Opening remarks: Open access and the developing world


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Deborah Kahn, Publishing Director, BioMed Central, UK

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  • This is an example of one of BMC’s journal authors involved in a malaria prevention project in Zambia using a mobile phone network to get access to the latest information. There is huge potential now for internet technology to help with access to knowledge around the world but there are also many barriers and I want to talk about how Open Access can address some of these barriers And it is open access publishing that taps into this new world of access to knowledge.
  • more than 500 million mobile phone subscribers in Africa now, up from 246 million in 2008. According to Facebook statistics tracker Socialbakers, there were around 10.5 million Facebook users in Africa in 2010
  • Just changing how the service is paid for. Community retains control of research Copyright handed over to the publisher Publisher sells copyright back to users Subscription barriers to research restrict access
  • Many OA journals published by OA and elsewhere corts are covered centrally by an organisation which runs the journal, so no fees for authors or readers
  • A $US7000 editing give-away.
  • Mostly online only…
  • BMC received over 35k submissions in 2010
  • A major part of why we’re here - last few years of collab with ComputerAid - started with donating commission from T-shirts
  • We will let the world know your institution is a member
  • Really has demonstrated what a truly international forum the open access model can deliver
  • Bring together research from across BioMed Central’s journals
  • Opening remarks: Open access and the developing world

    1. 1. Open Access in Africa Deborah Kahn Publishing Director, BioMed Central Ltd
    2. 2. Open Access Africa 2011 <ul><li>Bringing together researchers, librarians, funding bodies and technology companies to discuss how open access publishing can support science in Africa </li></ul>
    3. 4. The old world of access to knowledge
    4. 5. The new world of access to knowledge
    5. 6. African internet connectivity is improving dramatically
    6. 7. Growth of mobile phones in Africa Source: African Mobile Factbook 2008 International Telecommunications Union report (2009) “ The increase in the number of mobile cellular subscriptions over the last five years has defied all predictions and Africa remains the region with the highest mobile growth rate” Although number of Internet users has also grown faster than in other regions: “ Africa’s ICT penetration levels in 2009 are still far behind the rest of the world and very few African countries reach ICT levels comparable to global averages”
    7. 8. Mobile phone networks are already aiding scientific data gathering
    8. 9. As connectivity improves, other access barriers become significant <ul><li>Access to computers </li></ul><ul><li>Computer skills </li></ul><ul><li>Access to research funding </li></ul><ul><li>Access to the scientific literature </li></ul><ul><li>Skills to write scientific papers </li></ul><ul><li>Available outlets to publish </li></ul>
    9. 10. Access to computers and computer skills
    10. 11. Access to Research Funding <ul><li>Many initiatives to improve funding of science in Africa </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Governmental sources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NGOs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research funders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Private initiatives </li></ul></ul>
    11. 12. New Plant Bioinformatics Academy in Accra <ul><li>Article published in Science on 30 th September about a new academy being set up in Accra to develop bioinformatics skills in plant breeders </li></ul>
    12. 13. Access to the Scientific Literature <ul><li>Traditional journals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>take ownership of the research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>provide access to subscribers only </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Open access journals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>have no subscription barriers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>take advantage of the economics of the internet to allow universal access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>research is openly licensed to allow reuse </li></ul></ul>
    13. 14. Characteristics of Open Access <ul><li>The publisher charges directly for the service of publication/ dissemination </li></ul><ul><li>Research permanently available via the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>No barriers to access such as subscription costs </li></ul><ul><li>Licensed so as to allow redistribution and reuse (Creative Commons) </li></ul><ul><li>Archived in an internationally recognized repository (e.g. PubMed Central) </li></ul>
    14. 15. Open Access Waiver Fund <ul><li>All African countries receive automatic waiver, except: </li></ul><ul><li>Algeria </li></ul><ul><li>Botswana </li></ul><ul><li>Equatorial Guinea </li></ul><ul><li>Gabon </li></ul><ul><li>Libya </li></ul><ul><li>Namibia </li></ul><ul><li>South Africa </li></ul>
    15. 16. What does the APC cover <ul><ul><ul><li>Open access journals need to cover the costs of </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>managing peer review, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Development, maintenance and operation of online journal systems </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Formatting and mark up of articles, inclusion in indexing services </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Making sure readers and authors know about the journal </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Responding to authors/readers </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Publication fee is a very small fraction of the cost of doing research </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Most open access publishers give waivers to authors from developing countries </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In many cases, open access journals have central support, so no charges for authors or readers </li></ul></ul></ul>
    16. 17. Open Access publishing is growing fast
    17. 18. Improving skills to write scientific papers
    18. 20. Free Editing for African scientists submitting to BMC Journals <ul><li>To mark Open Access Africa 2011, Edanz will provide free editing for 20 African authors submitting to 5 BioMed Central Journals that are particularly relevant to African authors </li></ul><ul><li>AIDS Research and Therapy </li></ul><ul><li>BMC Public Health </li></ul><ul><li>International Journal for Equity in Health </li></ul><ul><li>Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine </li></ul><ul><li>Virology Journal </li></ul><ul><li>Where the journal editor feels the science of the paper is good but that the language needs polishing before submission and the author’s funding conditions could make it difficult to obtain the high level editing needed. The journal editor will refer the author to Edanz for free language editing </li></ul>
    19. 21. About BioMed Central <ul><li>Largest publisher of peer-reviewed open access journals </li></ul><ul><li>Launched first open access journal in 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Became part of Springer in 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Now publishes over 220 open access journals </li></ul><ul><li>>100,000 peer-reviewed OA articles published </li></ul><ul><li>All research articles published under Creative Commons license </li></ul><ul><li>Costs covered by article processing charge (APC) </li></ul>
    20. 22. Some BioMed Central journals
    21. 23. BioMed Central submissions
    22. 24. BioMed Central and Africa
    23. 25. ComputerAid
    24. 26. Growth in manuscript submissions from Africa to BioMed Central
    25. 27. Submissions from Africa compared to total
    26. 28. BMC Foundation Membership <ul><li>A new type of membership created for developing nations </li></ul><ul><li>Designed to support Open Access advocacy </li></ul><ul><li>No cost </li></ul>
    27. 29. Criteria for Foundation Membership <ul><li>Institution should have a Open Access policy in place </li></ul><ul><li>Institution should have published at least 5 articles in BioMed Central journals in the last year </li></ul>
    28. 30. Benefits of Foundation Membership <ul><li>A BMC Webpage </li></ul><ul><li>A Member welcome pack </li></ul><ul><li>Membership usage reports </li></ul><ul><li>Member logo/badge for use on institution website </li></ul><ul><li>PR of Membership </li></ul>
    29. 32. Malaria Journal - an open access journal case study
    30. 33. Malaria Journal homepage
    31. 34. Annual growth in submissions to Malaria Journal
    32. 35. Top 20 African countries publishing in Malaria Journal (no. of articles) Kenya 68 Tanzania 59 Nigeria 33 South Africa 30 Uganda 29 Ghana 21 Benin 16 Madagascar 14 Sudan 12 Ethiopia 11 Zambia 10 Cameroon 9 Senegal 9 Malawi 9 Mali 9 Burkina Faso 8 Cote d'Ivoire 7 Gabon 6 Gambia 6 Mozambique 3
    33. 36. Impact Factor trend
    34. 37. A highly accessed Malaria Journal article 17,000+ downloads 41 citations
    35. 38. Parasite to Prevention - Malaria Journal ’s scientific conference <ul><li>Inaugural conference October 2010, Edinburgh, Scotland </li></ul><ul><li>Full bursaries for participants from low-income countries, supported by Gates Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>Next conference 2012 </li></ul>
    36. 39. Other high profile open access journals relevant to tropical diseases
    37. 40. The latest open access research on global health issues
    38. 42. Open Access repositories <ul><li>Allow archiving of articles published both in traditional journals and open access journals </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional publishers typically only allow author version to be archived </li></ul><ul><li>Many require a 6 or 12 month embargo period </li></ul><ul><li>Open access articles can be deposited and made immediately available </li></ul>
    39. 43. Open Repository <ul><li>Hosted digital repository service, operated by BioMed Central </li></ul><ul><li>Built on the DSpace open-source platform </li></ul><ul><li>Dramatically reduces time and costs involved in setting up, maintaining and developing a repository </li></ul><ul><li>Hosting in UK ensures maximum international exposure </li></ul>
    40. 44. MSF 1
    41. 45. MSF 2
    42. 46. Thanks, and enjoy the rest of the conference!