Current news about Open Access at UCT
OpenUCT has performed extremely well in the most recent Ranking Web of Repositories published by the Cybermetrics Lab in Spain. OpenUCT is ranked second of 21 repositories in South Africa, and also takes second place of the 80 repositories in Africa. Globally, OpenUCT is ranked 143 out of 2,372 repositories. The aim of the Ranking Web of Repositories is not to grade repositories, but rather to promote Open Access initiatives and global access to academic knowledge.
The Open Access Symposium 2016, hosted by University of Cape Town (UCT) Libraries and SPARC Africa, in partnership with SPARC, Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) and the National Research Foundation (NRF), took place over six days in December. The proceedings included three pre-conference workshops hosted by the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) Libraries together with the NRF, the University of the Western Cape (UWC) Library and UCT Libraries. With the theme “Empowerment through open scholarship: transcending boundaries”, the symposium sought to grow the openness movement in Africa, grow skills capacity among African delegates, develop communities of practice, and provide networking opportunities and opportunities for knowledge sharing.
"Open Access (OA) is a no-brainer!” "... The real value of learning is sharing what you've learned" “…we need new indicators [of measuring scholarship] to break out of the status quo” “students cannot learn from books they can’t afford”
These are some quotes from our international speakers who will share their expert knowledge on open access, data management, open educational resources, copyright guidelines and practice over a period of two and a half days (6-8 December). The Open Access Symposium, hosted by UCT Libraries, with SPARC USA, SPARC Africa, NRF and LIASA, will be held at iThemba LABS, Faure. Three parallel workshops (at three different locations) will precede the Symposium that will focus on practical training and developing skills for delegates from Africa.
The Symposium will bring together a range of international experts who will share their research, experience and expertise on the theme, Empowerment through open scholarship: transcending boundaries. The theme exploits ‘openness’ to foster collaborative research activities and sharing that transcend the boundaries of resources and capacity.
Three workshops will take place on 4-5 December in three different locations. The topics are:
1) Library as publisher (venue: University of the Western Cape, Bellville);
2) Institutional repository: creation and management (hosted by the National Research Foundation, venue: Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Bellville); and
3) Legislation, copyright and funder agreements (venue: UCT Libraries: the Hlanganani Junction)
*Note that the workshops are free – you do not have to register for the Symposium to attend the workshops
UCT Libraries has now published the second issue of UR@UCT, the undergraduate research journal, as well as two new monographs.
The latest issue of UR@UCT contains articles highlighting some of the research presented by undergraduates at the Faculty of Health Sciences annual Undergraduate Research Day last year. The two new monographs are the latest edition of the UCT Author-Date Reference Guide, (previously the well-known Harvard UCT: Handbook on Citation) and A Week in the Life of the UCT/GSH Department of Medicine, a photo essay about what the Department does, its achievements and challenges, and its legacy and future.
The Libraries have now published four monographs since piloting this service in December 2015.
UCT’s Open Access Policy has been revised, with amendments approved by the Board for Graduate Studies and the University Research Committee. The amendments occur in Section 5.3: Students Theses and Dissertations.
All research findings should be in the public domain; that is, all of UCT’s theses and dissertations should be available in the OpenUCT repository. There are, however, exceptions to this default position. Dissertations or research reports that earn less than sixty credits, or research reports submitted for professional master’s degrees, are not uploaded to OpenUCT. There is also the option to delay public access to theses and dissertations in OpenUCT. However, in these cases, the metadata and abstracts of the theses and dissertations will be available through open access immediately after the conferment of the degree.
UCT Libraries has a new service to offer the UCT community: open access monograph publishing. Open access allows the unrestricted access to and unrestricted reuse of scholarship. UCT first showcased its locally-produced scholarship when it launched its institutional repository, OpenUCT, in July 2014, after Council adopted its Open Access Policy in March of that year. Amendments to the Policy were approved by the Board for Graduate Studies and the University Research Committee in February 2016, with supporting guidelines. Already, OpenUCT makes available over 16,000 items of the institution’s scholarship. UCT has fast become a major contributor to the international knowledge economy by having this local knowledge freely available to everyone.
OpenCon 2015, a conference on open access, open education and open data for students and early career research professionals, was held in Brussels on 14-16 November. Jill Claassen attended an “unconference” (a session where participants suggest topics to be discussed) chaired by Dr Mike Taylor, entitled, “Crowdsourcing an alternative to Beall's List”. This session occurred after a presentation by Cenyu Shen, a doctoral student from Hanken School of Economics, Finland, who shared her research findings on ‘predatory’ publishers. This research, which she co-authored with Bo-Christer Björk, is published in an article: ‘Predatory’ open access: a longitudinal study of article volumes and market characteristics.