2011 Conference

Getting Research to Researchers in Developing Countries – Examples from East and Southern Africa

The complex picture of availability, access and use

2nd December, 2011

A report published by the ACU in November 2010 for Arcadia, revealed that researchers in east and southern African universities are still hampered by online access problems, but that journal availability continues to improve dramatically in many universities.

The full report (Growing knowledge: access to research in east and southern African universities) as well as a four page summary, can be downloaded from www.acu.ac.uk/growing_knowledge.

Comparatively low levels of research activity, insufficient ICT resources, and a lack of awareness of available journals all contribute to a common perception in African universities that journal availability is poor. Insufficient promotion and communication of what is available, and the complexities of online access and multiple entry routes (current issues, back-file collections etc) all compound this problem.

It is evident that stronger relationships need to be forged between a number of key people and constituencies – librarians, academics, ICT managers, university leaders and publishers – to increase awareness of the high quality academic content that is available, and to ensure that researchers can get to what they need.

This latest Publishers for Development meeting looked at some of these challenges in greater depth whilst also exploring what is being done by librarians and ICT professionals to help overcome them. Participants were encouraged to consider the active contribution they might make in support of this, and offer an opportunity to pose questions directly to researchers and information professionals from African universities.

Using the ‘Growing knowledge’ report as a basis, this one day seminar focused on the current situation in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly east and southern Africa.

For more information, see the press release. Presentations can be downloaded from the presentations page.

PfD are grateful to our sponsors for their enthusiasm and support.

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