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AfricArXiv in a nutshell - what we do, our achievements and our roadmap

Achievements and roadmap of AfricArxiv

Published onOct 13, 2020
AfricArXiv in a nutshell - what we do, our achievements and our roadmap

More than two years into our work with AfricArXiv we are glad to present an overview of our work. You find more details and information at 

Cite as: Ahinon, J. S., Ksibi, N., Havemann, J. et al. (2020, September 25). AfricArXiv – the pan-African Open Scholarly Repository. 

As signatories to the Helsinki Initiative on Multilingualism, the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (sfDORA), the C19 Rapid Peer Review initiative and the African Open Access Principles in Scholarly Communication we foster language diversity, research integrity and transparency in African scholarly publishing.

Why do we need a scholarly repository for Africa?

The vision and mission of AfricArXiv include fostering community among African researchers, facilitate collaborations between African and non-African researchers, and raise the profile of African research on the international stage. 

We are making African research visible globally, thereby increasing collaboration across the continent as well as triggering interdisciplinary research. This is achieved by partnering with established and renowned organisations inside and outside Africa that specialize in science communication, capacity building, scholarly tech development and networking – all of which serve the discoverability of African research results and achievements as well as the reputation building of African researchers’ profiles. 

Our achievements so far

In April 2018, the seed for AfricArXiv was planted during the 2nd AfricaOSH summit in Kumasi, Ghana with this historic tweet:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">The necessity to have an African repository of all information and initiatives on open science <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AfricaOSH</a> <a href=""></a></p>— Joe (@JooGraced) <a href="">April 14, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

In June that same year, we joined forces with The Center for Open Science and  launched a branded preprint service. Early in 2020 we extended our Open Access platform to a community

collection on Zenodo and initiated a partnership with ScienceOpen, with whom we are running AfricArXiv preprints and curating a collection of COVID-19 research from and about Africa.

Shortly after that and as an innovative and immediate response to the pandemic, we partnered with Knowledge Futures Group to provide a platform for audio/visual preprints on PubPub. Next, we plan to add Figshare and PKP/OPS to the list of our partner repositories.

Since we work to foster community among African researchers, we were excited to launch a petition in 2019 to sign the African Principles for Open Access in Scholarly Communication The petition is ongoing, so you can still add your name to it. Published under CC-BY licence, anyone can Share and Adapt the principles while giving appropriate credit ‘African Principles for Open Access in Scholarly Communication as agreed upon by the signatories‘, provide a link to the principles, and indicate if changes were made.

We announced our strategic partnerships with the Institute for Globally Distributed Open Research and Education (IGDORE), Open Knowledge Map and ScienceOpen. ORCID and AfricArXiv initiated joint efforts to assist African scientists in advancing their careers through unique identifiers

We have received and accepted around 200 submissions in total across our partner repositories.

Roadmap 2021-2023

Through the building of an open, transparent, reliable, efficient and decentralized discoverability infrastructure, it is our aim to support the connectivity of African scholars – and African scholarship – to a wider audience.  As part of the near future plans, we intend to further diversify tools and applications to work along innovative, globally applicable standards and methodologies to accomplish our mission to ensure African ownership of African data. In the next three years, we want to further increase networking and partnership building in the growing African Open Science ecosystem and establish AfricArXiv as a self-hosted, cross-continental decentralised Open Access platform. We envision the various scholarly repositories that host African content to become interoperable and work with various stakeholders towards that goal. The full roadmap can be found on

Contribute, support and engage

Building and managing AfricArXiv involves expenses for human resources, technology development, partner services, third-party services like web hosting, digital communication tool fees etc. From 2018 to 2020, these expenses were covered by direct financial contributions mostly by the core team members, conference participation and partner service fee waivers and a highly dedicated in-kind workforce by the wider AfricArxiv team and users. 

We are working towards keeping submissions affordable for individual researchers and this is why we need support.

Our planned revenue streams include institutional partnerships, crowdfunding, training, consultancy services and capacity building
Financial contributions to AfricArXiv can be made via PayPal, mPesa, direct debit, and online transfer. For details, see

Online contributions can be placed at via credit card or bank transfer: incognito donations are also possible.

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