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Open Access and the
Decolonization of the
University in Africa
Open Access and the Future of Africa’s Knowledge Economy
Fo...
The ‘Rhodes Must Fall’ movement at UCT,
demanding an end to neo-colonial higher
education, launched countrywide student pr...
Open Access, with its democratic
ethos, should play into this
movement, yet the question of
access to research publication...
Instead open access appears to be heading
for stormy weather…
Instead of decolonizing, is OA losing out to the
corporate strength of the big journal publishers
and their hold on academ...
In the last few months, weeks and days, and
accelerating unease …
Bernard Rentier, a leading champion of OA in
Europe, accuses scholars of succumbing to a
‘Stockholm Syndrome, betraying th...
Email from Bernard Rentier (University of Liege) to the Communaute
de Libre Acces Francophone, 25 March 2016
Email from Bernard Rentier (University of Liege) to the Communaute
de Libre Acces Francophone, 25 March 2016
One of the best-known and longest-standing OA
advocates and missionary champion of green OA,
Stevan Harnad, walks out in d...
AttributionNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by Tambako the Jaguar
A weakness of the OA movement - ideological
arguments about the right road, the Green or the
Gold, finally culminate in th...
What has been missing is a lack of clear strategic
thinking that looks beyond the journal article
The weakest point – researchers’ addiction to
prestige journals and impact factors…
Yochai Benkler in 2006 expressed reservations about OA based on the
conservatism of universities and, given the conservati...
AttributionNoncommercialNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by Mennonite Church USA Archives
We chase after global
co...
A competitive and individualistic system in conflict
with the collaborative culture of digital media.
http://otwartanauka.pl/in-english/experts-on-open-
access/open-access-will-remain-a-half-revolution-interview-
with-richar...
The source of our unease – a scholarly
publishing system brokered over 60 years ago
We have failed to build a strategy on what is
needed in a digital 21st century in Africa.
And so we get this… an Elsevier OA African
megajournal…
And the ‘gold route’ leaves the system vulnerable
to the strategies of the multinationals..
Relationships are not good…
htphhttps://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/wellcome-criticises-publishers-over-open-
access
Despite the claim by Elsevier that the policy advances sharing, it actually does
the opposite. The policy … requires autho...
http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/rearvision/big-deals,-bad-feelings-in-the-
knowledge-business/6480274
…the war continues and the battlefield resembles
the Western Front in WWI: a stalemate. Both sides
have won significant vi...
Now Africa is being re-colonized…
‘One of the fundamental questions is whether you regard the knowledge that's
generated through research as a common good,’...
This is only one of many African-centred
initiatives by the multinational publishers
…who until now have denied that Africa is part of
their ‘international’ world, and therefore capable
of offering research ...
With disastrous results
Photo European Commisison CC-BY-NC
How did we get into this mess? A lack of
strategy?
… someone who did strategise very carefully,
after World War II…
Robert Maxwell –
media mogul, possibly
a double or treble
agent, but also one of
the main architects of
post-war scientifi...
… from a poverty-stricken background in what is
now Czeckoslovakia, he landed up at the end of
World War II working for Br...
Maxwell recognised that research content ,
scientific and technical knowledge had become
valuable – a matter of money….
AttributionNoncommercial Some rights reserved by daniel.d.slee
English became the
dominant language
Politically?
The power base was that of the victorious
Allies, the UK and the USA …
… Maxwell lionized scientists, paid for travel,
editorial parties, took the business management
over for them, created new...
…promotion and prestige became inextricably
linked to journal publication…
… so the real
problem lies
in our
promotion
and reward
systems…
AttributionNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by ayo...
What we have failed to address…
The University of Cape Town, which chases
citation counts to maintain its position as the top-
ranking African university ...
So how should we be strategizing?
Align our publishing practices with our strategic
imperatives, developmental, commercial the quest
for real excellence…
Although radical alternatives have started to
suggest themselves…
Eve Gray
Research Associate
Intellectual Property Law Unit
University of Cape Town
Codesria Conference on Electronic Publishing 2016
Codesria Conference on Electronic Publishing 2016
Codesria Conference on Electronic Publishing 2016
Codesria Conference on Electronic Publishing 2016
Codesria Conference on Electronic Publishing 2016
Codesria Conference on Electronic Publishing 2016
Codesria Conference on Electronic Publishing 2016
Codesria Conference on Electronic Publishing 2016
Codesria Conference on Electronic Publishing 2016
Codesria Conference on Electronic Publishing 2016
Codesria Conference on Electronic Publishing 2016
Codesria Conference on Electronic Publishing 2016
Codesria Conference on Electronic Publishing 2016
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Codesria Conference on Electronic Publishing 2016

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The Open Access Movement and the Future of Africa's Knowledge Economy
A conference held in Dakar on March 31 to April 1 2016

Published in: Education
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Codesria Conference on Electronic Publishing 2016

  1. 1. Open Access and the Decolonization of the University in Africa Open Access and the Future of Africa’s Knowledge Economy Fourth Codesria Conference on Electronic Publishing and Dissemination Dakar, 30 March – 1 April 2016
  2. 2. The ‘Rhodes Must Fall’ movement at UCT, demanding an end to neo-colonial higher education, launched countrywide student protests in South Africa in March 2015
  3. 3. Open Access, with its democratic ethos, should play into this movement, yet the question of access to research publication, open access and the democratization of scholarly publishing has not been on #RhodesMustFall agenda…
  4. 4. Instead open access appears to be heading for stormy weather…
  5. 5. Instead of decolonizing, is OA losing out to the corporate strength of the big journal publishers and their hold on academics keen for promotion? A knock-out blow….?
  6. 6. In the last few months, weeks and days, and accelerating unease …
  7. 7. Bernard Rentier, a leading champion of OA in Europe, accuses scholars of succumbing to a ‘Stockholm Syndrome, betraying their own interests in negotiations with publishers’.
  8. 8. Email from Bernard Rentier (University of Liege) to the Communaute de Libre Acces Francophone, 25 March 2016
  9. 9. Email from Bernard Rentier (University of Liege) to the Communaute de Libre Acces Francophone, 25 March 2016
  10. 10. One of the best-known and longest-standing OA advocates and missionary champion of green OA, Stevan Harnad, walks out in despair
  11. 11. AttributionNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by Tambako the Jaguar
  12. 12. A weakness of the OA movement - ideological arguments about the right road, the Green or the Gold, finally culminate in this impasse.
  13. 13. What has been missing is a lack of clear strategic thinking that looks beyond the journal article
  14. 14. The weakest point – researchers’ addiction to prestige journals and impact factors…
  15. 15. Yochai Benkler in 2006 expressed reservations about OA based on the conservatism of universities and, given the conservatism of universities, the weight carried by the leading journals like Science and Nature, and the persistence of the reward system. ‘[A]s long as hiring and promotion decisions continue to be based on the prestige of the journal in which a scientist’s work is published, the ability of these new journals to replace the traditional ones will be curtailed.’ (Benkler 2006, 323-4).
  16. 16. AttributionNoncommercialNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by Mennonite Church USA Archives We chase after global competitiveness…
  17. 17. A competitive and individualistic system in conflict with the collaborative culture of digital media.
  18. 18. http://otwartanauka.pl/in-english/experts-on-open- access/open-access-will-remain-a-half-revolution-interview- with-richard-poynder 2 March 2016
  19. 19. The source of our unease – a scholarly publishing system brokered over 60 years ago
  20. 20. We have failed to build a strategy on what is needed in a digital 21st century in Africa.
  21. 21. And so we get this… an Elsevier OA African megajournal…
  22. 22. And the ‘gold route’ leaves the system vulnerable to the strategies of the multinationals..
  23. 23. Relationships are not good…
  24. 24. htphhttps://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/wellcome-criticises-publishers-over-open- access
  25. 25. Despite the claim by Elsevier that the policy advances sharing, it actually does the opposite. The policy … requires authors to apply a “non-commercial and no derivative works” license for each article deposited into a repository, greatly inhibiting the re-use value of these articles…Furthermore, the policy applies to “all articles previously published and those published in the future” making it even more punitive for both authors and institutions. This may also lead to articles that are currently available being suddenly embargoed and inaccessible to readers. https://www.coar-repositories.org/activities/advocacy-leadership/statements-and-guidelines/petition-against-elseviers- sharing-policy/
  26. 26. http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/rearvision/big-deals,-bad-feelings-in-the- knowledge-business/6480274
  27. 27. …the war continues and the battlefield resembles the Western Front in WWI: a stalemate. Both sides have won significant victories and suffered significant defeats, but the key questions remain the same. Who owns scientific information? How much does it cost to access it? Who should be able to access it?
  28. 28. Now Africa is being re-colonized…
  29. 29. ‘One of the fundamental questions is whether you regard the knowledge that's generated through research as a common good,’ says Professor Leeder. ‘In other words, it should be there for everybody to use, paid for by the community through its taxes to research workers, or whether someone can come along and put a fence around these paddocks and say, “Well that's actually mine.”’ http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/rearvision/big-deals,-bad-feelings-in-the-knowledge-business/6480274
  30. 30. This is only one of many African-centred initiatives by the multinational publishers
  31. 31. …who until now have denied that Africa is part of their ‘international’ world, and therefore capable of offering research impact..
  32. 32. With disastrous results
  33. 33. Photo European Commisison CC-BY-NC
  34. 34. How did we get into this mess? A lack of strategy?
  35. 35. … someone who did strategise very carefully, after World War II…
  36. 36. Robert Maxwell – media mogul, possibly a double or treble agent, but also one of the main architects of post-war scientific publishing…
  37. 37. … from a poverty-stricken background in what is now Czeckoslovakia, he landed up at the end of World War II working for British information services in British Occupied Germany
  38. 38. Maxwell recognised that research content , scientific and technical knowledge had become valuable – a matter of money….
  39. 39. AttributionNoncommercial Some rights reserved by daniel.d.slee English became the dominant language Politically?
  40. 40. The power base was that of the victorious Allies, the UK and the USA …
  41. 41. … Maxwell lionized scientists, paid for travel, editorial parties, took the business management over for them, created new journals for their specializations…
  42. 42. …promotion and prestige became inextricably linked to journal publication…
  43. 43. … so the real problem lies in our promotion and reward systems… AttributionNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by ayomide!
  44. 44. What we have failed to address…
  45. 45. The University of Cape Town, which chases citation counts to maintain its position as the top- ranking African university overall has in fact come 8th in the world subject rankings for development science…
  46. 46. So how should we be strategizing?
  47. 47. Align our publishing practices with our strategic imperatives, developmental, commercial the quest for real excellence…
  48. 48. Although radical alternatives have started to suggest themselves…
  49. 49. Eve Gray Research Associate Intellectual Property Law Unit University of Cape Town

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