This page contains summaries on the presentations given at the conference as well as links to PDF and videos.
Why research matters for development
Rachel McIntosh, DFID
This presentation will consider the contribution that research makes to international development. It will explain why DFID invests in research and highlight the importance of work to support research uptake, outlining some of the barriers to research being used to its full potential.
Julie Brittain, INASP
An update on INASP’s programme activities and approaches to build local sustainability. INASP works to strengthen the availability, access and use of international research information and the production, quality, dissemination and uptake of research outputs in developing countries. This presentation will consider INASP’s projects and approaches to build sustainability in our two major programmes: Strengthening Research and Knowledge Systems (SRKS) which works primarily with local library consortia, NRENs, early-career researchers and journal editors, and VakaYiko, which works with policy makers and influencers.
Higher education beyond 2015: demonstrating that research matters to achieving development goals
David Osei, ACU
Research matters for developing countries. Having worked closely with academic institutions across the Commonwealth for the last 101 years, the ACU recognises this. Nonetheless, universities are still confronted with questions concerning whether they are doing enough to tackle the global development challenges of our time, and prepare for those of tomorrow.
Using 2000’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as the starting point, the Beyond 2015 campaign demonstrates how universities have already responded to development challenges, and prepares them to consider how they should respond to those that will arise when the MDGs expire in 2015.
Research – and its dissemination and application – can play a huge role in national development. David will explore: how a university’s research activities converge with the global development agenda; why it is important to communicate this to the wider public; and he will ask delegates to consider the partnerships that could be established or strengthened to ensure that universities, and the research produced there within, are recognised as being central to national development strategies.
Seed Grants for Research Capacity: The Elsevier Foundation
Ylann Schemm, Elsevier
Since 2007, the Elsevier Foundation has worked to build research infrastructure and capacity through annual grants to libraries in developing countries. Projects have tackled everything from preserving unique legacies through digitization, supporting the creation of online national repositories, medical library needs assessments, librarian-led outreach to rural clinics to establishing an African center for evidence based health care. Our goal has been to fund unique ideas to enable expansion and further fundraising. This presentation will offer a brief look into some of the most impactful projects and how they support librarians in their pivotal roles as research ambassadors in developing countries.
What could publishing disruption bring to the developing world?
Brian Hole, Ubiquity Press
We are in the process of rolling out a platform that aims to disrupt publishing through a mass resurgence of university presses, allowing institutions to regain control of costs and giving researchers a more central role. Even a highly cost-efficient platform may not be sufficiently affordable for universities in developing countries to take advantage of however. I will describe a model whereby universities in developing countries can develop their own publishing capabilities as part of a broader international network providing proportional cost subsidies.
Our past, our future
Mike Petersen, Royal Society for Chemistry
From 2004-2013 the Royal Society of Chemistry has invested upwards of £250,000,000 globally. From 2014-2018, we are going to invest an additional £250,000,000 to advance excellence in the chemical sciences.
How books are still changing lives in the HE sector in sub-Saharan Africa
A joint presentation from Lucy Clouting and Stevie Russell, Book Aid International
“It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farmworkers can become the president of a great nation.” Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom
Book Aid International works in partnership with libraries in Africa providing new books, resources and training to support an environment in which reading for pleasure, study and lifelong learning can flourish. 2014 is our 60th anniversary and the charity.
Introduction: a brief overview of BAI’s history and what we do
- Focus on our work in the HE sector in sub-Saharan Africa, with examples; recent changes to BAI’s strategy in response to development of the HE sector there
- Overview of our relationships with key publisher donors in these fields
- Ideas for how BAI can work with more publishers to improve education provision in the HE sector in sub-Saharan Africa
Reconciling business interests and development needs: How can publishers ensure developing countries have access to the research they need?
Jonathan Harle, INASP
With significant changes in the worlds of research, higher education and publishing, how do we ensure Southern researchers have continued and better access to the resources they need? This session will be an opportunity to discuss the ‘principles for responsible engagement’ offered in INASP’s recent blog. We are particularly keen to hear from our publishing colleagues – do you agree with these? What would help or hinder you putting them into practice?
An Overview of Higher Education in Zambia: 50 years reflection
Francina Makondo, University of Zambia Library
Zambia will be celebrating her golden jubilee on the 24th October 2014. This presentation is a reflection of the growth of Higher Education (H. E) in Zambia since 1964, when Zambia got her political independence. The paper gives a background to the development of H E in Zambia, before looking at the current situation and outlining the varied arrays of Higher Education institutions in Zambia, managed by both government and the private sector.
The paper also looks at the changes that have taken place, which include the liberalization of H E by encouraging private sector participation as well as the introduction of the Higher Education Authority to promote quality. Further, the demand for admission to higher institutions is discussion and how this is being mitigated through increased private sector participation in the education system. The paper finally highlights the strategies put in place to meet the government’s vision of “Innovative and productive life-long education and training access to all by 2030” (Ministry of Education, 2007).
Challenges faced by librarians and researchers, how these are being overcome, where they currently remain – the Zimbabwean perspective
A joint presentation from Agnes Chikonzo, Zimbabwe University Library Consortium (ZULC), and Audrey Mhlanga, Bindura University of Science Education
Researchers consume massive amounts of information from journal articles, books, theses, databases, conferences & collaborators. There are however challenges faced by researchers in order for them to produce meaningful research. These include information overload; monetary concerns, poor web site design which results in poor navigation, ignoring copyright, evaluation of information available on the Internet, poor inadequate information technology infrastructure and low bandwidth. Many researchers also rely on only one or two databases & often miss unique information that is available through other sources. All these hamper the researcher.
There is also need to review curriculum in library schools so that librarians keep abreast with technology developments in the library field.
The Zimbabwe University Libraries Consortium (ZULC) members, who are University Librarians strongly feel that librarians can provide the strategies and tools to help researchers make the most of this vast information. One of the strategies is to intensify Information Literacy training programmes. Librarians can teach effective information seeking techniques, including how to use controlled vocabularies, how to evaluate information on the web, & how to complement web-based resources with print resources.
E-resources Provision in Institutions of Higher Learning in Malawi: Prospects and Challenges
A joint presentation from Patrick Mapulanga, Malawi Library and Information Consortium (MALICO), and Trevor Namondwe, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Libraries in Malawi and most developing countries have access to e-resources equivalent to those accessed by libraries in developed countries, courtesy of INASP and EIFL. The problems in e-resources access in Malawi lies in financial constraints and poor connectivity. The Africa Connect optic fiber network connectivity promises to improve ICT infrastructure and reduce internet connectivity costs. Libraries therefore require solutions that will let publishers continue offering their services with as much content and service as possible with flexible pricing that offers customers real options, including the ability to reduce expenditures without loss of content.
AuthorAID: An update and call to action
Julie Walker, INASP
AuthorAID is a project which supports early-career researchers in developing countries in publishing and communicating their work. In this presentation, Julie will provide an update on AuthorAID activities and success stories, including online learning, mentoring and embedding research writing skills at the institutional level. She will also outline some ways in which publishers, societies and individual editors can support the work of AuthorAID.
Experience of a science journal editor mentoring developing country researchers with AuthorAID
Matt Hodgkinson, PLOS
After working for two Open Access journal publishers, PLOS and BioMed Central, and from my experiences with the World Association of Medical Editors and the Committee on Publication Ethics, I know that authors from developing countries can have difficulty in publishing their work – the rejection rate of articles from developing countries can be double or more that of articles from the developed world. Language difficulties and resources both play a role, but there may also be low awareness of how to best design and analyse studies, and how to find and attribute the work of others. I joined AuthorAID in 2010 to advise developing country researchers on getting their work published. I will discuss my experiences in mentoring a number of researchers and contributing to the email discussion list, and how PLOS as an organisation is aiming to help researchers from low income countries.
Experiences of a developing country researcher
A joint presentation from Adanma Innocent-Ukachi, University of Nottingham, and Bushra Ahmed Khurram, University of Warwick
Adanma and Bushra are both academic researchers working in UK universities, their work funded by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. They will both soon return to their home countries to continue their academic work at the conclusion of their PhDs. Each will look to explain how their work has been affected by restricted access to publications in their home countries and how this compares with their experience whilst working in the UK.
Using these first-hand perspectives they will then explain how they believe access might be improved, and the best methods employed by publishers and universities, to meet the future demands of academic researchers in developing countries.