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A strategic approach to research publishing in South Africa
A strategic approach to research publishing in South Africa
A strategic approach to research publishing in South Africa
A strategic approach to research publishing in South Africa
A strategic approach to research publishing in South Africa
A strategic approach to research publishing in South Africa
A strategic approach to research publishing in South Africa
A strategic approach to research publishing in South Africa
A strategic approach to research publishing in South Africa
A strategic approach to research publishing in South Africa
A strategic approach to research publishing in South Africa
A strategic approach to research publishing in South Africa
A strategic approach to research publishing in South Africa
A strategic approach to research publishing in South Africa
A strategic approach to research publishing in South Africa
A strategic approach to research publishing in South Africa
A strategic approach to research publishing in South Africa
A strategic approach to research publishing in South Africa
A strategic approach to research publishing in South Africa
A strategic approach to research publishing in South Africa
A strategic approach to research publishing in South Africa
A strategic approach to research publishing in South Africa
A strategic approach to research publishing in South Africa
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A strategic approach to research publishing in South Africa

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  • 1. A STRATEGIC APPROACH TO RESEARCH
    PUBLISHING IN SOUTH AFRICA
    S Veldsman
    Director: Scholarly Publishing Programme
    22 November 2010
    Applying scientific thinking
    in the service of society
  • 2. Impetus to strategic report
    During 2001 the most ambitious project of DoE to restructure and reform HE in SA. Change in a number of things:
    Closure of the Bureau for Scientific Publications, Termination of state subsidy of flagship journals
    Modified funding of outputs of tertiary institutions :ISI-, IBSS-listed, plus accredited SA journals (DoE list)
  • 3. Two questions surfaced?
    • Is it appropriate for the state to support publication of learned jnls to foster intellectual exchange?
    • 4. Do all articles, published in jnls recognized for the output subsidy of universities, deserve recognition, in view of wide variation in quality of the material produced?
  • ASSAf commissioned for study
    2001 the then Dept of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology (now Depts of Science and Technology) commissioned ASSAf to address the two questions and to make recommendations for policy development in future
  • 5. Summarised findings no 1
    The confirmation that the formal “research publishing system” (backbone of cumulative, global progress in scholarship and knowledge) will continue to depend critically on the integrity and functionality of the core mechanism
    editorial discretion :
    peer review:
    appropriate citation
    even if necessary and appropriate adaptations are made in the electronic age
  • 6. Summarised findings no 2
    • Research publishing in South Africa is undertaken in good faith and with much personal effort and commitment by editors and their editorial boards, but is very fragile in that:
    • 7. infrequent, often irregular publication of thin issues is generally used to deal with a low supply of good papers
    • 8. a majority of the journals play only a tiny role in the world research publishing system, as judged by citation in the most extensive, multi-disciplinary, indexed database available;
    • 9. the “mixed bag” of quality and reputation in the DoE’s local accreditation list means the whole group is “tainted” in the eyes of key stakeholders.
  • Summarised findings no 3, 4
    • The evolving “electronic age” comes with highly significant paradigm shifts and new opportunities and risks with which an intermediate country like South Africa must vigorously engage
    • 10. A multi-pronged approach is absolutely essential, embedded in international trends and efforts particularly to assist developing countries like ours
  • GLOBAL RESEARCH REPRESENTATION
    WEB OF SCIENCE COVERAGE
  • 11. COVERAGE OF REGIONAL AND SOUTH AFRICAN JOURNALS
    9
  • 12. Recommendations – 2006 ASSAf Report
    • Strong indigenous journal system essential
    • 13. Code of best practice in editing and peer review needed
    • 14. Cyclical peer review of journals by ASSAf panels
    • 15. Accreditation by govt. by peer review system
  • Recommendations (continued)
    • National platform for open access through free-online journals and institutional repositories – govt. backing, mechanisms
    • 16. Information system to be set up, plus citation indexing
    • 17. Translation of scholarly content to public benefit – esp. education
    • 18. International : efforts to promote public sector, level-playing field, freely accessible indexing system
  • Mechanisms in place for follow through of recommendations
    • Presentations to Ministers of Education and Science/Technology, etc; HESA; NACI; SARIMA
    • 19. Funding sought for implementation project – granted 2008-2011(contract)
    • 20. ASSAf’s Committee on Scholarly Publishing in SA constituted – project oversight
    • 21. ASSAf’s Scholarly Publishing Unit established – Director and project staff
    • 22. National Scholarly Editors’ Forum established : terms of reference : national code of best practice in editing and peer review adopted and published
  • Mechanisms (continue)
    • Grouped broad discipline peer review panels
    • 23. Social Sciences & Agriculture--completed
    • 24. Religion, Law, Humanities & related fields and Medical journals—in process
    • 25. Consensus Study of scholarly publishing in books completed—Nov 2009
    • 26. Possible online scientific writing course system under investigation
    • 27. Creation of national platform for open access publishing of high-quality S A journals—SciELO SA
  • SciELO SA
    The Scholarly Publishing Unit of ASSAf's main aim is:
    to put a quality, visible and robust platform in place to publish ALL South African Scholarly publications
  • 28. Advantages of SciELO SA
    SciELO is a fully cross indexed platform, which forms part of a
    developing country "ISI" system.
    Usage, downloads, visits can be monitored daily by the editor, author and users on the system!
    SciELO Brazil is in discussion with the "proper" ISI for the inclusion
    of SciELO journals in their database and citation analysis system
    Journals on the platform for inclusion will be stringently selected by
    our Review Panels--to ensure quality SA Scholarly journals
  • 29. Advantages(cont)
    Publishing on this platform is free as it is funded by the Dept of Science and Technology
    Possible institutional per-article co-payments possibly linked to the DoE research output subsidy system
    possible partial subsidization by DST of the print versions (if they are of high quality, post peer reviewed) AND is unable to tolerate possible loss in income
    being part of a possible new DoE accreditation system linked to ASSAf's SPP activities
  • 30.
  • 31.
  • 32.
  • 33.
  • 34. Impact of local scholarly platform
    • Discipline-grouped peer review by ASSAf Panels – cycles – recommendations for govt. accreditation; subsidised free online open access; optimum editorial models; functional categorisation
    • 35. Platform mechanism(s) for online journal editing/reviewing/publishing; copyright arrangements; “economies of scale” production processes; facilitation of print production/distribution; information capture, including citation indexing
    • 36. Ongoing improvement through national scholarly editors’ forum, oversight by ASSAf Committee; policy development, etc
    • 37. Africa???
  • Conclusion
    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,
    • 38. quantity and
    • 39. 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
  • THANK YOU
    susan@assaf.org.za

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