Ibadan Journal of the Social Sciences
Volume 3, No. 1, 2005
Pages 41-53

DOI: 10.36108/ijss/5002.30.0140

The Open Access Movement: Interrogating its potential for inserting Africa in the global scientific information chain

Williams E. Nwagwu

Africa Regional Centre for Information Science, University of Ibadan


At present, Africa is at the margin of the global scientific information chain, with a little world science flowing in, and little African science flowing out. This article examines this observation, and reviews the Open Access (OA) movement and related initiatives with a view to showing that these initiatives would ease the flow of scientific publications in and out of Africa. It shows that the expectation that the Internet would facilitate scientific information [low does not seem to be realizable owing to observed low quality of those publications that are deposited all the Net at no cost, the restrictive subscription fees of the high quality sources, in addition to the beleaguering inequity in access and use of the Internet and other ICT resources. Finally, the slow advancement 0f The OA movement ill Africa, the nonchalance of African scientists towards the movement, the non-expression of concern by policy makers, among others, in addition to their implications for scientific activities ill Africa, are discussed.
Keywords: Open Access, copyright, copyleft, common heritage of humanity, open library, ICT


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