Posts by Guest Contributor

Sri Lankan library consortium provides electronic scholarly information to the country’s universities and research institutions

To create a vibrant research culture and raise the ranking of Sri Lankan universities, it is vitally important that the academics and students, especially postgraduates, are provided with unhindered access to scholarly journals in their respective fields. The Sri Lankan Library Consortium (CONSAL), supported by INASP, has been a vital tool in providing electronic scholarly information to universities and research institutions in Sri Lanka, and its journey is one to be proud of. Sharanya Sekaram interviewed the Coordinator of CONSAL Pradeepa Wijetunga to find out more.

What are publishers doing about global divides?

One of the speakers at next week’s Publishers for Development conference, Janet Remmington, gives a personal account of some of the work of the scholarly publisher Taylor & Francis towards addressing information needs in the global South. Our world is more connected than ever, and yet it is not. In our information age, publications and data abound, but we see global unevenness in the creation, availability, and application of knowledge resources. Open Access is importantly part of the picture, yet it is still evolving and does not come without its own challenges. Also, the very role of evidence-based findings and critical debate for addressing the problems and opportunities of our world is under threat. In the reality of our mixed economy, what are publishers doing to address information needs of the global South? In what follows, is a brief personal account of some of the work of Taylor & Francis.

Why opening up access to research findings in the global South will accelerate international development

Why opening up access to research findings in the global South will accelerate international development

Dr Nilam Ashra-McGrath works for COMDIS-HSD, which is a consortium of NGOs in Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Swaziland and the UK, and the University of Leeds, that does research on health service delivery interventions for a range of communicable and non-communicable diseases. In this post, she shares some of the challenges that the knowledge sector faces and reflects on the importance of access to research for NGO researchers. Research findings should be as accessible as possible. To my mind, there’s no doubt that opening up and speeding up access to research will be a powerful force in meeting international development targets. Giving access to everyone – citizens, NGOs, students, activists, government staff, donors and philanthropists – has the potential to reduce the amount of duplication in research and increase the level of scrutiny as to how research is funded, interpreted and used by different parties. This enables citizens to hold multiple parties to account.

Overcoming challenges to research access in Sri Lanka

Overcoming challenges to research access in Sri Lanka

Vasanthi Thevanesam is Emeritus Professor at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. In the context of her own research on infectious diseases, she explains why access to the latest research is so vital for academics and clinicians in developing countries. Large chunks of the population in many tropical countries, like Sri Lanka, are exposed to a number of infectious diseases rarely encountered in more developed countries. In order to reduce the incidence of such diseases, we need to monitor them accurately. This is a challenge, because there is currently very little accurate and reliable information about many of these infections at the local level in Sri Lanka.

Improving the journal publishing environment of Bangladesh – Part 2: the roadmap

In the second part of a two-part article, Haseeb Md Irfanullah continues to talk about how organizations from the North and the South can be brought together to change the face of academic publishing in Bangladesh through inclusive, long-term planning and how this will help Bangladeshi journals meet the new Journal Publishing Practices and Standards (JPPS) levels that are being developed by INASP and African Journals Online.

Strengthening libraries improves research access in Kenya

Dr Beatrice Achieng’ Odera-Kwach – the Senior Assistant Commission Secretary/Head of Department for Library and Information Services at the Commission for University Education in Nairobi, Kenya – shares her view on how strengthening libraries can help to overcome the challenges to research access in Kenya. Improved access to published research supports national and international development by improving education, accelerating discoveries and facilitating the sharing of knowledge. So, what concrete actions can be taken to enhance provision of and access to research literature in Kenya?

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