Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Open Access

By the look of things the implementation and development of a successful Institutional Repository (IR) to Open Access (OA) research output at a university or research institution needs understanding of a lot of issues and concepts, technical knowledge of software; processes needed, for instance open source software (OSS) such as D-Space.
Added to these are knowledge of copyright issues, OA publishing models, collaboration and from practice comes the knowledge that it takes hard work, dedication, perseverance & good organising to name just a few…Would like to see a lot more hands and buy-in from stakeholders to help build and fast track development of OA in Africa!

As a faculty librarian, I play a role in raising awareness and broadening knowledge of OA in general and more specific among our campus community. In the beginning years I gave assistance to postgraduate students when preparing& and uploading their documents, as it has been compulsory from 2007onwards for our students to submit their thesis online for inclusion in the IRs. As the detail is now explained on our website, I rarely need to help with this these days. I nowadays answer questions and liaise with faculty members re. Open Access, giving advice and sharing criteria for OA journal publishing for instance.

In the few and far between spare moments when other pressing work are done, librarians and staff do their bit to help populate the repository. For instance, a few years ago I had a few days on hands before the Christmas holidays and worked flat out to upload some of our researchers' articles from a journal that has green OA clearance. This year will see another project to help populate the repository more quickly. The work is cut out for us, and it is exciting to be part of the OA development at our university, which uses open source software for two platforms that support both approaches (green and gold) to share scholarly literature: Ubuntu is used as the operating system and DSpace is used for the repository and Open Journal Systems as the publication platform. 

Sneak preview of Open Access presentation

 Background slides on Open Access 
for class presentation later this month. 

OA links

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