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The impact of the open access movement on medical based scholarly publishing in Nigeria

Datonye Dennis, Alasia


Medical Scholarly publishing which can be measured through the quality and quantity of published journals is an important contributor to the socio-economic development and health status of any community or country especially as it reflects the degree of research output in that country. The level of research activity and scholarly publishing is acknowledged to be low in Nigeria and other developing countries as a result of various factors which have created an imbalance in the output and flow of scientific information between the developed and developing countries. This situation has led to dependence by developing countries on scholarly information form the developed world with resultant poor visibility and low access to scholarly information from the developing world.

In order to address this situation, it is important to create a balanced knowledge pool and an even transfer of global scholarly information among all scholars in the world. The open access movement and its initiatives which advocate a shift from predominant print based publication to electronic and internet sources is expected to improve the global distribution of scholarly publication and impact positively on the current state of scholarly publication in the developing world. This review will examine the current state of medical journal publication in Nigeria as well as assess the impact of the open access movement and its initiatives on medical based scholarly publishing in Nigeria.

Before the advent of open access, medical journals  in Nigeria were in danger of extinction as these journals were poorly subscribed for within and outside Nigeria with only a few of them indexed on the medline/pubmed. Most of the journals did not have websites and did not rely on internet resources for their operations. These factors in addition to problems with financial sustainability amongst others gave these journals low impact and visibility within and outside Nigeria.

The Open access movement has impacted significantly and positively on medical based scholarly publishing in Nigeria with the AJOL and the AIM projects being the most significant influence. The prospects for further development of medical scholarly publishing in Nigeria using open access initiatives are enormous. However in spite of the gains made, the potentials of open access to medical scholarly publishing in Nigeria are yet to be maximized. Medical scholars in Nigeria need to develop a coordinated plan to overcome the current obstacles which have been identified. Finally it is evident that open access will provide enormous opportunity and benefits to medical scholars in Nigeria. This opportunity needs to be exploited and developed.



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Title of Paper: The impact of the open access movement on medical based scholarly publishing in Nigeria
Conference Name: Public Knowledge Project (PKP) Scholarly publishing conference
Conference Date: 2007-07-11
Published as Proceedings: yes

Document Type:Conference Paper (Not Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:Research
Keywords:Open Access, Nigeria, Medicine, Scholarly Communication, Publishing

File Size:80 KB
Rights:Permission to reproduce this paper was granted by the author.
Date Added:26 July 2007

Datonye Dennis, Alasia (2007). The impact of the open access movement on medical based scholarly publishing in Nigeria Presented at the PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference, Vancouver, Canada, 11-13 July 2007.