Berlin 10 Open Access Conference

The first African University to have signed the Berlin Declaration, la Stellenbosch University is also the first on the African continent to have hosted and edition of the Berlin Conference on Open Access its 10th, this November 7 and 8.

The theme this year, ‘Networked scholarship in a networked world: participation in open access,’ allowed subjects such as the following to be addressed:

  • The benefits of OA for education
  • Its role as a connector in developing researcher, knowledge and data networks
  • Its importance for joint research on a global level, as well as in the context of interdisciplinary research
  • Its role in improving research and research publishing evaluation methods.

On this occasion, Stellenbosch University also presented its two OA platforms:

  • An institutional repository, SUNScholar (Green Path)
  • A platform for publishing research journals online, SUNJournals (Gold Path)

These platforms could also be used by other African academic institutions which do not have the means to fund this type of project. According to Professor Russel Botman, Rector of Stellenbosch University, this project aims to help African academic institutions to become independent digital publishers.1

A special session was also devoted to African initiatives and projects in terms of Open Access. Because let us not forget that whilst OA is highly important for everyone, it will become a vital question for research and access to research documentation in certain countries of the South: those which are developing countries.

Let us also cite the presence of Carlos Rossel, Director of Publications at the World Bank, who came to present its OA policy, adopted in April 2012. Via its open archive portal, Open Knowledge Repository, the World Bank now makes the majority of its publications available to everybody, including research articles published by external publishers.

For more information: Berlin 10 Programme and presentations.

1Berlin 10 Open Access Conference, Opening Session (7 November 2012): Opening remarks by Prof H Russel Botman