Berlin 6 Open Access Conference: Susan Murray


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Berlin 6 Open Access Conference: Susan Murray

  1. 1. Quality, Evaluation & Impact of OA in African Learning
  2. 2. <ul><li>About </li></ul><ul><li>The big picture </li></ul><ul><li>2000 - a breakthrough! Higher Education & Economic Development </li></ul><ul><li>Open Access in Africa </li></ul><ul><li>Quality and evaluation ideas for Africa </li></ul>Overview
  3. 3. What is ? <ul><li>In South African slang, a “jol” means a party </li></ul><ul><li>… stands for A frican J ournals O n L ine </li></ul><ul><li>… is the largest online aggregation of peer-reviewed, African-published scholarly journals in the world, majority nowhere else online </li></ul><ul><li>… is a Non Profit Organisation based in S.A. </li></ul><ul><li>… provides free hosting & free access to meta-data of over 35, 000 records (journal-defined full-text access soon) </li></ul><ul><li>… is working to increase online access, visibility and use of African-published research output & support African higher education </li></ul>
  4. 4. AJOL’s Vision is for African learning to translate into African development AJOL’s Mission is to promote, establish, protect, preserve and maintain an online library and archive of academic journals published throughout the continent of Africa
  5. 5. To join AJOL, journals must be: <ul><li>Scholarly in content and contain original research </li></ul><ul><li>Peer-reviewed and quality controlled </li></ul><ul><li>Able to provide all content to AJOL </li></ul><ul><li>Guarantee permission for an AJOL article delivery service </li></ul><ul><li>Published within the African continent </li></ul>
  6. 6. AJOL includes <ul><li>Over 330 journals & 36 000 articles </li></ul><ul><li>Covering the full range of academic disciplines – particularly strong section on health </li></ul><ul><li>Each journal decides their accessibility model and AJOL respects & accommodates this autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>Both Open Access & Subscription-based journals (going forward, resources for OA) </li></ul>
  7. 7. AJOL participant journals are from:
  8. 8. – user functionality <ul><li>Search entire database or specific journal </li></ul><ul><li>User-friendly access to meta-data free on AJOL website </li></ul><ul><li>Access to article full text (online from Jan 09) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>full text is progressively subsidized; OA-journals free. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Free email alerts to registered users </li></ul><ul><li>Journal information from each homepage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>author guidelines, contact information, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. > 55,000 unique visitors / month
  10. 10. Visits by continent 2007
  11. 11. <ul><li>African researchers extremely critical of African-published journals... </li></ul><ul><li>AJOL appreciated for being only extant aggregator of African-published journals, and regarded by some as a measure of quality, </li></ul><ul><li>BUT </li></ul><ul><li>AJOL is criticized by others for being to inclusive... </li></ul><ul><li>2009 start the search for quality measure </li></ul>
  12. 12. Big picture... information age <ul><li>Kondratieff waves </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wheel, internal combustion engine, computer chip </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Currently, ICT – the internet (information) </li></ul>
  13. 13. A brief history of global ideas on Higher Education and development <ul><li>For 55 years, the World Bank said Higher Education not important for Africa… In 2000, this was proven wrong </li></ul><ul><li>But the impact of this harmful policy must is still to be fully removed by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Regional partnerships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>African Governments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Donor organisations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>African University leaders </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Actionable policies, supportive environment and sufficient funds necessary to improve research and research publishing </li></ul>
  14. 14. 2000 – a breakthrough! <ul><li>The World Bank and UNESCO announce that Higher Education is ESSENTIAL for developing countries </li></ul><ul><li>New studies and evidence show that the benefits of H.E. not just private after all. </li></ul><ul><li>- Higher tax revenues </li></ul><ul><li>- higher saving and investment </li></ul><ul><li>- higher consumption </li></ul><ul><li>- more research </li></ul><ul><li>- better national health (allowing higher productivity) </li></ul><ul><li>- more innovation & entrepreneurship (more job creation) </li></ul><ul><li>- needed for development of infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>- allows technological “catch-up” </li></ul><ul><li>- increases quality of primary and secondary education </li></ul><ul><li>- fair legal institutions and systems </li></ul><ul><li>- better policies and less corrupt governance. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>“ There is no way we can succeed in the eradication of poverty if the developing world is not part of knowledge creation, its dissemination and utilization to promote innovation. Higher education is a critical factor in making this possible and must be part of any development strategy” </li></ul><ul><li>Mamphela Ramphele </li></ul><ul><li>Managing Director for Human Development, World Bank, 2000 </li></ul>
  16. 16. The role of HEI in poverty <ul><li>“ Strengthening research and research-publishing are crucial priorities for improving higher education in Africa ” (Teferra and Altbach, 2004) </li></ul><ul><li>Since knowledge, access to information and higher education have recently (Bloom et al, 2005) been shown to be critical in economic development and significant, long-term poverty alleviation, it is imperative for the poorest continent to overcome Africa’s ‘multiple peripherality’ to the international knowledge system (Altbach, 2003: 143). </li></ul>
  17. 17. How to improve this? <ul><li>Policy adjustments & financial resources for higher education, research & research dissemination </li></ul><ul><li>Internet connectivity, bandwidth, hardware, software & skills </li></ul><ul><li>Correction of the market failure of scholarly publishing in Africa </li></ul><ul><li>Optimal use of the open access movement </li></ul>
  18. 18. Quality, Evaluation & Impact Assessment <ul><li>Quality of the overseas journals +/- known </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. RAE in UK abandoned due to correlation with ISI (critical mass of high quality journals included in CR obtains) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Quality of African-published research?? </li></ul>
  19. 19. Open Access TO Africa <ul><li>HINARI, AGORA, TEEAL, OARE, JSTOR AA Initiative, pure OA </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Need to be pro-active to ensure this does not displace or further weaken local systems of research & research dissemination </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Open Access FROM Africa <ul><li>Even more important </li></ul><ul><ul><li>RELEVANT to users’ context </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evidence accumulating that OA use & impact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online (and OA) allows development of new tools to “measure, assess & manage scientific productivity and progress much better than is currently possible”, although this does rely on critical mass online . (Swan, 2006) </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Source: SADC Statistics database, 2003 SADC GDP proportions 2002
  22. 22. Find practical model for OA publishing in LDC’s <ul><li>African HEI characterized by resource constraints </li></ul><ul><li>Critical mass of OA journals is needed, but also find ways to quality... </li></ul><ul><li>Use of existing resources to reduce costs, eg. OJS, AJOL, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Catalyse & support non-profit, professional publishers </li></ul>
  23. 23. Improve both quantity AND quality <ul><li>RANGE of quality in Africa </li></ul><ul><li>Some world class, but “more often than not, running the business of (an African) journal is the work of one person who acts as editor-in-chief, editor, messenger, copy editor, managing editor, technical editor, referee, designer, and negotiator (with printers, distributors, and university officials)…” (Teferra 2003) </li></ul><ul><li>We need tools to measure quality across the board, not just the top journals. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Criteria for quality assessment system: <ul><li>Reliable </li></ul><ul><li>Digestible </li></ul><ul><li>Economical </li></ul><ul><li>Fast results </li></ul><ul><li>Resistant to “gaming” </li></ul><ul><li>(Jennings, 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Acheived by distributed evaluation systems now possible </li></ul>
  25. 25. A combination of “Trust Metrics” <ul><li>Keep CI as a tool – expand it to be global and develop regional CI’s. </li></ul><ul><li>Usage Factors (CiteBase, OpCit, UK Serials Group) </li></ul><ul><li>Social networking tools (Soft bookmarking data, collaborative annotation, rating the raters e.g. (Taraborelli, 2008)) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Trusted digital repositories” (MIT) extended to include content quality not just preservation </li></ul>
  26. 26. Conclusions <ul><li>More than one measure of quality… don’t throw out the baby </li></ul><ul><li>Use of newly possible “Trust Metrics” </li></ul><ul><li>Potential for a new overall indicator as trust metrics matures </li></ul><ul><li>And for Africa, get a critical mass of African-published research online and Open Access </li></ul>
  27. 27. THANK YOU <ul><li>Susan Murray… [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>… OA MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER!!!!!! </li></ul>