Open access in Myanmar

Setting up open access repositories at universities in Myanmar

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A group of librarians attending EIFL OA training at the University of  Mandalay.
Participants at an open access workshop at the University of Mandalay in March 2016.

BACKGROUND

As Myanmar opens up to the outside world after decades of isolation, universities across the country are embracing the concept of open access (OA).

In 2015 EIFL began working with two leading universities, University of Mandalay and University of Yangon, to set up open access institutional repositories. In 2017 we expanded our support to include three more universities - Yadanabon University, Yangon University of Economics and Yezin Agricultural University. There are 158 universities under the Myanmar Ministry of Education, and several more are also keen to set up open access repositories.

In 2019, the Ministry of Education, the Rectors’ Committee and the National Education Policy Commission asked EIFL to set up a national open access education and research portal to feature all research outcomes from Myanmar.

EIFL’S open access support is part of the EIFL eLibrary Myanmar project, which was created to enable libraries at universities under the control of the Ministry of Education to provide effective support for teaching, research and learning.

MAIN ACTIVITIES

  • Raising awareness on open access through a series of seminars and conference presentations.
  • Setting up open access working groups at universities to develop institutional open access and repository policies, creating repository teams and document collection workflows. 
  • Setting up open access institutional repositories and the national research and education portal, the Myanmar Education Research and Learning (MERAL) Portal .
  • Training librarians that are repository managers to upload documents to the MERAL Portal.

TIMELINE

2015 - 2021

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Created institutional open access repositories at University of Mandalay, University of Yangon, Yadanabon University, Yangon University of Economics and Yezin Agricultural University (2015-2019), opening up their research to the world. The repositories include peer-reviewed journal articles, research papers, and papers from selected international conferences.
  • All five universities have adopted open access policies that guide deposits and stress their commitment to disseminating the outputs of their research as widely as possible.
  • The Ministry of Education, the Rectors’ Committee and the National Education Policy Commission asked EIFL to set up a national education and research portal to feature all research outputs from Myanmar.
  • Launched the Myanmar Education Research and Learning (MERAL) Portal that makes research outputs from 19 universities available in open access: 
    • Mandalay Technological University
    • Mandalay University of Distance Education
    • Mandalay University of Foreign Languages
    • Myanmar Institute of Information Technology
    • Sagaing University of Education
    • Technological University Mandalay
    • University of Computer Studies, Mandalay
    • University of Computer Studies, Yangon
    • University of Information Technology
    • University of Mandalay
    • University of Medicine 1
    • University of Yangon
    • Yadanabon University
    • Yangon Technological University
    • Yangon University of Distance Education
    • Yangon University of Economics
    • Yangon University of Education
    • Yangon University of Foreign Languages
    • Yezin Agricultural University
  • 19 more institutions will soon start contributing content to MERAL:
    • Co-operative University, Mandalay
    • Co-operative University, Paunggyi
    • Co-operative University, Sagaing
    • Co-operative University, Thanlyin
    • Dagon University
    • East Yangon University
    • Hmawbi Technological University
    • Lacquerware Technological College
    • Maubin University 
    • Myanmar Academy of Arts and Science
    • Pathein University
    • Universities of Computer Studies, Maubin
    • Universities of Computer Studies, Pathein
    • Universities of Computer Studies, Taungoo
    • University of Dental Medicine, Mandalay
    • University of Dental Medicine, Yangon
    • University of Medicine 2
    • University of Medicine, Mandalay
    • University of Public Health, Yangon​
  • Raised awareness on open access by speaking at the Myanmar Universities Research Conference 2019, the Leading Higher Education Transformation in Myanmar conference in 2018. 

More about EIFL’s work in Myanmar