Monthly Archives: November 2014

Bringing African research out of the shadows – Part 2
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In her second blog in a series of three (first here) Miriam Conteh-Morgan, Head Librarian, Institute of Public Administration and Management, University of Sierra Leone, shares tips on how researchers can use 2.0 technologies to bring their findings and ideas into global academic conversations In a previous blog post I discussed some of the reasons to use new technologies to increase the visibility of research. This post will look at some examples. Building on 2.0 Technologies For 21st century researchers everywhere, lacking a digital presence or not actively using technologies to communicate their research, enhance their academic profile, or grow their professional networks is akin to the proverbial hiding their light under a bushel. There are now a number of tools and services that make it easier to have and keep academic flares burning. A few of these are listed below. Academic Search Engines Google may be the most widely-used … Continue reading

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Understanding researcher needs is key to success of African research
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For African research to prosper, access to information is vital, and libraries play a key role. But to really advance research, we need to go beyond providing access and work more closely with researchers to understand what they need to read, argues Jon Harle When the problems facing research in African universities are considered – as many reports and conferences have done over the years – access to the latest journals often features high up the list of constraints. Contrary to popular belief, the data suggests that many universities now have very good journal collections, thanks to a range of access initiatives (including INASP’s own). But actual use of these collections is often disappointingly low. Why is this? The obvious problems are well known: IT networks that are not well configured to deliver good internet access to the desktop (we have a pilot project that is looking at this issue); … Continue reading

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Bringing African research out of the shadows – part 1
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In the first in a series of blog posts, Miriam Conteh-Morgan, Head Librarian, Institute of Public Administration and Management, University of Sierra Leone, discusses how researchers can bring their findings and ideas into global academic conversations Ylann Schemm’s December 2013 article adds to other studies showing that the number of papers by African researchers published in scientific journals (almost always based in the North) has grown significantly; more than quadrupled between 1996 and 2012. Juxtapose this with this thought by Tim Davies of the World Wide Web Foundation, “it’s still really hard to find scholarship on Africa coming out of Africa…,” and one begins to sense that there is a paradox. The issue is not necessarily that research from Africa is not produced in significant quantity but that it “has fared badly in terms of the conventional measures of competitive, global publication performance” (Eve Gray). Such measures include appearing in … Continue reading

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Helping Zimbabwe’s policy makers with evidence informed policy making – Part 2
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Following on from Clara Richards’ post about defining evidence informed policy making in Zimbabwe, she looks at some examples of this approach in practice In a recent blog post, I wrote about an online discussion that INASP and the Zimbabwe Evidence Informed Policy Network (ZeipNET) carried out in August and September. The aim of the discussion was to gain an understanding of where evidence has been used in policy making in Zimbabwe and to gather relevant examples in order to help us develop a course in evidence informed policy making (EIPM) aimed at policy makers in Zimbabwe. In my last post I reported on how participants defined evidence informed policy making and what they saw as the priorities and challenges. In this post I will look at some examples that came out of the discussions about how evidence has been used in policy making in Zimbabwe. Traffic Management • Recently, … Continue reading

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