Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

More on the limited knowledge of OA in Africa

Charles Mkoka, Open access blocked by unawareness and librarians,, May 22, 2007.  Excerpt:

African scientists are making increased use of online scientific journals but many are still not aware of free access, according to a study.

Researchers also warned that slow Internet connections and librarians' control over passwords is hindering what access there is.

The study was published in BioMedCentral's Health Services Research last week (17 May)....

[M]any respondents complained they had difficulty obtaining passwords from librarians, who often failed to make them available.

Maurice Long, publisher coordinator of the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers says over four million articles were downloaded from HINARI in 2006, indicating that the majority of librarians do distribute HINARI passwords.

In the cases where they don't, there is a need for information literacy training, Long told SciDev.Net.

Barbara Aronson, HINARI's programme manager at the World Health Organization agreed. She said that, in the study, those from institutions whose librarians and researchers had been trained at HINARI workshops reported better results in working together to use HINARI....

PS:  For background, here's the original article and my blog post about it.  I'm glad to hear that HINARI is working on the password availability problem.  On the other hand, straight OA requires no passwords.