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Conférence sur la publication et la diffusion électronique « La mise en ligne des revues scientifiques africaines : Opportunités, implications et limites » 6-7 octobre 2008 Dakar (Sénégal)

Breaking Paradox of Closure to Open Access Journals: An African Perspective Akeem Ayofe Akinwale Department of Sociology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria [email protected]

Conference on Electronic Publishing and Dissemination “Putting African Journals On Line: Opportunities, Implications and Limits” Dakar, Senegal, 6-7 October, 2008

Akeem Ayofe Akinwale. Breaking Paradox of Closure to Open Access Journals: An African Perspective

Abstract The invisibility of many African journals in the open access journals (OAJ) has aggravated the marginalisation of African scholars in the global scholarly communities. This has been attributed to noncompliance with information and communication technologies (ICT) and chains of setbacks in publishing environment in Africa. The key setbacks are scarcity of scholarly researchers, inadequate number of reviewers, slow review process, poor editing and narrow dissemination plans. Thus, building on the foundations of Bandura’s social cognitive theory, this study examines the modalities for breaking the paradox of closure to OAJ in Africa. In addition to quantitative data generated from the archives of 319 OAJ hosted on African Journals Online (AJOL), 36 key informants’ in-depth interviews (KIIDI) were conducted among academic staff of six universities in Nigeria to illustrate the extent of ratification of OAJ in African universities. Following the cross-universities analysis of scholarly disposition to and adoption of OAJ, it was found that technological and non-technological factors such as inadequate infrastructures, corruption, poverty, ignorance, and poor attitude to scholarship constituted the principal forces of closure to OAJ. This finding has strong implications for policies. While available electronic journals have promoted knowledge production, taking advantage of opportunities afforded by OAJ will require more pragmatic approaches beyond the present level of availability. In light of the emerging publish or perish movement among African scholars, efforts must be geared towards managing the technological and non-technological factors that dislodge them from OAJ. Quick and positive reactions to OAJ will lead to rapid improvement in research outputs and publication process but intellectual porosities among African scholars, whose intellectual efforts are unfit for appearance to virtual readers, may continue till the chains of setbacks are broken. This study’s principal recommendation is that intellectual movements from the margins to the mainstreams of scholarly publications should be adequately articulated and promoted through building of African local capacities to scientifically compete globally at the highest possible level. Keywords: African Scholars, Barriers, Internet, OAJ, Publications, Development.

Conference on Electronic Publishing and Dissemination, Dakar, Senegal, 6-7 October, 2008 Troisième Conférence sur la publication et la diffusion électronique, 6-7 octobre 2008 Dakar (Sénégal)

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Akeem Ayofe Akinwale. Breaking Paradox of Closure to Open Access Journals: An African Perspective

Introduction Scholarly writings and publications put scholars on the map of erudition. Journals have become the most pedagogically acceptable channels through which scholars get into the map. A major factor affecting scholars’ ability to write scholarly and get published in reputable journals is the advent of information and communication technologies (ICT) (Ya’u 2006; Bandura 2002). Following the emergence of information revolution, which preceded an unprecedented growth in knowledge globalisation and availability of free search engines, open access journals (OAJ) were constructed through the open access movement (OAM) to open up spaces for the development of scholarly publications worldwide. OAJ refers to journals whose contents are freely available to the public through archives of online research repositories (Novak and Pardo 2007). OPM, which was popularised in Budapest in 2002, is the most significant recent development in scholarly publishing (Adomi and Mordi 2003; Guedon 2002). The movement encourages the provision of free online access to scholarly literature through open access methods such as publication in OAJ, deposit of pre-prints or post-prints in digital archives and publication on personal or institutional websites (Novak and Pardo 2007, Aronson 2003). What have African scholars contributed to or benefited from the OAJ? How can they leverage within the OPM to conquer undesirable factors that dislodge them from playing active role in knowledge globalisation? These questions drive this study and are addressed through triangulated quantitative and qualitative data rooted in Bandura’s social cognitive theory with insights drawn from African perspectives. Social cognitive theory provides an agentic conceptual framework within which to study: how electronic technologies impact worldwide connectivity and are impacted by non-technological socio-structural factors operating interdependently within the larger totality of influences (Bandura 2002, 2001). Many African scholars have not been able to publish in OAJ. This disability is less satisfactory and can be enabled. Unfortunately, the decline of academic research in Africa and the emergence of the West as the OAJ’s birth place put African scholars under added pressure in their struggle to survive (Esseh 2006; Ya’u 2004; Adoni and Mordi 2003). OAJ has attracted concerted attentions globally. African governments promoted it through educational policies’ reviews and modification of academic promotions’ requirements in African universities. This situation resulted into African scholarly movement popularly known as “Publish of Perish Movement”. Presently, survivals of African scholars largely depend on their abilities to get published in reputable journals many of which are held hostage in OAJ. Unfortunately, many African journals remain virtually invisible despite relatively high volume of publications that are available to virtual communities since the 2002 Budapest Open Access Initiative. Thus, the popular notion that information is power is no longer realistic without corresponding belief in the power of information sharing. Africans do not lack information but available information about Africa has not been fully shared and Africa remains powerless in the global arena. Therefore, the paradox of nonutilisation and under-utilization of open access benefits is a principal obstacle against efforts to promote scholarship advancement in Africa. Against the above background, this study investigates the modalities for breaking the barriers to Africans’ publications’ entry into OAJ. Specifically, the impact of OAJ on various aspects of African scholarships and the contributions of African scholars to the development of OAJ are explored. The prospects of African scholars in the context of ability to participate in OAM are also examined. The main sections of this study cover different issues related to an x-ray of African scholarship vis-à-vis the OAJ while the final section summarises the findings and provides recommendations for urgent intervention. Conference on Electronic Publishing and Dissemination, Dakar, Senegal, 6-7 October, 2008 Troisième Conférence sur la publication et la diffusion électronique, 6-7 octobre 2008 Dakar (Sénégal)

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Akeem Ayofe Akinwale. Breaking Paradox of Closure to Open Access Journals: An African Perspective

The Study Problem ICT utilisation in spite of its enormous value has opened up the barrage of barriers in Africa (Ya’u 2006, 2004). Through different internet driven research tools such as online data bases, open indexes, directories, search engines, and open archives data harvesters, OAJ create expanded opportunities for increasing knowledge dissemination (Willinsky 2006) but the drastic closure of accessibility to available ideas in Africans’ publications’ outlets such as books, conference proceedings and onshore journals remains unabated. Generally, full access to the bulk of the information in the OAJ is fully accessible to subscribers and many OAJ are based in the Western countries (Marusic and Marusic 1999) where editorial policies seldom take African situations into consideration. In contrast, African scholars yearn for recognition by pursuing the standards set in the Western OAJ. In this process, they cut down on African values that are considered not acceptable to OAJ’s peer review networks. This situation exposes Africa to the danger of misappropriated African intellectual powers that could have been appropriately utilised to correct the inherent continental anomalies and dispel foreign biases against Africans. For instance, it would be difficult to correct the relatively erroneous impressions painted in the foreigners’ accounts of Africa if African scholars are not globally competitive and actively participate in the determination of quality control of scholarly publications. Given consistently low positions of African universities in the global rating of universities, non-Africans are largely in control of quality control of knowledge production in Africa. This is principally due to lack of adequate information about the available knowledge production in Africa. For instance, OAJ in African Journals Online (AJOL) and African Index Medicus (AIM) lack adequate impact assessment mechanisms and as such it is difficult to completely measure the publication impact of African scholars through African journals. Incidentally, African scholars have become appendages in their umbilical connections with the global research community largely due to African governments’ failures to drag the continent into globally competitive intellectual prosperity. Adomi and Mordi (2003) identified major impediments to Africans’ entry into OAJ as poor institutional and state funding for scholarly publication, high production and distribution costs, low subscription and circulation, low profitably which discourages publishers, and the preference of local academics to publish in reputable international journals. African states contributed immensely towards the persistent marginalisation of African scholarship through their failures to develop publications’ outlets in Africa. As such, with the rising spate of African intellectual marginalisation in the OPM, the future of African scholars and traditional publishers is at stake. As the marginalisation looms and quality research disintegrates, clear differentiation between the town and the gown blurs in African universities. This situation provides impetus for African scholars’ indulgence in malpractices in a bid to get published by any means possible. Eventually, free labour of some African researchers and their money generate wealth for publishing organisations especially the commercially oriented publishing firms that mandate authors to pay before their articles are published. This development reflects Bandura’s (2002, p.3) comments: ‘How people view the opportunities and obstacles in their environment shapes the courses their lives take. Self-efficacy is a key determinant because it affects behavior both directly and by its influence on these other determinants’.

Conference on Electronic Publishing and Dissemination, Dakar, Senegal, 6-7 October, 2008 Troisième Conférence sur la publication et la diffusion électronique, 6-7 octobre 2008 Dakar (Sénégal)

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Akeem Ayofe Akinwale. Breaking Paradox of Closure to Open Access Journals: An African Perspective

In light of the above, African scholars confront paradoxical situations involving commingling of opportunities and obstacles. The modalities needed for maximising opportunities and minimising obstacles in OAJ are the major African challenges which this study investigates. Literature Review History of journals publishing in Africa has gone largely undocumented (Esseh 2006). This however is not the evidence of absence of availability of scholarly journals in the continent. Scholarly journals became increasingly popular since the post colonial era due to massive involvement of intellectuals in national development planning. The nexus of intellectualism and socio-economic development was recognised in Africa since the pre-colonial era. The intellectuals of the pre-colonial eras were priests, artisans, community leaders and members of secret societies (Obi 2004; Fafunwa 1982). However, colonialism interrupted the process of evolution of African intellectualism by its interventionist and exploitative logic. The colonial state, in the process of destroying pre-colonial modes of production and integrating Africa into the capitalist economy, undermined the substructure of African traditional intellectualism and its links with indigenous development. Subsequently, Christian doctrines and western education became the new fountains of wisdom (Obi 2004). Fortunately, African intellectuals produced through colonial social structure emerged with initiatives; they contributed immensely towards emancipation of Africans from colonialism and established new development frameworks. However, the crop of African leaders that dominated the mantle of African governance since the onset of the post colonial era have failed to exhibit responsible leadership skills needed for reconstruction of the dilapidated Africa. The gaps between intellectual and political powers have been widened with lingering antagonistic relationships between the vibrant wings of African intellectuals and recalcitrant political leaders. Instead of reliance on African higher institutions to galavanise novel ideas for driving African development, African governments rolled out policies that adversely affected their academia. The modest journals’ collections built in African research libraries were decimated as subscription prices increased due to currency fluctuation and local economic crises. Rosenberg (1997) reported that Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, lost 70 percent of its 1,200 subscriptions in the late 1980s. Thus, in the absence of adequate institutional supports, African scholars have been facing dilemma in their efforts to leverage within the emerging OAM (Willinsky 2006; Adomi and Mordi 2003; Guedon 2002), which has taken knowledge production to higher heights of the ICT pedestals. In his description of ICT as a poverty antidote Sachs (2005 p.41) stated that ‘the single most important reason why prosperity spread, and why it continues to spread, is the transmission of technologies and the ideas underlying them’. Badura (2002) provided a more robust account of the ICT’s impact: ‘The development of new technologies, their applications, and societal impact are determined, in large part, by nontechnological sociostructural factors operating interdependently within the larger totality of influences. No single factor in this multicausality plays a determining role in shaping the nature of society. Any theory of human adaptation and change in the electronic era must, therefore, consider the dynamic interplay of technological developments and a variety of psychosocial and structural determinants’ (Badura 2002, p.2). Following their recognition of the centralities of higher education and ICT to development (Quibria and Tschang 2001; UNESCO 1963), apostles of globalisation negotiated access into the stream of global Conference on Electronic Publishing and Dissemination, Dakar, Senegal, 6-7 October, 2008 Troisième Conférence sur la publication et la diffusion électronique, 6-7 octobre 2008 Dakar (Sénégal)

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Akeem Ayofe Akinwale. Breaking Paradox of Closure to Open Access Journals: An African Perspective

scholarship to mediate the utilisation of knowledge production. Subsequently, intellectual arena expanded beyond traditional channels of knowledge dissemination. The establishment of the Programme for the Enhancement of Research Information (PERI) followed by the emergence of the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) led to expansion of intellectual arena across the globe. African governments dragged African countries into INASP and modified their policies to suit the World Bank recommendations. For instance, the Nigerian National Universities Commission (NUC) mandated all Nigerian universities to implement 60:40 ratio in favour of Sciences compared to other disciplines in Arts, Education, Social Sciences and the rest. In this light, compliance with the stipulated ratio has become a principal factor in the provision of funds for universities. The logic of the unequal ratio, which the World Bank imposed on the Nigerian government, is to beef up the sciences to enable the technological take off of the country (Alubo 2004). However, in spite of the state support for sciences, engaging in business which before was thought to be incompatible with academic pursuits has become the fulcrum around which the university system revolves (Alubo 2004). This unfortunate development has affected the primary responsibilities of academic (teaching, research, publication and contributions to community development). Qualities of teaching have depreciated as evidenced by proliferation of unemployable graduates in Nigeria. A popular practice contributing to this development is a growing culture of inbreeding in many departments within the university system. Developing skills for the information economy requires raising literacy rate with a greater investment in education for empowering people and building their self efficacy. Evidently, it was shown that ‘People are producers as well as products of their social systems. Therefore, they have a hand in shaping their personal lives and the social and economic life of their society’ (Bandura 2002, p3). Surprisingly, however, African scholars in Africa work under the environment of severe deprivation, stress, disappointed hopes and uncertain future (Afigbo 2007). These situations affect them in their efforts to contribute to or benefit from OAJ. Steiner et al (2005) provided evidence of availability of facilities needed to access OAJ in African universities. They found that 93% of African universities provided internet access for their staff. Similarly, with the support of various organizations, including the World Health Organization and the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP), African research libraries have been able to obtain free access to a wide range of online scholarly publications. With the rise of OAJ, a greater emphasis has been placed on higher education and the building of a research culture as a focus for development (King and McGrath 2004; Bandura 2002). Researchers identified the importance of the utilization of online publishing systems (Manda 2005; Badu and Markwei, 2005). Results of a pilot project conducted among 22,000 Canadian scientists, policy analysts and decision makers confirmed that OAJ increases researchers’ productivity (Brown et al 2007). Some scholars queried the business dimension of OAJ (Han et al 2005). They argued that researchers supplied articles to journals and freely gave them legitimacy but publishers charged readers to provide full access to the information in the journals. Estimates in the Harvard Gazette showed that between 1999 and 2004 Elsevier doubled its revenues in the fields of natural science, technology and medicine, to a total of USD 2.33 billion (Han et al 2005). The foregoing reviews add value to the necessity of social cognitive theory in this study. The theory provides guides for building personal efficacy and cognitive skills needed to use the internet productively and creatively (Bandura, 2001). People make choices and regulate their behavior on the basis of belief systems. Among the mechanisms of self-regulation none is more central or pervasive than beliefs of Conference on Electronic Publishing and Dissemination, Dakar, Senegal, 6-7 October, 2008 Troisième Conférence sur la publication et la diffusion électronique, 6-7 octobre 2008 Dakar (Sénégal)

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Akeem Ayofe Akinwale. Breaking Paradox of Closure to Open Access Journals: An African Perspective

personal efficacy (Bandura, 1997). This belief system is the foundation of human agency. People of high efficacy view impediments as surmountable through self-development and perseverant effort. Therefore, unless African scholars believe they can produce desired outcomes and strive towards participation in OAJ publications they will lag in the global epistemological arena. The future of African scholars is in their capacities for continual self-development and self-renewal in a rapidly changing knowledge-based global society. The Study Settings AJOL cyberspace and Nigerian universities served as the study settings. AJOL is a database of journals published in Africa. It covers several academic disciplines and provides free access to all research communities (http://www.ajol.info/). AJOL hosted over 1,500 tables of contents and 18,000 articles and its records of average monthly page requests increasing dramatically from 7,000 in May 2004 to approximately 30,000 in May 2005 (Cumming 2005). After data extraction from the archives of 319 journals found on AJOL, the study was extended to different academic staff of Federal, State and Private Universities in Nigeria to control the OAJ cyber realities in Africa. There are 30 Federal, 28 State and 32 Private universities in Nigeria (Federal Ministry of Education 2007). Universities in Nigeria are reckoned by their age of inception as first (1948-62) second (1963-75), third (1976-81), fourth (1982-93), fifth (1994-99) and sixth (2000-date) generation universities (Alubo 2004). The Federal Government of Nigeria controls all the universities through National Universities Commissions (NUC). Generally, the aforementioned universities attract people from diverse ethnic backgrounds due to heterogeneous structure of the Nigerian society. The Nigerian universities embody authoritative social polarisation with various powers centres between campuses and the entire society. A major factor in the power calculus is the immense economic importance of universities in Nigeria. Therefore, the study settings (six universities including the University of Ibadan) provide a fertile ground for an exploratory research on how to break the paradox of closure to OAJ. The University of Ibadan was the first university in Nigeria. It was established in 1948 and located in Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo State and one of the most populous cities in Africa (Soyinka-Airewele 2005). The University of Ibadan comprised 2 institutes, 13 faculties, and over 65 departments. The staff population was 4,648 (1,156 academic staff and 3,492 non-academic staff) (University of Ibadan 2006). Members of academic staff cut across different grade levels comprising 61 Assistant Lecturers, 499 Lecturers I and II, 292 Senior Lecturers and 304 Professors. Most of them live in the university staff quarters or rented apartments close to the institution. This arrangement strengthens staff commitment to scholarly activities. Methodology Secondary and primary data were gathered for the study. Published empirical studies and African Journals Online (AJOL) archives provided the secondary data, while the primary data was generated from 36 key informant in-depth interviews (KIIDI) conducted among male and female academic staff members of federal, state and private universities in Nigeria. From a list of all the 90 universities in Nigeria, five universities were randomly selected through stratified cluster sampling design while the University of Ibadan was forced into the sample based on its status as the academic pacesetter for other universities in the country. A list comprising three (Federal, State and Private) clusters of Nigerian universities was prepared and two universities were randomly selected from each cluster. The selected universities are the University of Ibadan established in 1948, Usmanu Danfodiyo University established in 1975, Lagos State University Conference on Electronic Publishing and Dissemination, Dakar, Senegal, 6-7 October, 2008 Troisième Conférence sur la publication et la diffusion électronique, 6-7 octobre 2008 Dakar (Sénégal)

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Akeem Ayofe Akinwale. Breaking Paradox of Closure to Open Access Journals: An African Perspective

established in 1983, Delta State University established in 1992, Igbinedion University established in 1999 and Redeemer’s University established in 2005. In each of the selected universities, 6 (3 male and 3 female) academic staff members were selected purposively based on availability, gender, academic position and readiness to participate in the interview scheduled for this study. The participants’ knowledge, attitude and awareness of OAJ were explored in the KIIDI regulated in light of different questions including understanding of online journals, personal experience with online journals, African scholars’ publications’ prospects in OAJ. Each KIIDI lasted for 3060 minutes and was conducted at different locations (offices, walk ways, open fields, conference centres) in conformity with diverse preferences among the participants. David Henige’s (1983) Anthropological approach to oral interview was adopted due to its significance as repository of data for studying people whose voice are not well documented. Notes were taken during each KIIDI to prevent unnecessary loss of vital information. The participants were in the 35-60 years age range with diverse socio-economic backgrounds. In the process of analysis, data extracted from AJOL’s archives were quantified and processed with the aid of Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS 13) computer assisted software, while the qualitative data generated from the 36 KIIDI were separately collated, inspected for accuracy and stored into a computer for ethnographic and content analyses. The quantitative data generated were analysed using percentages and Chi-square tests representing univariate and bivariate analyses respectively. The results of both quantitative and qualitative data were presented and interpreted in conjunction with various reviews in the literature. Results and Discussion The results of the quantitative and qualitative data gathered for this study are integrated in this section to provide pellucid understanding of separate realities found in different contexts of OAJ visibility levels and African scholars’ involvement in the emerging publish or perish movements that dominate current intellectual debates in Africa. Levels of Visibility of OAJ’s Features Found on AJOL Table 1 depicts the features of 319 OAJ found on AJOL and their visibility magnitudes measured in terms of nine variables including African regions where the journals were located, publications’ time frame of the journals, availability of websites or electronic versions of the journals, editorial coverage of the journals, number of uploaded issues of the journals, areas of specialisation or fields of the journal, and the journals’ three latest issues online. The highest proportions (52.7%) of the journals were published in West Africa followed by those (20.4%) published in Southern Africa. Central and North Africa had the lowest levels of journal concentration in African sub-regions. This finding suggests that OAJ has not yielded expected results in African settings where scholars’ accessibility to it is inadequate. This finding confirmed Esseh’s (2006) disclosure that African scholars were under documented. Definitely, non-availability of much OAJ in African sub regions is not evidence of absence of scholarly journals in those regions. The fact that African is heterogeneous lends support to the discovery of OAJ that is more largely accessible to scholars in some African countries compared to scholars’ accessibility to it in other parts of Africa. Almost half (46.7%) of the journals are bi-annual followed by 27.3% that were published annually. This finding debunks popular beliefs among the participants, who claimed that authors’ articles would stay with many journals for years before they could be published. The contradiction between the participants’ beliefs Conference on Electronic Publishing and Dissemination, Dakar, Senegal, 6-7 October, 2008 Troisième Conférence sur la publication et la diffusion électronique, 6-7 octobre 2008 Dakar (Sénégal)

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Akeem Ayofe Akinwale. Breaking Paradox of Closure to Open Access Journals: An African Perspective

and the above finding can be offset through understanding the behaviour of the journals that failed to publish regularly. The majority (74.3) of the journals failed to indicate their websites on AJOL. This finding throws up local factor in scholarly accessibility, denial and closure to OAJ. More than two third of the participants confessed their ignorance of online journals’ address or websites. Though as demonstrated by their online visibilities on AJOL, some journals with electronic version are freely downloadable, many participants have not benefited from such relatively free opportunities. This presents participants’ obscure image on the pictures of paperless web-based journals. The regime of paperless publication is yet to occupy a central stage in the study area given the high magnitude of the participants’ preference for journals published in hard copies. Ya’u’s (2006; 2004) discourse of the impact of digital divide on Africa echoes here. Similarly, 73.4% of the journals were regarded as international based on different factors such as composition of their editorial boards, policy statement on acceptability of international authors, and evidence of the journals’ presence in the open index or acceptable data bases. Almost all the participants demonstrated awareness of the importance of publishing in international journals. However, some participants proved that they had been struggling to publish in international journals without much success. A sample of rejection letters received from an editor of a known international journal was provided for evidence of editorial rejection of relatively good articles for different reasons: ‘…Thank you very much for sending us your article, which makes a good first impression. On our side, however, we happen to be struggling with the “problem” of being inundated with articles – to such an extent that at an editorial team meeting last month we reluctantly but realistically decided to accept no more new articles before about March 2009. I also have to mention that we are constantly concerned about maintaining a balance between articles from different countries. We usually have quite a few articles from Nigeria, but we had to adopt the policy of only one article per country per issue. Moreover, for understandable reasons, several of the Nigerian articles are about the Delta, and since 2000 we have already published five articles on the Delta! Sorry that our response has to be so disappointing, but we hope you will understand our situation. All we can suggest is that you either submit your article somewhere else or that you resubmit it to us by March 2009…’ The above letter exposed different issues that can improve African scholars’ knowledge on overcoming the challenges associated with sending articles for publications consideration in international journals. Still, the number of journals’ issues available online were few considering the fact that 84% of the journals did not have more than 15 uploaded issues. This finding shows the limitations in the level of OAJ availability. With 65.5%, journals that published sciences oriented articles overwhelmingly dominated in the array of the journals’ areas of specialisation or fields of interests. This finding confirms Alubo’s (2004) observation that provision of funds for African universities depend on their level of compliance with 60:40 ratio in favour of the sciences. Generally, it was observed that the OAJ on AJOL were not uploaded regularly as evidenced by low proportion (27.9%) of the journals with 2008 issues. The highest proportions (29.2%) recorded 2007 as publication date of their current uploaded issues. This finding can be understood within the context of political economy of marginalisation of African scholars and exploitation of global knowledge consumers. Not making journal freely available online on time can be described as publishing organisations’ calculated attempt to increase profit through individuals’, libraries’ or institutions’ payments for subscriptions. Conference on Electronic Publishing and Dissemination, Dakar, Senegal, 6-7 October, 2008 Troisième Conférence sur la publication et la diffusion électronique, 6-7 octobre 2008 Dakar (Sénégal)

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Akeem Ayofe Akinwale. Breaking Paradox of Closure to Open Access Journals: An African Perspective

As shown in Table 1, the levels of journals’ visibilities decreased as publications’ years descended. The incomplete response recorded on the journals’ preceding uploaded issues showed the fact that some journals on AJOL had seized publications but had not been de-listed. Rating the level of performance of OAJ, onethird of the participants confirmed that online journals had played useful roles in the 21st century knowledge development, while two-third acknowledged universities’ support for publications in OAJ. Findings from this study showed high level of awareness with poor knowledge of publications in OAJ. The participants from universities with ICT infrastructures and subscription to OAJ demonstrated higher levels of knowledge of OAJ’s operations compared to their counterparts from universities with ICT infrastructures without subscription to OAJ. Obviously, the participants blamed the perceived inequality of accessibility to OAJ on poor distribution of social amenities and inadequate internet facilities in the study areas. Three out of every four participants expressed worries about the dangers of using cyber cafes for research activities. They implicated deadly viruses, concerns for safety, exorbitant costs and distraction from noisy environment in their discourse of principal dangers associated with using cyber cafes to access OAJ. Principal tactics suggested to confront this dilemma included subscription for private provision of internet services and possession of generator for private supply of electricity needed to power the computer and other electronic gadgets that would make internet connectivity possible. Three out of every five participants however disclosed that they could not afford the cost of procuring the facilities mentioned above.

Conference on Electronic Publishing and Dissemination, Dakar, Senegal, 6-7 October, 2008 Troisième Conférence sur la publication et la diffusion électronique, 6-7 octobre 2008 Dakar (Sénégal)

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Akeem Ayofe Akinwale. Breaking Paradox of Closure to Open Access Journals: An African Perspective

Table 1: Levels of Visibility of OAJ’s Features Found on AJOL Features (F1) Region

Total Time Frame

Website Total Coverage Total Uploaded Editions

Total Fields

Total Current Issue Online

Total Past Issue Online

Total Previous Issue Online

Values (V) Central Africa (CA) East Africa (EA) North Africa (NA) South Africa (SA) West Africa (WA) Annual Bi-Annual Tri-Annual Quarterly Others No Yes International Local 1-15 16-30 31-45 46+ Arts (A) Education (E) Science (S) Social Sciences (SS) Others (O) 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 and Below 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 and Below 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 and Below

Total Source: 2008 study on breaking paradox of closure to OAJ in Africa

Frequency (F2) 20 53 13 65 168 319 87 149 27 51 5 319 237 82 319 234 85 319 268 38 8 5 319 25 15 209 53 17 319 89 93 43 38 16 13 10 17 319 32 99 50 43 26 12 12 21 295 8 75 56 49 28 21 11 28 276

Percent (%) 6.3 16.6 4.1 20.4 52.7 100 27.3 46.7 8.5 16 1.6 100 74.3 25.7 100 73.4 26.6 100 84 11.9 2.5 1.6 100 7.8 4.7 65.5 16.6 5.3 100 27.9 29.2 13.5 11.9 5 4.1 3.1 5.3 100 10.8 33.6 16.9 14.6 8.8 4.1 4.1 7.1 100 2.9 27.2 20.3 17.8 10.1 7.6 4 10.1 100

Conference on Electronic Publishing and Dissemination, Dakar, Senegal, 6-7 October, 2008 Troisième Conférence sur la publication et la diffusion électronique, 6-7 octobre 2008 Dakar (Sénégal)

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Akeem Ayofe Akinwale. Breaking Paradox of Closure to Open Access Journals: An African Perspective

OAJ’s Contributions to Scholarship in Africa Table 2 presents the nexus of OAJ’s dominant features and their influences across African sub regions. Journals’ fields, availability of websites, coverage, and latest editions of uploaded issues significantly vary across regions. Comparably, different African regions and OAJ’s fields ranked differently and significantly on AJOL. The statistical relationships between OAJ’s fields and African regions were directly significant. This implies that, with significantly different proportions, the OAJ that placed emphasis on sciences dominated in all African regions, while those that focused on advancement of scholarship on education recorded lowest levels of concentration in all African regions excluding Southern Africa (Table 2). This finding complements the participants’ notion that available electronic journals have promoted knowledge production in Africa. More than half of the participants noted that they had downloaded articles from journals through different search engines. The following KIIDI narratives provide justification for the impact of OAJ in the study areas: ‘Those that clamour for online journals are on track with all their views. If we don’t give up, we'll get there one day. Let’s first see what impact we can make in our immediate area of responsibilities-education, the right pedagogy, technology, discipline, and orientation for excellence’. ‘The online journal is a reality. Look! Don’t let anybody deceive you. If you do your work very well you will get published in top journals. I have published in foreign journals and most of them can be assessed online’. Electronically, with significantly different scores, the OAJ that failed to provide websites on AJOL ranked highest in all the regions except Southern Africa with highest proportions (58.5%) of websites availability. Central and West Africa are the worst cases (90% vs 85.7%) in the hierarchy of African regions without OAJ websites. This finding throws up a major barrier against African scholars’ accessibility to OAJ. The potential danger of this barrier reflected in the following KIIDI statement: ‘I have been hearing about online journals but I don’t really believe in them. I am worried about the qualities of the so called online journals. You know, there are a lot of junks online. You have to be very careful. What about the problem of copyright. How do you quote references if you use papers published online? Another problem is that a lot of online journals charge exorbitant rate before they publish your papers. I sent my paper to one online journal based in India and I was asked to pay $100. I was discouraged because I was not even sure of their qualities’. The above remarks reflect issues and worries that some African scholars uncovered in the course of their awareness of the importance of online journals. KIIDI’s data generally showed low level of utilisation of OAJ’s publications in research activities and this varies by age, academic positions, gender and religion. Younger members of academic staff were pessimistic about the reality of OAJ while their older counterparts strongly believed in it. Though equal proportions of male and female academic staff participated in the study, the former were more enthusiastic about OAJ compared to the latter. The participants that identified with Christian denominations largely demonstrated knowledge of OAJ unlike their Muslim colleagues. Table 2 clearly shows the significant influence of AOJ coverage across African regions. International journals ranked highest with significantly divergent figures in all the regions. OAJ in Southern and East African countries have become leading apostles in the movement for the globalisation of international Conference on Electronic Publishing and Dissemination, Dakar, Senegal, 6-7 October, 2008 Troisième Conférence sur la publication et la diffusion électronique, 6-7 octobre 2008 Dakar (Sénégal)

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Akeem Ayofe Akinwale. Breaking Paradox of Closure to Open Access Journals: An African Perspective

journals, while those in North and Central Africa have provided significant support for local journals. Similarly, the magnitude of punctuality of OAJ in all African regions was less satisfactory based on their significantly different degrees of regularity and availability on AJOL. The OAJ in Southern African countries were the most consistent and regular, while those in Central Africa were the least consistent (Table 2). These findings provide evidence of the gaps between local and international journals on the one hand and the discrepancies between online and offline journals’ editions on the other hand. Some KIIDI participants claimed that online would not be the best place to assess journals’ consistency levels until the internet technology improved significantly in Africa. The following KIIDI’s statements capture the discourse of the gaps identified in OAJ. ‘Some journals are published regularly but there are a lot of problems associated with them. Sometimes you will not know that the journal editors have published your papers; one day they will just wake up and decide to send a copy to you. They may have published the papers for years without putting them online. This is Africa! and you should not forget the reality of African time’. The above findings can be situated within the concept of fragile states, which remain pervasive in Africa. Osaghae (2007) employed the concept of fragile states to describe countries that failed to drive development forward by failing to provide public goods for their citizens.

Conference on Electronic Publishing and Dissemination, Dakar, Senegal, 6-7 October, 2008 Troisième Conférence sur la publication et la diffusion électronique, 6-7 octobre 2008 Dakar (Sénégal)

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Akeem Ayofe Akinwale. Breaking Paradox of Closure to Open Access Journals: An African Perspective

Table 2: OAJ’s Features Cross Tabulated within African Regions F1 & V

F2

(%)

Fields* Arts (A) 25 7.8 Education (E) 15 4.7 Science (S) 209 65.5 16.6 Social Sciences 53 5.3 (SS) 17 319 100 Others (O) Time Frame Annual 87 27.3 Bi-Annual 149 46.7 Tri-Annual 27 8.5 Quarterly 51 16 1.6 Others 5 319 100 Total Website* No 237 74.3 Yes 82 25.7 319 100 Total Coverage* International 234 73.4 26.6 Local 85 319 100 Total Uploaded Editions 1-15 268 84 11.9 16-30 38 2.5 31-45 8 5 1.6 46+ Total 319 100 Current Issue* 2008 89 27.9 29.2 2007 93 43 13.5 2006 2005 38 11.9 2004 16 5 2003 13 4.1 2002 10 3.1 5.3 2001 and Below 17 100 Total 319 Past Issue* 2008 32 10.8 33.6 2007 99 50 16.9 2006 2005 43 14.6 2004 26 8.8 2003 12 4.1 2002 12 4.1 7.1 2001 and Below 21 100 Total 295 Previous Issue* 2.9 2008 8 2007 75 27.2 2006 56 20.3 2005 49 17.8 2004 28 10.1 2003 21 7.6 2002 11 4 10.1 2001 and Below 28 100 Total 276 * = Significant at P < 0.05 Source: 2008 study on breaking paradox of closure to OAJ in Africa

Regions NA (%) SA (%)

CA (%)

EA (%)

WA (%)

Total

10 70 20 100

5.7 1.9 67.9 17 7.5 100

7.7 76.9 15.4 100

21.5 9.2 44.6 20 4.6 100

4.2 3.6 71.4 16.1 4.8 100

7.8 4.7 65.5 16.6 5.3 100

15 45 10 25 5 100

22.6 52.8 11.3 11.3 1.9 100

53.8 30.8 7.7 7.7 100

21.5 38.5 10.8 26.2 3.1 100

30.4 49.4 6.5 13.1 0.6 100

27.3 46.7 8.5 16 1.6 100

90 10 100

73.6 26.4 100

69.2 30.8 100

41.5 58.5 100

85.7 14.3 100

74.3 25.7 100

60 40 100

75.5 24.5 100

53.8 46.2 100

86.2 13.8 100

70.8 29.2 100

73.4 26.6 100

80 15 5 100

77.4 17 3.8 1.9 100

84.6 15.4 100

70.8 20 4.6 4.6 100

91.7 6.5 1.2 0.6 100

84 11.9 2.5 1.6 100

15 25 10 15 5 20 10 100

34 26.4 11.3 5.7 7.5 7.5 3.8 3.8 100

23.1 23.1 15.4 7.7 15.4 15.4 100

50.8 26.2 6.2 9.2 4.6 1.5 1.5 100

19 32.1 17.3 14.9 5.4 3 2.4 6 100

27.9 29.2 13.5 11.9 5 4.1 3.1 5.3 100

10 20 10 15 10 5 10 20 100

16.3 36.7 18.4 6.1 6.1 6.1 4.1 6.1 100

12.5 25 12.5 12.5 25 12.5 100

21.3 41 18 9.8 4.9 3.3 1.6 100

5.1 31.8 17.2 19.1 11.5 3.8 3.8 7.6 100

10.8 33.6 16.9 14.6 8.8 4.1 4.1 7.1 100

21.1 21.1 5.3 5.3 5.3 10.5 31.6 100

6.4 23.4 27.7 14.9 4.3 8.5 4.3 10.6 100

25 25 12.5 12.5 25 100

5.1 44.1 13.6 16.9 13.6 1.7 3.4 1.7 100

1.4 22.4 20.3 21.7 11.9 9.8 2.8 9.8 100

2.9 27.2 20.3 17.8 10.1 7.6 4 10.1 100

Conference on Electronic Publishing and Dissemination, Dakar, Senegal, 6-7 October, 2008 Troisième Conférence sur la publication et la diffusion électronique, 6-7 octobre 2008 Dakar (Sénégal)

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Akeem Ayofe Akinwale. Breaking Paradox of Closure to Open Access Journals: An African Perspective

Manifestations of African Scholarship in OAJ Table 3 introduces the nexus of different areas of specialisation and OAJ features. Unlike six variables that were significant within African regions as shown in Table 2, only two variables (regions and current issues) were significant with publications’ fields shown in Table 3. A retest of African regions and publication’s fields’ relationships at opposite direction showed another significant result which corroborated the earlier test of significant relationships of African regions and OAJ’s publications fields. In this case, West Africa appeared with highest proportions (57.4%) within sciences oriented publications’ field followed by Southern Africa with 56% in favour of Arts related publications’ field. The highest proportion (48%) of uploaded current publications was sandwiched between Arts and 2007 journals’ editions followed by education related publications with the highest (33.3%) level of appearance of the journals uploaded in 2008. From the above findings, it is obvious that OAJ in African countries are not published consistently or failed to upload regularly. Participants confirmed this problem and mentioned other factors influencing involvement of African scholars in OAM. Several factors mentioned were classified as technological and non-technological forces. The key technological forces include inadequate infrastructure, poor internet connectivity, electronic gadgets’ unexpected failures and lack of research driven e-centres. Also, key nontechnological forces such as corruption, poverty, ignorance and poor attitude to research came up during KIIDI’s narratives. Few samples of KIIDI’s narratives are presented below for emphasis: ‘There is no light! And they said we should publish so that our universities can rank among the best. How can our universities not rank low in the global ranking of universities? Do we have the same kind of infrastructures that are available in advanced countries? Well, only God can help us. We don’t have choice. They said we should publish and we will do so by any means possible…’ ‘At a time, we emphasised multi-disciplinary approach to promote teamwork and research collaborations but many people abused the opportunity. Many cases of malpractices were detected. Some academic published their papers in certain journals where they are connected or put their names on certain papers without clear evidence of contribution to the output of the papers in question. When they are asked to rate the percentage of their contributions, they usually gave high estimates. However, is difficult to get accurate measure of percentage contribution of each author. Such practices adversely affected the university system’. ‘See! The problem of money is always there. Look! I accessed journals online and after reading the abstract I requested for the full paper and was asked to pay $75. If I remove that amount from my salary I know how much I would have left. I cannot afford to do that. Even if I manage to buy one it will not be enough and my family including my wife and children will be adversely affected’. The above narratives show different versions of stories about the paradox of closure and setbacks chains that dislodge African scholars’ from maximizing opportunities in OAJ. The modalities for breaking the paradox and the chains deserve attention.

Conference on Electronic Publishing and Dissemination, Dakar, Senegal, 6-7 October, 2008 Troisième Conférence sur la publication et la diffusion électronique, 6-7 octobre 2008 Dakar (Sénégal)

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Akeem Ayofe Akinwale. Breaking Paradox of Closure to Open Access Journals: An African Perspective

Table 3: OAJ’s Features Cross Tabulated within Publications’ Fields F1 & V

F2

(%)

Region * CA 20 6.3 EA 53 16.6 NA 13 4.1 SA 65 20.4 52.7 WA 168 319 100 Total Time Frame Annual 87 27.3 Bi-Annual 149 46.7 Tri-Annual 27 8.5 16 Quarterly 51 5 1.6 Others Total 319 100 Website No 237 74.3 Yes 82 25.7 Total 319 100 Coverage International 234 73.4 Local 85 26.6 100 Total 319 Uploaded Eds 1-15 268 84 16-30 38 11.9 2.5 31-45 8 5 1.6 46+ Total 319 100 Current Issue* 2008 89 27.9 2007 93 29.2 13.5 2006 43 38 11.9 2005 2004 16 5 2003 13 4.1 3.1 2002 10 5.3 2001 and Below 17 319 100 Total Past Issue 2008 32 10.8 33.6 2007 99 16.9 2006 50 2005 43 14.6 2004 26 8.8 2003 12 4.1 2002 12 4.1 2001 and Below 21 7.1 Total 295 100 Previous Issue 2008 8 2.9 2007 75 27.2 2006 56 20.3 2005 49 17.8 2004 28 10.1 2003 21 7.6 2002 11 4 2001 and Below 28 10.1 Total 276 100 * = Significant at P < 0.05 Source: 2008 study on breaking paradox of closure to OAJ in Africa

A (%)

E (%)

S (%)

12 4 56 28 100

13.3 6.7 40 40 100

6.7 17.2 4.8 13.9 57.4 100

40 44 4 12 100

20 53.3 13.3 13.3 100

72 28 100

Fields SS (%)

O (%)

Total

7.5 17 24.5 50.9 100

23.5 11.8 17.6 47.1 100

6.3 16.6 4.1 20.4 52.7 100

26.3 44 9.6 18.2 1.9 100

26.4 52.8 7.5 11.3 1.9 100

29.4 58.8 11.8 100

27.3 46.7 8.5 16 1.6 100

73.3 26.7 100

73.2 26.8 100

77.4 22.6 100

82.4 17.6 100

74.3 25.7 100

76 24 100

80 20 100

70.3 29.7 100

77.4 22.6 100

88.2 11.8 100

73.4 26.6 100

76 24 100

73.3 20 6.7 100

83.7 11 3.3 1.9 100

90.6 7.5 1.9 100

88.2 11.8 1.9 100

84 11.9 2.5 1.6 100

28 48 4 4 4 8 4 100

33.3 20 20 13.3 13.3 100

27.8 31.1 15.8 10.5 3.3 3.8 2.4 5.3 100

28.3 22.6 7.5 20.8 5.7 9.4 3.8 1.9 100

23.5 5.9 11.8 11.8 17.6 5.9 23.5 100

27.9 29.2 13.5 11.9 5 4.1 3.1 5.3 100

4.2 50 16.7 8.3 8.3 12.5 100

7.1 50 7.1 14.3 21.4 100

12.4 33.2 17.6 16.6 6.2 3.1 4.7 6.2 100

6 30 16 14 14 10 4 6 100

21.4 7.1 21.4 14.3 7.1 7.1 21.4 100

10.8 33.6 16.9 14.6 8.8 4.1 4.1 7.1 100

21.7 26.1 17.4 13 8.7 13 100

42.9 14.3 7.1 28.6 7.1 100

2.8 29.1 21.8 19 8.9 6.7 2.8 8.9 100

6.4 21.3 14.9 17 10.6 10.6 8.5 10.6 100

15.4 15.4 15.4 15.4 15.4 23.1 100

2.9 27.2 20.3 17.8 10.1 7.6 4 10.1 100

Conference on Electronic Publishing and Dissemination, Dakar, Senegal, 6-7 October, 2008 Troisième Conférence sur la publication et la diffusion électronique, 6-7 octobre 2008 Dakar (Sénégal)

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Akeem Ayofe Akinwale. Breaking Paradox of Closure to Open Access Journals: An African Perspective

Modalities for Breaking Barriers of Africans’ Entry into OAJ In the discourse of modalities for breaking the barriers against African scholars’ entry into OAJ, seven modal points emerged: mentorship, personal efforts, institutional support, evolution of efficient editorial culture, rapid peer review process, wide publications’ circulation and state support for research activities. A very senior academic staff that participated in the study remarked: ‘I know that so many of our people have no business being in the academics in the first place; this is a great barrier to good quality publications’. This remark provides a clue to the necessity of adequate mentorship as a panacea to intellectual doldrums occasioned by the proliferation of non-intellectual academic in African universities. Participants largely called on professors and senior members of academic staff to carry their younger colleagues along as they move up the ladder of scholarly publications. Personal efforts and institutional support appeared frequently in the discourse of the possibility of meeting up with academic expectations including ability to publish in OAJ. KIIDI notes produced the following evidence of personal efforts and other modal points suggested for breaking the paradox of closure to OAJ: ‘I always go to wherever there is electricity to work especially to check my emails and reply to urgent requests. It is difficult to be part of the online trend in an environment with poor infrastructure. Your generation will solve the problem that does not allow us stay and work comfortably in our offices’. ‘During the recent promotion exercise, a member of the panel remarked that if they used my own papers to judge others nobody would be promoted. That statement was made because I was already prepared before they changed the rules of publications. If they like let them wake up tomorrow and shift the goal post again, I will still adjust’. ‘I heard that the electricity would not be better than this till two years. That means that the research will stop for two years. But I am sure the standard of publication will not fall. If there is electricity and internet facility to work with in the office nobody will complain. Why will I be complaining if I have similar facilities that researchers in industrialised countries enjoy?’ ‘There are alternatives. You can subscribe to Starcom, Rel-Tel, Multi Links or O-Net. Any of these can connect you and after you are connected you can even work in your bedroom. But you need a laptop or desktop computer. Anywhere you go you can start working as long as you have charged the battery of your laptop’ . ‘Ability to use the SPSS is a must for young scholars. How can you call yourself a researcher and you cannot analyse your data yourself. Sometimes when you give your data to analysts, they can mess the data up. Then interpretation of the data would become difficult if not impossible. Universities must have computer laboratories especially for the postgraduate students. It is shameful for universities not to have facilities that can promote scholarship’. The aforementioned notes are realties associated with the array of tactics and strategies that can be deployed towards promoting African scholarship in Africa. Given the array of suggestions that flew from the participants’ lamentation on the undesirable situation of scholarship in Africa, several lessons can be learned and the African case has not become completely hopeless.

Conference on Electronic Publishing and Dissemination, Dakar, Senegal, 6-7 October, 2008 Troisième Conférence sur la publication et la diffusion électronique, 6-7 octobre 2008 Dakar (Sénégal)

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Akeem Ayofe Akinwale. Breaking Paradox of Closure to Open Access Journals: An African Perspective

Conclusion This study showed high level of awareness and poor knowledge of publications in OAJ. It also indicated low level of utilisation of OAJ publications in research and teaching. Though data generally depicted low levels of OAJ’s utilisation among African scholars, participants believed that it had enhanced their career development. Their beliefs tally with Bandura’s (2002) revelation that computerised information management systems run contemporary offices. Considering the empirical findings discussed in this study, the inevitability of Africans’ massive involvement in OAM is not in doubt. This fact will enrich any genuine discourse of African development and provide ideological basis for the necessity of paradigm shift in Africans’ attitude towards scholarly publications. Participants demonstrated high level of awareness about different setbacks encountered in their struggle to publish in African based journals and the barriers associated with OAJ in other continents. The interplay between available and accessible publications coupled with an array of setbacks and barriers constitute the paradox of closure to OAJ in Africa. Breaking the paradox is a priority issue and was generally perceived as necessary for promoting career advancement among African universities’ academia. This drives forward the need for urgent intervention in re-building African epistemology to rescue Africans from the collapsing intellectualism. Africans require more pragmatic approaches beyond the present level of OAJ availability on AJOL. The technological and non-technological factors that dislodged Africans from maximizing available opportunities in the AJOL can be managed through combination of personal and institutional efforts. Each African scholar must strive to get published in OAJ by cybercasting and emulating best practices stipulated in the authors’ guidelines of each journal. Quick and positively innovative reactions to calls for participation in research activities will enhance scholars’ research capacities and develop in them skills to write publishable papers. The apostle of cognitive theory left similar message: ‘Cross pollination of ideas through worldwide connectivity can boost creativity synergistically in the co-construction of knowledge’ (Bandura 2002, p.4). The chains of setbacks that produced intellectual porosities among African scholars, whose intellectual efforts are unfit for appearance to virtual readers, will break as soon as African governments collaborate with African universities to establish modalities for sustainable scholarly development. Information technologies are only useful to those who choose to use them productively’ (Bandura 2002). The present intellectual movements from the margins to the mainstreams of scholarly publications should be re-articulated and promoted to re-brand African scholarship and make African scholars fit to scientifically compete globally at the highest possible level. Fundamentally, in light of the large number of subscriptionbased OAJ on AJOL the open access policies of journals should be reviewed to provide immediate open access to all its contents and full texts to the public. Expansion of OAJ to Africans will significantly enhance their active participation in the global exchange of knowledge. Alternatively, African scholars must rise up and map out attractive collaborative strategies that can mitigate the adverse consequences of the new regime of OAM. The development of African oriented internet proficiency also holds high priority. Investments in African values are needed to ensure that ICT contributes significantly towards development rather than fuels the ember of inequality between Africa and the West.

Conference on Electronic Publishing and Dissemination, Dakar, Senegal, 6-7 October, 2008 Troisième Conférence sur la publication et la diffusion électronique, 6-7 octobre 2008 Dakar (Sénégal)

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Akeem Ayofe Akinwale. Breaking Paradox of Closure to Open Access Journals: An African Perspective

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Akeem Ayofe Akinwale. Breaking Paradox of Closure to Open Access Journals: An African Perspective

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