Below is a round-up of recent website items relating to the issue of open access and the developing world:
Peter Suber examines Dalindyebo Shabalala’s recent research paper which emphasizes the need for digital and internet content in developing countries in order to generate and disseminate educational knowledge.
On a related note, Shelved in the Ws blog comments on access to medical literature in developing countries and compares a number of initiatives, as well as non-digital options.
In her blog, Eve Gray summarises her recent Policy paper for the OSI International Policy Fellowship, detailing her recommendations for improving access to research in Africa. Here she argues that Open Access and collaborative approaches could bring substantially increased impact for African research, with marked cost-benefit advantages.
In another blog entry, Eve Gray elaborates on a series of case studies to be undertaken at UCT which will compare informal and formal communication patterns in research, as part of the Opening Scholarship Project.
There has also been lively debate about the mode of communication technology which is most appropriate for developing countries.
The PFSK UK Report questions the necessity of a laptop in the developing world and suggests that mobile phones would be more useful to people living in low-income countries.
In a Wall Street Journal article, the author explores the benefits of wireless Web surfing technology and what this means for developing countries, such as Bangladesh where 400,000 people use their mobile phones to access the internet.
Meanwhile, the New York Times draws attention to Rwanda’s struggle to get online.
Additionally, Intellibriefs discusses the ‘not-for-profit’ plans of companies providing software and laptops in the developing world and who benefits most from such agendas.
Finally, the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology in collaboration with The Royal Institute of Technology will host the 5th International Conference on Open Access between 14th and 16th November 2007 in Bagamoyo, Tanzania. The focus of this conference will be ‘How Societies Benefit From Open Access to ICT’.