Improving the availability and use of health research information in LMICs (5)

7 February, 2020


Thanks for sharing again.

As I was thinking of my contribution to the 2nd thematic discussion questions that Neil just posted this morning, I remember that the article ‘Open Access plays a vital role in developing-country research communication’ written by INASP’s Andy Nobes on 10 March, 2016 was seminal for me, when it comes to understanding and dissecting the various facets of the new business OA model of publishing: its benefits vis a vis the traditional model of publishing business: (researchers, authors and readers ‘taking’ over/ back lost control); the challenges especially for the LMICs including author charges; the challenges with regard to the thought that it may be ‘enhancing publication misconduct’ because of the advent of internet and predatory journals all of which are online; etc.

Open Access improves access, authors publication, and may be increasing the use of research in developing countries, but knowledge about it is still very sparse even in places where it ought to be better understood for the benefit of its core constituents: researchers, authors, academics, librarians, students, etc. Many reports in discussions with higher institution academicians in Africa inform us that Appointment and Promotion Panels (APP) continue to under-rate / under-score papers published in Open Access journals (OAJ) because it is considered that even those that are peer review are less trusted. The belief persists that Open Access allows these journals to ‘cut-corners’. APP also claim that they lack capacity to distinguish genuine OA journals from predatory journals, etc.

Perhaps the greatest need / support for the LMICs for OA to become more accepted by authorities and more utilised by researchers and authors, so as to improve access of research publications in Open Access journalsis education which requires more resources and effort. Education may also increase the use of the results in policy-making, planning and practice. Education may show the authorities in LMICs the trajectory of impact of OA and its increasing quality, in many cases up to the level of traditional model journals.

Joseph Ana


@Health Resources International (HRI) WA.

National Implementing Organisation: 12-Pillar Clinical Governance

National Implementing Organisation: PACK Nigeria Programme for PHC

Publisher: Medical and Health Journals; Books and Periodicals.

Nigeria: 8 Amaku Street, State Housing & 20 Eta Agbor Road, Calabar.

Tel: +234 (0) 8063600642

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HIFA profile: Joseph Ana is the Lead Consultant and Trainer at the Africa Centre for Clinical Governance Research and Patient Safety in Calabar, Nigeria. In 2015 he won the NMA Award of Excellence for establishing 12-Pillar Clinical Governance, Quality and Safety initiative in Nigeria. He has been the pioneer Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) National Committee on Clinical Governance and Research since 2012. He is also Chairman of the Quality & Performance subcommittee of the Technical Working Group for the implementation of the Nigeria Health Act. He is a pioneer Trustee-Director of the NMF (Nigerian Medical Forum) which took the BMJ to West Africa in 1995. He is particularly interested in strengthening health systems for quality and safety in LMICs. He has written Five books on the 12-Pillar Clinical Governance for LMICs, including a TOOLS for Implementation. He established the Department of Clinical Governance, Servicom & e-health in the Cross River State Ministry of Health, Nigeria in 2007. Website: Joseph is a member of the HIFA Steering Group and the HIFA working group on Community Health Workers.

Email: jneana AT