Wednesday, 12 September 2012

EIFL coats Africa in Open Access Activities

EIFL, which stands for Electronic Information for Libraries, recently released its September-October newsletter and boy are there tons of goodies about Africa in it!

EIFL’s focus is on increasing access to knowledge, and it works in collaboration with libraries around the world.  As we all know, libraries run into plenty of copyright issues in their work.  Here are some highlights from their recent African events.

FOSS Training Follow-up

100_1584Anyone who has spent more than a few weeks in an African country has probably been to or at least a large group of well-dressed people joyfully greeting each other outside a meeting hall. Trainings, workshops, meetings, from the smallest village to the largest city, there’s always an opportunity to learn. Everyone comes together, shares, talks, gets excited, and then what? For EIFL, the then what is follow-up. In this case follow-up on the FOSS for librarians training it held in Tanzania last year.
Photo: Community members participate in a workshop in Cheelo Village, Monze, Zambia.

“there were reported over 50 implementations [of FOSS software in libraries] in total since the event, with no country reporting zero implementations.”

Open Access Journals and Awards in Uganda

In July, Makerere University in Uganda hosted a workshop on “Open Access (OA) and the Evolving Scholarly Communication Environment.”  The workshop recognized Uganda’s existing Open Access repositories, highlighted some top Ugandan scholarly journals and discussed publishing options.

“an African OA journal can attract large numbers of manuscripts in a very competitive environment; an increase in submission volumes comes with an increase in challenges (need for staff, system upgrade, change in procedures) which should be anticipated.”

Afro-Leo admits to being a bit disappointed here.  The Africa Crop Science Journal has its articles available online – a good first step indeed! – but neither the journal nor the websites appear to actually be openly licensed.  This little Leo hopes she’s just missing the open access copyright notice somewhere.  The PanAfrican Medical Journal, however, made her smile as the first article she clicked on was licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license. Now that’s Open Access.

Uganda is also highlighted in the October newsletter for being one of two recipients of EIFL’s  Innovation Award – for library services that contribute to the health of the community. Congratulations Hoima Public Library! 
Nominations for next year’s award will be accepted beginning October 1st.

Congratulations to the Zimbabwe University Libraries Consortium on its 10th Anniversary.


Upcoming Events

If any Afro-Leo readers are attending any of these programs, please let us know. We’d love to have your report on the events.

No comments: