Case Studies of Open Access Initiatives in Developing Countries Helena Asamoah-Hassan University Librarian , KNUST at the 2nd BioMed Africa Open Access Conference,25-26 October 2011,at KNUST, Kumasi , Ghana
BioMed Central with PLoS (Public Library of Science) were the leaders.
HINARI, OARE, AGORA,DATAD,AJOL are all OA initiatives.
Leading supporters of OA met in December 2001 under the auspices of OSI in Budapest. Main outcome of the meeting was the Budapest Open Access Initiative(BOAI) which is a statement of principle, strategy and commitment( www.soros.org/openaccess/read.shtml )
Since the release of BOAI in 2002,several institutions and organisations have given support to the OA initiative.
Developments in science and technology research bring us closer to the reduction of poverty and disease.
Scientists in developing countries have limited access to other research results published in subscription journals.
OA publishing is the answer to the unavailability of research results for scientists in the developing countries, since it provides free access to research results and authors can also publish freely.
OA advocates that, research that is funded with public money should be made freely available to other researchers who are also carrying out research to benefit society .
Institutions like Wellcome Trust, Research Councils of UK and US National Institute of Health(NIH) have directed that all the research they fund should be OA published. Do we have this directive from funders of research in developing countries?
Research articles or publications that are freely available on the internet, that permits any user to read, download, copy, distribute or print the articles or publications,… pass them as data to software, or use them lawfully , without any financial, legal, or technical barriers.
The only constraint when reproducing, and distributing, and for copyright, is to give authors control over the integrity of their work and to properly cite and acknowledge them. (Budapest Open Access Initiative).
An OA publication is one that is freely available on the internet and can be freely used , on condition that the author is properly and accurately acknowledged.
Since January 2007, Ukraine’s Law that mandates Open Access to publicly funded research.
In the USA in December 2007, an appropriation Bill passed in both Houses of Congress and signed by the President instructs the US National Institute of Health (NIH) to provide OA for NIH funded research. Currently it has only12 months embargo.
European Research Council adopted OA mandate in January 2008. Currently it has 6 months embargo.
Council of the EU endorsed OA in its 2020 Vision for the European Research Area.
We are waiting for such support policies from key bodies in the developing world.
“ OA is a vital means of dissemination of information which is crucial for national development and in achieving MDGs, given the crucial role that information plays in achieving social, economic, cultural and political development.”
Professor Frank Youngman, DVC, University of Botswana
EIFL is an international not-for-profit organization enabling access to knowledge for education, learning, research and sustainable community development in more than 45 transition and developing countries in Africa, Asia & Europe
EIFL network in Africa through national library consortia in Botswana, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia & Zimbabwe and has projects in Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and South Africa.
EIFL has 6 main programmes- EIFL-Licensing; EIFL-OA: open access; EIFL-IP: copyright and libraries; EIFL-FOSS : free and open source software and EIFL-PLIP : Public Library Innovation Programme and Consortium Management.
EIFL-OA - Builds capacity to launch OA repositories & to ensure their long-term sustainability; advocate nationally and internationally for the adoption of OA policies and mandates; provides guidance, expertise & support material during implementation of OA projects (policies, journals, repositories, books, data, OERs) and empower library professionals, scholars, educators and students to be OA advocates
EIFL OA achievements -
-over 400 OA repositories & over 2600 OA journals in EIFL partner countries;
-OA policies have been adopted by 24 institutions in the EIFL network;
-62 awareness raising, advocacy and capacity building events and workshops in
2003-2011 in 32 countries with participants from over 50 countries.
EIFL in 2011 provided financial support to five projects in Africa: national and institutional open access advocacy campaigns to reach out to research communities in Botswana, Ghana, Malawi, Sudan and Zimbabwe. Results are still coming in.
EIFL, UNESCO, the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) workshop on the benefits of OA for research dissemination, usage, visibility and impact in Pretoria in November 2010 with attendees from ten African Universities, Councils for Sciences and Technology, Academies of Science highlighted priority areas for intervention in open access in Africa and better cooperation among institutions that are promoting access to scientific knowledge and recommended :
- Capacity building for OA publishing and OA repositories;
- Copyright management;
- Advocacy campaigns for regulatory policy frameworks (open access to
publicly funded research) to explore possibilities of OA mandates
- Launching of OA repositories;
- Publishing of OA journals.
- Exploring of business case for open scholarship environment.
- Considering a patent policy that allows the process of open innovations.
218 OA journals listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals: from Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria, Tunisia, Kenya, Morocco, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Libya, Ghana, Mauritius, Madagascar, Algeria, Senegal & Cote d'Ivoire
56 , 914 full text articles in African Journals OnLine
OA Repositories in Africa – 52
South Africa -24; Egypt -6; Kenya -4; Nigeria-3; Mozambique, Namibia and Sudan -2 each ; Botswana, Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Senegal, Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe – 1 each
The Library provides guidance to researchers in sourcing OA Journal Directories, Journal titles and articles.
There is a lot of support for the OA IR from the university administration since it makes the university’s research output and its researchers visible globally . University placed 15 th on African universities ranking in January 2011.
KNUST has expressed its interest to sign the Berlin Declaration on OA and the request to Max Planck Society is being processed.
She is the 1 st African Foundation member of BioMed Central because of her support for open access publishing.