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Towards Sustainable Open Access Book Publishing in the African Context: Workshop Programme, Slides & Resources

A three day workshop hosted by the University of Cape Town exploring how to build a more sustainable future for Open Access book publishing in the African continent

Published onJan 30, 2024
Towards Sustainable Open Access Book Publishing in the African Context: Workshop Programme, Slides & Resources

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  • This Release (#3) was created on Jan 30, 2024 ()
  • The latest Release (#15) was created on Feb 13, 2024 ().

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

Location: University of Cape Town.

The Hlanganani Junction, Chancellor Oppenheimer Library, Upper Campus, University of Cape Town (location on Google maps)

Dates: 7, 8, 9 February 2024.

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. We will share ideas for next steps towards the realization of an equitable and sustainable OA landscape for books across in an African context.

Day 1 (Wednesday, February 7):  

9:00 Welcome: University of Cape Town (Ms. Ujala Satgoor, Executive Director UCT Libraries). 

9:15 The Association of African Universities and Open Research (Prof. Olusola Bandele Oyewole, Association of African Universities). 

Plenary talk (20 mins) followed by questions.

10:00 Introducing Open Book Futures & the Open Book Collective (Joe Deville, Lancaster  University/Open Book Collective).

Plenary talk (20 mins) followed by questions. 

10:30 Break.  

11:00 Open session: Capacity building in Open Access publishing. 

All delegates introduce themselves and their institutions and provide one concrete suggestion for how they can support capacity building in book publishing within their networks/contexts (2 minutes max).

12:30 Lunch. 

13:30 Introducing OA publishing initiatives: African Sun Media (speaker TBC), Directory of Open Access Books (Niels Stern), Thoth (Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei), African Minds (Francois van Schalkwyk) & punctum (Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei). 

Introductions (10 mins per speaker) to a range of OA publishers and infrastructure providers, followed by questions . 

15:00 Break. 

15:30 Open discussion: Barriers to sustainable OA publishing and infrastructure building in the African context. Chairs: Judith Fathallah (Open Book Collective), Jordy Findanis (OAPEN/DOAB).

Delegates share the challenges they’ve come up against in OA publishing and infrastructure building across Africa and share ideas towards solutions. 

17:00 Close.  

Day 2 (Thursday, February 8):  


9:00 Building resources for OA publishing: Introducing the OAPEN OA Books Toolkit (Niels Stern, DOAB/OAPEN) and the OBC Toolkit for Small and Scholar-led Publishers (Joe Deville, Lancaster University/Open Book Collective).  

Presentations (15 mins per speaker) followed by collective discussion and ideas sharing on what further resources still need to be developed to better support African OA book publishing. 

10:30 Break.  

11:00 OA Publishing and the Production Process (Francois van Schalkwyk, African Minds; Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei, punctum books). 

Two scholar-led OA publishers provide introductions (15 mins per speaker) to the production processes used by their OA presses, including exploring the challenges they experience as scholar-led OA presses, and what responses they have developed. Followed by questions and collective discussion). 

12:30 Lunch. 

13:30 Open Session: Sharing and dispelling OA myths amongst scholars and understanding their concerns. 

Delegates will share the concerns they have or have encountered from authors about publishing OA in an African context, how they have addressed these concerns, and what resources would help them further in future. 

15:00 Break.  

15:30 Lightning talks: Getting published in an OA context (Judith Fathallah [author], Lancaster University; Joe Deville [publisher], Mattering Press; Jill Claasen [publisher], UCT Press; Paul Munej [author], University of Dar es Salaam. 

Rapid talks (5 mins per speaker) from authors and publishers on the challenges of proposing and/or assessing book publication projects in an OA context. Followed by questions and collective discussion. 

17:00 Close. 

Day 3 (Friday, February 9):  


9:00 Keynote: Copyright: Practices and challenges in an African context (Tobias Schonwetter, University of Cape Town). 

Plenary talk (20 – 30 mins) followed by questions and collective discussion on copyright challenges. 

10:30 Break. 

11:00 Working towards a more open culture within universities: Working with libraries, building OA policies; Blessing Chiparausha (Bindura University of Science Education & Zimbabwe University Libraries Consortium); Josiline Chigwada (Chinhoyi University of Technology); Amos Bishi (Harare Polytechnic); Luyolo Matabeni (Harare Polytechnic).  

In four presentations (10 mins per speaker), delegates will share their experiences of internal advocacy and/or establishing OA policies within their institutions, including reflecting on the challenges they’ve come up against and ideas for how these barriers may be overcome. This will be followed by collective discussion.  

12:30 Lunch. 

13:30 Panel: African OA Book Publishing Futures: Prof. Olusola Bandele Oyewole, Association of African Universities; Reggie Raju (UCT); Jill Claasen (UCT).

A collective panel discussion, in which participants will share their visions, hopes and plans for the future landscape for OA books in Africa .

15:00 Break.  

15:30 Open session: Collective discussion about next steps 

All delegates share their thoughts on the next practical steps towards a sustainable OA landscape for books in Africa. 

16:30 Closing reflections: Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei (punctum books/Thoth), Joe Deville and Judith Fathallah (Lancaster University/Open Book Collective); Josiline Chigwada (Chinhoyi University of Technology); Mweneni Shahungu (National Commission of Research Science and Technology, Namibia)

The speakers will reflect on the workshop and their main takeaways from the past three days

 17.00 End. 

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