Sunday, 5 September 2010

Good advice from Mozambique

“We are always getting information about Mozambique from outside. Why can’t people have information about Mozambique from Mozambique?” asked Aissa Mitha Issak, Librarian at the Universidade Pedagógica and EIFL Open Access Coordinator. “The lack of visibility for African research is frustrating”. She was speaking at the recent IFLA Gothenburg conference, at which she received the Henning Mankell Conference Grant, 2010. On the advice of Iryna Kutchma, EIFL OA-programme manager, a shared repository has been set up, linking several organisations. Aissa described the shared Mozambique Institutional Repository, launched at the end of 2009 and now holding 2,234 items of research, including theses and journal articles.

Advice for others starting up a repository? “Just do it!”, says Aissa. “Our first approach in 2006 was to make a formal proposal to university management. This strategy didn’t work, because they needed to see the repository to understand its value”. The potential is now recognised and a committee has even been established to re-evaluate students’ work. Identifying IR champions to help advocate to university management and faculty is also an important factor for success.

Congratulations to all in Mozambique who have worked to achieve this valuable resource. And congratulations to EIFL for their continuing support and advice. Link here for the full report.

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