Citation Impact of Institutional Repositories in Selected Higher Learning Institutions in Tanzania | East African Journal of Science, Technology and Innovation

Abstract:  Institutional Repositories (IRs) development in Tanzania has made publications readily available, accessible, and retrievable. IRs have increased the visibility of researchers and institutions and have contributed to the University ranking. Several Higher Learning Institutions (HLIs) in Tanzania have developed their IRs hosting institutional publications. This study assessed the citation impact of IR contents of selected Tanzanian HLIs. The study evaluated the citation impact of IR contents using publications indexed in the Scopus database. Four HLIs were purposively selected. The search within reference advanced feature for the Scopus database was conducted. The publications indexed in Scopus citing the selected IR contents from 2018 to 2022 were identified and extracted. Data analysis was carried out using Microsoft Excel and SPSS. The study findings indicated that the Tanzanian IR contents had a low citation impact. The study recommends that Tanzanian HLIs devise strategies for increasing IR content visibility. The strategies may include registering the IRs in online platforms and ensuring the Handle System is implemented to improve the accessibility of the IR content. Furthermore, the HLIs should create awareness of research visibility, enabling researchers to publish and increase their visibility.


Open Science and Policy Interface: The Tanzania Perspective | East African Journal of Science, Technology and Innovation

Abstract:  The 21st century has seen a paradigm shift in scholarly communication, with digital technology changing the entire process of the scholarly communication lifecycle. As the cost of online reference materials for research continues to rise and restrictive conditions persist, global academic and research communities are pursuing countermeasures to make knowledge equitable and accessible. This is made possible through the Open Science (OS) movement that aims to make knowledge accessible to researchers and citizens irrespective of their technical or financial capability. This paper explores open science to ascertain the status of open science practices in Tanzania. The paper highlights the policy interfaces and frameworks that favor open science practices in research endeavors. Also, it provides a baseline for understanding the situation to inform scientific research and education communities about the status of open science and possible areas of intervention. Open science is still in its infancy, although certain steps have been taken in adopting it for example the adoption of open access practices, including the creation of institutional repositories and the adoption of policies that direct its implementation. Additionally, the implementation of open data practices has been quite slow. Also, researchers and organizations in Tanzania are gradually adopting open data practices. Currently, some academic institutions, particularly public universities, have adopted and used open journal publishing systems, particularly the online journal system (OJS). The published journal articles through journal systems are freely accessible online like other open-access content, however, the journals are not yet registered in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) despite the fact that some are already indexed in different abstracting services such as Africa Journal Online (AJOL) and they have Digital Object Identifiers (DOI). The policy interface of open science needs to be harmonized and COSTECH is strategically positioned to take the lead.


The story behind the journal: Physics Access – DOAJ News Service

“The journal is an international open access journal, established in 2020 by the Department of Physics, Kaduna State University, Nigeria. The journal publishes all Physics research, including interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary studies. The journal is mainly funded by the department, but has received some support from the university as well. We also get some funds through APCs, though we have one of the lowest APCs in the field….

Open access is the present and the future. It opens a lot of possibilities for journals like ours and researchers around the world, because it enhances visibility, makes the spreading of knowledge more accessible, increases the visibility of both local and international research and leads to citation impact advantage. However, the cost of publishing open access journals is a major concern and I feel there is a need for a continuous conversation about how to fund open access. But I am totally for open access. …”

Academic publishing system is extorting emerging researchers

“In an era of digitisation, one should be asking: why are researchers still burdened with exorbitant publication fees? Especially when considering neither the submitting scientists nor reviewing experts receive payment for their hard work. Unfortunately, the answer seems to lie somewhere between profiteering and extortion.

The justification for these high fees remains a subject of debate. While open-access journals argue that the charges are necessary to ensure sustainability and cover the expenses involved in the publication process (such as editing, formatting and online hosting), critics question whether the current fee structures are reasonable and transparent.

The lack of transparency in understanding how these costs are allocated and the absence of standardised pricing across journals raises some serious concerns and has even led to boycotting by some of the world’s leading scientists.

It is widely recognised that a high journal impact factor doesn’t guarantee quality, and the obsession with publishing in what are considered “glamour mags” in certain scientific fields is harmful and ethically compromising. Unfortunately, the reality of this unfair system of “pay and publish or perish”, creates an extremely unlevel playing field for researchers from emerging countries….”

Increasing the Visibility and Impact of Nigerian Research: Upcoming Webinar on August 31, 2023 – DOAJ News Service

“This upcoming webinar aims to raise awareness among policymakers, scholars, and publishers in Nigeria about the importance of publishing research openly in local journals. Key highlights of the webinar will include:

Overview of the African Open Access publishing landscape for journals and books and the importance of Nigeria.
Open Access Advantages: Discussing the benefits of open access, enabling researchers to reach a wider audience without barriers.
Governmental Roles: Stressing why governments must adapt policies and reward systems that recognize local open access venues.
Criteria and Application Procedures: Explaining the application procedures for DOAJ and DOAB.
Q&A Session: Addressing questions from the audience….”

DOAJ is confirmed as a unique platform for many open access journals and a key index for African journals – DOAJ News Service

“DOAJ has double the number of OA journals from Africa and five times the number of OA journals from Global South countries compared with the Web of Science….

The OpenAlex data also confirmed that DOAJ indexes more African and Global South journals than Scopus or Web of Science…

although DOAJ has substantially better coverage of journals from Africa and the Global South than Web of Science or Scopus, it remains a fact that the majority of the known open access journals from areas are not listed by any of the major indexing services at all, including DOAJ!…”

Enhancing Visibility and Impact: Indexing Nigerian Science in DOAJ and DOAB

“This collaboration between WACREN, DOAJ and CVCNU aims to raise awareness of the importance of publishing research in local open access journals and books for policymakers, scholars and publishers in Nigeria.

The webinar will highlight the advantages of open access and discuss some open access publishing systems in place. It will outline why governments must take the first step and adapt their policies and reward systems to acknowledge local open access venues as valuable output. However, this is only possible with proven quality assessment systems for open access journals and books. The speaker will then explain the criteria and application procedures for DOAJ and DOAB and take questions from the audience.”

Consultancy to Develop National Research Repository for Zambia

“UNICEF has now issued a Request for Proposals in order to select a supplier for the provisions of consultancy services to Develop National Research Repository BACKGROUND The Government of the Republic of Zambia is placing increasing emphasis on data and evidence for use in planning resource allocation and implementation of national development policies and programmes. This was evident in the development of the 8th National Development Plan and other downstream line nistry planning processes. The Ministry of National Development and Planning (MoFNP) uses evidence to set development priorities by identifying effective financing and implementation modalities to ensure achievement of intended development results Analysis of the country’s research and evaluation ecosystem, however, reveals significant data gaps Ministry of Finance and Nations Planning with support by UNICEF hosted a stakeholder workshop in 2022 to identify and agree on gaps and solutions. One of the biggest gaps defied in the data and research ecosystem is non-accessibility of data and research outputs for decision making by policy makers and advocacy itutions. There is a lack of coordination and linkage among key research stakeholders as demonstrated by fragmentation in the flow of data and research and evaluation outputs in the knowledge ecosysteen. Stakeholers work in silos in the production and dissemination of evidence which leach to hoth the underumisation of already existing research and evaluation evidence, and the duplication of work. Further, while a few nammers have repestones that are open, there is currently no online platform to coordinate open access research outputs national level hence limiting accessibility of both data and research and evaluation products to users. As a result, we are recruiting an institutional contractor to condum a date and endence workflow, culminating in a research repository. Objective of Consultancy The overall objective of the consultancy is design and develop a web-based knowledge sharing platform that will leverage on existing institutional repositories to upload and share research up to enhance owledge dissemination and evidence-based decision-making in Zambia. To develop ZaRR, the institution will undertake a scoping exercise of the research environment in the country to ascertain key stakeholders in the research ecosystem, assess the types of research outputs and how they are disseminated, establish which institutions have existing repositories and make recommendations on how they can he coordinated to enhance research access and utilisation through a national research repository. The institution will also recommend administrative responsibilities of key institutions in ZARR, and conduct capacity building of the administrative staff identified.”


Scholarly Journal Publishing Forums in Tanzania Universities: : An Insight | University of Dar es Salaam Library Journal

Abstract:  The paper provides insights into scholarly journal publishing forums in Tanzania universities. It contextualises the current state of scholarly publishing and factors militating them in addition to providing possible palliatives for addressing them. The study employed a survey research design to collect both qualitative and quantitative data from websites, editors of journals, and directors of research at the universities under review.   The results show that 63 (98.4%) of the scholarly journal forums are available at the selected universities. Journal editors indicated that 46 (71.9%) of their journals are both in print and electronic formats, followed by 11 (17.2%) who indicated only the electronic format as the mode of publication, whereas seven (10.9%) indicated only the print format. The results also show that 43 (67.2%) have adopted the open access philosophy, 16 (25%) have yet to do so and five (7.8%) remain non-committal. Considering the present journal publication realities, there is a need to review the publishing process to accommodate the online journal system (OJS) for the submission and processing of manuscripts.  Furthermore, the study found the preferred mode to be a hybrid because the ICT infrastructure, cost of bandwidth, internet connectivity, and electricity remained an impediment to shifting to the purely online mode. Implicitly, academic journals for Tanzania’s universities should currently be accessible in both print and electronic formats until when technologies dictate otherwise.


Publication in open access journals at a university of technology in South Africa | South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science

Abstract:  Researchers in South Africa publish in journals that have a high impact factor and are accredited by the South African Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) as this will bring financial support to the researcher and the affiliated Institution for continuous publication. Moreover, these researchers do so for possible ranking of their universities and to seek collaboration with international and national researchers. However, publishers make it difficult for researchers to publish because of the Article Processing Charges that increase annually. Therefore, the study’s main objective is to propose general benefit guidelines for the use of open access by researchers. The unit of analysis was the university’s Institutional Repository (IR) and Scopus, a database which the university subscribes to. The IR has a collection of research outputs that include peer-reviewed articles, conference proceedings, and datasets. Hence, a quantitative and qualitative research approach was selected, where content analysis was used to collect data whereby research output from 2016 to 2020 was identified from both the IR and Scopus. The study examined, investigated, and explored the hindrances and challenges faced by researchers when publishing in open access journals (OAJ) with specific reference to South Africa. The study drew from a few organised threads of confirmation which make up the current dialogue on OAJ, comprising of peer-reviewed literature, grey literature, and other forms of communication. A manual Systematic Literature Review (SLR) method was applied to collect data from Scopus and the IR. The ethical considerations for conducting the study included permission to use the university’s IR and to collect primary data from academics in the selected university. The results show that publishers are making it difficult for researchers to publish in open access, because of the outrageous publishing costs involved.


ROAPE in 2024 – an end and a new beginning – ROAPE

“From January 2024 all ROAPE’s work will be available on a single platform with no paywalls. There will be equal access for all researchers, activists, and readers, wherever they are based in the world, and for the foreseeable future. 

We are delighted to announce that from the start of 2024, our fiftieth anniversary, ROAPE [Review of African Political Economy] will become a journal which is freely available to all readers online through an open access platform. The change marks the end of the commercial publishing relationship with Taylor and Francis. We will maintain the journal’s remit and structure, as we advance our activities for researchers and activists engaged in the analysis and radical transformation of Africa. Our articles, briefings and debates will continue to be peer-reviewed and available online and in print.

The move to independent publishing removes the paywall for activists and researchers to access ROAPE content. We break from the system of paid for ‘open’ access and take advantage of recent technological changes that have permanently revolutionised the ways in which readers access content. Our website, and online publication of the journal have increased our readership, and the widening of our audience has been exciting and inspiring. We will now build on this increased readership. From January 2024 all ROAPE’s work will be available on a single platform with no paywalls. There will be equal access for all researchers, activists, and readers, wherever they are based in the world, and for the foreseeable future.”

Open Science Community Nigeria

“Our mission at Open Science Community Nigeria is to promote the adoption of open science principles and practices in Nigeria. We believe that science can only progress if research is conducted transparently and reproducibly. By joining our community, you can help us create a culture of openness and accountability in Nigerian science….”

Challenges with Open Access Institutional Repositories in Ghana

Abstract:  The libraries of institutions of higher education have developed institutional repositories to manage their research output and showcase the work of their institutions. A variety of software has been used. Most libraries have structured the repositories so that they are available through open access (OA) to the world. Some institutions have mandated that faculty and research staff place their publications in the repositories. Not all has been plain sailing and many issues and challenges have emerged. This chapter examines the nature of open access institutional repositories (OAIRS), outlines their development in Ghana and discusses issues which have arisen. It also reports on a study undertaken of institutional repositories in Ghana and suggests ways to go forward to ensure effective implementation of institutional repositories.

Frontiers | Editorial: Open science in Africa

“The ongoing transition toward Open Science (OS) is increasing transparency and collaboration in the research enterprise. This Research Topic aims to investigate the transition to OS in Africa, including the concerns and advantages of OS for researchers and stakeholders. It also explores the role of new technologies and infrastructure in implementing OA and bridging the knowledge divide between countries. In this editorial, we provide an overview of eight articles that shed light on various aspects of open science, data sharing, and the challenges and opportunities they present in the African context. These articles highlight the importance of policymakers, institutions, and researchers working together to foster a culture of open science and to address the existing barriers to data accessibility on the African continent….”

Open access publication of obstetrics and gynecology research in Africa: A dalliance between poverty and paywalls – Ubom – International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics – Wiley Online Library

This short synopsis is the only part of the article not behind a paywall: “Open access publishing remains a challenge in Africa due to poverty and poor research funding. There is a need for global action.”