SCHOLARLY PUBLISHING PROGRAMME
FIRST QUARTER REPORT (1 April 2018 – 30 June 2018) SUMMARY
SUBMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. SciELO SA: National Platform for Open Access High-quality South African Scholarly Journals
Over the last quarter 2 titles have been added to the collection. There are now 74 titles: http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_alphabetic&lng=en&nrm=iso
The usage of the articles in the platform attests to the value the platform offers. Since its inception in 2009 the total number of views of South African open access research via SciELO SA has been more than 12.6 million. When comparing the 1st quarter of 2018 with the 1st quarter of 2017 there has been a 76% increase in the number of page views of South African articles via SciELO SA.
April to June 2017 April to June 2018
709 210 page views via SciELO SA
1 251 371 page views via SciELO
1.3 Best Practice
All SciELO SA journals assign digital object identifiers (DOIs) to articles to provide a persistent link to their location on the Internet. Most of the journals have been included in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Those that are not, are in the process of applying.
2. Discipline-grouped Peer Review of South African Scholarly Journals
The Report on Grouped Peer Review of Scholarly Journals in Visual and Performing Arts was approved by the ASSAf Standing Committee on Scholarly Publishing in South Africa (CSPiSA) and Council and is currently in production.
The version 2 draft reports of the journals being evaluated in the Communications and Information Science discipline groupings were sent to the journal editors for comment and the reports are being revised with updated information.
3. Discipline-grouped Peer Review of South African scholarly Journals: New Panels
Reviews in the following three subject groups are currently being conducted: Education (17 journals); History, Philosophy and Politics (25 journals); and Maths and Science (22 journals).
All three panels have recommended names of potential reviewers. After being cleared for conflict of interest, three reviewers for each journal are appointed. Reviews of the journals are underway.
4. National Scholarly Editors Forum (NSEF)
The annual NSEF meeting is in planning and consideration is being given to having the official launch of the ASSAf Report: Twelve Years Later: Second ASSAf Report on Research Publishing in and from South Africa (2018) at this meeting with invitations being extended to other important stakeholders and not just journal editors.
The NSEF Code of Best Practice was revised and then approved by the CSPiSA and Council. The new Code of Best Practice in Scholarly Journal Publishing, Editing and Peer Review will be made available to journal editors and will be officially launched at the annual meeting.
5. Committee on Scholarly Publishing in South Africa (CSPiSA)
The Committee gave their feedback and approval of the Report on Grouped Peer Review of Scholarly Journals in Visual and Performing Arts and the revised NSEF Code of Best Practice.
The Committee met on 10 April 2018 to discuss the activities of the Scholarly Publishing Programme.
6. The ASSAf Research Repository (RR)
The ASSAf RR currently includes 77 ASSAf publications: http://research.assaf.org.za/
The following collections are included in the IR:
• ASSAf Consensus Study Reports
• ASSAf Workshop Proceedings and Other Reports
• ASSAf Policymakers’ Booklets
• Quest: Science for South Africa
The overall repository usage for 2018 up until the end of June 2018 was as follows:
Views: 110 930; Downloads: 65 659
The relevant sustainable development goals (SDGs) descriptors will soon be added to each of the publications on the repository. This is useful as the keywords will be picked up by harvesters, and can be used to group together publications on a specific SDG.
Other investigations that are underway is the inclusion of altmetric and dimension data badges to the repository (which will provide article level metrics), and adding machine readable CC-licenses to individual publications.
7. African Open Science Platform (AOSP)
7.1 Development of Frameworks to Guide African Governments on the Implementation of Open Science
The development of the four frameworks to guide African countries to implement open science policy, make provision for an ICT and research infrastructure in support of data sharing and other activities in the data lifecycle, training all relevant people involved in the creation and management of research data (IT, researchers, librarians, research officials, funders, and more), as well as ways to incentivise researchers for sharing data, are receiving priority.
7.2 Strategic Direction for AOSP: Phase 2
A second phase for the platform will be announced during the upcoming SFSA meeting in December 2018. The project team has provided major input into the documentation for the proposed framework, as well a 2nd strategic meeting to be held during September 2018.
7.3 Making the African Voice Heard – Opportunities for Collaboration through Open Data
The 11th Research Data Alliance (RDA) Plenary brought together data scientists, experts and practitioners engaged in the advancement of data-driven science and economy from across the globe. The theme of the conference was From Data to Knowledge.
7.4 Libraries as Important Stakeholders in Data Management: AOSP Participation during Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern Africa Library and Information Association (SCECSAL) XXIII, Entebbe, Uganda (23 – 28 April 2018)
ASSAf – through the AOSP project – contributed to raising awareness amongst librarians during the conference, hosted by the Uganda Library and Information Association.
7.5 National Dialogue on Open Science and Open Data, 25 – 27 April 2018, Kampala, Uganda
Uganda hosted a high-level Uganda Open Data/Open Science National Dialogue and associated meetings in April 2018. AOSP was a funder of the event which was coordinated together with the African Union of Conservationists, with great support from the Uganda National Council of Science and Technology (UNCST). The meeting was well attended by more than 60 people.
7.6 Technology Adaptation, Innovation and Research Capacity with the Focus on Botswana
AOSP had the opportunity to participate in the recent IST-Africa2018 conference. The message shared during the IST-Africa2018 conference in Botswana from 9 – 11 May 2018 was that researchers and government are committed to turn research into knowledge products, implementing policies to strengthen human resource development, towards sustainability and more people becoming entrepreneurs and creating jobs. The conference had high-level support from the Botswana government.
7.7 Reliable ICT Infrastructure a Condition for Research Data Sharing
All participants during the AOSP ICT Infrastructure meeting held on 14 May 2018 in Pretoria, South Africa were in agreement that a document guiding African countries in preparing ICT infrastructures in support of research data sharing, will be of benefit to all. The one day meeting brought together key stakeholders.
7.8 Brief feedback on the SA-EU Open Science Workshop, 15-16 May 2018, Pretoria, SA
The DST has – in partnership with the European Union (EU) – started a dialogue on an Open Science policy framework for the country. The first of the meetings took place in December 2016, followed by a workshop from 30 November to 01 December 2017. An expert task team was assigned and compiled an interim report following input from all relevant stakeholders, to further direct the process and the drafting of a framework, supported by the DST steering committee.
8. Quest – Science for South Africa
8.1 Science Engagement
With the advent of the DST Science Engagement Strategy, all promotions and popularisation events are expected to align and speak to outlined objectives and aims. Each entity of the DST is expected to have at least engaged with 80% of the ‘publics’ by the end of each year and outlined the budget in line with the recommendations of the strategy.
Against this background, Quest has sought to reach all publics in every event per term. Quest has partnered with event organisers to strategically plan events to reach 50 –60% of the public.
Quest participated in various Science festivals and events throughout the country.
9. South African Journal of Science and other ASSAf-hosted OJS Journals
The South African Journal of Science announced the launch of the Associate Editor Mentorship Programme in April 2018. The call for this one-year mentoring programme was open to early career researchers with a PhD who have a strong publication record but little or no editorial experience. The first Associate Editor mentees for the South African Journal of Science were appointed in May 2018. The successful candidates are Dr Maitumeleng Nthontho from the University of Pretoria (for Social Sciences & Education) and Prof Yali Woyessa from the Central University of Technology (for Earth & Environmental Sciences).
Altmetric – a programme which provides a score or article-level metric that indicates engagement via Facebook, Twitter, social bookmarking, blogs and general news coverage – was introduced for all journals on the OJS Journals platform in May 2018. To accompany the metric, social share buttons were activated for the other five journals to allow readers to be able to share the articles via social media.
The first User Group Meeting of the ASSAf OJS Journals was held on 4 – 5 June 2018 in Pretoria. The Editors and Journal Managers of the six journals on the platform comprise the User Group. The meeting included discussions on the future of the platform, a formal memorandum of agreement and business plan, as well as OJS technical training.