Thursday, May 22, 2014

Scholarly Communication in Africa Programme (SCAP) report

together with African Minds 
and SARUA, (Southern African Regional Universities Association) has just produced
 an important report
 (authors: Henry Trotter, Catherine Kell, Michelle Willmers, Eve Gray & Thomas King)

"SEEKING IMPACT AND VISIBILITY : Scholarly Communication in Southern Africa"

From the executive summary:

African scholarly research is relatively invisible for three primary reasons:
1. While research production on the continent is growing in absolute terms, it is
falling in comparative terms (especially as other Southern countries such as China
ramp up research production), reducing its relative visibility.
2. Traditional metrics of visibility (especially the ISI/WoS Impact Factor) which
measure only formal scholar-to-scholar outputs (journal articles and books) fail to
make legible a vast amount of African scholarly production, thus underestimating
the amount of research activity on the continent.
3. Many African universities do not take a strategic approach to scholarly
communication, nor utilise appropriate information and communications
technologies (ICTs) and Web 2.0 technologies to broaden the reach of their
scholars’ work or curate it for future generations, thus inadvertently minimising
the impact and visibility of African research.

To university administrations
•Offer a reduction in teaching time to scholars who demonstrate ambitious research activity.
•Establish digital platforms for sharing publication success by university scholars.
•Develop policies mandating that all publicly funded research be made open access
•Put all university-affiliated journals online and make them open access
•Induce academic staff to create personal profiles on their departmental web pages
•Establish or identify support service providers who can translate scholars’ research for government- and community-based audiences.
•Develop a network of communication officers/content managers so that disparate dissemination activity can be pursued in a more cohesive and strategic manner.
•Encourage scholars to share their research insights on Wikipedia.
•Invest in training for library staff so that they can operate effectively in the new scholarly communication landscape.
•Train and incentivise scholars to use Web 2.0 platforms
 To university scholars
• Share responsibility with the administration for research visibility. Communicate research findings to the audiences that could best leverage them for developmental purposes.

No comments:

Post a Comment