Speaking for the host academy, Professor Wieland Gevers, Chair of the Publishing Committee of ASSAf, outlined the new role that is emerging for African Academies....In its 5 years of existence ASSAf has conducted a major research project on scholarly publication in South Africa on behalf of the Department of Science and Technology, culminating in a set of strong recommendations for the development of open access journals and repositories. Government was indicating its willingness, he said (very soon) to ask the academy to oversee the implementation of a national system of inter-operable repositories as well as a system of journals and other scholarly publishing paid for by government - on the basis of Chile....The Academy is raising funding to set up an editors' forum that would help to enhance the quality of locally-produced journals and would promote the idea of open access publishing through the green and gold routes as a way of growing and strengthening high quality research output from South Africa.
Paul Uhlir, speaking for the IAP, said that the objective was to strengthen the capacity of the African academies through an initiative to enhance access to information. using digital knowledge resources. An aim is the creation of OA institutional repositories in the developing world....
Mechanisms are needed to promote development and access in the first instance to information produced at national and regional levels and secondarily to information produced in the OECD countries....
Along with other delegates, [El Hadj Ibrahima Diop of the Senegalese Academy] expressed concern that an over-emphasis on traditional global scholarly publishing routes was alienating young academics, given the imbalances in the journal publishing indexes, which are dominated by older researchers and favour publication from countries in the North. Diop challenged the hegemony of the academic journal, with its word counts and inequitable value systems and very slow timescales - if scholarly publishing is a matter of communication, rather than the route for personal promotion, he asked, what would the most appropriate model be for what we need to communicate in Africa? If the journal is an old-fashioned genre, he said, do Africans have the courage to say this is not the route for us?
In discussion, there was consensus that, in the African context, what was needed was the creation of a stable of high-quality open access journals and other publications with a regional and national focus, to raise the profile of African scholarship....
Peter Suber at 6/29/2007 12:35:00 PM.
The open access movement:
Putting peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly literature
on the internet. Making it available free of charge and
free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
Removing the barriers to serious research.