Scholarly Publishing Programme Fourth Quarterly Report (Summary)

SciELO SA: Collection and Usage Growth

Over the past quarter no scholarly journal titles were added to the collection. There are currently 1 739 South African open access journal issues on the Scientific Electronic Library Online – South Africa (SciELO SA platform), 27 619 articles and 76 journal titles. scielo. php? script=sci_alphabetic&lng=en&nrm=is

The usage of the articles in the platform attests to the value the platform offers. The total number of views of South African open access research via SciELO SA since 2009 totals more than 16,5 million to date:

3-month period comparison Comparison of views
Jan 2018 to March 2018 860 107
Jan 2019 to March 2019 1 504 893 (43% increase)

Planning is underway to assist SciELO SA journal editors to incorporate the new SciELO Network best-practice criteria in the journals.At the end of March 2019, a bi-annual assessment of the SciELO SA platform took place.

Institutional Repository

The following collections are included in the IR:

The overall repository usage for the last three months was as follows:

  Jan 2019 Feb 2019 Mch 2019 % Increase
Views 32 014 34 206 36 664 14.52
Downloads 21 544 23 025 24 555 13.98

African Open Science Platform (AOSP)

The AOSP is currently in its third year, documenting findings in a landscape report and developing supporting material (frameworks) to guide African countries towards the implementation of Open Science Policy, ICT Infrastructure, skills development/ capacity building and incentives for sharing data and research. During the past months, the draft documentation was compiled and submitted for review to the members of the AOSP Advisory Council and the AOSP Technical Advisory Board. A second survey was developed and launched to further inform the development of the frameworks.

AOSP further had two opportunities to test the findings from the landscape report. A presentation was made during a meeting of the Network of Data and Information Curation Communities (NeDICC) on 14 March 2019, as well as during the University Pretoria and Carnegie Corporation of New York Capstone Conference on 26 March 2019

Report on Grouped Peer Review of Journals

The Report on Grouped Peer Review of Scholarly Journals in Communication and Information Sciences was published and is available: 20.500.11911/111

The peer review of journals in the Communication and Information Sciences disciplinary group included 14 journals, each represented by three volumes covering the period from 2013 to 2015. A total of 42 senior researchers from across the country conducted the reviews.

The review process showed that the quality of articles was overall good to excellent, also reflecting effective peer evaluation systems. In a few instances, the need for more articles from African countries was raised. The inclusion of additional scholarly features like critical and thematic editorials, topical reviews and book reviews were recommended. It was recommended that all 14 journals maintain their DHET accreditation status.

ASSAF-hosted OJS Journals

ASSAf Council approved the continuation of the ASSAf OJS Journals platform beyond the pilot stage in February 2019. Subject to capacity, the hosting service can now be extended to other qualifying journals at an annual cost. Finalisation of the formal launch is underway. Dimensions – a digital tool that gathers citation data from various platforms, indexers and harvesters – has been added to the platform for all journals. Dimensions calculates and displays the citation count on the landing page of each article.

Quest: Science for South Africa

ASSAf attended the SciFest in Grahamstown which took place from 6 –12 March 2019. This year differs from the previous years. For the first time the Quest outreach joined the SciFest outreach in iRhini and Uitenhage. Both venues attracted learners from grade 10 –12. Mr Tsepo Majake, Education Project Officer, gave a physical science presentation on Falling Bodies.

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