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UKSG: April 2005 1 African Journals OnLine (AJOL) Supporting indigenous published research Pippa Smart INASP

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Presentation on theme: "UKSG: April 2005 1 African Journals OnLine (AJOL) Supporting indigenous published research Pippa Smart INASP"— Presentation transcript:

1 UKSG: April African Journals OnLine (AJOL) Supporting indigenous published research Pippa Smart INASP

2 UKSG: April INASP Formed in 1992, as a programme of the International Council of Science (ICSU) Initial mandate: networking to improve access to international scientific research Development of information provision programmes –Working with libraries and research institutes as primary information providers to support research and information access –Working with editors, publishers and research institutes to support publication

3 UKSG: April Profile of an “African journal” Publishing intermittently (late, infrequent) Print only Mostly local distribution Not indexed No commercial/business model –Loss-making, supported by institution/grants Low level (or investment) of publishing skills Commitment to local research and local authors (=accept poorly written articles) Low rejection levels

4 UKSG: April African journals - problems Lack of finances Lack of quality article submissions Small pool of reviewers Lack of publishing knowledge / skills / awareness Low visibility (local and international)

5 UKSG: April African journal - strengths Commitment to local research Highly valued by research community Highly valued by local institutions/associations Highly committed editorial staff

6 UKSG: April Support for publications Study tours –BMJ sponsored a representative from the East African Medical Journal to visit them in early 1990s Workshops, sponsorships –1998 ICSU Oxford workshop International publication grants –NORAD grant for new Makerere University department titles Sponsorships for conference attendance –International Association of Publishers for LIBF

7 UKSG: April INASP support Academic and scholarly publishing support Support through Programme for the Enhancement of Research Information (PERI) Building visibility –Online publishing support Developing skills –Workshops (publishing strategy, production, promotion, copyright, online publishing, managing finances, etc.) –study tours, –resource publishing

8 UKSG: April African Journals OnLine (AJOL) Tables of contents and abstracts –Some full text articles –Journal information To provide a window to the research published within the African continent

9 UKSG: April AJOL: history Launched in Spring 1998, and operational early 1999 with 10 science and 4 medical journals To see if online publication would increase visibility through greater dissemination To try to build awareness (within Africa and worldwide) and financial stability through increased subscription and document delivery

10 UKSG: April AJOL - ownership and funding Funded by international organisations, including –Sida, Norad, DFiD –Not currently self-sustaining “Owned” by the African journal community Managed and operated by c.1.5 staff (plus non- direct input from finance, IT, etc.)

11 UKSG: April AJOL - journal selection Scholarly in content, and contain original research Peer reviewed content, and have quality control standards Able to provide content (tables of contents and abstracts) in electronic format Permission from the authors to allow AJOL to operate a document delivery service Published within the African continent –i.e. management of publishing strategy, any business development, etc.

12 UKSG: April AJOL users All services on AJOL free –with the exception of document delivery No formal agreement with users –Registration optional Search entire database or specific journal ToC alerts Document delivery Researcher tools Information about the journal –author guidelines, contact information, etc.

13 UKSG: April Number of journals on AJOL

14 UKSG: April Statistics

15 UKSG: April Registered users

16 UKSG: April Registrations geographical

17 UKSG: April Document delivery requests Document delivery requests fulfilled by AJOL , ,000 1,500 2,000 2,

18 UKSG: April Developments Full text –Currently one full text journal, and others with some articles or full issues –Several journals interested in using AJOL as an e-publishing platform with new models (e.g. publishing article-by-article, publishing in advance of print, publishing additional articles) African management –Management = ownership, strategic planning, development and direction –Mandated to move it to African management before the end of 2005

19 UKSG: April Challenges and lessons learnt Money and skills remain the two main problems –Lack of commercial model, lack of publishing awareness Strengthen the strong, or buffer the weak? Is open access the answer or another western ideal that will further weaken them? How can collaboration be developed to share (scant) resources?

20 UKSG: April AJOL African Management ANNOUNCEMENT NISC (National Inquiry Services Centre), a South African company who currently publish databases and journals have been selected to manage AJOL AJOL will be fully managed by NISC before the end of the year AJOL will remain a service dedicated to promoting African published journals to both the African community and the global research and library community.

21 UKSG: April Thank you Any questions? Pippa Smart Head, Publishing Initiatives INASP Oxford UK


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