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Louise van Heerden - SciELO South Africa: Past, Present and Future


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The SciELO Network has been developing for 20 years as a remarkable international cooperation in scholarly communication in open access. The network consists of national collections of journals published by scientific societies, professional associations, universities and other educational institutions selected according to indexing criteria based on international standards and good practices of scientific publishing. In 2018, the network operates in 15 Ibero-American countries and South Africa. In most of these countries the SciELO collections reflect the implanting of national policies to support the advancement of research and its communication with emphasis on nationally published journals which are financed and led by governmental research funding agencies.

International cooperation is based on the common understanding that nationally produced quality journals fulfill essential functions in national scientific production systems, such as research communication with national or regional focus on the objects of study, priorities and target audiences, and the development of research disciplines and communities, particularly with regard to education and scientific communication infrastructures and capacities, and, from previously mentioned functions, to actively participate in the global flow of scientific information. SciELO journals are from different disciplines and, besides English, they publish research results in the national languages of SciELO Network. SciELO also emphasizes that the ability to publish quality journals is an essential part of the ability of doing quality research.

The SciELO Network is decentralized in its governance, financing and operation. It is structured by a set of principles, objectives and common functions that make up the SciELO Program. The principles refer, firstly, to the conception of scientific knowledge as a public good, best performed by open access communication, secondly, networking to maximize contributions and earnings, and thirdly, by adopting the state of the art with adherence to standards, quality control and innovations in all the stages of research communication. The specific objectives are to actively promote the sustainable increase of editorial quality, visibility, use and impact of journals and the research they communicate. The objectives are achieved through the strengthening and development of national scientific communication infrastructures and capacities. The functions include, firstly, indexing focusing on the selectivity of quality journals and performance follow up, secondly, the storage, preservation and publication of metadata and full texts, and, thirdly…

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Louise van Heerden - SciELO South Africa: Past, Present and Future

  1. 1. Past, Present and Future Louise van Heerden & Susan Veldsman Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
  2. 2. South Africa
  3. 3. South Africa Annually Heritage Day is celebrated on 24 September
  4. 4. The future: What we hope to achieve Agenda The past: History of SciELO SA The present: Current situation in SA Overview
  5. 5. In 2006 the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) published a consensus study with the title the Report on a Strategic Approach to Research Publishing in South Africa. Recommendation 6: That a SA open access repository had to be established. The South African Department of Science and Technology (DST) mandated ASSAf to establish such a repository. The past: History of SciELO SA
  6. 6. Chose the SciELO model as - It was well-suited to our needs; - it was such a success in South America ; and - It would promote south-south research collaboration; and - Brazil is part of the BRICS relationship. SciELO SA would be: • Affiliated with ASSAf • Governed by the CSPiSA • Funded by the DST The past: History of SciELO SA cont.
  7. 7. Started in 2009 as a “collection in development” with the help of SciELO Brazil. Visited SciELO for training and they visited us three times. The past: History of SciELO SA cont.
  8. 8. Training of SciELO SA
  9. 9. First journal: South African Journal of Science (SAJS) End-2009: 7 South African titles had been added to the SciELO SA platform - a pilot project to prove its value. Sept-2018: 75 titles in the collection Future expectation: 180 journals Titles in the SciELO SA Collection
  10. 10. Certification: 2013: SciELO SA complied with the quality and certification criteria of SciELO to become a fully-fledged national SciELO collection. April-2013: Certified as a regular operational collection indexed in the SciELO Network Global Portal. Aug-2013: SciELO SA was officially launched by the Dept of Science & Technology (DST) The past: History of SciELO SA cont.
  11. 11. SciELO SA goes live! (on its own) Mohau Moja and Tawanda December ENTER and.. SUCCESS!
  12. 12. The official launch of SciELO SA From the left: Dr Khotso Mokhele (Department of Science & Technology) Susan Veldsman (Director: Scholarly Publishing, ASSAf) Prof Daya Reddy (Then-President of ASSAf) Abel Packer (SciELO founder, coordinator & advisor, UNIFESP Foundation)
  13. 13. SA: National Science and Technology System • DST drives the National System of Innovation (NSI) • 1996 SA White Paper on Science and Technology • DST promotes the NSI via key strategies such as: • The National Research and Development Strategy(NRDS) • The Ten-year Innovation Plan (TYIP) • The TYIP seeks to transform the SA economy into a knowledge-based economy in which the production and dissemination of knowledge: leads to economic benefits and enriches all fields of human endeavour The present: Current situation in SA
  14. 14. These developmental goals require: • High-level skilled human capital by increasing government investment to improve the capacity, equity and productivity of the system. • High-quality research equipment and infrastructure to enable the NSI to deliver the tangible benefits of research and innovation. • The open access SciELO SA Collection contributes towards the DST goals of: optimising the R&D and Innovation of the country; and enabling a productive knowledge economy. The present: Current situation in SA cont.
  15. 15. Political and Financial Support: • DST funds the platform and officially launched the certified SciELO SA platform in July 2013.  • Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET): • Evaluates South African journals according to a technical checklist to ensure the journals adhere to good publishing practices • Create DHET accredited list of the journals that meet the criteria • 2015: DHET published the Research Outputs Policy of 2015: o Outlines the criteria for the measurement and evaluation of research outputs of public higher education institutions (HEIs). o Aims "to sustain current research strengths and to promote the kinds of research and other knowledge outputs required to meet (the) national development needs" of South Africa, as envisioned by the National Plan for Higher Education. The present: Current situation in SA cont.
  16. 16. Dept of Higher Education & Training’s Research Output Policy of 2015: The DHET encourages South African researchers at public HEIs to publish in scientific DHET journals by subsidising research outputs (similar to England, Australia and New-Zealand)   According to the new policy SciELO SA journals are automatically accredited by DHET alongside journals included in: • Clarivate Analytics (previously Thomson and Reuter’s Web of Science) • Scopus • International Bibliography of Social Sciences (IBBS) • Norwegian Scientific Index’s Level 2 journals The present: Current situation in SA cont.
  17. 17. Support of Open Science in South Africa: January-2015: South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF) released an open access statement indicating its support for open access to research publications from NRF-funded research. September-2018: SA National Government announced the SA Draft White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation. This White Paper encourages an open science approach which in turn further encourages the open access of journals. Open Access situation in SA
  18. 18. The role of the SciELO SA Collection in the national science and technology system: By making prestigious SA journals visible and accessible globally, SciELO SA allows SA research to be viewed both nationally and internationally. This enables the DST vision of: • optimising the R&D and Innovation of the country; and • a productive knowledge economy. All SciELO journals appear on the Web of Knowledge (WoK) search portal as the SciELO Citation Index. This increased visibility improves the impact factors of local journals. The present: Current situation in SA cont.
  19. 19. Increased visibility: 2009 to Sept-2018: Almost 14m views of SA articles via SciELO SA HTS Theological Studies: 2 558 citations via SciELO SA since 2009 South African Journal of Animal Science: • 1 277 citations (28.5% from South American journals, south-south connection) • SAJAS’s JCR Impact Factor: 0.365 in 2008 (the year before the journal joined SciELO SA) to 0.678 in 2016. Curationis (nursing journal): 364 citations via SciELO,15% from South American journals. The present: Current situation in SA cont.
  20. 20. The operation of the SciELO SA Collection: • ASSAf’s Committee for Scholarly Publishing in South Africa (CSPiSA) advises the Director of the Scholarly Programme at ASSAf on the strategic direction of the SciELO SA Collection. • The SciELO SA Operations Manager manages the collection. • A team of three Online Publishing Administrators publish the SciELO SA journals on the platform using the SciELO Methodology. • The SciELO SA Systems Administrator attends to the technical aspects of the SciELO SA platform. (5 team members) The present: Current situation in SA cont.
  21. 21. SciELO SA Team Top left-right: Nadia Grobler, Neo Mashilo Bottom left-right: Msimilelo Dingiswayo, Louise van Heerden, Mohau Moja
  22. 22. Selecting journals: • Recommendations of the ASSAf-established peer review panels. • Panels convene in subject groups to evaluate the quality of SA from a Subject perspective. • Exceptional journals are recommended for inclusion in the SciELO SA Collection. • Then the journals are also evaluated according to SciELO criteria, e.g. o full-text open accessible o DOIs o DOAJ o Number of articles published a year and o Does the journal publish regularly and on time. • If the journal meets the SciELO criteria the journal is invited to become part of the Collection. SciELO SA – Selecting journals
  23. 23. SciELO SA Advisory Committee: Made up of representative editors and other stakeholders. Decide on: • the performance evaluation criteria for journals to be admitted to the SciELO SA Collection; as well as • possible removal of journals due to lack of performance and/or delays in publication. Exclusion of a journal from the SciELO SA collection will only be carried out after a decision report is issued by the SciELO SA Advisory Committee and the journal has been given an opportunity to improve its performance.   For more details on the operation of the SciELO SA Collection see: The present: Current situation in SA cont.
  24. 24. Service providers: SciELO SA collections became independent and required hosting services from a SA company: • Sabinet (the South African Bibliographic Network) was chosen as is the only South African host connected to the SANREN (the South African Research Network).   Exponential growth in workload lead to required outsourcing of certain technical aspects of the publication: • Caboverde has developed proprietary software for the automatic processing of the time-consuming aspects of the publishing system. The present: Current situation in SA cont.
  25. 25. Growth (End-Aug 2018):        25 406 articles 1 623 issues 75 titles Usage Up to date: 1000 000 +  Usage (views up to date 13 000 000+):        2016 2 233 284 views 2017 2 584 045 views 13,5%
  26. 26. Usage (continents and countries):       Continental:  Africa 60%  Asia 15%  Europe 10%  North America 10%  Southern Americas 6%   Oceania 2% Country:  South Africa 50%  The United States 8%  India 4%  United Kingdom 3%  Nigeria 3%  Philippines 2%  Brazil 1.72%  Australia 1.67%  Kenya 1.4%   Canada 1.3% 
  27. 27. SciELO SA intends to adopt the SciELO priority action lines as follows: A)The current criteria are: 1. Publishing a minimum of 10-12 original articles per year (see point 3) 2. Publishing according to the journal’s stated periodicity 3. Where the journal publishes articles on approval (continuous publication) 3+ articles need to be online by the end of March, 3+ articles need to be online end-June, 3+ end-October and 3+ end-December 4. Assigning DOIs to articles to improve the visibility of articles 5. Adhering to the ASSAf best practice guidelines: 6. As well as the SciELO guidelines on best practices for strengthening ethics in scientific publication: The future: What we hope to achieve
  28. 28. B) The following criteria need to be introduced by SciELO SA journals by the end of 2018: 1. DOAJ inclusion 2. Layout changes 3. Inclusion of author ORCiDs in the PDFs 4. Cited by to be implemented at the start of 2019 5. Dec-2018: Journals need to have created a Google Analytics or OJS account for their journal for statistics Situation in South Africa The future: What we hope to achieve cont.
  29. 29. C) Medium-term criteria: 1. New criteria for ‘Instructions to Authors’ (to be discussed at the User Group meeting) 2. The instructions to authors need to include information regarding the journal’s criteria for accepting pre-prints/pre-peer reviewed manuscripts. 3. ORCiDs for Editors-in-Chief mandatory and urging authors of articles to include ORCiDs in the PDFs of articles 4. Continuous publication will be encouraged for quicker dissemination 5. The use of an Online Content Management System (CMS) will be strongly encouraged, e.g. OJS or Scholar One, to facilitate and encourage transparency and provide metrics 6. Annual reporting to ASSAf of progress made and of their statistics. 7. The identification of the role of each author in the creation of the article. The future: What we hope to achieve cont.
  30. 30. D) Long-term criteria: 1.Where possible continuous publication encouraged for quicker dissemination and visibility 2.ORCiDs for all authors in the PDFs of articles 3.Online Content Management System mandatory, e.g. OJS or Scholar One 4.Introduction of pre-print options/pre-peer reviewed manuscripts 5.A social media presence of journal to be established where possible 6.The application of the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) guidelines to SA journals will be discussed at the User Group meeting 7.The citations of data sets need to be provided where available The future: What we hope to achieve cont.
  31. 31. SciELO SA User Group meeting: The annual SciELO SA User Group meeting will be held during the last week of November 2018. The future: What we hope to achieve cont.
  32. 32. Obrigado Gracias Thank you and