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African Digital Research Repositories: Mapping the Landscape

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The International African Institute (IAI) in collaboration with AfricArXiv present an interactive map of African digital research literature repositories. This drew from IAI’s earlier work from 2016 onwards to identify and list Africa-based institutional repositories that focused  on identifying repositories based in African university libraries.

The interactive map extends the work of the IAI to include organizational, governmental, and international repositories. It also maps the interactions between research repositories. In this dataset, we focus on institutional repositories for scholarly works, as defined by Wikipedia contributors (March 2020). Earlier resources are available at https://www.internationalafricaninstitute.org/repositories .

The Visual Map is publicly available at https://kumu.io/access2perspectives/african-digital-research-repositories



Objective

The map of African digital repositories was created as a resource to be used in activities addressing the following aims:

  • Improve the discoverability of African research and publications 
  • Enhance the interoperability of existing and emerging African repositories
  • Identify ways through which digital scholarly search engines can enhance the discoverability of African research

We promote the dissemination of research-based knowledge from African repositories as part of a bigger landscape that also includes online journals, research data repositories and scholarly book publishers to enhance the interconnectivity and accessibility of such repositories across and beyond the African continent and to contribute to a more granular understanding of the continent’s scholarly resources. 



Data archiving and maintenance

The map and corresponding dataset are hosted on the AfricArXiv website under ‘Resources’ at https://info.africarxiv.org/african-digital-research-repositories/. The listing is not exhaustive and therefore we encourage any repositories relevant for the African continent not listed here to the submission form at https://forms.gle/CnyGPmBxN59nWVB38, or to notify the International African Institute (email sk111@soas.ac.uk). Both AfricArXiv and IAI will continue to maintain the list of repositories as a resource for African researchers and other stakeholders including international African studies communities.



Methodology

The original list of digital repositories was compiled by the International African Institute in 2016 and updated in 2019 (see https://www.internationalafricaninstitute.org/repositories for details). Entries were drawn from information made available by the African Studies Centre, Leiden (https://ilissafrica.wordpress.com/tag/institutional-repository/), in particular its ‘Connecting Africa’ project (http://www.connecting-africa.net/index.htm), the Directory of Open Access repositories (OpenDOAR – http://www.opendoar.org/), and the Registry of Open Access Repositories (http://roar.eprints.org/) amongst others. The original list was extended by following repository services that also host African scholarly works: ScienceOpen collections (https://about.scienceopen.com/collections/), Zenodo Community collections (https://zenodo.org/communities/), Figshare collections (https://figshare.com/features, Scholia (https://tools.wmflabs.org/scholia/), and third party repositories. 

For visualisation we utilized the  software Kumu (https://kumu.io/) to map the research repositories by country, underlying software, host institutions and curating institutions. We also added a category for languages of the interface, system and deposited works per repository.



Results

In the dataset, South Africa (40) and Kenya (32) hosted the highest number of repositories. In other countries, such as Ethiopia, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, the numbers were significantly lower (5-15). In 16 countries including Angola, Benin, Chad, the Gambia, Somalia and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), no data on digital research repositories could be found.

Languages represented in the dataset include English (en), French (fr), Arabic (ar), Amaranth (amh), Portuguese (pt), Swahili (sw), Spanish (es), German (de).

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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Item
    African Digital Research Repositories: Mapping the Landscape [preprint]
    (2020-03-29) Havemann, Jo; De Mutiis, Anna; Bezuidenhout, Louise; Owango, Joy; Kitchen, Stephanie
    The International African Institute (IAI, https://www.internationalafricaninstitute.org) in collaboration with AfricarXiv (https://info.africarxiv.org) present an interactive map of African digital research literature repositories. This drew from IAI’s earlier work from 2016 onwards to identify and list Africa-based institutional repositories that focused on identifying repositories based in African university libraries. Our earlier resources are available at https://www.internationalafricaninstitute.org/repositories. The interactive map extends the work of the IAI to include organizational, governmental and international repositories. It also maps the interactions between research repositories. In this dataset, we focus on institutional repositories for scholarly works, as defined by Wikipedia contributors (March 2020)
  • Item
    African Digital Research Repositories: Mapping the Landscape
    (2020-03-28) Bezuidenhout, Louise; Havemann, Jo; Kitchen, Stephanie; De Mutiis, Anna; Owango, Joy; Zeni, Kevina
    This data set accompanies the text at doi 10.5281/zenodo.3732273. // Correspondence: JH: info@africarxiv.org, SK: sk111@soas.ac.uk Visual Map: https://kumu.io/access2perspectives/african-digital-research-repositories Dataset: https://tinyurl.com/African-Research-Repositories Archived at https://info.africarxiv.org/african-digital-research-repositories/ Submission form: https://forms.gle/CnyGPmBxN59nWVB38

African Digital Research Repositories: Mapping the Landscape by International African Institute (IAI) in collaboration with AfricArXiv is licensed under CC BY 4.0