“Stakeholders, including academics, researchers and policy-makers in Tanzania, intend to adopt open science and present the plan to the government and implementation partners for funding. However, the decision to make research more accessible means they also have to deal with several challenges.
The East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO), Tanzania’s Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), Public Library of Science (PLOS), and Training Centre in Communication Africa hosted a High-Level Multi-Sectoral National Open Science Dialogue for Academic and Research Institutions in Tanzania in mid-February 2023 to discuss the matter – three years after the initial decision to enter into a partnership that would promote open-science principles in the region….”
“The Offline Internet Consortium (OLI) brings together researchers and practitioners from around the world to build capacity for providing access to high quality networked information for those most in need. Half the world has no or inadequate broadband access, but there are many needs (in developing countries, in remote locations, in politically constrained settings, in post-disaster and post-conflict environments). Many OLI participants are already active in such work and all believe that the work can be advanced and that it can better be advanced if those who work in this area find ways to collaborate in advancing technology, advancing content creation, and advance the work of delivering solutions to populations that stand to benefit.?
This website offers information about the achievements and possibilities of this work and encourages interested parties to join in the consortium’s work.”
The purpose of this study is to promote mobile-responsive and agile institutional open-access digital repositories. This paper provided an x-ray of the tilted research approach to open access (OA). Most underlying causes that inhibit OA, such as lack of mobile-friendly user interfaces, infrastructure development and digital divides, are not sufficiently addressed. This paper also indicated that academic libraries over-relied on open-source software and institutional repository, but most institutional repositories are merely “dumping sites” due to how information is classified and indexed.
This paper adopted meta-analysis by mining data sets from databases and provided thematic clustering of its content analysis through network visualisation to juxtapose the existing research gaps and lack of mobile-first insights needed to provide open-access information to the library’s users to consume information via mobile platforms. The retrieved dataset was discussed in tandem with the literature and the author’s insights into systems librarianship knowledge.
The library and information science (LIS) has not addressed how the academics could escape the pay-for-play cost, which was an exclusion tactic to disenfranchise emerging scholars and those without sufficient financial resources to choose between visibility, citation or publishing their outputs in journals without the possibility of citations, which is very important to their academic advancements. The LIS must shift its paradigm from mere talking about OA by producing graduates with the requisite skill to design, develop and host platforms that could enhance indexing and citations and import references. The current design of the institutional repository could be enhanced and promote easy navigation through mobile devices. Thereby taking into accounts internet bandwidth and digital divide, which still hinders accessibility of online resources.
This paper covered research within the LIS fields, and other outputs from other disciplines on OA were not included.
This paper showed the gaps that existed within the LIS campaign on OA, the research focuses of the LIS scholars/research librarians and the needed practical solution for the academic libraries to move beyond OA campaign and reconfigure institutional repository, not as dumping sites, but as infrastructure to host peer-reviewed journals.
Open Science holds the promise to make scientific endeavours more inclusive, participatory, understandable, accessible, and re-usable for large audiences. However, making processes open will not per se drive wide re-use or participation unless also accompanied by the capacity (in terms of knowledge, skills, financial resources, technological readiness and motivation) to do so. These capacities vary considerably across regions, institutions and demographics. Those advantaged by such factors will remain potentially privileged, putting Open Science’s agenda of inclusivity at risk of propagating conditions of “cumulative advantage”. With this paper, we systematically scope existing research addressing the question: “What evidence and discourse exists in the literature about the ways in which dynamics and structures of inequality could persist or be exacerbated in the transition to Open Science, across disciplines, regions and demographics?” Aiming to synthesise findings, identify gaps in the literature, and inform future research and policy, our results identify threats to equity associated with all aspects of Open Science, including Open Access, Open/FAIR Data, Open Methods, Open Evaluation, Citizen Science, as well as its interfaces with society, industry and policy. Key threats include: stratifications of publishing due to the exclusionary nature of the author-pays model of Open Access; potential widening of the digital divide due to the infrastructure-dependent, highly situated nature of open data practices; risks of diminishing qualitative methodologies as “reproducibility” becomes synonymous with quality; new risks of bias and exclusion in means of transparent evaluation; and crucial asymmetries in the Open Science relationships with industry and the public, which privileges the former and fails to fully include the latter.
“Many of the inequities which COVID-19 has exposed – and exacerbated – have been with us for a long time. Setting aside very stark disparities in access to health services, and the ability to maintain decent livelihoods, COVID has shown us once again the processes of exclusion that are baked into the ways in which we produce, communicate and use knowledge.
These are questions of infrastructure – who can study and work and be part of the many discussions taking place? – but also of voice – whose ideas and knowledge are valued?
We often think about how knowledge is produced and used around a particular issue or problem. But if we really want to “build back better” in knowledge terms, we have to look at our systems and how we improve those.
Taking a longer term and systemic view would mean thinking not just about research (i.e. how knowledge is produced by researchers) but also systems of education, and particularly higher education, that create our professional and practitioner communities, and systems of decision-making, that determine how evidence is used in government and elsewhere.
Here are some of the things we need to think about….”