“The LIBSENSE initiative, which was launched in 2017, has been building a community of practice for open science and progressing the adoption of open science services and infrastructures in Africa. The initiative is led by WACREN – West and Central African Research and Education Network – in partnership with a number of other organizations. The aim of LIBSENSE is to advance open science in Africa through strengthening and expanding services at the institutional, national and regional level.
LIBSENSE recognizes that open science in Africa, with respect for diversity and sustainable development, can be best realized through localized, yet interoperable, infrastructures – rather than being outsourced to private industry or external organizations. Not only will these services be able to more directly respond to the needs of African research communities, they also contribute to building local capacity and knowledge around open science.
The UNESCO Open Science Partnership has put open science on the agenda of national governments. Leveraging this strategic opportunity, LIBSENSE has begun to work with several African countries that are committed to advance open science policies, infrastructures and services to develop African National Open Science Roadmaps that can then be adapted to other African countries. The initial countries LIBSENSE is working with are Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Nigeria, Somalia, Tanzania, and Uganda….”
“This LIBSENSE workshop co-organized by WACREN, EIFL and COAR will convene the African community of repository managers and other open access services and advocates and cover three topics:
1) Open Access, Open Science policies and repositories: what works and what doesn’t; 2) repository infrastructure and services: how to build cohesiveness across layers of local, national and regional services; and 3) communities of practice: how to strengthen open science communities in Africa. African participants will share experiences, lessons learned and discuss how to best design effective Open Access and Research Data Management policies and how to progress their adoption and implementation. They will also co-design the guiding principles for institutional repositories to follow in order to build services on top of repositories and cohesiveness across local, national and regional repository services. Together, with breakout groups in Arabic, English, French and Portuguese, we will develop a roadmap for strengthening open science communities in Africa.”
“From November 2018 – April 2019, LIBSENSE conducted workshops in each of the three major regions in Africa bringing the library and NREN communities together to define a shared agenda for progressing open science and open access in these regions. Each workshop, which contributed to priority setting in each region, also built upon the outcomes of preceding discussions.
To date, there have already been several concrete outcomes of the LIBSENSE initiative, including:
Terms of Reference for NREN-Library collaboration in African countries
Metadata guidelines for repositories
Plans for a regional repository hosting service
National and institutional policy templates
LIBSENSE will continue to assist countries and regions in Africa to undertake new activities and act as a forum for information exchange across the continent and amongst the different stakeholder communities….”
“Currently, according to Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL), there are 255 existing Open Access repositories in Africa. To address a project of federating Open Access repositories across the multiple African regions in which they operate, the identification of key capabilities and training needs for African HEI librarians is needed.The survey aimed to produce a rounded picture of how higher education sector librarians view the enabling and constraining factors of their practice as information resource managers especially regarding the development, implementation and maintenance of Open Access Repositories….
Regarding the existence of a national policy on the management of research outputs, only 32% of the sample confirm that their respective countries have such a policy in place. As many as 45% say they do not have any such thing. As a reality check we compared these results against statistics from the Registry of Open Access Repository Mandates and Policies (ROARMAP1) and found that similarly, two types of policy seemed to exist in African countries (one related to institutions and one related to funders) and the incidence of the latter was non existent in eastern African countries and not too signficant in southern African countries.
Meanwhile, a significant 23% are also ignorant about the existence of a national policy, exposing the gaps in advocacy, particularly for countries which have such policies….
Drawing from the above, unsurprisingly, the survey records a low incidence on the existence of national open access repositories – only 20% of respondents say they have national repositories in their countries. 64% do not have OARs and some 16% are ignorant about the existence of such in their countries….
The general consensus on the insufficiency of funding for the management of digital information resources is quite disturbing (see figure 12). Expectations on the efficiencyand availability of information resources is likely to be low if as many as 84% say that funding is inadequate…”
“This workshop, organized in conjunction with the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) and EIFL, will convene library and NREN stakeholders to explore how repositories can operate embedded in NREN e-infrastructure and provide a foundation for an innovative, open, distributed and networked resource for scholarly communication and open science in Africa.
The 2-day meeting will also discuss results of the LIBSENSE survey of how higher education sector librarians view the enabling and constraining factors of their practice as information resource managers especially regarding the development, implementation and maintenance of open access repositories.
The outcomes from this workshop will be developed further in two follow-on events; in the WACREN region colocated as a side event with the 2019 conference in Accra, Ghana which takes place from 14-15 March 2019, and in the ASREN region where regional stakeholders will meet from April 27-29, 2019 at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt. …”