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Open Access Publishing

in Africa

Calum Land

BioMed Central Ltd


EIFL Online Workshop

21
st

October 2011

Agenda


What is Open Access?


Digital Bridge or Digital Divide?


BioMed Central and Africa


How can Open Access benefit Africa?


Open Access advocacy


An Open Access journal case study



What is Open Access?

The old world of access to knowledge


The new world of access to knowledge

Characteristics of Open Access


The publisher charges directly for the service of
publication/ dissemination


Research permanently available via the Internet


No
barriers to access such as
subscription costs


Licensed so as to allow redistribution and reuse
(Creative Commons)


Archived in an internationally recognized repository
(e.g. PubMed Central)



Business Model


Article
-
processing charge
(APC) covers:


Editorial: handling of manuscripts


Technical: development, maintenance and operation of online
journal system


Production: Formatting and mark up of articles, inclusion in
indexing services


Marketing: Making sure readers and authors know about the
journal


Customer service: Responding to authors/readers



Web technology is used to keep costs low


BioMed Central’s charges (~$1680) are at the lower end


Open Access Publishing,

then and now…

2011

2000

And many more…

Where is Open Access in 2011?




There are over 6400 open access journals in the
DOAJ


Over 1000 open access journals are indexed by ISI


Open access to research is now mandated in over
110 institutions and by 47 funders


Submissions to OA journals grew by over 35%
between 2009 and 2010


Open access firmly part of the mainstream…....

Open access article share

The internet has the potential to
radically expand access to
knowledge


-

Digital divide or digital bridge?


African internet connectivity is
improving dramatically

“Many African postgraduates
lack access to, and the skills
for working on, computers.”

ICT Levels

International Telecommunications Union report (2009)


Although the number of Internet users has grown faster than in other
regions:


“Africa’s ICT penetration levels in 2009 are still far behind the rest of
the world and very few African countries reach ICT levels comparable
to global averages”



“Computer Aid has provided
over 180,000 PCs to where they
are most needed in more than
100 countries across Africa and
Latin America.”

BMC/Nature 10K fun run in
support of ComputerAid

As connectivity improves, other
access barriers become significant

Open access journals do away with
access barriers

BioMed Central and Africa

About BioMed Central


Largest publisher of peer
-
reviewed open access journals


Launched first open access journal in 2000


Became part of Springer in 2008


Now publishes 217 open access journals


>100,000 peer
-
reviewed OA articles published


All research articles published under Creative Commons
license


Costs covered by article processing charge (APC)


OA Waiver Fund

All African countries receive
automatic fee waiver, except:


Libya


Namibia


South Africa







Algeria



Botswana



Equatorial Guinea



Gabon



Growth in manuscript submissions
from Africa to BioMed Central

Manuscript submissions from
Africa as fraction of total

Top 10 journals for publications
from Africa in last 12 months

New Developing World Website

Open Access Africa Conference

How can Open Access benefit
Africa?

UN Millennium Development Goals


Reduce child mortality, improve maternal
health


Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other
diseases


Ensure environmental sustainability


Develop a global partnership for
development

Who needs access to the results
of research?

Public

Professionals

Researchers

Research on global health issues
has expanded greatly


Developing world health issues are finally
attracting substantial research spending


Private philanthropic initiatives have played
an important role


Why do research if it is not accessible
where it is most relevant?


Wellcome Trust


Medical Research Council


US National Institute of Health


Howard Hughes Medical Institute


European Research Council


EC Seventh Framework Program

Many research funders are now
requiring Open Access


Harvard University

(and other members of Compact for
Open Access Publishing Equity)


More than 100 mandatory institution
-
wide open access policies world
-
wide

http://www.eprints.org/openaccess/policysignup/



But still very few in Africa…

Many universities are now
requiring open access

The Need for Advocacy

Open access policies


Data courtesy of www.openscholarship.org

20

31

87

119

23

35

44

47

4

6

21

31

0
50
100
150
200
250
30/06/2008
31/03/2009
31/03/2010
31/03/2011
Departmental
Funder
Institutional
Call to action….

BMC Foundation Membership


A new type of membership created for
developing nations


Designed to support Open Access
advocacy


Same benefits as other institutional
memberships


No cost


Benefits of Foundation Membership


A BMC Webpage


A Member welcome pack


Membership usage reports


Member logo/badge for use on
institution website


PR of Membership


Criteria for Foundation Membership


Institution should have a Open Access
policy in place


Institution should have submitted at
least 5 articles in BioMed Central
journals in the last year


Member web page screen shot


Open Access journals

Malaria Journal

-

an open access
journal case study

Malaria Journal homepage

Annual growth in submissions to
Malaria Journal

Top 20 African countries publishing in
Malaria Journal
(no. of articles)

Impact Factor Trend

A highly accessed
Malaria Journal

article

15,000+
downloads

31 citations

Parasite to Prevention
-

Malaria
Journal
’s scientific conference


Inaugural conference
October 2010, Edinburgh,
Scotland


Full bursaries for
participants from low
-
income countries,
supported by Gates
Foundation


Next conference 2012,
probably in Africa




Other high profile open access journals
relevant to tropical diseases

Open Access and the Developing World


By providing unrestricted access to research, open
access offers an opportunity to enhance scientific
knowledge and output in developing countries



OA provides access to medical and health literature
to those directly impacted by the diseases



BioMed Central operates a waiver fund, enabling
researchers in developing countries to publish their
work in OA journals without incurring the cost of
usual APC

Thank you