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How open access can re-energise African research and scholarly publishing

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Daisy W. Ouya, Trustee, Electronic Publishing Trust For Development speaking at Open Access Africa 2010

Daisy W. Ouya, Trustee, Electronic Publishing Trust For Development speaking at Open Access Africa 2010

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  • Thank you for the opportunity to present on Behalf of EPT, a UK-registered charity whose aims are to support and facilitate access to global research by researchers in the developing world, and also to make research published in these regions part of the international science base.
  • This presentation will argue that Open Access, if allowed to take root and flourish, can change the landscape of African research and scholarly publishing.
    I will present examples that show how OA can break the vicious circle of low circulation/visibility, few and low quality submissions, poor editorial standards, and the Volume 1 Issue 1 syndrome that has too long characterised scholarly publishing in sub-Saharan Africa.
    The paper will also show how OA can support researchers and journal publishers alike, and by doing so, provide a mechanism to strengthen the science base of countries here.
  • Africa has a wealth of knowledge in all these areas. Unfortunately, most of it is hidden from the world’s eyes, due to the isolation of the continent from the global knowledge base.
    A great deal of medical and agricultural research is taking place on the continent today, mostly in collaborative projects, but the results are published in high-impact journals in the West. People in Africa thus often don’t have access to the findings of research that’s happened in their backyard, aimed at solving their problems.
    More and more journals are allowing or becoming OA, but too many still aren’t, including journals published in Africa.
  • We have heard in this workshop about the challenges researchers and people in Africa undergo in accessing information, and sharing their own results.
    This results in an incomplete global knowledge base (because it’s lacking info. from Africa (reasons for this range from bias by established publishers against DC research (The Matthew Effect), and low capacity for research, writing, and publishing in Africa.
    The result is that important research from the South remains invisible to the world.
    In our globalised world, and with the Internet connecting all of us, this is not an acceptable, or healthy situation. [e.g. a stem rust resurgence in Njoro has implications for wheat farmers in Italy and USA, e.g.]. i.e. Local information about health, environment, etc, increasingly, has regional, and global implications.
    S-S knowledge sharing is important, as DCs have common problems.
  • This situation is exercabated by poorly resourced research in Africa [gov’ts have other pressing priorities and emergencies]
    And local publishing is weak and getting weaker…
  • This graphic illustrates the vicious circle that is African Scholarly publishing, which is intrinsically related to research on the continent.
    At its center is the visibility issue. This paper will argue that OA has the potential to resolve the visibility issue and change res. and schol. Pub. In Africa.
    Until the circle broken, African journals will remain invisible, and dismissed as ‘local’.
  • Both provide free-of-cost online access to published scholarly literature, but both are struggling in Africa.
    IRs can hold much more than publications.
  • This slide shows that OA repositories are mostly in the developed world.
    By Stuart Lewis, Repositories 66.org
  • I’d like to give some examples of how OA breaks the vicious cycle caused by low visibility.
    This will demonstrate how OA could help African researchers and journals.
  • Research is the lifeblood of scholarly publishing, and low quality/productivity in African research directly impacts scholarly journal publishing here.
  • FIRSTLY, OA removes researchers’ isolation
    When you’re online, you will get picked up, and hopefully cited!
  • Bioline International has made available the adjusted statistics of usage of its partner Journals from 2002 to the end of 2008. Over the last four years alone, the requests for full text papers has increased four-fold, from 1.1 million to 4.2 million, while total hits grew from 4.2 million to 12.15 million, showing an impressive rate of usage of material from journals published in developing countries.
    www.bioline.org
  • Example of OA resulting in large increase in citations.
    The Queensland University of Technology’s most prolific author, Ray Frost, a chemist, found that citations to his work increased from ~300 to 1200/year once he had deposited his papers in the QUT open access repository in 2004
  • Once isolation is removed, collaboration follow. Collaborative research is better resourced, broader based, and inter-disciplinary => more citations
    By fostering collaborations among African researchers ( S-S) and between African researchers and the global research community (S-N), OA can foster better quality, better resourced and more relevant research projects. For the new generation of researchers, virtually all contacts/collaborations will start from online searches. Living examples…
    Promotes mentorship
    Reduces duplication
  • Collaborative work, better resourced, diversity of authors, mentors
  • Research is the lifeblood of scholarly publishing, and low quality/productivity in African research directly impacts scholarly journal publishing here.
  • MedKnow statistics
    136 Total journals
    122 Total associations / societies
    55,768 Total articles
    11,676 Full text articles
    24,615 Manuscripts submitted in '10
    2,001,467 Articles downloaded in Oct '10
  • MedKnow statistics
  • MedKnow charges for other publishing services, such as editing/formatting etc and although all MedKnow journals are OA and don’t charge authors, MedKnow makes a profit.
  • This cartoon shows that when we are visible and recognized, we do a better job, since our work is important!
  • Explain benefits of OA (to policy makers, authors, institutes, general public)
    STATS are a great boost for policy makers and authors alike as they can see that their work ‘becomes international’ through visibity
    Incentives to support OA at inst. policy level.
    Conflicting institutional mandates and government regulations where those who produce scientific information
    Green route is low cost and can be incorporated into existing programmes – remember software and help all free
    Support to science publishing from gov’t [review Conflicting institutional mandates and
    government regulations]
    Make the necessary linkages
    – incentives and then get Gvt support to implement.
  • Bioline countries: Bangladesh, Brasil, Chile, China, Colombia, Ghana, India, Egypt, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Turkey, Tanzania, Venezuela, Uganda.Scielo – Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Portugal, Venezuela, Spain, Mexico – and S. AfricaMedKnow – increasing number of non-India authors now visibility has increased
  • Bioline countries: Bangladesh, Brasil, Chile, China, Colombia, Ghana, India, Egypt, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Turkey, Tanzania, Venezuela, Uganda.Scielo – Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Portugal, Venezuela, Spain, Mexico – soon Sth AfricaMedKnow – increasing number of non-India authors now visibility has increased
  • Transcript

    • 1. How Open Access canHow Open Access can re-energise research andre-energise research and scholarly publishing in Africascholarly publishing in Africa Daisy Ouya, MS, ELS Trustee, Electronic Publishing Trust for Development (EPT) daisyouya@yahoo.com Open Access Africa Workshop 10-11 November 2010 BioMed Central/ComputerAID Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya
    • 2. 1996 2001 2004 2007 2010 Science Editor ISA Journal, ICIPE Science Editor WIOJMS (journal) Science Editor, IJTIS (journal) Science Writer/Ed itor, CIMMYT Prog. Mngr- IEC, IAVI UNESCO OA Consultant ELS certification Trustee, EPT
    • 3.  Health  Agriculture  Biodiversity  Technology  Social science  Culture AlexisN.Vorontzoff
    • 4. As a result of:  Closed, costly access to journals  Academic isolation of African (and other DC) researchers The S-N, N-S and S-S information gaps [=Incomplete global knowledge base]
    • 5. Also…  Poorly resourced local research [funding, labs, brain drain…]  Weak local scholarly publishing [funding, capacity…]  Low expansion of OA in DCs The S-N, N-S and S-S information gaps
    • 6. Courtesy of D.K. Sahu Scholarly Publishing in Africa
    • 7.  Open access journals (Gold route)  Open access institutional repositories holding copies of already published peer-reviewed articles (Green route) Electronic Publishing Trust for Development
    • 8. Region # Journals from Region in Web of Science Europe 5,573 49% North America 4,251 38% Asia-Pacific 965 9% Latin America 272 2% Middle East/Africa 200 1% Language # Journals in Web of Science English 9114 81% Other 2147 19% GLOBAL RESEARCH REPRESENTATION WEB OF SCIENCE COVERAGE
    • 9. By Stuart Lewis, Repositories 66.org
    • 10.  Removes the isolation of researchers
    • 11. Year Abstract requests Full-text Requests Total Hits 2002 105,189 26,961 224,137 2003 149,211 45,944 445,679 2004 288,548 157,809 854,467 2005 434,935 1,100,615 2,723,472 2006 1,097,370 2,496,511 5,749,149 2007 2,574,886 3,255,156 9,671,469 2008 3,629,160 4,214,709 12,154,807 Raises visibility www.bioline.org
    • 12. Boosts citations and impact
    • 13. Fosters collaboration & stimulates research  Collaborative research is better resourced, broader based, and often inter-disciplinary => more citations  Promotes mentorship  Reduces duplication
    • 14. Promotes authorship Via  researcher collaboration  more resources  mentorship Via visibility &
    • 15.  Remove researchers’ isolation  Fosters collaboration  Stimulates research  Encourages authorship  Reduces duplication  Improves quality of research  Increases citations and impact
    • 16.  Research is the lifeblood of scholarly publishing, and the quality/productivity in research directly impacts scholarly journal publishing. • Without many, good quality manuscripts, African journals will continue to struggle • It’s harder and more time-consuming to publish poor papers • With researchers supported, African journals will have an easier time.
    • 17. Results in more manuscript submissions MedKnow Statistics
    • 18. brings in more international papers MedKnow
    • 19. Improves citations and ‘impact’ MedKnow
    • 20.  More papers  Wider geographical base  More institutional interest
    • 21.  Author fees  Advertising – print, web  Web income [e.g. Google Ads]  Sponsorship – society, institutional, gov’t, donor  Special issues  Print subscriptions  Reprints
    • 22. 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 Indian Journal of Cancer Journal of Critical Care Medicine Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology Indian Journal of Medical Sciences Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery Indian Journal of Surgery Neurology India Indian Journal of Pharmacology Journal of Postgraduate Medicine Journal Numberofsubscribers 2003 2004 2005 2006
    • 23. Improves Editorial Quality
    • 24.  Visibility  More manuscript submissions  More international papers  Better quality papers  More citations and impact  Could help with sustainability  Improved editorial quality  Makes the ‘local’ international
    • 25. For  Researchers  Journals  Funders  Institutions  Countries
    • 26. … but
    • 27. 1. Raise awareness at all levels 2. Develop policies requiring OA for all publicly funded output 3. Provide ‘how to’ information, including business models, linkages 4. Fundraise 5. Nairobi Declaration on OA 6. Gov’t support very important [clear regulations about research information dissemination needed]
    • 28. The ASSAf Scholarly Publishing Programme is a concerted intervention into the country’s national system of Innovation (NSI), which focuses on the enhancement of the quality, quantity and worldwide visibility of original, peer-reviewed publications produced by researchers in the public sector, and the fostering of a new generation of highly competent and productive scientists and scholars
    • 29.  Bioline International >70 journals from 16 DCs) www.bioline.org.br  AJOL www.ajol.info [both OA and non-OA]  SciELO (Brazil, now has >600 journals) www.scielo.org  SCIELO- South Africa  MedKnow Publications (India), 99 journals – some OA www.medknow.org  Public Knowledge Project (PKP/OJS) - http://pkp.sfu.ca/? q=ojs
    • 30.  Open Access Scholarly Information Resource (OASIS) http://www.openoasis.org  Registry of Institutional Repositories roar.eprints.org  Directory of OA Journals www.doaj.org
    • 31.  Barbara Kirsop  Leslie Chan  Subbiah Arunachalam (Arun)  K. Sahu, Medknow
    • 32. Electronic Publishing Trust for Development ept@biostrat.demon.co.uk http://www.epublishingtrust.org/

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