Researchers in Eastern Africa are producing important research that can contribute to development and scholarship. However, much of this is not freely available online, and is therefore not globally accessible.
To increase accessibility and visibility of research from Eastern Africa, EIFL began advocating for open access (OA) in the region in 2010, when we supported the first-ever OA workshop in Kenya, with support from the Open Society Foundations (OSF).
Since then, EIFL has worked with a variety of local stakeholders to raise awareness, support OA policy work and provide practical training to promote and establish OA journals and OA repositories at institutions of higher learning.
In 2013 we received funding from SPIDER (the Swedish Programme for ICT in Developing Regions DSV, Department of Computer and System Sciences, Stockholm University), to expand our OA work in the region to include two more countries - Tanzania and Uganda - in two major projects.
The first project (2013 to 2014), titled ‘OA in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda’, increased the number of OA repositories from just seven in 2013 to 31 by 2014 (with another 29 under construction).
However, although the number of repositories had increased, growth of content in the repositories was slow. To encourage deposits, EIFL launched a second project in 2016, titled ‘OA policies in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda’. This project works with 16 research intensive universities in the three countries to develop institutional OA policies that will increase content in the new institutional repositories.
In both projects, EIFL’s main partners have been our partner library consortia, the Kenya Library & Information Services Consortium (KLISC), the Consortium for Tanzania Universities and Research Libraries (COTUL) and the Consortium of Uganda University Libraries (CUUL).
February 2013 - March 2018
- Building in-country capacity to develop OA repositories and OA journals;
- Setting up institutional OA repositories;
- Converting subscription-based journals into OA;
- Building OA policy development capacity and setting up policy development task forces;
- Developing and drafting OA policies;
- Auditing and improving OA institutional repositories; and
- Organizing OA advocacy meetings and campaigns.