EIFL and partners announce new open access project in Zimbabwe
New project to support adoption of open access mandate and launch research data management and sharing services

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Librarians at Bulawayo Polytechnic, Zimbabwe, celebrate Open Access Week in 2014. Open Access Week is an annual global event that promotes open access as the new norm in scholarship and research.

EIFL is delighted to announce a new project, ‘Advocacy for national open access mandate and management of open research data in Zimbabwe’, with the Zimbabwe University Libraries Consortium (ZULC), which is an EIFL partner consortium.

Fourteen universities, all ZULC members, and the Research Council of Zimbabwe have set up open access (OA) repositories, but just three of them - Bindura University of Science Education, Lupane State University and Midlands State University - have OA mandates. Elsewhere, in government ministries and departments and in private sector organisations, there is very little appreciation or understanding of OA as a viable model of scholarly communication that is transforming generation and sharing of knowledge globally.

In light of this broad lack of awareness about OA, a major activity of the new project is a workshop to build capacity for scale up of OA initiatives in all public and private sectors in Zimbabwe, and to enable  ZULC to create a roadmap for development of a national OA mandate for Zimbabwe. The workshop will include officials of the Zimbabwe Ministry of Higher & Tertiary Education, Science & Technology Development; university vice chancellors; librarians; academic staff and researchers.

A second major activity is a workshop on open data, which is becoming an increasingly important source of critical research information in academic and research institutions.

The workshop is designed to equip ZULC members with the knowledge and skills to manage generation, processing and dissemination of research data effectively, and to make it available for use and reuse locally and internationally as open data. The workshop will also built ZULC members’ confidence to introduce and manage open data in their institutions and in private and public institutions.

By improving access to knowledge and sharing of research, a national OA mandate and effective open data management systems will contribute to development and support achievement of Zimbabwe’s national development goals.


The workshops will be facilitated by experts with practical experience and knowledge in formulating and implementing national OA mandates, and in design, development and implementation of roadmaps for introduction and management of open data in tertiary institutions.

During workshops, participants will engage in group work aimed at drafting a national mandate on OA, and roadmaps for introducing and managing open data .

Once completed, the draft national OA mandate will be submitted to the Ministry of Higher & Tertiary Education, Science & Technology Development.

During the project, ZULC members will initiate discussions in their institutions and put in place systems for open data management. ZULC will also advocate for open data, and market and promote use of open data.