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Facilitating the implementation of Open Science practices across Africa

This session is part of the AfricArXiv Webinar Series on Open Science for the Discoverability of African Research.

Published onMar 08, 2024
Facilitating the implementation of Open Science practices across Africa

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Facilitating the implementation of Open Science practices across Africa

Speaker profile

Dr. Nokuthula P. Mchunu

Dr. Nokuthula Mchunu holds the position of Deputy Director at the African Open Science Platform, which is hosted by the National Research Foundation in South Africa. With extensive expertise in academic outreach initiatives, science popularization, and the implementation of STEM activities within local communities, she previously served as a senior researcher at the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa in the Biotechnology Platform. Dr. Mchunu earned her doctoral degree in fungal genomics and spent over 15 years as a senior scholar in the Department of Biotechnology at Durban University of Technology.

Throughout her career, she has contributed as a scientist in various international institutions, including the University of Cincinnati (USA), Lund University (Sweden), Tianjin University (China), and the Centre for Chemical Biology (Malaysia). Dr. Mchunu holds the distinction of being the inaugural recipient of the Young Scientist Programme established between China and South Africa. Her research encompasses diverse areas such as Covid and pathogen surveillance in wastewater, fungal genetics, Cannabis, and African legume genomics.

Questions that were addressed during the session

  1. What key initiatives or strategies has the African Open Science Platform employed to encourage the widespread adoption of Open Science practices, and what impact have they had on research communities in Africa?

  2. In your experience, what are some common challenges faced by African researchers when transitioning to Open Science, and how does the AOSP support them in overcoming these challenges?

  3. Can you share examples of successful collaborations or projects facilitated by the AOSP that have significantly contributed to the advancement of Open Science in Africa?

  4. How does the African Open Science Platform work with various stakeholders, including governments, institutions, and individual researchers, to ensure a coordinated and unified approach in promoting Open Science practices across the continent?

  5. Which sites are accessible for researchers with open resources?

  6. Can I ask what incentives do you see promoting open research?

  7. How do you think Diamond Open Access can work in Africa -even for African journals and repositories?

  8. Dr. Nokuthula, thanks for your presentation. I find your comment about primarily publishing in places meant to serve communities an interesting thought. How do you think peer review would come to play there?

  9. Dr Mchunu, I have my research on the University’s repository and it is classified as unrestricted (although it seems it’s only for those that are registered with the university - is this an aspect of Open Access or? Can you share how students can ensure their research is open to all?

Related resources

About the webinar series

This webinar was co-organized by UbuntuNet Alliance and Access 2 Perspectives as part of the ORCID Global Participation Program.

ORCID is the persistent identifier for researchers to share their accomplishments (research articles, data, etc with funding agencies, publishers, data repositories, and other research workflows.

AfricArXiv is a community-led digital archive for African research communication. By enhancing the visibility of African research, we enable discoverability and collaboration opportunities for African scientists on the continent as well as globally.

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