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Author Archives: Anne Powell
Having recently returned from my second visit to Sierra Leone, I have been reflecting on the last year of our collaboration project with Reseach4Life. The project aims to advance research in Sierra Leone through supporting and developing the capacity to use and produce research literature. While INASP is actively working to support colleagues in Sierra Leone, they are helping us to understand more about the conditions necessary to advance research both in Sierra Leone and elsewhere. Initial visit In September 2013 we made a scoping visit to Sierra Leone to meet with as many people connected with the higher education and research sector as possible, learning about their successes, challenges and aspirations. It struck us how many people were determined to make a success of re-building the country after the war. We recognised the familiar challenges we meet in many of the countries in which we work: inadequate electricity and … Continue reading
I recently attended the eLearning in Africa conference in Windhoek, Namibia to meet with others active in my field and hear about some of the new developments taking place. The event was host to some very interesting people and presentations. I particularly enjoyed the closing debate with Dr Adele Botha’s illustrations of African innovations which have ensured sustainability — such as repairing and using old cell phones (the very early Nokia versions, known as “bricks”) and housing a community computer in a drum for protection from the weather. There were a number of themes that caught my eye, particularly given the recent ‘Moocs and educational development’ series of blogs by Ravi Murugesan. In his previous post (part 4), Ravi mentioned “separate” learners who prefer to rely on authoritative sources of information and “connected” learners who like to learn from discussions with others. Presenters at the conference generally concluded that learning is stronger … Continue reading
This post was written by Ruth Gibendi. Ruth is currently the Senior Librarian at Meru University College of Science and Technology, Kenya, a constituent college of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. She has shared her experience in marketing electronic resources and given us some excellent ‘top tips’. The information below is drawn from her own experience and similar experiences of colleagues at Strathmore University library.
This week has been a very interesting as we hear the stories of how librarians (and in many cases students) have embraced Open Access Week. While I have not attended any events in person, I have been able to share in many — some supported through the INASP competition, others managed and financed entirely by the host libraries. A common theme and realisation coming out of the activities this year is around the increased visibility researchers get from publishing in Open Access journals and depositing their papers in repositories. There have also been many comments about the value of using OA articles and an increasing awareness that these are of a high quality as they have usually gone through stringent peer review processes.
Lupane State University was awarded one of the INASP Open Access Competition grants for their stakeholder meeting and workshop proposal. This aimed to bring together a range of stakeholders including librarians, researchers, academics and university administrators. This also aimed to create awareness of the importance of Open Access and highlight the need, importance and requirements of an institutional repository. Their Librarian, Sheila Ndlovu, shared this report of yesterday’s event. The Open access week continued today with a presentation highlighting the importance of Open Access. It was argued that OA is about unlocking doors to information and the removal of restrictive copyright laws to help build knowledge sharing communities. The speaker implored academics that support of OA requires global support for research and creativity which would aid in developing our nation socially, economically and politically thereby bridging the gap between developed and developing nations. He then chronicled the stages of OA from … Continue reading
From 22-28 October, libraries throughout the world will be taking part in Open Access Week (OAW) activities. This week, we will feature a number of posts focused around this event. For the most part, these will be taken from the winners of the 2012 INASP/UNESCO OAW Competition. This is the third year the competition has run, providing institutions in developing countries small grants to supplement their Open Access (OA) activities. Over the years we have received a wide variety of proposals and this year was no different. Some of the applications have focused on raising awareness of OA sources, others on the value of contributing to OA repositories, but all have the potential to make a significant difference to their community and indicate institutional commitment to sustainability.