Sunday, 27 February 2011

Bridging the digital divide: focus on worldwide research output availability

One of the main problems discussed at OAA that prevent dissemination of institutional scholarly output in developing countries was the very low visibility for existing or projected IRs resulting from insufficient ICT availability. Generalized lack of web servers for publishing the IRs on the web and low-bandwidth connectivity to the Internet were identified as very serious issues that can easily cancel all the effort done for getting the right software in place, training library professionals and convincing both researchers/professors and university authorities of the benefits of Open Access.

Initiatives such as O3b for making the Internet further available and affordable in developing countries through the deployment of a next-generation satellite constellation could be of great help for achieving required conditions for a better research output dissemination from developing countries. In the meantime, remote repository hosting plus local management was seen in this particular case as the best available solution for a quick and efficient implementation of an institutional repository for the University of Khartoum.

(See "High-Speed Internet Coming to Africa" article by Adam Smith, Time Magazine, Sep 15, 2008 for more information on the O3b 'Other 3 billion' project)

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