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.”

COAR Next Generation Repositories: Vision and Objectives


To position repositories as the foundation for a distributed, globally networked infrastructure for scholarly communication, on top of which layers of value added services will be deployed, thereby transforming the system, making it more research-centric, open to and supportive of innovation, while also collectively managed by the scholarly community.

Technical Vision

Our vision rests on making the resource, rather than the repository, the focus of services and infrastructure. Rather than relying on imprecise descriptive metadata to identify entities and the relationships between them, our vision relies on the idea inherent in the Web Architecture, where entities (known as “resources”) are accessible and identified unambiguously by URLs. In this architecture, it is the references which are copied between systems, rather than (as at present) the metadata records. Furthermore we encourage repository developers to automatize the metadata extraction from the actual resources as much as possible to simplify and lower the barrier to the deposit process.


  • To achieve a level of cross-repository interoperability by exposing uniform behaviours across repositories that leverage web-friendly technologies and architectures, and by integrating with existing global scholarly infrastructures specifically those aimed at identification of e.g. contributions, research data, contributors, institutions, funders, projects.
  • To encourage the emergence of value added services that use these uniform behaviours to support discovery, access, annotation, real-time curation, sharing, quality assessment, content transfer, analytics, provenance tracing, etc.
  • To help transform the scholarly communication system by emphasizing the benefits of collective, open and distributed management, open content, uniform behaviours, real-time dissemination, and collective innovation. “

CTF Partners with Digital Science to Promote Open Data | Children’s Tumor Foundation

“The Children’s Tumor Foundation’s commitment to collaboration, open data and transparency is reinforced with a partnership with global technology company Digital Science on a new platform for next-generation research and discovery called Dimensions. This groundbreaking research information database aims to transform scholarly search by linking publications, grants, policy, data, and metrics for the first time.”

Enago Launches Open Access Journal Finder (OAJF) – Improving Accessibility of Authentic Open Access Journals – Press Release – Digital Journal

“Enago, the leader in editing and publication support services, today announced the worldwide release of Open Access Journal Finder (OAJF) that aims at enabling research scholars to find open access journals relevant to their manuscript. OAJF uses a validated journal index provided by Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) – the most trusted non-predatory open access journal directory. The free journal finder indexes over 10,700 pre-vetted journals and allows researchers to compare their paper with over 2.7 million articles and counting. Seeing the positive response in the initial pilot stage, OAJF has also been rolled out in languages other than English, primarily Chinese, Japanese, and Korean….”

Enago Open Access Journal Finder

“The Enago Open Access Journal Finder enables you to find quality open access journals that are pre-vetted to protect you from predatory publishers. This free journal finder solves common issues on predatory journals, journal authenticity, and article processing fees by utilizing a validated journal index provided by the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Enago’s proprietary search algorithm helps you shortlist journals that are most relevant to your manuscript and research objectives, thus giving you the best chance of publication.”

Open Access, coming to a workflow near you: welcome to the year of Ubiquitous OA – Impactstory blog

“Thanks to 20 years of OA innovation and advocacy, today you can legally access around half the recent research literature for free. However, in practice, much of this free literature is not as open as we’d like it to be, because it’s hard for readers to find the OA version….”

Automating semantic publishing – IOS Press

Abstract: “Semantic Publishing involves the use of Web and Semantic Web technologies and standards for the semantic enhancement of a scholarly work so as to improve its discoverability, interactivity, openness and (re-)usability for both humans and machines. Recently, people have suggested that the semantic enhancements of a scholarly work should be undertaken by the authors of that scholarly work, and should be considered as integral parts of the contribution subjected to peer review. However, this requires that the authors should spend additional time and effort adding such semantic annotations, time that they usually do not have available. Thus, the most pragmatic way to facilitate this additional task is to use automated services that create the semantic annotation of authors’ scholarly articles by parsing the content that they have already written, thus reducing the additional time required of the authors to that for checking and validating these semantic annotations. In this article, I propose a generic approach called compositional and iterative semantic enhancement (CISE) that enables the automatic enhancement of scholarly papers with additional semantic annotations in a way that is independent of the markup used for storing scholarly articles and the natural language used for writing their content.”