Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, August 30, 2007

OpeningScholarship at the U of Cape Town

OpeningScholarship is a new project at the University of Cape Town, funded by the Shuttleworth Foundation.  From the web site:

The OpeningScholarship project explores the transformative potential of information and communication technologies in the context of the University of Cape Town, one of  South Africa’s leading research universities. Open Education Resources and Open Access digital publication offer wider and more effective dissemination of teaching and learning materials and research results among students and scholars, offering powerful advantages for a developing country. But the potential offered by new technologies reaches even further - the use of Web 2.0 interactive and social networking tools, supported by Open Source developments, are also creating new ways of tackling research, teaching and learning, as well as enhanced possibilities for ensuring that research impacts on the country's crucial development needs....

This year-long project commenced in 2007 and is funded by the Shuttleworth Foundation Interesting aspects from our investigation will be included in our project blog. Eve [Gray] will continue to update her Gray Area blog on Open Access issues in particular.  Ray [Steenkamp] will bookmark ongoing list of interesting Open Educational Resources and Open Access sites.

From Eve Gray’s announcement:

The OpeningScholarship project, with myself as the Strategic Project Director and Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams as Research Manager, will explore the transformative potential of information and communication technologies in the context of the University of Cape Town, selected for this project as one of South Africa’s leading research universities....

Some of the research questions that we will be asking are:

  • How can an institution such as UCT best build collaboration for scholarly communications across the institution?
  • What could an ICT system such as that at UCT offer in terms of new and opened up communications in teaching, learning and research?
  • How can the ICT systems that are in place help deliver much greater intellectual capacity, allowing the university (and by extension, the country) to rely on its own intellectual capital rather than on imported content? ...
  • How can existing projects – both departmental initiatives and donor-funded projects - be coordinated to achieve an effective and collaborative institution-wide scholarly communication system?
  • What policies and practices would need to be encouraged if the university is to achieve the maximum impact for its scholarly communications for research, teaching and learning, and outreach?

The intervention will aim to explore the potential of the full range of formal and informal communication strategies available to UCT in the 21st century, from formal scholarly publications to repositories, blogs, wikis, mobile technology, podcasts and video streaming....