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Why build an archive for African higher education research?     
What is self-archiving?

Why should I contribute my research papers?

When copyright holders consent to Open Access, what are they consenting to?
What happens to my paper's copyright when it appears in AHERO?

May I deposit journal articles whose copyright is assigned to a publisher?
May I deposit commissioned research for which I have been paid?
How is the quality of AHERO content maintained?

What rights should I reserve when signing a contract with a publisher?

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Why build an archive for African higher education research?

 A large proportion of African scholarship is invisible or "lost".  The work of African researchers is not routinely indexed by the large databases that function to organise and map the record of scholarship.  This may be a result of the documented bias of the well-known citation indexes, or may be a consequence of the weak circulation of paper-based African journals that do not reach a wide readership, even within the African region.  Librarians are known to struggle to obtain copies of locally published articles, papers and research reports.  This is also partly due to poorly developed bibliographic control systems in the region.

The widely acknowledged importance of higher education as a driver for human, social and economic development has brought about additional impetus to improve the quality of higher education systems on the Continent. AHERO is a central repository for  existing research that may be used to inform practice, reduce unnecessary duplication of research effort , serve as models for related case studies or contribute to comparative research.

 

Formal postgraduate programmes in Higher education studies are relatively new offerings in Africa.  It is hoped that AHERO will prove to be useful for students seeking sources relevant to their studies and experience. 



 What is self-archiving?

To self-archive is to deposit a digital document in a publicly accessible website, preferably an Open Archive Initiative-compliant archive, such as AHERO. Depositing involves a simple web interface where the depositer copy/pastes in the "metadata"  (date, author-name, title, abstract) and then attaches the full-text document.  Self-archiving takes only about 5 minutes for each paper. (Adapted from EPrints Self-Archiving FAQ, which is a useful site for more information about self-archiving.) 

 


 

   Why should I contribute my research papers?
Communicating:
Your work will potentially reach a worldwide readership and may be used and cited by others.  This is the broad aim of scholarly communication: to build knowledge through dissemination, and to enhance one’s scholarly reputation amongst peers.  Comments posted on your work may bring about improvements as you develop a paper for publication.  You may refer others to the body of your work in AHERO where it may be easily accessed.

Knowledge building:
A centrally accessible store of existing studies enables researchers to enjoy relatively barrier-free access to literature they need for further investigation. AHERO documents are indexed for easy retrieval alongside other documents on the same or similar themes.  Another rationale for sharing work is that it enables collaboration and fosters collegial reciprocity amongst a network of researchers.
  



  When copyright holders consent to Open Access, what are they consenting to?
Usually they consent in advance to the unrestricted reading, downloading, copying, sharing, storing, printing, and searching of the full-text of the work. 

Users are invited to make use of the materials on the AHERO site, but are warned against misattribution (plagiarism) and distortion (mangled use of texts, misrepresentation). Commercial re-use of the work is forbidden without permission of the copyright holder.

Essentially, these conditions authorise all the uses required by legitimate scholarship, including those required by the technologies that facilitate online scholarly research. (adapted from Peter Suber's Guide to Open Access)
 

 


  What happens to my paper's copyright when it appears in AHERO?
Nothing.  If the copyright belongs to you, you keep it.  AHERO asks for your permission to display the work on the internet.   If another party (such as an academic publisher or organisation) owns the copyright, you need to secure their permission for the inclusion of the full text in AHERO.  See the next FAQ below.  

 


   May I deposit journal articles whose copyright is assigned to a publisher?
Yes!  Follow the same procedure as for any other format, upload the file, and then tick the Embargo box. This allows us to harvest your file, display the abstract, but withhold the full text in accordance with the publisher’s rights. 

Should a reader want to obtain your article, he/she may click on the Request Eprint button which is displayed alongside your abstract.  This generates an email to AHERO who will send a copy of your version of the final post-peer reviewed article to the person who requested it.  This procedure replicates the traditional practice of sending reprints of paper articles to selected persons who request it for their research. We also forward all such requests for the information of the author, so that he/she is kept appraised of the interest.

In fact, over 70% of publishers now permit full-text archiving by authors.  A database of publishers' self-archiving policies is available at http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo.php.  You may also ask us to find out on your behalf. 

 


 May I deposit commissioned research for which I have been paid?
No.  Where exclusive copyright in a "work for hire" has been transferred by the author to a publisher -- i.e., the author has been paid (or will be paid royalties) in exchange for the text -- the author may not self-archive it. The text is still the author's "intellectual property," in the sense that authorship is retained by the author, and the text may not be plagiarized by anyone, but the exclusive right to sell or give away copies of it has been transfered to the publisher.  You may ask the commissioning agency whether you may self-archive the text on AHERO or contact us to request this on your behalf.   (Adapted from EPrints Self-Archiving FAQ

 


   How is the quality of AHERO content maintained?
There is no peer review of papers submitted to AHERO.  When self-archiving, authors tick a box to indicate whether the paper has been refereed, and this information appears alongside the abstract to the paper on the site.

 All papers are vetted to ensure that they are relevant to research in higher education and have a finished form that is ready for  communication.  Since documents are widely visible to colleagues all over the world, the primary source of quality control rests with the author, who will be careful to deposit only his/her best work.

Readers may also select the View References button before accessing the full text.  This allows them to assess the currency and quality of the sources used in the production of the work, and its usefulness for them.

 Comments posted by others may assist in improving the quality of the paper.  Authors may re-submit files with corrections or additions.  


What rights should I reserve when signing a contract with a publisher? 
It has been common practice for journal publishers to get authors to sign away their copyright as a condition of publication.  However, as the world moves more towards open access, open publishing and the sharing of knowledge, so authors are realizing that they can have more control over their published works.  The SPARC website has a useful Author's Addendum which authors can attach to publishers' forms on submission of articles. See:
http://www.arl.org/sparc/author/addendum.html.


Authors may also be interested in protecting their works under a Creative Commons licence. You will find information at www.creativecommons.org.

In order to ensure free access to and unfettered use of your articles, it is advisable to grant the publisher a licence to publish that specifies the following rights for yourself:

The right to self-archive
The right to reuse your text for educational/research purposes
The right to present the text at a conference or meeting
The right to republish the text in the future as part of a compilation or within a thesis
The right of your institution to retain a digital copy to secure preservation of the file

A model copyright agreement securing these rights has been prepared by the Copyright Toolbox of the SURF Foundation, a higher education and research partnership organisation. 

Visit
http://copyrighttoolbox.surf.nl/copyrighttoolbox/authors/