Open access and the invisibility of African research

This is the problem which concerns SCAP – Scholarly Communication in Africa Programme. Although worldmapper represents the African contribution to science knowledge as tiny compared to other continents and countries, SCAP reckons that it does not represent the true volume of research activity because much of the locally produced research (which can have a profound impact on African communities) remains invisible in the formal studies of scientific output. These invisible contributions – conference papers, policy briefs, research reports are generally not captured, archived or curated – digitally or otherwise. It is thus one of SCAP’s approaches to promote a strategic, professionalized approach to content management and curation in African universities – especially through repository development that captures the rich resource of African research in its totality – not just journal articles – but an African model of data and research capture which enables African researchers to:

“articulate our own model of open access knowledge sharing – a model which allows our research to be globally competitive while still being locally relevant …”

Jean Shaw, Phi

The data for science publications on worldmapper is over 10 years old but nevertheless dramatic. It is an interesting site for visual images of many types of statistics e.g. world population, tuberculosis cases (2003).

Based on an article by Michelle Willmers and Henry Trotter in Link: connecting Commonwealth libraries. Issue 16, August 2012, p.4-6.

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About jgreigshaw

I work with Partnerships in Health Information which promotes partnership between libraries in Africa and the UK with an emphasis in African leadership. I have visited Kenya, Mali, Uganda and Zambia though Phi has contacts in many more African countries.
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