Monday, 19 July 2010

eIFL Releases Report on Open Content

open_book_01Earlier this month, eIFL released a “Report on the implementation of open content licenses in developing and transition countries.”  The report looks at open access journals and repositories across a number of countries.  As would be expected with words like “developing” and “transition” in the title, the report includes information and case studies from a number of African countries.

Highlights of African countries include open journal publications by Egypt’s Hindawi Publishing Corporation (p.9), Nigeria’s Academic Journals and Science World Journal (p. 10), and South Africa’s Open Journals Publishing (p. 11).  All four of these publishers release some of their journals and articles under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license, which means the works are open for anyone to use anyway they like, as long as the original author is given credit for the original work.

The report also looked at open repositories, including Botswana’s Innovation and Scholarship Archive at the University of Botswana (UBRISA), which suggests that works being contributed to the repository be openly licensed (p. 13), and African Higher Education Research Online (AHERO) based out of the University of the Western Cape in South Africa (p.14).

Perhaps the most interesting Africa-related tidbit is a section about the University of Pretoria on page 16:

Recommendations to the researchers to actively manage the copyright of their publications, inter alia with addenda to their contracts or using Creative Commons licenses are one of the
approaches to change scholarship practice at the University of Pretoria towards becoming an Open Scholarship institution.

The full, 16-page report is available here [pdf] under a CC-BY license.  (Info page here.)

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