National Digital Repository Building Project kick-off meeting Conducted in Addis Ababa
The “Towards the Collaborative Repository for Ethiopian Academic and Research Institutions” project (TCRE), supported by an Elsevier Foundation grant, “Innovative Libraries Programme”, was officially launched in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on the 13-15 June 2014. The stakeholders meeting was organized by the Consortium of the Ethiopian Academic and Research libraries (CEARL) in collaboration with the African Digital Library Support Network (ADLSN).
Research Directors, Librarians and ICT Directors from over 20 institutions took part in the meeting and also attended a one-day technical training. On the first day, the project management and implementation committee discussed and approved the project implementation plan, which was drafted earlier. In addition, they developed the project management structure that includes individuals from CEARL, ADLSN, and the National Digital Repository Steering Committee (NDRSC).
The stakeholders meeting took place afterwards. At the meeting, detailed background to the project was provided and the approved project implementation schedule was presented. On the third day, librarians and ICT specialists received training in best practices for defining and implementing policies and also training in implementing a digital repository using open source software including DSpace and Greenstone. In order to continue and strengthen the collaboration, the training participants setup two broad communities – a Content Group and a Technical Group.
ADLSN participates in British Library for Development Studies (BLDS) Online Discussion on Open Access
With the intention of sharing knowledge and expertise in open access, facilitators from a number of locations including Europe, Africa, and Asia; ADLSN took part in an open access discussion facilitated by the BLDS.
The main theme of the online discussion was framed by the expert facilitators identified from various countries on their preparatory live discussion conducted on the 19th March via an online meeting. The meeting was a panel discussion with expert speakers working in Open Access issues. The expert speakers who participated in the discussion were Sumandro Chattapadhyay, Sarai Programme at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, India; Andrew Mwesigwa, Makerere University, Uganda; Irene Onyancha, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Ethiopia; Iryna Kuchma, EIFL, Netherlands and Teklemichael T. Wordofa, ADLSN, ICADLA, Ethiopia.
Open access: where are we?
Rachel Playforth, a Repository Coordinator at the BLDS, initiated the discussion by asking participants to share their experiences and assessment of open access issues including the successes, challenges, and lessons learned. While addressing these issues, panelists were also asked to cover important open access topics such as, context-specific benefits/challenges, considerations when formulating an open access policy in an institution, strategies for engaging with researchers, tension between access to and production of research, benefits of depositing in different places, dissemination strategies, and quality metrics.
Panelists then discussed these aforementioned issues based on their experience and circumstances. Overall, there was a consensus that the open access movement is successful in making research information accessible by breaking the financial barrier. However, network infrastructure in some part of the world still remains to be a challenge. The green route has been hailed as a good means in making content accessible from the South. Examples of institutional repositories from Africa and Asia were mentioned by the experts. Lack of viable incentive mechanism and consequently researcher’s reluctance to submit their articles to the institutional repository was also discussed. The journals’ article processing fees, and tenure and promotional policies of different institutions are still seen as other impediments for the staff to publish in open access journals.
While the green route to open access has been identified as the best alternative to make content accessible from Africa, the existing infrastructural challenge has been discussed. In connection with this, the effort being exerted by BLDS, EIFL, and the others have been highlighted.
The ADLSN’s Central hosting platform (ADLC)
Mr Teklemichael, the ADLSN Vice President, participated in the discussions and the ADLSN’s Central hosting platform was mentioned as part of the solution to help institutions that have content ready for open access, but are unable to make them accessible because of infrastructure problems.
See the ADLSN’s Central hosting platform in action:
The online discussion on the 25th March was led by both the expert facilitators working in Open Access and the local facilitators while the 26th March discussion was facilitated by local coordinators based at various regions including Africa and Asia. Both discussions were conducted in the Chat Literacy discussion room, led by Emma Greengrass, Chat Literacy Coordinator, BLDS, with participation of the forum members’.
Summary of the discussions will follow.
National Digital Repository Building Meeting in Addis Ababa
ADLSN in collaboration with CEARL will conduct stakeholders meeting of the national digital repository project in Ethiopia on the 10th and 11th of April 2014 in Addis Ababa. This project is supported by the Elsevier Foundation and the meeting will discuss and approve the broad activities of the project and build ownership of the project to the local institutions.
This meeting will be followed by training of trainers in June, 2014, to empower local expertise to maintain repositories.
Setting our sights on the future
- Resource Mobilization and Advocacy
- Communications and Network Expansion
Elsevier Foundation awards grant to ADLSN - CEARL
The African Digital Library Support Network (ADLSN), in collaboration with the Consortium of Ethiopian Academic and Research Libraries (CEARL) has won a grant from the Elsevier Foundation to build a national collaborative digital repository. The project will start on January 2014, with the overall objective to scale up and harmonize the existing institutional repositories such as the Addis Ababa University and Forum for Social Studies, to build the Ethiopian national digital repository. Other main activities of the project include training Ethiopian librarians to establish and operate digital repositories and provide information literacy skills to researchers. The outcome of the project is expected to increase the discoverability and usage of Ethiopian academic research results nationally, regionally and internationally, as well as foster collaboration and global research culture.
Study confirms: awareness and readiness of African institutions to share their digital content has dramatically increased - IT support and infrastructure remain an issue.
ADLSN central hosting platform could be the solution.
Open Access Week 2013: What does Open Access mean to you?
Open Access Week is an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research.
Here is how one of our ADLSN member's responded:
You can get more responses from around the world from the EIFL Open Access Week 2013 page.
ADLSN trainers take part in a digital library workshop at the African Union Commission (AUC) Library and Archives
U.S. Mission to the African Union (USAU), in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC) Library and Archives, hosted a digital library workshop at Addis Ababa. The training, which brought trainers from the African Digital Library Support Network (ADLSN) based in both Addis Ababa and Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, centered on addressing the technical gap that currently exist as the AUC Archives staff works to create a common continental domain for information sharing, preserving the AU’s documents and protecting the organization’s data.