Promoting open access through the implementation of OJS for KNUST research community

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

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Case Study
Asamoah-Hassan, Helena; Lamptey, Richard Bruce
February 2013

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 institutional OA publishing project in Ghana 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 Ghana

In 2012, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) based in Kumasi, Ghana, implemented the EIFL-funded project “Promoting OA through the implementation of OJS (Open Journal Systems) for the KNUST research community”.

KNUST was the first University in Ghana to set up an OA institutional repository (IR) KNUSTSpace (, and to introduce mandatory OA submission of research output. It also leads national-level OA advocacy campaigns (see OA IR Advocacy Campaign case study 2011).

In 2012, the KNUST Library together with Department of Publishing Studies (collaborating with the Public Knowledge Project and seven journals in Kumasi - KNUST Journal of Science and Technology, KNUST Business School online Journal, KNUST Law Journal, Building and Road Research Journal, FORIG Journal, Journal of Horticulture and Agriculture, and Food Science Journal) launched an OA publishing project encouraging the use of OJS software in the journal publishing process.

Out of 14 scholarly journals currently published in Ghana and listed by AJOL (African Journals Online), only three are OA journals: West African Journal of Applied Ecology from the University of Ghana; Ghana Medical Journal from the Ghana Medical Association; and Journal of Medical and Biomedical Sciences, from the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University for Development Studies.

The project targeted journal editors and reviewers, staff of the university press, faculty, researchers, post graduate students and research administrators.

Key Achievements

  • 28 journal editors, staff of the University press, lecturers, researchers, information professionals and IT specialist from Kumasi based research institutions as well as KNUST publishing students and journalists attended meetings at which they were introduced to OA publishing and the benefits of OJS. Suggestions and feedback from the participants indicated that there is great potential for OA publishing and the use of OJS in KNUST and in Ghana.
  • OJS was installed for publishing KNUST journals. ( The Journal of Science and Technology (JUST) became the first pilot project (still in progress migrating from subscription-based journal to OA journal) and other six journals expressed their interest to follow this example.
  • KNUST journal editors and reviewers have become OA advocates and will help in advocating for OA policy for KNUST publications. Hopefully other research institutions in Ghana will follow the KNUST example.
Workshop participants