Celebrating the enhancement of the quality, visibility and accessibility of South African scholarly journals

Left to right: Khotso Mokhele, Susan Veldsman, Daya Reddy and Abel Packer. Photo: Monsoon Photography.

Left to right: Khotso Mokhele, Susan Veldsman, Daya Reddy and Abel Packer. Photo: Monsoon Photography.

Last week history was made at the Academy of Science for South Africa (ASSAf) when the newly certified South Africa collection was officially launched and the first SciELO SA User Group Meeting was held, in addition to the annual National Scholarly Editors Forum.

A very successful SciELO SA launch dinner was held on 22 July 2013 to celebrate the SciELO Network Global Portal certification of the collection.  The launch was well attended by many high-level stakeholders  i.e. Advisor to Department of Science and Technology, Minister, Dr Khotso Mokhele, Dr Thomas Auf der Heyde (Deputy Director General at the DST, His Excellency  Dr  De Mendonça , Ambassador of Brazil to South Africa , Mr Abel Packer, coordinator/director of SciELO Brazil, Richard van Noorden (Senior Reporter: Nature), and the  President and the Executive Officer of ASSAf.  The objective of the launch was to celebrate SciELO SA’s certification anyd to create awareness of South Africa’s efforts to make quality South African Journals visible and accessible. At the dinner  Dr Khotso Mokhele was the guest speaker, and the Coordinator of  SciELO in Brazil, Abel Packer, handed over the certification certificate to Dr Khotso Mokhele . Mrs S Veldsman also received a Certificate of Commendation from the Electronic Publishing Trust, in recognition of  her work in Open Access in developing countries. Prof Roseanne Diab, Executive Officer of ASSAf, remarked that SciELO SA has presented a great opportunity to strengthen the relationship between Brazil and South Africa. It was a great honour to host the Brazilian ambassador to SA, His excellency Dr De Medonca, at the launch.

SciELO SA is currently hosting  26 titles on the platform and it is envisaged that ultimately 180 South African high quality will be housed on the server.

On the same day,  the first SciELO SA editor’s’ users meeting was held at the Academy. Approximately 35 editors and/or sub-editors attended. Topics covered included creative commons licences and publishing agreements between ASSAf and the SciELO SA journals . Good discussions were held during the day  and the User Group will continue to grow with the addition of existing and new resources. Dr Hamish Robertson (editor) reported he was encouraged by the emphasis on quality for SciELO publications and he found the talks useful and interesting and Prof Janet Seggie (editor) added  that “the meeting enhance my understanding of open access in terms of its reach currently and into the future via SciELO SA”.

Wieland Gevers, Chair of the National Scholarly Editors Forum. Photo: SciELO.

Wieland Gevers, Chair of the National Scholarly Editors Forum. Photo: SciELO.

The National Scholarly Editors Forum is an annual event and this meeting took place on 23 July 2013 at the CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria. It was attended by 98 scholarly editors from multiple disciplines.   The objective of the National Scholarly Editors Forum is to generally support and promote high-quality scholarly publishing in South Africa. The morning session was devoted to business issues of the Forum whereby the future of the Forum was discussed. The afternoon followed with presentations from three guest speakers: Abel Packer (SciELO Brasil) Richard van Noorden (Senior reporter: Nature) and Philip Purnell (Thomson Reuters), who  made presentations respectively on SciELO Brazil, the future of scholarly publishing,  and  evolving article-level indicators to replace the present over-use of journal impact factors. Lively discussions followed the presentations and feedback from editors indicated that these presentations and discussions were useful to them. Dr Robertson also remarked that a strength of this forum is that it covers all academic disciplines and that the talks by Richard van Noorden and Philip Purnell were illuminating. Tamsyn Sherwill added by saying that “I have attended the Annual NSEF Meetings since 2009 and they have been invaluable to me in my ongoing ‘education’ and experience as a journal editor. Given the fairly isolated and often very task-focused life of a full-time journal editor this meeting gives me an annual window on the wide world of scholarly publishing, offering the opportunity to be exposed to new developments, new ideas, new people, new networks, and new realities – both present and future, local and international. This year the addition of the SciELO User Group Meeting  made for an even broader and more valuable experience.”

The presence, participation and the presentations given by Mr Abel Packer at these three ASSAf Scholarly Publishing events raised the profile and importance of both the SciELO network and South Africa.

S Veldsman

Director: Scholarly Publishing Unit

L van Heerden

SciELO SA Operations Manager

 

Como citar este post [ISO 690/2010]:

SCIENTIFIC ELECTRONIC LIBRARY ONLINE. Celebrating the enhancement of the quality, visibility and accessibility of South African scholarly journals [online]. SciELO in Perspective, 2013 [viewed ]. Available from: https://blog.scielo.org/en/2013/07/31/celebrating-the-enhancement-of-the-quality-visibility-and-accessibility-of-south-african-scholarly-journals/

 

One Thought on “Celebrating the enhancement of the quality, visibility and accessibility of South African scholarly journals

  1. A very good example of South-South collaboration! Let more scholarly and scientific journals from all parts of Africa embrace open access. And let all higher educational institutions and research centres set up their own institutional repositories.

    Congratulations to all those who are behind this initiative.

    Arun

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