[Irtalk] Project MUSE - Promoting Open Scholarship in Africa: Benefits and Best Library Practices

Hilton Gibson hilton.gibson at gmail.com
Sat Jan 23 12:15:13 SAST 2016

Knowledge, as a prerequisite for development, is contingent on information.
The main value of information is in its ability to be used, reused, and
shared. Open access (OA) allows for the easy dissemination and preservation
of information by providing all scholarly communication and knowledge at no
cost to the end user. In the rapidly expanding, global knowledge-based
economy, Africa’s steady progress from the peripheral to the epicenter of
knowledge production is not to be ignored, not least because of its
reliance on OA. Such access environments and institutional repositories
throughout the continent are playing significant roles in maximizing the
impact of research output. This paper reveals that OA content is more
citable, not simply because of the quality of the output, but instead of
the advantage that OA brings in maximizing accessibility and increased
citation. It goes on to show that OA will enhance the research community’s
existing system for evaluating and rewarding research productivity.
Ultimately, OA has the ability to elevate (South) Africa, its universities
and institutions, to the status of knowledge producers rather than mere
knowledge consumers.

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