Tag Archives: Access

High prices could drive developing country researchers to use pirate websites like Sci-Hub
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Sci-Hub – a website that finds a way through paywalls to host free copies of over 40 million journal papers from major publishers – has been a topic of much discussion in the last few weeks. My aim here isn’t to get into the rights and wrongs of the site – I’ll leave that for others. But it is a good opportunity to reflect on a deeper problem, one that INASP sees – and works to solve – daily. In short, access to essential research is just too expensive for many institutions and individuals in the developing world. That’s something that we need to talk about. It’s also something we should be worrying about. Struggles to access research hamper development If researchers and students are still struggling to access what they need, then that’s a major obstacle to them reaching their full potential. That’s not just an issue for individual … Continue reading

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Firm foundations: access to high-quality materials-science information underpins Ethiopia’s construction work
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This week, INASP’s Anne Powell spoke at the UKSG Forum in London. In her presentation, she reflected on the role that INASP plays in supporting the research priorities of countries like Ethiopia. At the UKSG Forum on Wednesday 18th November I was lucky enough to present one of the lightning talks in the afternoon session on “Supporting authors from an HEI perspective”. Having heard experiences from the Universities of Nottingham and Huddersfield in the UK, I was able to share some perspectives about developing-country research. The example that I shared was from my visit to Ethiopia earlier this year when I saw the amount of construction taking place, notably of seven-storey office or apartment buildings. These, my Ethiopian hosts told me, are owned by Ethiopians and destined for occupancy by Ethiopians, truly feeding into the local economy and development. The new buildings are situated on roads that double up as … Continue reading

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Innovation grants at INASP: working across teams to increase use of online research literature
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In the recently announced “Innovation grant for using online research literature” we have been able to bring the various components of INASP’s programmes together. In designing and developing these grants, members of four strands of INASP’s activities – Research Access and Higher Education, AuthorAID, Evidence Informed Policy Making and our Communications team – came together to discuss possible barriers to the use of online literature, as they affect each core stakeholder group – librarians, researchers, academics and policymakers. Access to online research literature underpins many INASP activities – researchers need access to these resources to prepare high-quality papers, and policymakers can use evidence from online resources to develop their policies. Researchers and policymakers, along with academics, lecturers and librarians, are all eligible to apply for a grant to support a project that includes an innovative idea of how to increase online research literature usage while also achieving a research, policy … Continue reading

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How to access research evidence as a policymaker
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INASP’s Programme Officer for Information Access, Mai Skovgaard, considers how national collaboration and consortia support access to research, which in turn supports policymakers to use evidence in making decisions. Use of research evidence in decision making for policymakers is critical for supporting knowledge-based debate and decision making during the policy-making process. As the lead organization in the VakaYiko Consortium, the EIPM team at INASP has been working with partners in Ghana and Zimbabwe to develop and deliver a practical evidence-informed policy making course. Participants in the course pilots have been civil servants in research and policy analysis teams whose role is to provide policymakers with the information to guide their decision making. One of the aims of the course is to highlight research as an important part of the evidence spectrum, while also recognizing that there are other forms of evidence that inform policy making such as data, citizen knowledge … Continue reading

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Beyond the library in Malawi: taking the MALICO consortium to uncharted waters
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This is a guest blog by Patrick Mapulanga of Malawi’s MALICO library consortium. Patrick spent five days travelling the country in March 2015 with INASP staff on a country visit. Here he discusses lessons learned for the MALICO consortium. Billed as the “warm heart of Africa”, Malawi has stunning scenery and some of the friendliest people. The country offers attractions for everyone, from palm-lined lakeshores to busy market places. In March 2015, the INASP Executive Director, Sue Corbett and her colleague, Emma Farrow paid a visit to Malawi. It was a long journey that would cover 2010 kilometres covering almost all of the three regions of the country. While for our visitors the trip was a chance to share information on reforms taking place at INASP with their partners, for the Malawi Library and Information Consortium (MALICO) it was an opportunity for us to take stock of where we are … Continue reading

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Why we need to take a collective action approach to research capacity building
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Sometimes it feels hard to keep afloat in the tide of thinking and debate about development – what to do, how to do it better – and difficult to find time to take the latest thinking and actually incorporate it into programme design. Harder still to incorprate the latest thinking into projects that are already in progress. It’s a couple of years since David Booth and Diana Cammack published their book on governance in Africa (there’s a nice summary here). They argue that development is about solving collective action problems. But the key idea – that problems can only be tackled by ditching the supply/demand focus, and by bringing different groups together and finding a common ground – stuck, because it made so much sense and resonated with much of what we’ve learnt at INASP over the years.  As they argue: ‘…governance challenges are not fundamentally about one set of … Continue reading

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