Knowledge without boundaries: Advocacy campaign in Kenya for open access and institutional repositories

This case study contains key achievements, strategies, tactics and tools, success stories and lessons learnt from the EIFL-funded national open access advocacy project in Kenya

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ABOUT THE RESOURCE

TYPE:
Case Study
AUTHOR:
Otando, Rosemary; Njoroge, Evan
DATE:
February 2013
DOCUMENT LANGUAGE:
English
OTHER LANGUAGES:

In 2011-2013 EIFL provided financial support to 34 projects that implemented national and institutional open access (OA) advocacy campaigns to reach out to research communities and OA publishing initiatives.

Through small grants and support from their own institutions, the projects engaged in a wide variety of campaigns and activities, including: holding workshops, creating websites, building institutional OA repositories, creating e-learning courses, and implementing OA publishing platforms.

The case studies resulting from the projects reveal impressive first-time achievements and will help increase the availability of research literature in developing and transition countries.

Learn more about the key achievements for this national OA campaign in Kenya below. You can access the full case study (strategies, tactics and tools, success stories and lessons learnt) by clicking on the download button.

About the project in Kenya

The overall goal for the 2012 project was to promote and advocate for OA initiatives to a range of stakeholders – policy makers and government, research institutions, academic staff and researchers, students, scholarly journal editors and librarians – to enhance access to scholarship.

Key Achievements

  • The University of Nairobi OA Policy was approved in December 2012 by the Senate members, who supported it overwhelmingly, and signed by the Vice Chancellor. The OA IR is now online. The policy became the third OA policy in the country following two other OA mandates adopted by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology's (JKUAT) Senate in April 2012 and Strathmore University in 2011.

  • Collaboration on OA advocacy between the Medical Students Association of Kenya (MSAKE), the University of Nairobi Library and the office of DVC Research, Production and Extension of the University of Nairobi has been strengthened. This has proved to be a good strategy to reach students and to work with them to ensure success of OA initiatives.

  • Ten repositories have been set up at ten institutions that participated in DSpace installation trainings, half of them are already on the web with the others are on local Intranets (pending  OA and IR policies approval by the relevant bodies).

  • Ten new OA and IR policies have been drafted, five of them have already been approved and five others are still pending approval by the Universities Management Boards and Senates.

  • Over 30 research institutions in Kenya are now aware of the importance of OA initiatives including the national policy makers. Government officials in ministries, top level managers in Higher Learning Institutions, researchers and students, ICT managers and the press are better informed about OA initiatives and many participants were ready to support their respective institutions in OA developments.

  • 300 researchers, students, research administrators and managers, publishers and policy makers were trained, which resulted in increased awareness of OA.

  • Great impact on OA Initiatives in KLISC Member Institutions and in Kenya as a whole. Was able to sensitize different stakeholders on OA initiatives.

A medical doctor providing free medical check-ups at an OA Week celebration in Nairobi

People value a personal touch. When you speak one on one people tend to take the word seriously. This has worked very well for us but it is very slow especially when someone has a large audience to reach.

Lilian Gisesa, Repository manager, Kisii University