Need For Access To Academic Knowledge Is An Open And Shut Case

Sarah Wild | BDlive | November 14, 2012

ACCESS barriers to published research "result in critical, relevant knowledge and research outputs in Africa being published in overseas journals — journals that are not affordable to African academic libraries", Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom said at the Berlin 10 Open Access Conference last week.

"This means that Africa is in fact deprived of its own knowledge production, relegating the continent to the status of silent and invisible contributor to research output," he said.
South Africa is trying to position itself as a knowledge economy but it is often difficult and expensive for international researchers to access South African research, and for South Africans to access international research.

An important marker for a research article is citation. the number of times the article is cited in other researchers’ work, but Department of Higher Education spokeswoman Vuyelwa Qinga told Business Day earlier this year that "a large amount of South African research published in South African-published journals (is) not always easily available overseas".