came back from a meeting of the Academy
of Science (ASSAF) Committee on Scholarly Publishing in South
Africa (CSPiSA) last week feeling bouyed up and looking forward to a
period of rapid developments in Open Access scholarly publishing in
South Africa. We were told that the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has now dedicated a substantial three-year budget to fund
the implementation of ASSAF's recommendations for the development of
scholarly publication in South Africa. ...
Report on Scholarly Publishing in SA ... was commissioned by the DST and produced what was
probably the most coherent account of the state of scholarly
journal publishing in South Africa, concluding with a set of 10
recommendations which included strong support for the development of
a 'gold route' Open Access approach to journal publishing in South
central vision of the report is for quality-controlled and government
supported publication of open access journals of a sufficient quality
to deliver local impact and international recognition. ... Financial support for open access journal
publication, it proposed, would be by way of the dedication of a
small percentage of the revenue paid to journals through the
of Education (DoE) publication grant system, for the purpose of
paying per-article author charges through the institution where the
author is based.
this up is a recommendation for the creation of a national technical
and promotional platform for hosting and profiling the best South
African journals, possibly along the lines of SciELO in Latin
seems that the DST's motivation in offering this support is linked to
plan for human capital development,
which proposes a radical growth in the level of postgraduate degrees,
publications and innovation levels in higher education. The ASSAf
scholarly publication programme is thus seen as a key to the process
of raising the bar for the quality and output of research in the
country and leveraging upwards the profile of the country in the
international research rankings, while at the same time improving the
positive impact of research on economic growth and social
... [T]his is a major step forward simply because it
puts publication of South African research in South Africa in the
spotlight and, through links with the African Academies of Science, connects this to a broader effort to raise publication levels on the
continent. (The creation of an African citation index is one of the
recommendations in the ASSAf Report on Scholarly Publishing in South
Africa.) And, even more important, this intervention at last
recognises that scholarly publishers need support if South Africa
research is to be properly disseminated.
We understand that
the DST accepts that this model may require long term subsidisation
for Open Access journal support and this support is perceived as part
of a national service project to build capacity and serve every
further intervention being undertaken over the next six months, this
time with DoE support, is the production of a Report on a Strategic
Approach to Scholarly Book Publishing by a selected panel of experts,
following a fact-finding investigation by CREST at the University of
Stellenbosch. Provisional findings should be available for
presentation at the National Scholarly Journal Editors' Forum in July
and it is hoped that the final report should be ready for release in November. ...
Gavin Baker at 4/30/2008 03:46:00 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.