OA Policy Formulation, Adoption and Implementation Forum | EIFL

“EIFL Open Access Coordinator in Kenya, Dr George Gitau, Chief University Librarian at Kenyatta University, Iryna Kuchma, EIFL Open Access Programme Manager, and Rosemary Otando, Deputy University Librarian at the University of Nairobi, will facilitate the Open Access Policy Formulation, Adoption and Implementation Forum at Amref International University. 

The Forum will comprise two parts. First, there will be presentations and discussion of emerging trends in the open access movement, open access repositories, open access journal publishing and open access policy development. The facilitators will highlight how open access contributes to institutional and researcher visibility, and the importance of ORCID and Google Scholar indexing, copyright, licensing and plagiarism issues….”

Open Science in Kenya: Where Are We? | Research Metrics and Analytics

“According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Open Science is the movement to make scientific research and data accessible to all. It has great potential for advancing science. At its core, it includes (but is not limited to) open access, open data, and open research. Some of the associated advantages are promoting collaboration, sharing and reproducibility in research, and preventing the reinvention of the wheel, thus saving resources. As research becomes more globalized and its output grows exponentially, especially in data, the need for open scientific research practices is more evident — the future of modern science. This has resulted in a concerted global interest in open science uptake. Even so, barriers still exist. The formal training curriculum in most, if not all, universities in Kenya does not equip students with the knowledge and tools to subsequently practice open science in their research. Therefore, to work openly and collaboratively, there is a need for awareness and training in the use of open science tools. These have been neglected, especially in most developing countries, and remain barriers to the cause. Moreover, there is scanty research on the state of affairs regarding the practice and/or adoption of open science. Thus, we developed, through the OpenScienceKE framework, a model to narrow the gap. A sensitize-train-hack-collaborate model was applied in Nairobi, the economic and administrative capital of Kenya. Using the model, we sensitized through seminars, trained on the use of tools through workshops, applied the skills learned in training through hackathons to collaboratively answer the question on the state of open science in Kenya. While the former parts of the model had 20–50 participants, the latter part mainly involved participants with a bioinformatics background, leveraging their advanced computational skills. This model resulted in an open resource that researchers can use to publish as open access cost-effectively. Moreover, we observed a growing interest in open science practices in Kenya through literature search and data mining and that lack of awareness and skills may still hinder the adoption and practice of open science. Furthermore, at the time of the analyses, we surprisingly found that out of the 20,069 papers downloaded from BioRXiv, only 18 had Kenyan authors, a majority of which are international (16) collaborations. This may suggest poor uptake of the use of preprints among Kenyan researchers. The findings in this study highlight the state of open science in Kenya and challenges facing its adoption and practice while bringing forth possible areas for primary consideration in the campaign toward open science. It also proposes a model (sensitize-train-hack-collaborate model) that may be adopted by researchers, funders and other proponents of open science to address some of the challenges faced in promoting its adoption in Kenya….”

 

An analysis of the factors affecting open access to research output in institutional repositories in selected universities in East Africa | JLSC

Kakai, M., 2021. An analysis of the factors affecting open access to research output in institutional repositories in selected universities in East Africa. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 9(1), p.eP2276. DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2276

Abstract: Institutional repositories (IRs) present universities with an opportunity to provide global open access (OA) to their scholarship, however, this avenue was underutilised in two of the three universities in this study. This study aimed at proposing interventions to improve access to research output in IRs in universities in East Africa, and it adds to the depth of knowledge on IRs by pointing out the factors that limit OA in IRs, some of which include lack of government and funder support for OA and mediated content collection workflows that hardly involved seeking author permission to self-archive. METHODS A mixed methods approach, following a concurrent strategy was used to investigate the low level of OA in IRs. Data was collected from three purposively selected IRs in universities in East Africa, using self-administered questionnaires from 183 researchers and face-to-face interviews from six librarians. results The findings revealed that content was collected on a voluntary basis, with most of the research output deposited in the IR without the authors’ knowledge. The respondents in this study were, however, supportive of the activities of the IR, and would participate in providing research output in the IR as OA if required to do so. CONCLUSION The low level of OA in IRs in universities in East Africa could be increased by improving the IR workflow, collection development, and marketing processes. Self-archiving could be improved by increasing the researchers’ awareness and knowledge of OA and importance of IRs, while addressing their concerns about copyright infringement.

The rise of citizen science: can the public help solve our biggest problems? | Universities | The Guardian

“For instance, in Kenya, University College London (UCL) scientists and their local partners are working with the Maasai to protect their environment against the climate crisis.

The researchers are co-developing a smartphone app that will help the community map the location of vital medicinal plant species and, as a result, better manage them. The app will allow the Maasai to upload the location of the plants, analyse the results and display them using icons like a thumbs up, an ant, and a red no entry sign next to invasive species, as well as pictures of the plants they want to protect….

Despite its obvious merits, citizen science still faces challenges. Researchers have a reputation for arriving in a community, exploiting it for data, and leaving it without giving any credit for its contribution….

In the end, citizen science is about shifting power from scientists to the public. A new £1.3m project called Engaging Environments led by the University of Reading, which is running in its own city as well as Birmingham and Newcastle, aims to do just that by training researchers to work with a wide range of communities to address their concerns about issues like pollution, climate change and air quality. This might be through getting sixth formers to monitor wildlife, or mosques encouraging their congregation to develop environmentally friendly practices such as avoiding single-use plastics during festivals.

This project is needed because of the social divide that exists between the public and many scientists. …

It doesn’t benefit scientists to isolate themselves from the public, either….”

IDEAL, the Infectious Diseases of East African Livestock Project Open Access Database and Biobank – PubMed

Abstract:  The Infectious Diseases of East African Livestock (IDEAL) project was a longitudinal cohort study of calf health which was conducted in Western Kenya between 2007-2010. A total of 548 East African shorthorn zebu calves were recruited at birth and followed at least every 5 weeks during the first year of life. Comprehensive clinical and epidemiological data, blood and tissue samples were collected at every visit. These samples were screened for over 100 different pathogens or infectious exposures, using a range of diagnostic methods. This manuscript describes this comprehensive dataset and bio-repository, and how to access it through a single online site ( http://data.ctlgh.org/ideal/ ). This provides extensive filtering and searching capabilities. These data are useful to illustrate outcomes of multiple infections on health, investigate patterns of morbidity and mortality due to parasite infections, and to study genotypic determinants of immunity and disease.

Open access workshops at University of Eldoret | EIFL

“EIFL’s partner library consortium, Kenya Libraries and Information Services Consortium (KLISC), will host workshops on open access (OA) and institutional repositories for senior management, research managers and administrators, academics and researchers, librarians, and ICT staff at the University of Eldoret. The workshops are supported by EIFL. 

The aim of the workshops, which take place over two days, is to raise awareness about the benefits of OA, institutional OA repositories and OA publishing. The workshops will also address OA policy formulation; share information about OA advocacy initiatives, and discuss upgrading and customization of the University of Eldoret’s Dspace-based repository to enhance visibility of local research….”

Kenya seeks to set up open data in agriculture, nutrition – Xinhua | English.news.cn

Kenyan researchers have formed a team to spearhead establishment of open data to generate information and services for smallholder farmers in agriculture and nutrition.

“Open data will provide advice and warning to farmers to enable them take precautions and avoid making unnecessary losses,” said Joseph Mureithi, deputy director general in charge of livestock at Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), during the launch of the team in Nairobi on Wednesday.

Mureithi noted that making data more open, easily available and accessible accelerates innovation and generates economic and social benefits….”

Knowledge without boundaries: Advocacy campaign in Kenya for open access and institutional repositories | EIFL

“KEY ACHIEVEMENTS

  • The University of Nairobi OA Policy was approved in December 2012 by the Senate members, who supported it overwhelmingly, and signed by the Vice Chancellor. The OA IR is now online. The policy became the third OA policy in the country following two other OA mandates adopted by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology’s (JKUAT) Senate in April 2012 and Strathmore University in 2011.

  • Collaboration on OA advocacy between the Medical Students Association of Kenya (MSAKE), the University of Nairobi Library and the office of DVC Research, Production and Extension of the University of Nairobi has been strengthened. This has proved to be a good strategy to reach students and to work with them to ensure success of OA initiatives.

  • Ten repositories have been set up at ten institutions that participated in DSpace installation trainings, half of them are already on the web with the others are on local Intranets (pending  OA and IR policies approval by the relevant bodies).

  • Ten new OA and IR policies have been drafted, five of them have already been approved and five others are still pending approval by the Universities Management Boards and Senates.

  • Over 30 research institutions in Kenya are now aware of the importance of OA initiatives including the national policy makers. Government officials in ministries, top level managers in Higher Learning Institutions, researchers and students, ICT managers and the press are better informed about OA initiatives and many participants were ready to support their respective institutions in OA developments.

  • 300 researchers, students, research administrators and managers, publishers and policy makers were trained, which resulted in increased awareness of OA.

  • Great impact on OA Initiatives in KLISC Member Institutions and in Kenya as a whole. Was able to sensitize different stakeholders on OA initiatives….”

How EIFL’s support helped open up East African research to the world | EIFL

“When EIFL organized the first-ever workshop on open access in Kenya in 2010, there were just seven institutional open access repositories in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Awareness about OA was limited, and very few universities had open access policies.

Seven years later, in 2017, over 50 new repositories had been set up and 33 institutions had adopted open access policies. There were almost 200,000 documents available in the repositories, and download numbers had run into the millions.

This two-page case study tells how EIFL, in collaboration with our partner library consortia, the Kenya Libraries and Information Services Consortium (KLISC), the Consortium of Tanzania Universities and Research Libraries (COTUL) and the Consortium of Uganda University Libraries (CUUL), helped open up East African research to the world….”

Data Management & Open Access Officer | ReliefWeb

“The Data Management & Open Access Officer will provide technical guidance and support to researchers to implement Open Access, and Open Data in SSA. The position will also provide recommendations for facilitating the implementation and widespread adoption, which will require supporting significant organizational change efforts as well as improving systems and processes to make it as easy as possible for researchers to make their research openly-accessible according to the FAIR principles – i.e. findable, accessible, interoperable, and re-usable.

The emphasis of the position will be for Data Management for major CIP projects in the sub-Saharan African region. It is anticipated that capacity building and raising awareness will be key areas of focus for this position during the duration of the contract as CIP begins to embed Open Access and Open Data into the project lifecycle and other organizational processes such as M&E and individuals’ performance and evaluation.

This position will report to the Knowledge & Data Manager from Research Informatics Unit (RIU) and the Project Manager for the Sweetpotato Action for Security and Health in Africa (SASHA Project). This position will work closely with members of Communications and Publications (CPAD), the CIP Library, the CIP legal team and the Grants and Contracts units at CIP Headquarters and well as the SASHA Project Manager, the SASHA Senior Knowledge Management Specialist, the SASHA Communications officer, and other project managers and researchers in the region. In addition, this position will serve as a liaison to several CGIAR Knowledge Management, Open Access, and Open Data (KM/OA-OD) communities of practice and will work closely with other KM/OA-OD focal points on Cross-Center initiatives to support Open Access and Open Data.”

Adoption of Open Access Publishing by Academic Researchers in Kenya | Journal of Scholarly Publishing

“This study investigates Kenyan scholars’ adoption of open access (OA). The authors used a questionnaire to collect data from academic researchers at selected Kenyan public universities. The findings of this study indicate that while Kenyan researchers have embraced the concept of OA, challenges such as a lack of mechanisms to guide academic researchers on where to publish, a dearth of funding mechanisms to cover article processing charges, and a lack of accreditation mechanisms for regional and national journals are exposing Kenyan academic researchers to unscrupulous journal publishers and predatory publishing outlets. OA advocates in Kenyan universities need to devise innovative ways of raising awareness about OA, and these universities should provide the environment, infrastructure, and capacity building needed to support OA.”

Kenya leads the way for African countries to shift to more open, accessible and data-driven national agricultural policies | Diana Szpotowicz | Pulse | LinkedIn

“The event had a simple mission: to spur greater investment in agriculture and food nutrition data, especially in the G77 countries – a mission shared by the United Nations and the African Union this year.

The conference was co-convened by the Government of Kenya, the G77 Secretariat, African Union (NEPAD) and the Platform of African Farmers’ Organizations (PAFO).”

Institutional repository: access and use by academic staff at Egerton University, Kenya: Library Management: Vol 38, No 4/5

Abstract:  Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the access and use of the institutional repository (IR) among academic staff at Egerton University.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides a description of the building and development of the IR at the Egerton university and describes expected benefits of the repository to the University and relevant stakeholders. A survey was conducted among 84 academic staff with an aim of examining their levels of awareness on the existence of the IR at the Egerton University and assess their access and use. Through a structured questionnaire both quantitative and qualitative data were collected.

Findings

The study revealed that majority of the academic staff at the Egerton University are still not aware of the existence of the IR. Staff also faced challenges in accessing and using the content available. The paper provided suggestions on how best to enhance the access and utilization of the IRs among the academic staff.

Practical implications

From a practical point of view, the paper provides implications on the access and use of IRs by the academic staff. The paper points out some challenges faced by this group of users which other academic institutions may try to solve in their respective contexts.

Originality/value

Findings and discussions provided in the paper will pave way to solving the challenges faced in access and use of IR by the academic staff at the Egerton University.

Bioline International Official Site (site up-dated regularly)

“Bioline International is a not-for-profit scholarly publishing cooperative committed to providing open access to quality research journals published in developing countries. BI’s goal of reducing the South to North knowledge gap is crucial to a global understanding of health (tropical medicine, infectious diseases, epidemiology, emerging new diseases), biodiversity, the environment, conservation and international development. By providing a platform for the distribution of peer-reviewed journals (currently from Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, Ghana, India, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda and Venezuela), BI helps to reduce the global knowledge divide by making bioscience information generated in these countries available to the international research community world-wide….”

Naija AgroNet: Open data concept, application for agriculture according to Steve Nyumba

“Nyumba, in a presentation at the recently concluded week-long training for CAADP Journalists Network in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, dwelt on “Open Data for Agriculture” said that in being open connotes a lot for different people and media practitioners must ensure whatever definition they are using is seemingly holistic.”