Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, May 19, 2008

Nigerian OA workshop

The presentations from Open Access Repositories: New Models for Scholarly Communication (Zaria, Nigeria, April 28-29, 2008) are now online.

Also see this report on the workshop from

Eighty-nine participants – policy makers and ICT experts from university and research institutes, scholars and researchers, editors-in-chief of peer reviewed scientific and scholarly journals, university and systems librarians - from forty-five institutions met at the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria to discuss a strategic approach to open access (OA)....A Communiqué issued after the workshop endorsed the open access model and made a set of recommendations for government and stakeholders....

The knowledge-sharing event was co-organised by the Department of Library and Information Science at Ahmadu Bello University, and the Nigerian University Libraries Consortium (NULIB). “NULIB’s mandate is only half fulfilled if we cannot also provide access to Nigerian scholarly output. That is why we are so excited about this workshop, which, through its advocacy and training, will encourage and enable Nigerian universities and research institutes to organise their scholarly output into institutional repositories that, through open access, will be available to many both within and outside the country”, said Professor Doris O. Bozimo, Chairperson of NULIB in her opening remarks.

“Communicating scholarly information through open access repositories provide the added advantages of faster publishing opportunities, greater visibility for authors and institutions and cheaper access”, said Victoria Okojie, President of the Nigerian Library Association....“The Nigerian Library Association supports open access and commits to promoting it within the Nigerian community. We endorse open access for all journals, dissertations and conference proceedings in the LIS sector in Nigeria. We shall continue to provide open access to our conference papers and shall employ all legitimate means to encourage our members to archive their pre-prints and post-prints in open access, OAI-compliant archives....”

“The next step is for policy developments within individual universities, as well as in the research sector as a whole. It has been proven that policies mandating open access to publicly funded research enhance access to, and greater use of research findings, increase R&D efficiency, accelerate innovation and stimulate the economy”, said Iryna Kuchma, eIFL Open Access Program Manager.

Several open access initiatives are already underway in Nigeria. Kaduna State University and the University of Benin (Pharmacotherapy Group, Faculty of Pharmacy) both publish open access journals. Academic Journals, a Lagos-based publisher, currently has twenty OA journals and Bioline International hosts eleven OA titles from Nigeria. Ezra Shiloba Gbaje from Ahmadu Bello University runs the first pilot open access institutional repository in Nigeria, a second pilot will soon be launched by Emmanuel Babatunde Ajala of Kenneth Dike Library, University of Ibadan....

Also see the Communiqué issued by workshop participiants:


Stakeholders at the workshop observed with serious concern that:

  1. Open Access Institutional Repositories are now globally accepted as one of the best model for scholarly communication.
  2. Only few countries in Africa have embraced the project.
  3. Nigeria with 92 Universities and several other Research Institutes, there is only one pilot Institutional repository (IR) in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria Nigeria.
  4. The Open Access Repositories (OAR) has enormous benefits to the country, research scientists, scholars and information users in general.
  5. Despite the benefits of open access/Institutional repositories, there is a very low level of awareness even among Authors, publishers and other stakeholders in Nigeria.


In view of the above mentioned observations, the following recommendations are made:

  1. The Federal Government should develop a strategic plan of action on open access repositories and open access journals with an activity timeline.
  2. The Federal Government to setup a National Coordinating Committee for Open Access Repositories and open access journals in Nigeria.
  3. Stakeholders should be sensitized on the need to support open access and Institutional repositories (IR) and open access journals.
  4. Favourable policies should be formulated at different levels on open access repositories and open access journals in Nigeria.
  5. Stakeholders should be trained and retrained on open access repositories and modality for the implementation of open access journals.
  6. Stakeholders should be encouraged to source and make available funds for the open access repository projects and open access journals.
  7. The stakeholders appreciate both the technical and financial contributions of to the development of open access initiatives in Nigeria.