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Call For Applications: Towards Sustainable Open Access Book Publishing in the African Context

Published onNov 17, 2023
Call For Applications: Towards Sustainable Open Access Book Publishing in the African Context
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Dates: February 7th, 8th, 9th 2024

Location: University of Cape Town 

Partners: Association of African Universities, African Platform for Open Scholarship (formerly Continental Platform), Lancaster University, Open Book Collective, Thoth, OAPEN/DOAB

Language: English

Application deadline: 15th December 2023

This 3-day workshop explores challenges that inhibit a sustainable open access book publishing ecosystem with the remit of developing interventions that contribute and/or accelerate the growth of African scholarship. The event is designed to respond to barriers and needs related to Open Access book publishers and initiatives across the African continent. It provides a space for skills development, sharing experiences, expertise, and for learning about new developments in the support and funding of Open Access book publishing.

The event is open to authors/editors, publishers and infrastructure providers. This means initiatives involved in all aspects of Open Access book production and distribution, ranging from content development, producing and distributing open access books, to working on hosting and distributing them. This event is hosted by the University of Cape Town, developers of the African Platform for Open Scholarship (formerly Continental Platform) and the Open Book Futures project. Open Book Futures is an international consortium of stakeholders committed to developing a sustainable, equitable and diverse future for Open Access books led not by large commercial operations, but by communities of scholars, small-to-medium-sized publishers, not-for-profit infrastructure providers, and scholarly libraries. The project is committed to engaging with publishers, universities, and infrastructure providers in a diverse set of national and linguistic contexts beyond the Global North.

The event will have two focus areas: training and development. With regard to training:  

  • upskilling authors and/or editors on crafting academically strong manuscripts

  • upskilling infrastructure providers on managing the workflows for the production of open books

With regard to development:

  • skills sessions, in which publishers can learn from each other and participating initiatives

  • scoping sessions, to share experiences, learn about new developments, and challenges that need to be overcome

  • panel discussions, featuring discussions and debates on Open Access book publishing futures on the African continent

The event is free to attend, with places for around 30 delegates in total. Catering costs will be covered for all delegates. In addition, we expect that there will be funding available to pay for travel and accommodation costs for around 15 delegates from the following countries on the African continent: Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe. 

To apply to join the event, delegates are invited to contribute the following information by December 15 2023: 

  • Name: 

  • Affiliation: 

  • Email address: 

  • A description of your Open Access initiative, including aims and remit (up to 150 words): 

  • A brief summary of barriers and difficulties encountered in your work (up to 150 words):

  • Ideas for how these barriers could be overcome (up to 150 words): 

  • Details of either a manuscript for an Open Access book, or another project designed to build Open Access publishing capacity, that you could bring to introduce and discuss with colleagues (up to 250 words): 

In addition, for colleagues applying for funding for travel and accommodation, please provide the following information: 

  • Reason funding for travel and accommodation is required

  • Estimated budget

  • Visa requirements for travel to South Africa

  • Written confirmation from institution of permission to attend 

Please email your application, or direct any questions, to Dr. Judith Fathallah from Lancaster University: [email protected]

This event is supported by generous funding from Arcadia and the Research England Development Fund, as well as in-kind support from African Platform for Open Scholarship, Association of African Universities, and the University of Cape Town.


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