Seeking Impact and Visibility: Scholarly Communication in Southern Africa

“African scholarly research is relatively invisible globally because even though research production on the continent is growing in absolute terms, it is falling in comparative terms. In addition, traditional metrics of visibility, such as the Impact Factor, fail to make legible all African scholarly production. Many African universities also do not take a strategic approach to scholarly communication to broaden the reach of their scholarsí work. To address this challenge, the Scholarly Communication in Africa Programme (SCAP) was established to help raise the visibility of African scholarship by mapping current research and communication practices in Southern African universities and by recommending and piloting technical and administrative innovations based on open access dissemination principles. To do this, SCAP conducted extensive research in four faculties at the Universities of Botswana, Cape Town, Mauritius and Namibia.”

Scholarly Communication in Africa Project – SALDRU

“The Scholarly Communication in Africa Programme (SCAP) was a three-year initiative aimed at increasing the publication and visibility of African research through harnessing the potential for scholarly communication in the digital age. Jointly led by the Centre for Educational Technology and the Research Office at UCT, the project engaged four African universities [the Universities of Botswana, Cape Town, Mauritius, and Namibia] in action research to better understand the ecosystem of scholarly communication in Africa and address the scholarly communication needs and aspirations at the various participating institutions….”

The SASSCAL contribution to climate observation, climate data management and data rescue in Southern Africa

Abstract. A major task of the newly established “Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management” (SASSCAL; www.sasscal.org) and its partners is to provide science-based environmental information and knowledge which includes the provision of consistent and reliable climate data for Southern Africa. Hence, SASSCAL, in close cooperation with the national weather authorities of Angola, Botswana, Germany and Zambia as well as partner institutions in Namibia and South Africa, supports the extension of the regional meteorological observation network and the improvement of the climate archives at national level. With the ongoing rehabilitation of existing weather stations and the new installation of fully automated weather stations (AWS), altogether 105 AWS currently provide a set of climate variables at 15, 30 and 60 min intervals respectively. These records are made available through the SASSCAL WeatherNet, an online platform providing near-real time data as well as various statistics and graphics, all in open access. This effort is complemented by the harmonization and improvement of climate data management concepts at the national weather authorities, capacity building activities and an extension of the data bases with historical climate data which are still available from different sources. These activities are performed through cooperation between regional and German institutions and will provide important information for climate service related activities.