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SciELO: South Africa: implementation
of policy advice by an Academy of
Science
Robin Crewe
Chair: Committee on Scholarly Publishing in South
Africa (CSPiSA)
Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)

1
Academy Reports on Scholarly
Publication
2006 – Report of a Strategic Approach to Research
publishing in South Africa
2009 – Scholarly Books: their production, use and
evaluation in South Africa today.

2
Report on Research Publishing
The 2006 ASSAf report identified the following:
“the …. low visibility of the existing local journals, most
appearing only in print and with low circulation
figures, and with few achieving inclusion in
prominent international journal indexes, as the key
barrier to general enhancement of the quantity and
quality of locally performed research” Gevers
(2013)”.

3
Academy Committee on Scholarly
Publishing (CSPiSA)
Supported by The Scholarly Publishing Unit (SPU)
Functions of the Unit –
 National Scholarly (Journal) Editors’ Forum
 National Scholarly Book Publishers’ Forum
 Open Access Platform –SciELO SA
 Discipline-grouped Peer review panels for journals
 Online Scientific writing courses

4
Global Open Access to Quality Local
Journals
To achieve this:
-Task Team to review possible National Platform for
Open Access Publishing lead by Wieland Gevers
Reviewed potential international platforms
Visited SciELO, Brazil 7-11 June 2008
Concluded that SciELO started in Brazil would best
achieve this purpose

5
HISTORY OF SciELO SA
 Following Task Team visit in 2008. Pilot Established:
mid-2009 with 7 titles
 SciELO Brazil hosted the platform and did all the epublication, including mark-up of articles.
 ASSAf started doing more and more mark-up of
articles. 2010-2011
 ASSAf took over ALL the e-publication and IT
processes of its collection 2012

6
TRAINING OF SciELO SA

Brazil

South
Africa

7
Policy Environment in South Africa
 Department of Higher Education and Training –
Responsible for funding Higher Education
Institutions
Introduced research incentive scheme for
Universities in 2003
Direct funding of ‘research publication outputs’
via publication units – US$ 12 000/ unit
 Department of Science and Technology –
National Research Foundation – funding
individual scholars

8
Current South African Publications

9
Endorsement of ASSAf reports
 Both departments of government endorsed the
reports on scholarly publishing.
 DST supported and funded extension to South
Africa of the SciELO e-publishing platform.
 SciELO SA is a premier, OA searchable, full-text and
fully indexed journal database that covers a selected
collection of peer-reviewed scholarly journals.
 It is an integral part of a project being developed by
FAPESP in partnership with BIREME.

10
Academy Committee on Scholarly
Publishing (CSPiSA)
Supported by The Scholarly Publishing Unit (SPU)
Functions of the Unit –
 National Scholarly (Journal) Editors’ Forum
 National Scholarly Book Publishers’ Forum
 Open Access Platform –SciELO SA
 Discipline-grouped Peer review panels for journals
 Online Scientific writing courses

11
Return to Policy Environment

Categories:
-Full length peer-reviewed journal articles
-Scholarly books and chapters in books
-Conference proceedings

12
Return to the Policy Environment II
 Policy makes provision for the recognition of
papers appearing on approved lists: ISI, IBSS
indices and list of South African Journals
 Peer review by ASSAf of South African
journals to be considered for inclusion in
South African list
 Journals approved by peer review can be
included on SciELO SA and recognised for
research incentives.

13
Status of SciELO SA
 April 2013 - SciELO SA Collection was certified as an
independent collection.
 Currently 28 South African journals are listed as part
of the collection
 Journals in the following disciplinary groups have
been reviewed – Social Sciences; Agriculture and
Related Basic Sciences
 Disciplinary groups under review – Religion,
Theology and related Fields; Health Sciences and
related Medical Fields; Law and related Legal Fields;
Humanities Part 1: Literature Group
14
SciELO SA Launch - Certification

15
Policy on OA for Publically Funded
Research
 USA, UK, the EU granting agencies and some grant
funders are developing policies to make OA
mandatory for the research they fund
 Funds made available in grants for this purpose
 In SA, there are 12 institutions that have signed the
Berlin Declaration on OA – institutional initiative
 No established government Open Access Policy
 MRC allows use of grants for OA costs

16
SciELO SA and quality assurance
 “Get scientific nonsense published”- study by John
Bohannon reported in Science of quality of peer
review in OA journals
 The findings were damning in that a large number of
journals were not undertaking appropriate peer
review and their process of acceptance was flawed.
 OA platforms need to be vigilant in monitoring
journal publishing practices
 As with paper based journals the quality of the
reviewing process is key to credibility.

17
Obrigado
Gracias
Thank you

18

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SciELO: South Africa: implementation of policy advice by an Academy of Science

  • 1. SciELO: South Africa: implementation of policy advice by an Academy of Science Robin Crewe Chair: Committee on Scholarly Publishing in South Africa (CSPiSA) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) 1
  • 2. Academy Reports on Scholarly Publication 2006 – Report of a Strategic Approach to Research publishing in South Africa 2009 – Scholarly Books: their production, use and evaluation in South Africa today. 2
  • 3. Report on Research Publishing The 2006 ASSAf report identified the following: “the …. low visibility of the existing local journals, most appearing only in print and with low circulation figures, and with few achieving inclusion in prominent international journal indexes, as the key barrier to general enhancement of the quantity and quality of locally performed research” Gevers (2013)”. 3
  • 4. Academy Committee on Scholarly Publishing (CSPiSA) Supported by The Scholarly Publishing Unit (SPU) Functions of the Unit –  National Scholarly (Journal) Editors’ Forum  National Scholarly Book Publishers’ Forum  Open Access Platform –SciELO SA  Discipline-grouped Peer review panels for journals  Online Scientific writing courses 4
  • 5. Global Open Access to Quality Local Journals To achieve this: -Task Team to review possible National Platform for Open Access Publishing lead by Wieland Gevers Reviewed potential international platforms Visited SciELO, Brazil 7-11 June 2008 Concluded that SciELO started in Brazil would best achieve this purpose 5
  • 6. HISTORY OF SciELO SA  Following Task Team visit in 2008. Pilot Established: mid-2009 with 7 titles  SciELO Brazil hosted the platform and did all the epublication, including mark-up of articles.  ASSAf started doing more and more mark-up of articles. 2010-2011  ASSAf took over ALL the e-publication and IT processes of its collection 2012 6
  • 7. TRAINING OF SciELO SA Brazil South Africa 7
  • 8. Policy Environment in South Africa  Department of Higher Education and Training – Responsible for funding Higher Education Institutions Introduced research incentive scheme for Universities in 2003 Direct funding of ‘research publication outputs’ via publication units – US$ 12 000/ unit  Department of Science and Technology – National Research Foundation – funding individual scholars 8
  • 9. Current South African Publications 9
  • 10. Endorsement of ASSAf reports  Both departments of government endorsed the reports on scholarly publishing.  DST supported and funded extension to South Africa of the SciELO e-publishing platform.  SciELO SA is a premier, OA searchable, full-text and fully indexed journal database that covers a selected collection of peer-reviewed scholarly journals.  It is an integral part of a project being developed by FAPESP in partnership with BIREME. 10
  • 11. Academy Committee on Scholarly Publishing (CSPiSA) Supported by The Scholarly Publishing Unit (SPU) Functions of the Unit –  National Scholarly (Journal) Editors’ Forum  National Scholarly Book Publishers’ Forum  Open Access Platform –SciELO SA  Discipline-grouped Peer review panels for journals  Online Scientific writing courses 11
  • 12. Return to Policy Environment Categories: -Full length peer-reviewed journal articles -Scholarly books and chapters in books -Conference proceedings 12
  • 13. Return to the Policy Environment II  Policy makes provision for the recognition of papers appearing on approved lists: ISI, IBSS indices and list of South African Journals  Peer review by ASSAf of South African journals to be considered for inclusion in South African list  Journals approved by peer review can be included on SciELO SA and recognised for research incentives. 13
  • 14. Status of SciELO SA  April 2013 - SciELO SA Collection was certified as an independent collection.  Currently 28 South African journals are listed as part of the collection  Journals in the following disciplinary groups have been reviewed – Social Sciences; Agriculture and Related Basic Sciences  Disciplinary groups under review – Religion, Theology and related Fields; Health Sciences and related Medical Fields; Law and related Legal Fields; Humanities Part 1: Literature Group 14
  • 15. SciELO SA Launch - Certification 15
  • 16. Policy on OA for Publically Funded Research  USA, UK, the EU granting agencies and some grant funders are developing policies to make OA mandatory for the research they fund  Funds made available in grants for this purpose  In SA, there are 12 institutions that have signed the Berlin Declaration on OA – institutional initiative  No established government Open Access Policy  MRC allows use of grants for OA costs 16
  • 17. SciELO SA and quality assurance  “Get scientific nonsense published”- study by John Bohannon reported in Science of quality of peer review in OA journals  The findings were damning in that a large number of journals were not undertaking appropriate peer review and their process of acceptance was flawed.  OA platforms need to be vigilant in monitoring journal publishing practices  As with paper based journals the quality of the reviewing process is key to credibility. 17

Editor's Notes

  1. Asked by the departments of Higher Education, and Science and Technology to review scholarly publishing in South AfricaThe Department of higher education rewards public HEI institution for the research publications they produce. Academy set up two committees to review the subject and produced two reports.
  2. In addition to quantity and quality, the journals that were not indexed had low international visibility.Two predominant languages used – English and Afrikaans, so the language debate has revolved around those journbals publishing in Afrikaans.
  3. Scholarly publishing unit responsible for SciELO SA and headed by Susan Veldsman – talk on Friday.
  4. DHET – output fundingNRF – input funding