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Roadmap 2023-2025

AfricArXiv's planned activities, initiatives ad projects to foster a self-sustaining scholarly publishing landscape across Africa

Published onJan 27, 2023
Roadmap 2023-2025

AfricArXiv is constantly looking for 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 – within Africa and 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 organizations in Africa and other world regions:

Governance structure


Coordinated by Access 2 Perspectives (the founding organisation) and from Feb 2023 anchored at UbuntuNet Alliance, AfricArXiv is designed to be serving and open to input from the pan-African scholarly community. As such we continue to be a community-driven organisation with institutional affiliation in the region, with Malawi as the headquarter for the UbuntuNet Alliance.

AfricArXiv recommits consulting regularly with our advisory board to enable informed decision-making on our way forward.

We plan to set up national and regional hubs for AfricArXiv in a decentrally and centrally facilitated manner, which will be managed by African NRENs in collaboration with the respective scholarly libraries and regional RENs, following the setup of a mixed publishing venues approach for research output from these countries and regions including institutional repositories, University Presses as well as measuring research output per institution and country in generalist repositories (ScienceOpen, Figshare, Qeios, OSF, Zenodo, PubPub, a.o.) as well as those that are further discoverable through open indexing services and databases such as DOAJ, The Lens, Dimensions, etc.

Financial sustainability

Key aspects of our financial records and finance streams are publicly available at 

We keep a dedicated bank account in Germany with Access 2 Perspectives.

UbuntuNet Alliance is the fiscal host for the ORCID Global Participation Fund we received for 2023

Working towards a mixed financing approach including

  • Institutional funding for overall opernation and management

  • Institutional membership fees/investments

  • Donations by individual supporters and supporting institutions

  • Project based funding

  • Publishing fees, capped at EUR 50 for preprints and at EUR 300 for additionally facilitated peer review

  • Reach a sustainable financial structure with the trust of the African scholarly community

  • Partnering with funders and investors across Africa and around the world

AfricArXiv OA portal

Moving forward, AfricArXiv will specify the two-fold approach we developed over tha past couple of years in being both a submission and discoverability portal for research from and about Africa.

Our current affiliate generalist repository systems, all of which are remotely hosted, include:

Moving forward, we will continue to explore possible integrations with 


  • Dataverse

  • a.o.

AfricArXiv’s submission section

With content processed by our team to and deposited at the above mentioned affiliate generalist repository systems being externally and remotely hosted by our partner organisations (OSF, Figshare, Zenodo, Qeios, PubPub, ScienceOpen), we are now entering a new stage by adding a self-hosted component.

Meeting the highest quality standards for research integrity

  • Quality control via submission moderation

Local hosting in Africa

Establishing AfricArXiv as a self-hosted Africa-based Open Access platform 

Since our launch in Jne 2028, we have been working and advocating towards the setup of a locally hosted instance for AfricArXiv. 

With now available local storage facilities, we will compare and consider the following open-source repository systems for setup:

AfricArXiv’s search and discovability section

Continuously and steadily increase the discoverability of African research

Harvesting and indexing AfricArXiv uploads

We are keen to learn and develop further the various tech workflows to ensure discoverablity of African scholarly output, irrespectively if it has been processed by our team or elsewhere.

AfricArXiv scientometrics

  • Data analysis and statistics dashboard (number of users, locations, number of pre-prints, audio/video pre-prints, etc..) within The Lens (

Networking and partnership building

Increasing networking and partnership building in the growing African Open Science Landscape.

  • Liaising and strengthening partnerships with African grassroots and institutional partners such as the African Open Science Platform (AOSP), AfricaOSH, regional RENs), EARMA, SARIMA, AfLIA, and LIBSENSE, KLISC

  • Establishing Institutional partnerships with 

    • African scholarly libraries 

    • African universities 

    • other Higher Education organizations

    • African studies departments, libraries, and associations outside of Africa

    • Research-related institutions, organizations, funders, and companies inside and outside Africa

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, Aphrike Research

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)

Affordable and efficient publishing workflows for Africa

Ensuring interoperability and cross-discoverability

By adopting an affordable and standardised digital infrastructure based on persistent identifiers, ORCID, ROR, DOI, etc.

Preprint to journal workflow

We will continue our efforts in exploring options for setting up semi-automated submission workflows between our locally hosted as well as remote repository platfomr/s and scholarly publishers inside and outside of Africa.

Facilitating the setup of university presses across Africa

We will approach theteams managing African institutional repositories to ask them about their willingness to consider setting up university presses on top of their existing IR.

The approach will follow recommendations made in the JISC UP toolkit, 

Open Peer Review

  • Info portal, 

  • Facilitating and promoting Open Peer Review workflows through selected community-driven services and campaigns: PREreview, Access 2 Perspectives, TCC Africa, Eider Africa, Peer Community in … (PCI), Qeios, ScienceOpen, ASAPbio, Qeios, a.o.

  • Offering capacity building in Open Peer Review with our partner organisations Access 2 Perspectives, TCC Africa, Eider Africa, PREreview

Capacity building

Building capacity in Open Science practices and Open Access scholarly publishing

  • Referencing and operating in compliance with the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science, 

    • Acrive participation in working groups around their implementation 

  • 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, PREreview, Eider Africa, AuthorAid, and Access 2 Perspectives

  • Develop a self-hosted chatbot for community support and Q&A which will serve to answer questions around Open Access scholarly publishing with a regional focus on Africa


Fostering [African] language diversity in scholarly communication

As signatories to the Helsinki Initiative (see and in line with our translation project Decolonising Scientific Writing for Africa,, we would also encourage you to provide a translation of the summary (abstract or lay summary) in an African language. 

Best practice would be to translate manually, but for ease of practice you can also use a machine translation approach (Google Translate

For more information on African languages, please visit

  • Encouraging submissions of scholarly works in traditional and official African languages

  • Providing guidelines and information for multilingualism in science in African languages, according to the Helsinki Initiative

  • Building upon the achievements of ‘Decolonising Scientific Writing for Africa’ by developing further guidelines and communicating best practices for multilingual science communication

Indigenous knowledge systems

Encouraging and guiding 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

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