Views of an Open Access Africa 2011 delegate: Open access and the unlimited benefits

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Guest
article by Dr. Tobias Innocent Ndubuisi Ezejiofor, Federal University of Technology,
Owerri, Nigeria. 

The benefits of open access are unlimited. As a medical and
environmental scientist involved in biological and environmental monitoring and
always needing to analyze human and environmental specimens, three major
factors are critical to me: background information on the theme of interest, analytical technique and equipment to carry through the desired analyses and less
cumbersome publication processes that would also guarantee visibility of my
work.

In all these, Western scientists and researchers have always had the upper
hand because of the leaner resource base of people in Africa and the developing
world. Information is power yet access to information is restricted because of
the need to subscribe to sources, especially journals, and in most cases this
has to be done in, often stronger, foreign currencies. A major consequence of
this is inhibition to information flow. It is in this connection that open
access has done a lot in creating a level playing ground to all scientists and
researchers in terms of access to available information. Through open access,
my research efforts have been greatly enhanced and my work made more visible,
as attested to by sundry requests from across the world. For us in Africa, open
access means liberation from information inhibitions and from
research/publication visibility clouds. Indeed the trappings/benefits of open
access can hardly be over estimated that I am sufficiently led to say that I
see a great future for quality research and publication outputs for and from
African Scientists and professionals through the open access initiative.

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dr. tom olijhoek

Great to see a testimony from an african scientist who describes the very real benefits of open access for the people that have the most limited possibilities. This is exactly why the Dutch malaria foundation wants to continue contributing to the transition to open access publishing in science especially in the field of malaria research. We already have a unique open access platform for malaria researchers, http://www.malariaworld.org and we are in the process of making a full open access scientific journal for malaria called Malariaworld Journal. Check our website for updates.

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