Preserving endangered Islamic manuscripts – College of Arts & Sciences

“The Haalpulaar people were among the first Senegalese to widely embrace Islam. Haalpulaar scholars wrote Islamic manuscripts in Arabic, but also used the Arabic script to write poetry in the local language, a writing system known as Ajam?. Today, Arabic and Pulaar manuscripts are held in family libraries, while Taal’s original library still sits in French libraries since its colonial confiscation in 1890. Most of the manuscripts in Arabic are at the Taal family’s main library in Dakar, the capital of Senegal.

Camara said the body of work produced by the Haalpulaar is a bit of an untold story: “It became important to prove that this poetry existed and that it actually predated many of the manuscripts that we boast about in Senegal.” …

Collectively, the team digitized 6,000 pages of text, about 3,500 pages from Senegal and 2,500 from Mali. The materials will be archived in three digital repositories — the British Library’s Endangered Archives Program, University Libraries and the West African Research Center in Senegal. The project also received support from the AAAD department and the African Studies Center at UNC….”

Scholarly Publishing and Peer-review in Times of Crisis: An Overview |

Abstract:  We present the main conclusions, lessons learned, and recommendations of the work carried out in the COVID-19 Rapid Review Initiative, published in a detailed report ( 17125394.v1), prepared by the Research-on-Research Institute (RoRI, in collaboration with researchers, publishers, and other scholarly communication experts.

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of an effective scholarly communication system. Traditional scholarly communication channels, particularly peer-reviewed journals, have been put under pressure to deal with Covid-19-related research in a timely way. At the same time, some alternative channels of scholarly communication have received more attention during the pandemic, partly in terms of the role they can play in easing pressure on traditional publication channels. One major alternative channel of scholarly communication is that of preprints. Preprints have become an essential part of the communication of research about Covid-19, but concerns remain about quality assurance, which is clearly associated with the recent emergence of new projects that streamline evaluative peer interactions (e.g., comments, recommendations, reviews) on Covid-19 preprints.

These innovative projects center on providing a more transparent and rapid peer review process, improving the scientific publication workflow, offering different publication options to authors, and ensuring that research (Covid-19 or non-Covid-19) becomes more widely available, more transparent, and credible. Based on the lessons learned from the Covid-19 Rapid Review Initiative, we discuss the challenges and opportunities that these projects create for different stakeholders, especially researchers, publishers, funding agencies, and science policymakers, both in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Early Arabic Sound Recordings and the Public Domain – Loeb Music Library

“And thanks to the Music Modernization Act (technically, one of its components, Title II, the Classic Protection and Access Act), sound recordings published prior to 1923 enter the public domain in the United States. This is a really big deal! Since pre-1972 sound recordings didn’t have federal copyright protection until the passage of the MMA, they’ve been languishing in copyright limbo for decades – in some cases, for well over a century – and there are a lot of them: by some estimates, over 400,000 early sound recordings are now part of the public domain. This change to the law dramatically expands our ability to share early 20th-century sound recordings from our collections for listening, research, and reuse.

To celebrate, we’re releasing a small subset of our early 20th century Arabic 78 collection on our new Aviary site. Acquired over many years, the Arabic 78 Collection currently contains nearly 600 cataloged recordings of Arab and Arab-American music spanning the first half of the 20th century, from roughly 1903 through the 1950s, valuable not only for their musical content, but also as artifacts of the early sound recording industry. We’ve been working to digitize this collection over the past several years, and we’re excited to begin sharing it!….”


Celebrating the 50th Issue of Qatar Medical Journal: Editorial Letter |

It is with great pride that we celebrate the 50th issue of Qatar Medical Journal (QMJ) that has achieved significant growth recently. Our mission is to encourage authors to submit high-quality and innovative research promoting medical advancements. In the past two years, manuscripts submissions have tripled in number and were enriched by a more diverse pool of authors with global representation, resulting in an increase in the number of published issues moving from being a biannual to a triannual journal. Additionally, the number of articles published in an issue has doubled. QMJ continues to be an open-access peer-reviewed journal, publishing original research work, reviews, editorials, and case reports that are particularly relevant to medicine and free of charge to authors. It is indexed in several renowned and highly ranked platforms such as PubMed Central, Scopus, Scimago, Google Scholar, and the Directory of Open Access Journals. It was also recently indexed in the World Health Organization’s Index Medicus for the Eastern Mediterranean Region (IMEMR). We look forwards to becoming the highest-rated medical journal, in terms of impact factor, regionally.


Regional and international experts come together to discuss open access research in MENA | ZAWYA MENA Edition

“International research and education leaders will come together today to discuss the accessibility and visibility of research in the MENA region.  

The free symposium Towards a more knowledgeable world: Open Access research in MENAis being held during the annual global Open Access week. It will consist of a series of talks by leading regional stakeholders and global organisations about the implementation and benefits of open research practices.  …”