#scholarAfrica – Consolidating The African Open Agenda

Michelle Willmers | University World News | August 22, 2014

Open Access has officially gone mainstream. It is now embraced by governments, funders and researchers, and is widely acknowledged as an enabler of knowledge societies. Recent months have seen an increasing tide of national and funder-driven initiatives aimed at consolidating delivery mechanisms for greater and more equitable access to research, and the current revolution in internet-driven scholarly communication has been underpinned by a radical change in the way in which academics conduct and share their work.

The arguments for open access are obvious in their merits.  Increased accountability, greater return on investment and improved mechanisms for conducting better research are just some of the principle benefits. As Alma Swan (2014) points out, open access has also been shown to increase the impact of research in the small business, education and health sectors.

Higher education currently operates in a paradigm of unprecedented sharing. While the practice may be a return to age-old ways of knowledge sharing as they existed before 20th century publication systems commodified the publishing process, the rise of the internet has meant that data is now being generated and shared on a scale few would have projected...