Guest blog post by Charles
J. Greenberg who interviewed Dr. Raoul Kamadjeu ahead of Open Access Africa
2011. This post is an extract from the full interview which can be accessed on
Charles’s website www.openbiomed.info.
Raoul Kamadjeu is a
physician and co-founder of the Pan African Medical Journal. He is driven in
all his projects by a simple motto: “Start
small, but think big..!” He received his
doctorate in Medicine in Cameroon and completed his MPH in Belgium (ULB). He
has undertaken a broad spectrum of public health practice, from the district in
Cameroon to international arenas with the World Health Organization (WHO) and
the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He joined CDC in 2004
through the Public Health Informatics Fellowship Program where he sharpened his expertise on information technology to
help lift African public health practice into the 21st century. His expertise spans across fields as varied as
epidemiology, biostatistics, informatics, communication, computer programming
and project management. Dr. Kamadjeu generously consented to answer a number of
questions put to him about Open Access Africa 2011, his own journal and access to
health information in the places where he has taught and practiced medicine.
Dr. Kamadjeu, I
appreciate this opportunity to ask you questions about Open Access Africa 2011
and how this event intersects with your career. Can you briefly describe if and
how you were involved in last year’s Open Access 2010 event at
Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya?
I was involved in Open Access 2010 as a
participant. It was an interesting opportunity to hear from BioMed Central,
other open access experts and publishers from within and outside Africa. The
conference was happening just next door; I couldn’t miss that opportunity.
I blogged about the
availability of post-conference video
recordings from the 2010 event. Has this been helpful to you personally in
promoting the benefits of open access?
Making the videos available online was a great
idea. The entire editorial office of our journal would have loved to attend the
conference, but that was not possible. The videos came as a consolation. We
sincerely hope videos of the next conference will also be posted online.
Open Access 2011
will be hosted at Kwame Nkrumah University Of
Science And Technology (KNUST), Ghana on 25-26 October 2011. Will you be supporting this conference
directly or indirectly?
I hope I will be able to personally attend or
at least have one of our editors attend the conference to present the work we
are doing on open access development in Africa. At PAMJ, we would like to see
the conference bringing more tangible benefits to African researchers; we are
currently in discussions with BioMed Central to organize a one-day workshop on
scientific writing in the framework of the conference; this will equip young
researchers with introductory skills on how to write and submit a manuscript to
a journal. We hope the idea will materialize.
BioMed Central is
providing financial and organizing support for Open Access 2011, and they are
also promoting a new Foundation Membership program. There
are qualifications, including an official institutional policy in support of
open access and a institutional publishing record in BioMed Central. Do
you think this Membership program will “gain traction” and be adopted at many
I heard of it, but I am not yet familiar with
the concept or the benefits African universities should expect from the
initiative; that will be the key determinant of their adhesion. For the
membership program to gain traction, it is my opinion that BioMed Central
should be looking into providing ways to address some of the key issues faced
by African universities, namely access to research, status of libraries
including electronic archiving, capacity building in all aspects of scientific
writing and publishing, etc.