Embracing Electronic Scholarly Publishing in Africa ; The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Library, Kumasi, Ghana as a Case Study

Helena Asamoah-Hassan, LIBRARY, KNUST,KUMASI

Abstract


A review of existing types of scholarly communication/publishing worldwide and specifically in Africa is made to set the tone for the discussion. The emerging types of scholarly publishing is now mostly in electronic format and is rapidly being embraced globally. The need for Africa to accept electronic scholarly publishing along with its merits and demerits is therefore discussed.
Libraries are gradually being introduced into the publishing world as publishers of scholarly communication. The participation of African libraries as publishers of scholarly electronic journals and other scholarly communications is therefore discussed using the KNUST Library as the focus. Its expected benefits and challenges are also discussed.
The PKP software, Open Journals System (OJS) which is making an important inroad in advancing scholarship in Africa is already being used by INASP to manage over 260 journals in Africa and therefore is familiar to African libraries. The IDRC/PKP sponsored workshop in Ghana has exposed Ghanaian Librarians, Researchers, Faculty, IT administrators and Post Graduate students to the relevance of OJS. The paper therefore examines the usefulness and suitability of this online technology for scholarly journal publishing and other information accessibility functions of libraries in Africa.
The paper concludes with recommendations, some of which were outcomes of the workshop to the effect that the Open Journals System is appropriate for use in emerging electronic scholarly journal publishing and also for other information access functions of the KNUST Library and by extension ,other African Libraries.

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