Scholarly Communication at the University of Namibia: Case study report select="/dri:document/dri:meta/dri:pageMeta/dri:metadata[@element='title']/node()"/>

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dc.contributor.author Trotter, Henry
dc.contributor.author Kell, Charlene
dc.contributor.author Willmers, Michelle
dc.contributor.author Gray, Eve
dc.contributor.author Mchombu, Kingo
dc.contributor.author King, Thomas
dc.date.accessioned 2014-11-17T06:57:04Z
dc.date.available 2014-11-17T06:57:04Z
dc.date.issued 2014
dc.identifier.citation Trotter, H., Kell, C., Willmers, M., Gray, E., Mchombu, K., & King, T. Scholarly Communication at the University of Namibia. Case Study Report, 1-154. en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11070/1288
dc.description.abstract African scholarly research is relatively invisible for three primary reasons: 1. While research production on the continent is growing in absolute terms, it is falling in comparative terms (especially as other Southern countries such as China ramp up research production), reducing its relative visibility. 2. Traditional metrics of visibility (especially the ISI/WoS Impact Factor) which measure only formal scholar-to-scholar outputs (journal articles and books) fail to make legible a vast amount of African scholarly production, thus underestimating the amount of research activity on the continent. 3. Many African universities do not take a strategic approach to scholarly communication, nor utilise appropriate ICTs and Web 2.0 technologies to broaden the reach of their scholars’ work or curate it for future generations, thus inadvertently minimising the impact and visibility of African research. Visibility in this context amounts to more than just “accessibility” – it means digital accessibility. It means that a scholarly object is profiled in such a way that makes it easily findable by search engines or databases through a relevant search string. Thus, it requires a communications strategy, one of the ingredients missing in many African universities’ and scholars’ approach to research dissemination. A key way to enhance Africa’s research visibility, reach and effectiveness is by communicating it according to open access principles. Making all African research outputs clearly profiled, curated and made freely available to the public would give African research a higher likelihood of not only shaping academic discourse because it would be more visible to scholars, but of getting into the hands of government, industry and civil society personnel who can leverage it for development. This approach is already taking root in the global North. In the past few years, major funding bodies in the EU, the UK and the USA have legislated open access mandates, requiring that all research funded by them must be made open access. This will raise the visibility of those regions’ research while (comparatively) lowering the visibility of Africa’s research, which is not produced under a similar mandate. However, most of the technologies required for engaging in open access communication are either already available at African institutions, freely available on the internet, or relatively inexpensive to purchase. Most also have access to the same free Web 2.0 technologies that allow individual scholars to enhance their scholarly profiles and collaborative opportunities. But these have not been incorporated into a strategic plan concerning scholarly communication, nor have enough African universities dealt with the skills and capacity challenges that new scholarly communication imperatives demand. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Scholarly communication en_US
dc.title Scholarly Communication at the University of Namibia: Case study report en_US
dc.type Technical Report en_US


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