Open Access Repositories: Capacity Strengthening Programme for Africa (OA - IRCSP)

Open Access Repositories: Capacity Strengthening Programme for Africa (OA-IRCSP): Towards visibility, accessibility and usability of African intellectual output

Peter Hessels 

Royal Tropical Institute - KIT

The Netherlands

The Open Access Repositories Capacity Strengthening Programme (OA-IRCSP) is a joint initiative of the Association of African Universities (AAU) headquartered in Ghana, and the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in the Netherlands. The aim of this initiative is to stimulate and strengthen the capacity of establishing intellectual output repositories based on open access principles among African universities. The lack of collaborative framework and awareness of the importance of digital repositories at institutional, national and regional levels have impeded African intellectual output from being effectively managed and shared. Thus there is a need to create awareness, especially at managerial level to understand the mechanism of establishing collaborative efforts to spur  knowledge access and use in Africa.

OA-IRCSP entails the development of an Institutional Repository Toolkit and accompanying training modules. Training workshops are conducted for targeted audiences on repository establishment and management. The target audience of the programme are academic and other institutions in Africa that provide development-related information for researchers, students or development professionals. The programme is designed to be an on-going activity, i.e. the toolkit will be provided in customizable versions to accommodate different needs of academic and other institutions. In the future, the toolkit will e.g. include information on digitization techniques to address the issue of making older, printed research output also available in digital format.

OA-IRCSP examines the platform that engages stakeholders in the development, promotion and use of products to facilitate knowledge exchange and dissemination while discussing the needs of integration of DATAD (Database of African Theses and Dissertations) in a network of distributed digital repositories of African academic research publications.

The programme has the following objectives:

  • Increase number of advocacy activities for collaborative repository projects at managerial level nationally and regionally (by means of consortia).
  • Increase national collaborative repository initiatives to address the issue of inadequacy of resources among individual institutions.
  • Integrate DATAD in a network of distributed digital repositories of African academic research publications.
  • Investigate the sustainability models of the collaborative repository projects.

How to Join?

This presentation is part of a one hour session entitled Promotion of Open Access containing 3 short presentations that will take place on Thursday 25 October 2012 (11:00-12:00 pm Rome time). To join this session, visit the main page for the Open Acces Week @ AIMS webinars.