Bringing open access to Africa: BioMed Central announces far-reaching program
06 Jun 2011
• Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) to host Open Access Africa 2011
• BioMed Central launches free Foundation Membership
Currently only 0.7% of all research published comes from sub-Saharan Africa, yet African researchers have a key role to play in finding solutions to the many challenges faced by African countries. Open access publisher BioMed Central is working to increase the visibility of scientific research from Africa with a set of initiatives designed to encourage African researchers to publish their work in open access journals.
The publisher announced the launch of the 2nd Open Access Africa conference. The free conference, organized in partnership with Computer Aid International, will provide a focal point to bring researchers, librarians and funders together to examine the opportunities and challenges for open access publishing in an African context.
Alongside the announcement of Open Access Africa 2011, BioMed Central is also launching a new free membership scheme for qualifying universities and research institutions in low-income countries. Foundation Membership will enable institutions to demonstrate their support for open access publishing and offers a range of benefits which will enhance the visibility of the institution’s research output. Institutions are eligible to become Foundation Members if they are located in a country covered by BioMed Central’s Open Access Waiver Fund , have an official institutional policy in support of open access, and have published at least five papers in BioMed Central open access journals within the last three years. In addition to the new Foundation Membership program, BioMed Central is also introducing a new cost-effective open access publishing and institutional repository solution targeted at low-income countries, the ‘Open Access Package’. The Open Access Package provides a comprehensive and affordable open access solution that offers Foundation members the tools to support both open access publishing and self-archiving of scientific articles within their libraries.
Matthew Cockerill, Managing Director of BioMed Central, said, “Following the success of last year’s inaugural Open Access Africa conference in Kenya, we are looking forward to an even bigger and better event in 2011. Open access is helping to make African research more visible, and ensures that African researchers are connected to the global research community. Our new free Foundation Membership scheme will help research institutions in Africa make the most of this opportunity.”
PR Assistant, BioMed Central
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Notes to Editors
1. Open access publishing provides free, immediate, and permanent, online access to the full text of a research article.
2. Details of last year’s Open Access Africa 2010, including videos of the presentations, are available here:
The programme and logistical information for the 2011 Open Access Africa event will be announced shortly.
The conference is free to attend but registration is necessary. For more information please visit http://www.biomedcentral.com/developingcountries/events/openaccessafrica.
3. Further information about Foundation Membership and BioMed Central's Open Access Package can be obtained from our website. Please visit http://www.biomedcentral.com/developingcountries/libraries.
4. To support researchers in developing countries, BioMed Central operates a waiver scheme that enables authors to publish their research in a BioMed Central journal without incurring the usual article-processing charge. An automatic waiver is provided to authors based in any country which is classified by the World Bank as Low-income or Lower-middle-income, and which has a gross domestic product of less than 200 billion US dollars (based on the latest World Bank figures). To obtain a list of the countries covered by the waiver fund please visit http://www.biomedcentral.com/info/authors/oawaiverfund/.
5. For further information about BioMed Central’s developing world initiatives and to register for our bi-monthly newsletter please visit http://www.biomedcentral.com/developingcountries/.
6. Computer Aid International is a registered UK charity that aims to reduce poverty through practical ICT solutions. Computer Aid provides high quality, professionally refurbished computers for reuse in education, health, agriculture and not-for-profit organisations in developing countries. For more information please visit http://www.computeraid.org/.