Ahinon, J. S., Arafat, H., Ahmad, U., Achampong, J., Aldirdiri, O., Ayodele, O. T., … Havemann, J. (2020, September 25). AfricArXiv – the pan-African Open Scholarly Repository. https://doi.org/10.31730/osf.io/56p3e
AfricArXiv is a community-led digital archive for African research working towards building an Africa-owned open scholarly repository; a knowledge commons of African scholarly works. We are partnering with established scholarly repository services to provide a platform for African scientists of any discipline to present their research findings and connect with other researchers – on the African continent and globally.
It is our aim to promote discoverability of African research output according to
To contextualize the above to the African scholarly community we have postulated
10 African Principles for Open Access in Scholarly Communication: https://info.africarxiv.org/african-oa-principles/
A decentrally managed pan-African preprint repository platform that serves as a multidisciplinary, credible, reliable and viable archive of research works from and about Africa and is interoperable, accessible and shareable across platforms, inside and outside the African continent, while being owned, i.e. hosted and curated, by African scholarly institutions on the continent.
For details, go to https://github.com/AfricArxiv/preprint-repository.
Establishing an independent and open research repository and interoperable source of contributions for and from researchers as well as innovators working on pan-Africa advancement with the goal to increase discoverability of African researchers’ output and for all scientists who work in an African context.
Increasing discoverability of African research output
Making text, data and information on online digital scholarly platforms searchable and discoverable
Showcasing African research output
Promoting submissions to African journals
Disseminating African knowledge and expertise
Enabling research exchange inside the continent
Fostering cross-continental collaboration
Highlighting research of local and regional relevance
Filling the gaps where institutional repository systems are missing and working towards text and data repository interoperability
Transferring knowledge accumulated by Africans in the diaspora back to the continent
Early and Mid Career Researchers for reputation building by archiving theses, dissertations, student reports, datasets, research contributions, etc.
Senior level researchers to provide open access (OA) to their work
Data creators to link datasets to the African research environment
Librarians to assess and define how best to guide African researchers in the scholarly communication workflow (discipline- and region-specific)
Conference, webinar and course organizers to collate conference outputs
Policy makers and governmental institutions to support decision making and publication of documentation relevant to African affairs
Non governmental organizations working on African affairs to provide open access to their reports
Why do we need a scholarly repository for Africa?
More visibility for African research output
Increase collaboration across continents
Make local research visible globally
Trigger interdisciplinary research
Research result dissemination in African languages
We encourage submissions from
African scientists based on the African continent
African scientists who are currently based at a host institute outside Africa
non-African scientists who report on research conducted on African territory
non-African scientists who report on research relevant to African affairs
non-scientists who work at governmental, for-profit and non-profit institutions to submit their reports and datasets in compliance to scholarly standards to allow for cross-sectoral knowledge exchange
We accept the following file types
Text documents (preprints, postprints, VoR)
Datasets, scripts and codes
Presentation slide decks
Posters & infographics
Video and audio files
Non-academic works of institutions that work at the intersection to academia
Annual organizational and business reports
Policy statements and recommendations
Guidelines and infographics
We launched AfricArXiv in 2018 in partnership with the Center for Open Science. From February 2020 we are additionally partnering with ScienceOpen and Pubpub. We also curate a community on Zenodo and are planning to expand further with Figshare and PKP preprints.
The Open Science Framework (OSF) is a free and open-source project management tool that supports researchers throughout their entire project lifecycle.
ScienceOpen is a discovery platform with interactive features for scholars to enhance their research in the open, make an impact, and receive credit for it.
PubPub socializes the process of knowledge creation by integrating conversation, annotation, and versioning into short and long-form digital publication.
Zenodo is a simple and innovative service enabling researchers to share and showcase research results from all fields of science.
An example of the type of file and appropriate platforme to submit the work can be found below:
- manuscript (preprint, postprint, VoR)
OSF, ScienceOpen, Zenodo
Poster, infographic, graphics
OSF, Pubpub, Zenodo, figshare?
We envision AfricArXiv to be independent and non-reliant of any national legal, political and functional restrictions to ensure accessibility and functionality of the database at all times to African researchers on the continent and worldwide. All African researchers should have access to the whole database at all times.
A decentrally organized pan-African repository platform
To ensure and enable distributed and decentralized hosting of the database/s, we are building legal partnerships with scholarly institutions in all five regions on the African continent.
Currently, AfricArXiv is managed and coordinated via Access 2 Perspectives (A2P) a training consultancy based in Berlin, Germany. For legal liability status and additional information see https://access2perspectives.com/contact-us/impressum/.
A2P is actively looking to transition legal and financial ownership to regional African hosting partner institutions. The semi-independent status of AfricArXiv’s operational modus and services will be postulated in partnership agreements. Each partner institution will serve as regional fiscal host and manage finances and administration for AfricArXiv in that region - together with a dedicated contact person in the core AfricArXiv team.
AfricArXiv will be governed by a Board of Trustees, an Advisory Board and the Executive Team. The Board of Trustees will consist of representatives from the regional hosting institutions, key financial contributors, and individuals appointed by the team. The advisory board is made up of experts in various aspects of scholarly communication as relevant for the African scholarly community.
AfricArXiv is managed and coordinated by a team of scholars and experts in the field of scholarly publishing and digital infrastructure on the continent, positioning AfricArXiv to serve the scholarly community on the entire continent and increase collaboration with researchers across Africa and worldwide. To date, AfricArXiv hosts more than 180 scholarly works on four (4) repository platforms demonstrating viability to promote the sharing and visibility of African research.
For a detailed structure of the current setup and planning of AfricArXiv’s activities and services, please refer to the visual map at https://kumu.io/a2p/africarxiv#strategy.
Strategy development and coordination
- team coordination
- strategic planning and partnership building
- financial planning
Technology development and maintenance
- website setup and maintenance
- coordination and observation of technical details as provided by partner organisations
- technological planning and strategizing towards an Africa-owned literature & data repository
strategizing, information sharing and community engagement via the AfricArXiv blog, newsletter and social media channels
Submission Moderation and Quality Assurance
Ensuring quality for literature and data submissions to repositories managed by AfricArXiv
In February 2020, six (6) experts in various fields relevant to AfricArXiv’s vision and mission formed the AfricArXiv advisory board.
A growing number of volunteers and contributors who spend some of their time, expertise and/or finances towards our shared vision and mission.
The institutions and initiatives listed on our website at https://info.africarxiv.org/partners/ support the mandate of AfricArXiv and encourage African scientists – and non-African scientists who work on African topics – to share their research output in an Open Access repository, journal or on other freely accessible digital platforms.
We work with them towards open scholarly communication in Africa in the following areas:
Partner repositories: Open Science Framework (OSF), Pubpub, ScienceOpen, Zenodo
Peer Review: Decentralized Science, Qeios, ScienceOpen, PREreview, Peer Community in … (PCI)
Capacity Building: Vilsquare, r0g_agency for open culture and critical transformation, TCC Africa, Open Science MOOC, AuthorAid, Science For Africa, Access 2 Perspectives
Science Literacy: African Science Literacy Network (ASLN), Under the Microscope, AfroScience Network, Science Communication Hub Nigeria (SciComNigeria)
Scholarly Networking: Bobab, AfricaOSH, African Science Initiative (ASI), WACREN/LIBSENSE, Just One Giant Lab (JOGL), Psychological Science Accelerator, Institute for Globally Distributed Open Research and Education (IGDORE), eLearning Africa, Vilsquare Makers' Hub
Discoverability & Interoperability: Center for Open Science, ScienceOpen, ORCID, Open Knowledge Maps, Code for Africa, Knowledge Futures Group, International African Institute (IAI), Open African Repository (OAR)
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 Access 2 Perspectives), conference participation and partner service fee waivers and a highly dedicated in-kind workforce by the team.
From 2021, our planned revenue streams include:
Financial contributions to AfricArXiv can be made via PayPal, mPesa, direct debit, and online transfer. For details, see https://info.africarxiv.org/contribute/.
Online contributions can be placed at https://opencollective.com/africarxiv (incognito donation possible) via credit/debit card or bank transfer.
Outreach, communication and networking
AfricArXiv is calling on institutions and organizations across Africa, such as NRENs, regional and national collaborators, grassroots Open Science initiatives, consortia, coalitions, scholarly associations etc. in order to:
Inform about AfricArXiv’s core services (preprint hosting)
Establish partnerships with institutions and organisations that focus on the African region practicing Open Science principles
Grow together and build a strong community as a network of Open Science focused scholarly organisations and stakeholders on the African continent
The AfricArXiv team is maintaining a communication strategy outlining specifics of internal (team) and external (partners and user groups) communication and defining the tools and means AfricArXiv uses to achieve its goals.
Bearing technical and digital infrastructure challenges in mind, AfricArXiv promotes the use of digital tools for scholarly communication while at the same time working with partners and stakeholders to develop workarounds and hybrid approaches to cater for pertaining low-resource and low-bandwidth settings.
AfricArXiv encourages and seeks to facilitate increasing interconnectivity of existing literature and data repositories of various systems.
Report 2018 - 2020
Find here a list of accomplishments since the launch in 2018 and throughout 2020.
Bezuidenhout, Louise, & Havemann, Johanna. (2020, September 3). The Varying Openness of Digital Open Science Tools. Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4013975
Ayodele, O., Havemann, J., Owango, J., Ksibi, N., & Ahearn, C. (2020). Proposal: Audio/Visual Preprints. AfricArXiv. https://doi.org/10.21428/3b2160cd.dd0b543c
Havemann, Jo et al. (2020). Harnessing the Open Science infrastructure for an efficient African response to COVID-19 [preprint]. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3733768
Bezuidenhout, Louise, McNaughton, Anna, & Havemann, Johanna. (2020, March 26). Multilingual COVID-19 Information Videos. Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3727534
Bezuidenhout, Louise, Havemann, Jo, Kitchen, Stephanie, De Mutiis, Anna, & Owango, Joy. (2020). African Digital Research Repositories: Mapping the Landscape [preprint]. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3732274 // dataset DOI 10.5281/zenodo.3732171
Havemann, Jo, Ksibi, Nabil, Maina, Mahmoud Bukar, Obanda, Johanssen, Okelo, Luke, & Owango, Joy. (2020). Higher Education & Research in Africa – the stakeholders [Data set]. Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3743348
Bezuidenhout, Louise, & Havemann, Johanna. (2020). The Varying Openness of Digital Open Science Tools [Data set]. Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4013812
Bezuidenhout, Louise, Havemann, Jo, Kitchen, Stephanie, De Mutiis, Anna, & Owango, Joy. (2020). African Digital Research Repositories: Mapping the Landscape [Data set]. Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3732172
Bezuidenhout, Louise. (2020). Africa, Laboratory Equipment and COVID-19 Response. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3824105
Akligoh, Harry, Havemann, Jo, Restrepo, Martin, & Obanda, Johanssen. (2020). Mapping the COVID-19 global response: from grassroots to governments [Data set]. Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3732377
Michael Cary. (2020). A list of open access papers pertaining to racism [Data set]. Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3885834
Jon Tennant, Bruce Caron, Jo Havemann, Samuel Guay, Julien Colomb, Eva Lantsoght, … Cooper Smout. (2019, March 16). OpenScienceMOOC/Module-1-Open-Principles: Second release (Version 2.0.0). Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2595951
Owango, Joy. (2020). To what Degree are African Researchers Publishing in Open Access Journals since the launch of Plan S?. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3973528 (audio/visual)
Obanda, J., & Havemann, J. (2020). AfricArXiv at the Open Publishing Fest. AfricArXiv. Retrieved from https://africarxiv.pubpub.org/pub/1ubyiq3u (audio/visual)
Hodgkinson, M., Marincola, E., Aldirdiri, O., & Owango, J. (2020). State of Open Access in Africa and its Implication on Researchers. AfricArXiv. https://doi.org/10.21428/3b2160cd.845bf0c3 (audio/visual)
Akligoh Harry Sefoga. (2020, June). No Better Time to Practice Open Science Than Now. Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3878540
Havemann, Johanna, & Ahinon, Justin Sègbédji. (2019, December). What role can Open Science play in enabling global knowledge exchange?. Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3582040
Havemann, J., & Ahinon, J. S. (2019, October 27). What Role Can Open Science Play in Enabling South-North Dialogues?. https://doi.org/10.31730/osf.io/5hvgx
Ahinon Sègbédji Justin. (2019, March). Another science is possible. Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2613247
Havemann, Johanna. (2019, February). A Case for Open Science Hardware. Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2564076
Ahinon, Justin, & Havemann, Jo. (2018). Open Science in Africa - Challenges, Opportunities and Perspectives. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1492745
Posters & Infographics
Conference poster (A0) github.com/AfricArxiv/outreach/tree/master/AfricArXiv_posters
Infographic on ‘How to submit’: https://info.africarxiv.org/infographic-share-your-research-oa/
For the complete list please go to https://info.africarxiv.org/news/.
Key Performance Indicators
Submission metrics (all time since 2018)
AfricArxiv metrics 2020: The growing followerbase is composed of Twitter, Facebook fanpage, Facebook group, LinkedIn institutional page, Youtube, WhatsApp, Slack, Github, and newsletter subscribers.
AfricArXiv is always looking to the most relevant online infrastructure to adapt and live up to the requirements and expectations of the African scholarly community. 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.
The AfricArXiv team is looking forward to continuing our work along the following categories in collaboration with our network partner organisations in Africa and other world regions:
Expanding our Open Access digital infrastructure
Current partner repositories: Open Science Framework (OSF), Pubpub, ScienceOpen, Zenodo
Adding Figshare and PKP/OPS
Interoperability of the digital scholarly infrastructure we create
Building integrations with ORCID, DataCite, CrossRef
Seeking ROR and COAR membership
Meeting highest quality standards and research integrity
Quality control via submission moderation
Community-driven [Open] Peer Review with our partner organizations Decentralized Science, Qeios, ScienceOpen, PREreview, Peer Community in … (PCI)
Increasing networking and partnership building in the growing African Open Science Landscape
Liaising with African grassroots and institutional partners such as the African Open Science Platform (AOSP), AfricaOSH, regional RENs (WACREN, ASREN, UbuntuNet Alliance), EARMA, SARIMA, AfLIA and LIBSENSE
Establishing Institutional partnerships with
African scholarly libraries and African universities and other Higher Education organisations
African studies departments, libraries, and associations outside Africa
Research related institutions, organisations, funders, and companies in Africa or elsewhere
Establishing AfricArXiv as a self-hosted Africa-based Open Access platform
Five (5) or more host institutions with at least one host in each region of the continent, for details refer to https://github.com/AfricArxiv/preprint-repository
Data analysis and statistics dashboard (number of users, locations, number of pre-prints, audio/video pre-prints, etc..)
Continuously and steadily increase discoverability of African research
harvest Africa-specific contents (depending on the applied metadata) through the DataCite API and CrossRef API:
Strategic implementation of our partnerships with the Center for Open Science, ScienceOpen, ORCID, Open Knowledge Maps, Code for Africa, Knowledge Futures Group, International African Institute (IAI), Open African Repository (OAR)
Working towards interoperability of African Digital Research Repositories: Mapping the Landscape
Knowledge exchange, collaboration and scholarly networking between scholars in Africa and other world regions
With our partners Bobab, AfricaOSH, African Science Initiative (ASI), WACREN/LIBSENSE, Just One Giant Lab (JOGL), Psychological Science Accelerator, Institute for Globally Distributed Open Research and Education (IGDORE), eLearning Africa, Vilsquare Makers' Hub
Fostering Science Literacy across the continent
In collaboration with TCC Africa, African Science Literacy Network (ASLN), Under the Microscope, AfroScience Network, Science Communication Hub Nigeria (SciComNigeria), Pint Of Science Kenya
Building capacity in Open Science practices and Open Access scholarly publishing
Providing training, workshops, consultancy services, lectures, scientific writing-sprints, calls for submissions, student assignments and other educative formats on OA scholarly publishing and Peer Review in collaboration with our partner organizations TCC Africa, Vilsquare, r0g_agency for open culture and critical transformation, Open Science MOOC, AuthorAid, Science For Africa, Access 2 Perspectives
Develop a self-hosted chatbot for community support and Q&A
Fostering [African] language diversity in scholarly communication
Encouraging collaboration between Indigenous Peoples and researchers
Highlighting the importance of indigenous knowledge in all disciplines
Legal aspects: assurance of self-determination, Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) and compliance with UNDRIP
Providing guidelines and information on the inclusion of indigenous peoples in research project design, planning and implementation
Fostering gender equity in academia
Justin Sègbédji Ahinon, ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3564-0553
Hisham Arafat, ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0168-9984
Umar Ahmad, ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3216-5171
Joyce Achampong, ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6694-8473
Osman Aldirdiri, ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1624-5275
Obasegun Ayodele, ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6830-047
Luke Okelo, ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5994-6517
Louise Bezuidenhout, ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4328-3963
Michael Cary, ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6984-6712
Nada Fath, ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5121-3095
Nabil Aziz Ksibi, ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3226-7485
Priscilla Mensah, ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0134-5495
Fayza Nasr, ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2477-3214
Carine Nguemeni, ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5930-7360
Mahmoud Bukar Maina, ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7421-3813
Johanssen Obanda, ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2111-7780
Joy Owango, ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3910-2691
Ahmed Ogunlaja, ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4194-9338
Gregory Simpson, ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1848-080X
Jo Havemann, ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6157-1494
Contact: [email protected]