Open Access Week — Day 2 at Lupane State University


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 the Pioneering Phase (1993–99) to the Innovation Phase (1999‐2005) and then to the Consolidation phase. (2005-present). It was highlighted in the presentation that recent studies found that the number of fully OA journals is growing at around 15% every year while subscription journals are growing at about 3.5%.

The emphasis of OA’s impact was through the OA ideologies which propose that scientific and technological knowledge fuels economic growth and prosperity, and, therefore, full and open availability of scientific data on an international basis is important as the open publication of results is the cornerstone of basic research. The presentation also argued that the internet opened the possibility of breaking barriers of space, time and money. It can be used to make possible an unprecedented public good of knowledge and that academia can, and should, reclaim its hold on scholarship and scholarly communication. The presentation was concluded by emphasising the need to review intellectual property laws at all levels to consider countries at different stages of development and also to enable access to Knowledge, encourage innovation, accelerate development and restore the balance between the just demands of rights to both owners and consumers. The presenter reiterated that IFLA is worried that some developed countries are now imposing stricter copyright laws on other countries which are more than the minimum required in the Berne Convention and TRIPS/Agreement. —

Anne Powell
Anne Powell is Programme Specialist, Convening at INASP.

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