[open-development] Online Open Access Debates

The African Commons Project rosanne at africancommons.org
Thu Dec 6 08:12:35 UTC 2012

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Do you have something to say? Then get talking!

For those of you who have not yet joined the OA discussion on the WSIS Knowledge Communities Open Access Community, now is the time. We believe that the complacencies of the usual discussion around OA are being cracked open encounters with the realities of the global South. Do you have something to share? Do you disagree with this position?

Much of the discussion on OA in the last 10 years has rested  on a narrow band of publications – scholarly journals – and a narrow constituency of researchers. The aim of OA is to expand readership for published articles and increase their impact (sometimes with the expectation that greater access to scholarly articles will automatically lead to impact on teaching and learning and community needs. What needs to be done, this version of the argument goes, is to set up an institutional repository and/or publish OA journals. Then you are away.

But what has emerged in this dialogue is an expansion of this vision to include more complexities:

The focus of OA:  Would an OA landscape that addressed teaching and learning and community impact be a more persuasive concept to work with in the developing world, broadening the base of the people involved  and hence its potential for success.

Capacity:  what is needed by way of training and development to enhance capacity to realize the benefits of OA?

Context:  What disciplinary framework should we situate OA?  What curriculum would be needed, what competencies, what career opportunities?  Why is there such a gap within the institutions in understanding the nature of digital scholarly communication and how It needs to be implemented?'

Other models:  How do we - and should we? - develop a mobile-based digital communication infrastructure, in order to ensure the physical means of access in the developing world?

The Impact Factor:  A recursive process in the OA discussion, is that we provide critiques of the failings of the impact factor, but then lapse back into using improved impact performance as an argument for OA, because of its currency in higher education.  What is the alternative?

The power dynamics of scholarly publication:  The commercial basis on which journal publishing is built has a corrupting effect on the scholarly community and its practices in a post-Friedman world.

So far, the discussion has had great contributions by Indians and Europeans ... South Africans, your time is now.  Read more and register to take part! [http://www.wsis-community.org/pg/forum/topic/586392/is-open-access-only-for-rich-countries-participate-now-in-an-online-dialogue-on-open-access-and-the-developing-world/]

register here


[http://cvs2.uwc.ac.za/trac/chisimba/browser/branding/Chisimba_Newsletter/Chisimba_edition_3.pdf]  [http://cvs2.uwc.ac.za/trac/chisimba/browser/branding/Chisimba_Newsletter/Chisimba_edition_3.pdf]


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Institute for Development studies [http://www.ids.ac.uk/]


The Centre for Internet and Society [http://cis-india.org/]

The African Commons Project [http://www.africancommons.org/]

Resources   [http://www.gray-area.co.za/]

Open Access and and Development- Journals

and Beyond [http://www.africancommons.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Open-Access-and-Development-Journals-and-Beyond.pdf]



Gray Area -A blog which focuses

on Access to Knowledge and Open Access [http://www.gray-area.co.za/]

UNESCO Human Rights declaration [http://www.unesco.org/new/en/social-and-human-sciences/themes/human-rights-based-approach/60th-anniversary-of-udhr/unesco-and-the-declaration/]

WSIS Knowledge Communities

Open Access platform [http://www.wsis-community.org/pg/forum/topic/586392/is-open-access-only-for-rich-countries-participate-now-in-an-online-dialogue-on-open-access-and-the-developing-world/]

Openuct initiative - opening scholarship [http://openuct.uct.ac.za/]

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the  Institute for Development Studies [http://www.ids.ac.uk/]  [http://www.ids.ac.uk]

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