2019 Annual Report, EIFL

“2019 saw the continuation of a global shift in negotiations with journal publishers. Starting from 2019, all EIFL’s negotiations included not only free or discounted subscriptions to paywalled journals, but also discounts and waivers of Article Processing Charges (APCs), which are the fees authors pay to make their articles available in open access. As a result, authors from EIFL partner countries can now publish their articles in open access for free or at greatly reduced APCs in over 700 open access journals from four publishers. We expect these numbers to grow.

We are excited about a new project which started in October in Myanmar to establish a national open access repository that will collect, disseminate and preserve all research output from universities. The Myanmar Education, Research and Learning (MERAL) Portal project, in collaboration with the Department of Higher Education of the Ministry of Education, the Rectors’ Committee, and the National Institute of Informatics of Japan, builds on EIFL’s significant support for open access in Myanmar since 2015….”

Virtual workshop: Co-designing policies, repository infrastructures and services and strengthening open science communities in Africa

“This LIBSENSE workshop co-organized by WACREN, EIFL and COAR will convene the African community of repository managers and other open access services and advocates and cover three topics:

1) Open Access, Open Science policies and repositories: what works and what doesn’t; 2) repository infrastructure and services: how to build cohesiveness across layers of local, national and regional services; and 3) communities of practice: how to strengthen open science communities in Africa. African participants will share experiences, lessons learned and discuss how to best design effective Open Access and Research Data Management policies and how to progress their adoption and implementation. They will also co-design the guiding principles for institutional repositories to follow in order to build services on top of repositories and cohesiveness across local, national and regional repository services. Together, with breakout groups in Arabic, English, French and Portuguese, we will develop a roadmap for strengthening open science communities in Africa.”

IFLA — Heritage cannot wait in the face of climate change: IFLA welcomes signatures to open letter on World IP Day

“IFLA, and partner organisations have launched an open letter to mark World Intellectual Property Day, 26 April 2020, underlining the need for copyright laws to support, rather than hinder, efforts to safeguard heritage in the face of climate change. Without action, nationally and internatinally, heritage institutions risk beng unable preserve their collections for the future. The letter is open for further endorsements….”

World IP Day: safeguard our cultural heritage | EIFL

” EIFL, together with the International Federation of Library Associations and institutions (IFLA), the International Council on Archives (ICA), the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and the Society of American Archivists (SAA), are calling on WIPO and its Member States to respond to the need for international copyright laws that will empower these cultural institutions to prevent further loss of worldwide cultural heritage due to rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and other disasters linked to climate change….

One of the most effective ways of ensuring enduring access to library collections is to digitize the work, or if it is born-digital, to transfer it to a preservation-quality file format and to safely store the digital object off-site using cloud-based services, for example. But preservation strategies for digital materials always require the making of copies, and too many national copyright laws fail to allow digital preservation for copyright-protected material. …”

EIFL renews with Cambridge University Press | EIFL

“EIFL’s renewed agreement with Cambridge University Press (CUP), which runs until December 2020, includes free and discounted access to 412 Cambridge University Press Journals for 29 EIFL partner countries.

The agreement also includes read & publish offers for EIFL partner library consortia in Belarus, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. This means that if the consortium takes up the offer to pay a combined fee for accessing content and publishing, then authors from these four countries will be able to publish their articles free of charge in 35 fully open access as well as 332 hybrid journals. …”

COVID-19: Call on WIPO to take a stand | EIFL

“EIFL worked with partner organizations in drafting an open letter to the Director-General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Dr Francis Gurry, calling on WIPO to ensure that intellectual property (IP) systems are a support, not a hindrance, in global efforts to tackle the coronavirus crisis, and its consequences. The letter was signed initially by more than 140 organizations and individuals in 33 countries. Update 8 April: the letter has been endorsed by over 400 organizations and individuals in 45 countries.

The open letter highlights how the pandemic has shone a bright light on the importance of limitations and exceptions to IP rights to enable scientific discovery and human flourishing. For example, a Canadian text and data mining project that scoured copyrighted news articles, among other data, enabled researchers at a start-up company to send the first warnings to the world of the spread of the virus. The research was enabled by Canada’s flexible fair dealing right for research purposes. And the earliest potential treatments for the virus are being enabled by experimental use exceptions to patent rights on existing medicines….”

Open access in Senegal | EIFL

“The EIFL Open Access Programme  began raising awareness about open access (OA) in Senegal in 2010 when, with our partner consortium, COBESS (Consortium des Bibliothèques de l’Enseignement Supérieur du Sénégal), we organized the first OA workshop in Dakar. The workshop brought together researchers, students, librarians, ICT staff and legal experts. 

In 2013, As a result of the workshop, the Rector of  Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar (UCAD), which is the oldest university with the largest number of professors and academic staff in Senegal, issued Circular No. 721 addressed to deans and directors of research institutes inviting candidates applying for evaluation and promotion at CAMES (Conseil Africain et Malgache pour l’Enseignement Supérieur) to register and deposit their articles and theses and dissertations in a digital library, which serves as an institutional OA repository. 

Dakar is also the headquarters for CODESRIA (the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa), and EIFL had the opportunity to raise awareness about OA policies, repositories and journal platforms to a wider audience at the Fourth CODESRIA Conference ‘The Open Access Movement and the Future of Africa’s Knowledge Economy’ on 30 March – 1 April 2016. Delegates to the conference adopted the ‘Dakar Declaration on Open Access Publishing in Africa and the Global South’, which calls on scholars/researchers and students, policy makers and other stakeholders to undertake research and share findings of research that will improve the quality of people’s lives.  

In 2019, EIFL gave a keynote address at the first open science conference in Africa (23 – 25 October). The conference, themed ‘Open Science in the South. Issues and Perspectives for a New Dynamic’, released the ‘Declaration for the Sharing and Opening of Research Data for Sustainable Development’ [in French]….”

Collaborate on Open Access Publishing Infrastructure in Africa with Coko, WACREN and EIFL : Collaborative Knowledge Foundation

“If you want to work collaboratively to design free and open source open access publishing infrastructure in Africa, please get out your diary! On Tuesday, March 17 in Cotonou (Benin), please plan to join Coko Founder Adam Hyde, WACREN’s Omo Oaiya, and Iryna Kuchma from EIFL for a workshop on the subject. Registration is open to all (publishers, researchers, technologists), and free. At the same time, if travel cost is a burden, some limited funding is available, so please reach out.

Attendees can expect to participate in the following:

To conduct a high-level audit of needs for open access scholarly publishing in Africa (open source tools and services for publishing books, journals, textbooks, micropublications)
To discuss training needs and define training and support programmes
To share experiences and identify areas for collaborations around shared free and open source open access publishing infrastructure
To frame the Coalition for Open Access Publishing Infrastructures in Africa: tools, training, hosting and advice across Africa for all those that want it…”

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. …”