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The Landscape of Open Science in Africa/Susan Veldsman & Joseph Wafula


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Report on preliminary findings during a high-level stakeholder meeting presented in Pretoria, South Africa on 3 and 4 September 2018.

Published in: Data & Analytics
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The Landscape of Open Science in Africa/Susan Veldsman & Joseph Wafula

  1. 1. The Landscape of Open Science in AfricaProf Joseph Wafula and Mrs Susan Veldsman AOSP Stakeholder Workshop, Saint George’s Hotel and Conference Centre, Pretoria, SA 3 - 4 September 2018 The Landscape of Open Science in Africa 1
  2. 2. Mapping the Landscape informing AOSP • Based on the AOSP database a landscape overview has been compiled on the following: Register of Africa’s data collections and services Register of key role players Identified potential partnerships to deliver services Identified sources of content Show related content Identified collaborations 2
  3. 3. • Mapping of data collections and services to inform AOSP focus areas • Identified potential speakers, workgroups, invitations to meetings • Connecting researchers working in the same discipline • Informing funders towards research being done • Increasing the visibility of research, services and the work of AOSP • Mapping will be ongoing…. • Adding more contacts, projects and building the network • Assisting in raising awareness • Further interpretations of the landscape Mapping the Landscape informing AOSP 3
  4. 4. Data Intensive Research on Continent 4
  5. 5. Challenges facing research infrastructures in Africa Challenges Facing Research Infrastructure in Africa 5
  6. 6. Slide Credit: Laura Merson, IDDO Data during Outbreaks e.g. Ebola The government-led response to the West African Ebola outbreak included many different international organisations. 6
  7. 7. Slide Credit: Laura Merson, IDDO Data during Outbreaks e.g. Ebola When the outbreak ended and organisations left the region, the data was scattered globally. 7
  8. 8. Currently 22 data repositories registered in Africa Country coverage in (registry of data repositories) accessed September 2018 Global Registry of Data Repositories 8
  9. 9. Only one data repository in Africa has CoreTrustSeal Location of repositories having acquired CoreTrustSeal (accessed September 2018) Trusted Data Repositories 9
  10. 10. What is the African Open Science Platform doing? What is the African Open Science Platform doing? 10
  11. 11. Cloud Computing and Networked Services • NRENs providing connectivity to research institutions in Africa • AOSP now recommend NRENs to offer including data management services and cloud services  AOSP had engagement with infrastructure providers, NRENs: workshops and presentations at UbuntuNet and WACREN conferences in 2017 in Ethiopia  Prepared them for development of AOSP roadmap for research data infrastructure  Highlighted the important roles of NRENs, research institutions and research domains  Key components for additional services: data repositories, data ecosystem (identifiers, metadata), collaborative environments and analysis tools, platform approaches and provision of software/tools/etc 11
  12. 12. ASREN WACREN UbuntuNet Funding through AfricaConnect2 – high capacity Internet networks connecting 37 countries across Africa Connecting the Continent AfricaConnect2 coordinated regions (accessed Sept. 2018) 12
  13. 13. • Proposed AOSP Framework to build taking into consideration the existing ones: • SADC Cyberinfrastructure Framework • National Integrated Cyberinfrastructure System (SA) • Emphasis on data computing and high performance centers and their role in data collection, hosting and visualisation • Task Team consists of members of NRENs, researchers in data intensive research projects, large collaborations GBIF and H3ABioNet • AOSP ICT Research Infrastructure Framework and Roadmap to be in place 2019 Cloud Computing and Networked Services 13
  14. 14. National, Institutional OS Policy Instruments • Principles, policies and practices, and publication tools have been collated in AOSP • Open Science Policies: • Various meetings held with stakeholders and countries making progress: South Africa, Botswana, Madagascar, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda • OA Institutional Repositories: 31 • Institutional Open Research Data Policy: JKUAT • Funder policies: National Research Foundation (SA) on open data repositories • AOSP Policy and Framework for Open Science to be finalised by Nov 2018 14
  15. 15. • Factors hindering buy-in to share research data • IP, confidentiality, ownership • Issues relating to individual credit (scooping, misuse) • Confusing and conflicting requirements • Lack of time and expertise and resources • Governance • Political • No one has asked me? • Important to look at what will incentivise researchers to contribute and share data? Awards and recognition: The South African National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF): NSTF Data for Research Award (2017 and 2018) AOSP Incentives Framework and Roadmap to be finalised in 2019: Research Data Management: Incentives 15
  16. 16. Square Kilometre Array H3ABioNet Genomics Data GBIF Biodiversity Data Collaborative Initiatives 16
  17. 17. • Current activities in AOSP are stimulating thinking about the next major data intensive programmes • Identified areas where Africa is data-asset rich:  Hydrology  Resilient Cities  Disaster Risk Reduction • Potential to attract collaboration and develop African research base • These programmes should build on existing activities and critical mass • AOSP can assist in enabling critical mass and contributing to modern data approaches Interdisciplinary Programmes 17
  18. 18. Network of Education, Capacity, Training • Different skills are required during different stages of the research and data lifecycle • Skills need to be developed between various key stakeholders Training workshops in Madagascar (Sept 2017) Engagement with training initiatives (particularly at CODATA-RDA Data Schools, Data Carpentry) Sponsored participation for some TAB members and stakeholders • AOSP has already compiled an inventory of initiatives and training programmes: GODAN, RDA 18
  19. 19. Network of Education, Capacity, Training • Interdisciplinary repositories and networks have their own context specific capacity building and training in data (AIMS, H3ABioNet, SASSCAL) • Focus have to move to be more inclusive of schools, universities and professional levels • Identification of core curriculum and preparation for work on a curriculum framework to be finalized in 2019 19
  20. 20. • First 18 months focussed on • Creating awareness on the need for research data • How data should be curated in a trusted and responsible way • Workshops were hosted, meetings were attended across Africa regarding Open Science/Open Data • International and continental linkages were formed • NRENs • Interdisciplinary programmes i.e. H3ABionet, GBIF • Governments i.e. Botswana, Uganda, Madagascar, Ethiopia, South Africa • Internationally i.e. AIMS, GODAN, RDA, WDS, EU Open Science Cloud • Other stakeholders i.e. AfLIA • AAU and NEPAD • And later in 2018, Global Research Council and Annual Meeting of African Science Academies (AMASA-14) Network for Open Science Access & Dialogue 20
  21. 21. • Bursaries for training and capacity building • Funding for research i.e. AOSP Policy Frameworks • Funding workshops for individuals from AOSP network to attend key conferences Network for Open Science Access & Dialogue 21
  22. 22. • AOSP needs to develop the community further To ensure access to information, data and scientific expertise Scientists to be engaged in cross societal collaborations Network for Open Science Access & Dialogue 22
  23. 23. UN Key Message Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, Dakar, May 2018 UN: Economic Commission for Africa “79. The creation of an African platform for research and innovation exchange will enable the dissemination of goal-relevant African research and innovation to governments and citizens. It could form the basis for linking researchers and innovators with the funding required to scale up their work. The proposed platform would showcase and share Africa’s efforts to develop goal-relevant research and innovation and could be coordinated with the Global Innovation Exchange.” 23
  24. 24. Thank You • SA Department of Science and Technology through the National Research Foundation for its financial support • Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) • Dr Simon Hodson (ISC CODATA)- for his support, collegiality and leadership • Project Team: Mrs Ina Smith and Me Nozuko Hlwatika for leadership, enthusiasm and support • AOSP Technical Advisory Board 24
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