

For Nowruz, the Persian New Year, the Library of Congress has released a digital collection of its rare Persian-language manuscripts, an archive spanning 700 years. This free resource opens windows on diverse religious, national, linguistic, and cultural traditions, most, but not all, Islamic, yet all different from each other in complex and striking ways….”

The Higher Council for Science and Technology Joins cOAlition S | Plan S

“The Higher Council for Science and Technology (HCST) from Jordan is the first organisation in the Middle East to join cOAlition S.

HCST was established in 1987 as a public independent institution and acts as a national umbrella for all science & technology activities in Jordan. The objective of the Higher Council is to build a national science and technology base to contribute to the achievement of development goals, through increasing awareness of the significance of scientific research and development, granting the necessary funding and directing scientific and research activities, within national priorities, in line with development orientations.

cOAlition S is thrilled to welcome HCST as the latest member to the growing coalition and looks forward to collaborating with them in the coming months to realise its transformative Open Access plan….”

The Higher Council for Science and Technology is the first organisation in the Middle East who joined cOAlition PLAN S | The Higher Council For Science And Technology (HCST)

“The Higher Council for Science and Technology is the first organisation in the Middle East who joined cOAlition PLAN S. which is a clear indication of HCST leadership in Science and Innovation Policy….”

OCSDNet – SPARC

“As open becomes the default for science and scholarship, equity must be intentionally built into the foundation of the emerging new system. Inclusion has to be a central consideration and permanent priority in how we pursue an open system—individually, institutionally, and collectively. To achieve this, communities that are marginalized by our current closed system of scholarly communication need be included as central in planning for the future.

The Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network (OCSDNet) has examined the diversity of modes of scientific discovery and dissemination in the Global South since 2014. The initiative includes 12 research teams working in 26 countries from Lebanon to Cameroon to Costa Rica carrying out projects involving critical issues such as climate change and water quality under a variety of local contexts….

For its contributions to promoting diversity in Open Science and representation of the Global South, the SPARC has honored OCSDNet with its June 2018 Innovator Award….”

OpenMed – Opening up Education in South-Mediterranean countries

“Five partners from Europe and nine from South Mediterranean Countries are working together to widening participation and adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Educational Practices (OEP) as a bottom-up approach to support the modernisation of the Higher Education sector in Morocco, Palestine, Egypt and Jordan….”

Recording and Slides: Open Access in the global South: Perspectives from the Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network

“The recording and the slides from today’s webinar entitled Open Access in the global South: Perspectives from the Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network are now available on Zenodo. Prof. Leslie Chan shared key lessons from OCSDNet which is a research network with scientists, development practitioners, community members and activists from 26 countries in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Based on OCS experience, he questioned openness and public good, discussed open science definition beyond academy. Prof Chan also highlighted that principles as in the definition of Next Generation Repository should be guiding the technology and the infrastructures, not the other way around.”

Queen announces launch of Edraak’s free online platform for school learners in Davos | Jordan Times

“Her Majesty Queen Rania on Wednesday announced the launch of a new learning platform catering to school-aged children across the Arab world, according to a statement from Her Majesty’s Office. …”

Open Education in Palestine: A tool for liberation | Thoughts on Open Education

“The realities of these countries are diverse, as such is their culture, therefore access to material goods and to decent life standards are subject to the oppression of neoliberalism, capitalism, and predatory economic models which affect the access to basic human rights, proper education, a good and strong health system, an income that allows you to feed your loved ones without having to work in infra-human conditions.

When we do Open (Education, Data, Government, Science and Access) we need to consider that certain rules are better skipped, in the case of Open Education there is a tendency that does not exist in other Open fields, which is to consider Open just what is under the 5 Rs, therefore OER tends to mean resources are openly licensed and follow OE rules as if this was a dogma, but Open means to me, able to share your content, to detach your research from predatory – corporate publishers and to ignore for example the University Rankings, because their metrics are in a system that may not be helping to achieve success under each region or countries our own terms, because the rules are white and Anglo-Saxon, and each country and region tend to play at other rhythms, and ways of work.

Opening up means to me to share, to do things in a transparent way, to collaborate, to support and to provide the tools for educators and students to be critical thinkers, to challenge and to question, to become communities and not to follow a rule that tells you if you are open enough according to someone else’s agenda, so just be open, under your own terms, share, distribute, communicate, participate, engage, thinking that before Open rules there are human rights, and that accessing quality education is one of these.”

Directory of Free Arab Journals

From the LibLicense announcement by ElHassan: “I am writing to you to announce the release of the second version of the Directory of Free Arab Journals . It is an independent initiative to produce a directory for all OA journals produced in Arab countries, curated and funded by a group of OA activists in the region (myself included). The website was there since 2013 the new version released last week includes over twice as many journals and many new website features. It currently lists 250 journals from 172 publishers in 17 Arab countries. The guide is published under a CC-BY-NC license….”