BioMed Central in partnership with Computer Aid Foundation have organised a two- day Open Access Africa Conference at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
Currently, Sub- Saharan Africa remains the least developed region of the world in the area of research. This is partly attributed to inability of research centres in developing countries to pay for the high cost of online journal access as well as subscriptions to print versions.
It is in this regard that BioMed Central, a UK based open access publisher has launched a campaign to address this problem in ensuring the widespread dissemination of scientific research with a set of initiatives designed to encourage African researchers to publish their work in open access journals.
Through Open Access, users will have no subscription barriers to journals and full advantage of the internet can be utilised to allow universal access to these journals.
Launching the programme on October 24, 2011, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. William Otoo Ellis in a speech, noted that avenues to make information available without charges for African researchers are a good initiative.
“Therefore any platform that makes available scientific information for sharing must be supported. In this respect , Open Access to research information that enables the immediate and permanent dissemination of online full-text articles and the archiving of scientific research results for all to read and use, free of charge with benefits of lower costs, greater accessibility and better prospects for long-term preservation of scholarly works must be fully embraced,” he added.
In an interview with Focus Fm’s David Apinga, the Head of Marketing and Digital Sales at BioMed Central, Carrie Calder said, “the aim of Biomed Central is to promote scientific research information access in Africa. The traditional module for scientific literature means people have to pay to get the content of such information and it is not everybody that can afford to pay to access information that they need. Biomed Central is therefore using Open Access to publish information and make access free for users in Africa”.
The conference is targeted at researchers, librarians and scientists all over the world and hosted by the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the only university in Ghana with open access institutional repository and the first African foundational member of BioMed Central.
By David Apinga, Focus FM, KNUST, Kumasi.