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Scholarly Communication in Africa Programme

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Overview

The Scholarly Communication in Africa (SCA) programme is a three-year, IDRC-funded initiative aimed at increasing African universities’ contribution to regional and global knowledge production. Jointly hosted by the Centre for Educational Technology and the Research Office at the University of Cape Town, the programme will use four African universities as study sites and work in close collaboration with the Southern African Regional Universities Association (SARUA).

In approaching the issue of African scholarly publication and communications, the SCA programme operates from the assumption that there is an opportunity to increase the output and quality of academic journals and other forms of scholarly communication produced in Africa, particularly given the possibilities of greater scholarly interaction through new media and the Internet affordances made possible through Web 2.0 technologies. Many African universities are currently exploring this terrain with regards to institutional repositories, online journal publishing, and digital archiving. This engagement on the part of institutions with the scholarly communication process is an important component of a larger process of institutional renewal with respect to fostering research output in universities.

The SCA programme is a response to the need to grow the profile and global competitiveness of African research output/communications and is primarily concerned with the dissemination out of universities (and hence the visibility of African research), rather than issues around building research capacity. It will combine action research in selected universities, designed to exploit existing investment in research repositories, with qualitative and quantitative research to address some of the inhibiting factors in an established research culture that prevent effective research dissemination.

Engaging with the potential offered by the use of information and communication technology (including technical publication platforms), new research and publication models, and new intellectual property and licensing systems, it is hoped that the results of this programme’s investigations will provide the groundwork for the development of a more relevant, Afrocentric approach to the funding, recognition and reward of scholarly publication in southern Africa.

SCA Team

Eve Gray – Programme Lead and Policy Engagement and Communications Lead

Michelle Willmers – Programme Manager

Professor Francis Nyamnjoh – Research Expert

Garry Rosenberg – Research Leader

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Contact us

Michelle Willmers
Centre for Educational Technology
University of Cape Town
Private Bag X3
Rondebosch
7701
South Africa
Tel: +27 21 650 4519
Fax: +27 21 650 5045