Western Africa

2016 is the Year of E-Research and Open Access in IITA!

IITA management has declared 2016 the year of E-Research and Open Access (OA). This was highlighted in the new year messages of Management in last week’s issue of the IITA Bulletin.

This move will see scientific papers and articles from the Institute’s research becoming fully published online, unrestricted, and available for free reuse, albeit with due acknowledgement, by the general public.

Although the structure of how this transition will pan out is still being finalized, IITA scientists are already keen on using the new tools which show promise in fully unlocking research potentials and giving their research efforts more visibility.

E-Research for instance provides a forum for researchers to network, collaborate, and share ideas and research findings. OA, on the other hand, provides online repositories that can harvest data from very distributed sources, making such data much more discoverable and more easily accessible to the public.

Martin Mueller, IITA’s E-Research Coordinator, said that the idea of the OA year was conceived because of the ambitious agenda of the Institute in implementing the overall OA plan, research data management action work plan, and the general E-Research plan with its priority issues.

As part of this move, the Institute had earlier switched to OA on CGSpace last year. At the moment, the “space” already hosts nearly 50,000 documented agricultural research outputs and results produced by the CGIAR centers and their partners. A set of OA and data management implementation guidelines and policy have also been developed by CGIAR. Other plans in this regard also include the launch of procedural guidelines in information and data management, SharePoint deployment, risk assessment, and setting up an information and data management unit.

Other changes and events earmarked in celebration of the year will be announced as they unfold. For more information about E-Research and Open Access, visit Sharepoint here.

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