Looking back at 20 years of EIFL | EIFL

” “In an unprecedented initiative called ‘Electronic Information for Libraries’ (EIFL Direct), libraries in 39 countries will have access to a wealth of electronic full-text scholarly journals.” This announcement, by press release, marked the birth of EIFL 20 years ago, on 5 October 1999. 

At that time I was working at the Open Society Institute, part of the Soros foundations network. We were receiving applications from ex-Soviet Union university libraries requesting grants to subscribe to print journals. There was a dilemma: the subscriptions were not cheap, and they only lasted for one year. So these grants were not sustainable in the long term, and we knew that there were thousands of libraries in other developing countries that also needed, and wanted, to have access to the latest scholarly information. A few years later, the shift from print to digital in the publishing industry began and we saw an opportunity to solve the problem. The Open Society Institute negotiated with EBSCO, a large content aggregator, for a 99% discount to online journals for all libraries in countries where Soros foundations existed, as well as free delivery of the content on DVD-ROM to those libraries with poor internet connectivity. At last we were able to provide access to more than 3,500 full-text journals. …”

EIFL celebrates 20th anniversary | EIFL

“We celebrated our 20th anniversary in October by sharing our achievements, memories and the many messages of support we received from friends, partners and colleagues from across the world.

In a blog marking EIFL’s anniversary, Rima Kupryte, EIFL Director, looked back at two decades of working towards a world in which all people have the knowledge they need to achieve their full potential. 

We highlighted some of the main EIFL achievements over the past 20 years and birthday messages from our partners. …”

No borders on knowledge? WIPO debates key question | EIFL

“EIFL will join copyright experts, librarians, educators and government representatives in Geneva to debate a key question facing libraries, archives and museums today: will copyright barriers to accessing knowledge be removed?…

In developing countries, where easy access to knowledge is critical for education and socio-economic development, the situation is particularly acute. For example, out of 53 countries surveyed in Africa in the WIPO study by Professor Kenneth Crews, 13 countries have no exception for libraries, only one country allows inter-library document delivery, and no countries permit cross-border exchange. …”

 

Webinar: Open Knowledge Maps | EIFL

Librarians, researchers and students are invited to join this EIFL webinar about Open Knowledge Maps, an interface that searches databases for research and presents search results visually, in the form of knowledge maps.

The knowledge maps provide an instant overview of a topic by showing the main areas researched at a glance, and papers related to each area. Papers found are clustered together into similar topics.

The Open Knowledge Maps interface searches more than 7,000 content sources in all disciplines, providing access to over 140 million documents. The knowledge maps include both closed and open access papers; however, they highlight open access papers, most of which can be accessed from within the interface….”

Exciting year ahead for open science training! | EIFL

‘Is your institution willing and committed to offer training on open access, open research data and open science as a part of standard training for PhD students?’

This is the question we asked our network a year ago. We also offered support in developing such training courses for those who were interested.

Six institutions in six countries responded to our call, and sent us expressions of interest and commitment. They are Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia), Chinhoyi University of Technology (Zimbabwe), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (Ghana), Kaunas University of Technology (Lithuania), Nepal Health Research Council (Nepal) and University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania)….”

How EIFL’s support helped open up East African research to the world | EIFL

“When EIFL organized the first-ever workshop on open access in Kenya in 2010, there were just seven institutional open access repositories in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Awareness about OA was limited, and very few universities had open access policies.

Seven years later, in 2017, over 50 new repositories had been set up and 33 institutions had adopted open access policies. There were almost 200,000 documents available in the repositories, and download numbers had run into the millions.

This two-page case study tells how EIFL, in collaboration with our partner library consortia, the Kenya Libraries and Information Services Consortium (KLISC), the Consortium of Tanzania Universities and Research Libraries (COTUL) and the Consortium of Uganda University Libraries (CUUL), helped open up East African research to the world….”

Looking ahead: EIFL’s plans for open access

“Open scholarship is growing in importance as a way of ensuring that there is global participation in research, improved quality and efficiency of education and science, and faster economic and social progress.

Over the next two years, the EIFL Open Access Programme will support open scholarship by focusing on four key areas: open access policies, open science training for early career researchers, sustainable open access journals and repositories, and Open Educational Resources….”

EIFL webinar: DSpace-CRIS – a free, open source tool for institutional repositories to manage research information | EIFL

“Webinar explaining DSpace-CRIS, an extension of DSpace repository software that provides institutions with a tool to manage research information and increase visibility of the repository and its outputs”

CSIR Ghana adopts open access policy | EIFL

“EIFL welcomes the adoption of an open access (OA) policy by Ghana’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the body mandated by the government to carry out scientific and technological research for national development.

The adoption of the policy emerged out of an EIFL-funded project implemented by the CSIR’s Institute for Scientific and Technological Information (CSIR-INSTI). The project, which aims to foster development and implementation of an OA policy, started in 2015.”