Open access (45) Open access in Africa (3)

10 August, 2019

Dear colleagues,

One more recent publication gives a comprehensive overview of what is going on in Africa in connection with open science (and OA as its component).

Open Science in Africa

Justin Ahinon and Jo Havemann (both founders of AfricArXiv) talk in this article about the development of Open Science Services in Africa, initiatives, the current situation and chances in the future. In this article, they provide an overview of the most important initiatives and actors in the Open Science movement in Africa. They further identify three major challenges for Open Science on the African continent and offer perspectives for African researchers to actively contribute to the global scientific community and share knowledge to meet the challenges we all face.

Here are some findings from this article:

- According to a study by the African Journal Online published in September 2014, of 319 journals listed on the African continent, 197 had open access publication policies;

- The South Africa-based African Open Science Platform and Kenya-based AAS Open Research build upon Open Access peer-reviewing as an alternative to traditional academic content assessment systems;

- New sources of open access content providers are emerging on the continent, including the francophone institutional archive DICAMES, Regional discipline-specific repositories encourage scientists, teachers and students alike to make the results of their research and work available;

- The pan-African and cross-disciplinary AfricArxiv, which allows the submission of content, articles or research results in African local languages as well as in English and French (Asiedu, 2018) . With the large number of traditional languages in Africa, there is a very high amount of information and knowledge that can be made visible if authors are allowed to publish their research in these languages (Saka, 2017). The International African Institute (IAI) provides lists of national, regional and pan-African directories and other Open Access content sources;

- 3 KEY CHALLENGES REMAIN. According to Nkolo (2016), three key challenges remain to be solved for Open Access ­ and consequently for full adooption of Open Science on the African continent. These are 1) Internet penetration, 2) political governance, and 3) the standardization of services and platforms;

- According to figures from the Registry of Open Access Repository (ROAR), in 2018, the number of open access policies on the continent is evaluated at 31, the majority of which are from East African countries (17) and South Africa (9) ( In regions of the world where the Open Access movement has strong impact, such as India, Argentina and China, laws and policies are in place to promote Open Access and have played an important role (Hameau, 2015).

Some useful references from this article:

African Digital Research Repositories

African Journals Online: Open Access Titles

Kwasi Gyamfi Asiedu (2018): A Research Platform for African Scientists Will Take Papers in Local Languages.

Nkolo, N. P. (2016): Open Access et Valorisation Des Publications Scientifiques: Les Defis de l'Afrique Francophone. Justice Cognitive, Libre Acces et Savoirs Locaux Piron F.(Ed.), Regulus S.(Ed.), Dibounje Madiba MS (Ed.). Editions Science et Bien Commun, Quebec: 91-105



HIFA profile: Irina Ibraghimova is a medical librarian, based in Croatia, and works with health care professionals in the countries of the Former Soviet Union, Central and Eastern Europe, and Africa. Her interests include evidence-based practice (both in health care and in library/informatics field). ibra AT