Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, January 18, 2008

OA news from eIFL

The January/February issue of the Newsletter is now online.  Some tidbits:

Open access and awareness raising in universities in Southern Africa

With the sponsorship of eIFL and the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, South African Regional Universities Association (SARUA) hosted an Open Access leadership summit in association with the African Access to Knowledge Alliance (AAKA) in Botswana on November 20-21, 2007.

The Chair of SARUA, Professor Njabulo Ndebele of the University of Cape Town, the Botswana Minister of Education, J D Nkate and the CEO of SARUA, Piyushi Kotecha, opened the conference with strong statements on the value of Open Access in their respective constituencies....

Universities in the southern African region need to explore open research and open science in order to become research intensive in the next 10-20 years, making a contribution not only to global scholarly communications, but also creating links between research, teaching and learning, and ensuring the contribution of universities to socio-economic development in the region.

eIFL provided funding for Alma Swan of Key Perspectives, Leslie Chan of Bioline International and Jasper Maenzanise of Zimbabwe Open University Library to participate in this conference and was represented by Susan Veldsman. Presentations can be found [here]....

Cape Town Open Education Declaration

OSI has been working with the Shuttleworth Foundation (South Africa) to develop a declaration around open educational resources. A soft launch of the site took place recently. The hope is that the declaration will spur the development of a movement around open educational resources as the Budapest Open Access Initiative did for Open Access to research literature.

The declaration will be formally launched on January 22. Individuals and organizations interested in the further development of open educational resources can show their support for the declaration by signing on, so that they could be listed as an early signatory to the declaration.

A big thanks goes out to the eIFL community for assisting in the translation of the declaration into many languages of the network.

Portal to Institutional Repositories in eIFL member countries

Further developments on the federated eIFL repository have been taking place in the last two months resulting in:

  • Continued maintenance and development as a demonstrator to give countries feedback on the status of their institutional repositories
  • updating general data e.g. base URLs, contact people, etc
  • creating new interface to look like eIFL website
  • adding a statistics service to monitor usage from across the world....