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Strengthening scholarly publishing in Africa : assessing the potential of online systems Esseh, Samuel Kwaku Smith 2011

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STRENGTHENING SCHOLARLY PUBLISHING IN AFRICA: ASSESSING THE POTENTIAL OF ONLINE SYSTEMS  by Samuel Kwaku Smith Esseh B.A., University of Science and Technology M.A., University of Science and Technology MPub, Simon Fraser University  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in The Faculty of Graduate Studies (Language and Literacy Education) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  April 2011  © Samuel Kwaku Smith Esseh, 2011 i  ABSTRACT This study investigated current publishing practices among scholarly journals in Africa, while exploring the potential contribution of online publishing systems to aid those practices. This study examined how current systems, largely involving traditional publishing methods, offer Africans limited opportunities and incremental gains in taking advantage of faster and wider dissemination of digital systems for scholarly communication. Issues about authorship, readership, editorial and peer review, as well as the level of science resources in African academic libraries, were studied. Using a well-articulated, mixed-mode research design, this study has assembled data from 286 key actors – journal editors, potential journal editors, librarians, IT administrators, faculty and postgraduate students – from sub -Saharan Africa during a 12-month period in 2007–09. Drawing on this data set, this study documents and analyzes the unparalleled availability of journals and other information resources made available to the African research community through digital technologies and publisher policies, as well as current constraints in ICT infrastructure, training, and support inhibiting the utilization of these same technologies in advancing African scholarly publishing efforts. This study establishes the high level of energy and excitement among journals editors, librarians, and IT administrators about the compelling new possibilities offered by new digital technologies. Drawing on what has been learned in this study, recommendations are made for tapping into the full potential of these technologies in strengthening research capacity, improving the quality of research, reducing Africa’s isolation from the global scholarly community, and ultimately narrowing the information divide.  ii  PREFACE Ethics: Research associated with this dissertation was conducted with approval from the UBC Behavioural Research Ethics Board, ethical certificate number (H0680584) B06-0584.  iii  TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT .............................................................................................................................ii	
   PREFACE ............................................................................................................................ iii	
   TABLE OF CONTENTS ..........................................................................................................iv	
   LIST OF TABLES....................................................................................................................ix	
   LIST OF FIGURES .................................................................................................................xi	
   ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ........................................................................................................ xii	
   DEDICATION ........................................................................................................................ xiv	
   CHAPTER 1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY ............................................................................. 1	
   1.1	
    Introduction ................................................................................................................. 1	
    1.2	
    Purpose of the Study................................................................................................... 3	
    1.3 	
    Research Questions.................................................................................................... 5	
    1.4	
    Significance of the Study............................................................................................. 6	
    1.5	
    Statement of Problem and Rationale for the Study ..................................................... 8	
    1.6	
    Research Design....................................................................................................... 11	
    CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW................................................................................... 14	
   2.1	
    Introduction ............................................................................................................... 14	
    2.2	
    Historical Perspective................................................................................................ 14	
    2.3	
    Higher Institutions and the Development of Scholarly Journals in Africa .................. 15	
    2.4	
    The Current State of Scholarly (Journal) Publishing in African Universities ............ 27	
    2.5	
    Current Trends in Numbers....................................................................................... 28	
    2.6	
    Current Trends in Authorship and Editorial Process ................................................. 31	
    2.7	
    2.8	
    2.6.1  Trends in Authorship .................................................................................... 31	
    2.6.2	
    State of Editing/Peer Reviewing .................................................................. 37	
    The Research Libraries ............................................................................................. 41	
   2.7.1	
    Library Collections ....................................................................................... 43	
    2.7.2	
    Personnel in University Libraries ................................................................. 47	
    Donor Support and Capacity Building in African Libraries ........................................ 51	
   2.8.1	
    ICT Infrastructure ......................................................................................... 51	
    2.8.2	
    Improving Research Library Access and Resources ................................... 55	
    2.9	
    The Transition to Electronic Publishing ..................................................................... 58	
    2.10	
    Economics of Online Journal Publishing ................................................................... 65	
    2.11	
    Conclusion ................................................................................................................ 70	
    iv  CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH ASSUMPTIONS ......................................................................... 73	
   3.1	
    Introduction ............................................................................................................... 73	
    3.2	
    A Brief History of Communication ............................................................................. 76	
    3.3	
    Postcolonialism ......................................................................................................... 81	
    3.4	
    The Internet Opportunity ........................................................................................... 99	
    CHAPTER 4 METHODOLOGY .......................................................................................... 111	
   4.1	
    Introduction ............................................................................................................. 111	
    4.2	
    Research Design..................................................................................................... 112	
    4.3	
    4.2.1	
    Research Method (Mixed-Mode Surveys and Workshop Discussion) ....... 112	
    4.2.2	
    Study Area, Population and Sample .......................................................... 117	
    Mode of Data Collection .......................................................................................... 122	
   4.3.1	
    Stage One: Contact Phase ........................................................................ 123	
    4.3.2	
    Stage Two: Response Phase .................................................................... 125	
    4.3.3	
    Questionnaires ........................................................................................... 125	
    4.3.4	
    Workshop Discussions............................................................................... 127	
    4.3.5	
    Stage Three: Follow-Up Phase .................................................................. 132	
    4.4	
    Validity and Reliability ............................................................................................. 133	
    4.5	
    Study Limitations ..................................................................................................... 138	
    4.6	
    Data Analysis .......................................................................................................... 140	
   4.6.1	
    4.7	
    Analysis of Workshop Discussion and Semi-Structured Interviews ........... 141	
    Summary of Sample and Survey Response Rates ................................................. 142	
    CHAPTER 5 THE CURRENT STATE OF JOURNAL PUBLISHING ................................ 145	
   5.1 	
    Introduction ............................................................................................................. 145	
    5.2 	
    Journal Basics ......................................................................................................... 146	
   5.2.1 	
   Demographic Characteristics of Journals in the Study .............................. 146	
   5.2.2 	
   Mode of Publication ................................................................................... 147	
   5.2.3 	
   Journal Ownership and Publishing Type ................................................... 148	
   5.2.4 	
   Academic Disciplines of Journals .............................................................. 152	
   5.2.5 	
   Circulation, Price and Size of Journals ...................................................... 156	
   5.2.6 	
   Average Price Number of Articles and Circulation per Journal by Type of Publisher .................................................................................. 157	
   5.2.7 	
   Av. Price Number of Articles and Circulation of Journal by Discipline ....... 159	
   5.2.8 	
   Publication Frequency ............................................................................... 161	
   5.2.9 	
   Regularity of Journal Publication ............................................................... 163	
   5.2.10 Funding of Scholarly Journals ................................................................... 167	
    v  5.3	
    Authorship and Readership of Scholarly Journals .................................................. 170	
   5.3.1	
    Introduction ................................................................................................ 170	
    5.3.2  Trends in Authorship and Readership of Scholarly Journals ..................... 170	
    5.3.3 	
   Trends in Readership ................................................................................ 172	
   5.3.4	
    Knowledge About Regional (Online and Print) Journals ............................ 177	
    5.3.5 	
   Sources of Article Read ............................................................................. 179	
   5.3.6 	
   Information Usage by Research Community ............................................. 183	
   5.3.7	
    The Usefulness of Information Read from Scholarly Journals to the Research Community ............................................................................... 184	
    5.3.8 	
   Incentive for Publishing in Scholarly Journals ........................................... 185	
   5.3.9	
    Factors Affecting Author’s Choice of Which Journal to Publish In ............. 188	
    5.3.10	
   The Challenges Faced by Authors Who Submit to the Journals ............... 189	
   5.4 	
    Summary of Findings .............................................................................................. 193	
    CHAPTER 6 EDITORIAL AND PEER-REVIEW PROCESS.............................................. 198	
   6.1  Journal Staffing ....................................................................................................... 198	
    6.2	
    Motivations behind Editorial Work ........................................................................... 199	
   6.2.1	
    Personal Predilection ................................................................................. 200	
    6.2.2	
    Contribution to the Advancement of Knowledge ........................................ 201	
    6.2.3	
    Intellectual Stimulation ............................................................................... 202	
    6.2.4	
    Collegial Fraternity (Building Academic Commons) .................................. 203	
    6.2.5	
    Professional Recognition and/or Career Advancement ............................. 205	
    6.2.6	
    Other Factors ............................................................................................. 206	
    6.3	
    Editorial and Peer-Review Methodology ................................................................. 206	
    6.4	
    Reasons behind the Rejection of Manuscripts ........................................................ 210	
    6.5	
    The Throughput Time for the Peer-Review Process ............................................... 211	
    6.6	
    Editors’ Perceptions of Reviewers .......................................................................... 213	
    6.7	
    Recruitment Process for Journal Reviewers ........................................................... 215	
   6.7.1	
    6.8	
    Just Send and Ask First ............................................................................. 217	
    The Challenge of Attracting Reviewers ................................................................... 217	
   6.8.1	
    Overburdened Academe and Lack of Subject Area Expertise .................. 218	
    6.8.2	
    Insufficient Remuneration/Lack of Interest and Willingness to Review ..... 219	
    6.8.3	
    Contact and Communication Difficulties .................................................... 219	
    6.9	
    Editing and Technology........................................................................................... 220	
    6.10	
    Planned ICT Changes for Journals ......................................................................... 222	
    6.11	
    Summary ................................................................................................................. 226	
    vi  CHAPTER 7 ACADEMIC LIBRARY AND THE SCHOLARLY COMMUNITY................... 231	
   7.1	
    Introduction ............................................................................................................. 231	
    7.2	
    Basic Demographics and Library Information ......................................................... 234	
    7.3	
    Staff Composition .................................................................................................... 235	
    7.4	
    Technological Expertise in Libraries ....................................................................... 236	
    7.5	
    Information Communication Technology Infrastructure in Library.......................... 244	
    7.6	
    7.5.1	
    Number of Web Servers Operated by the Surveyed Libraries .................. 244	
    7.5.2	
    Number of Computers Connected to the Internet ...................................... 245	
    7.5.3	
    Development of Institutional Repositories ................................................. 245	
    7.5.4	
    Automated Library Functions ..................................................................... 246	
    7.5.5	
    Availability of Additional E-Resources in Libraries ..................................... 247	
    Journal Publishing Support ..................................................................................... 248	
   7.6.1	
    Subscription Level to African Journals ....................................................... 248	
    7.6.2	
    Subscriptions Rates to Non-African Journals (Print vs. Online) ................ 249	
    7.6.3	
    The Challenge of Access ........................................................................... 251	
    7.7	
    Current Journal Subscription Budgets .................................................................... 252	
    7.8	
    Funding ................................................................................................................... 254	
    7.9	
    Local Content and Publishing ................................................................................. 256	
    7.10	
    Library Production of Local Content Databases...................................................... 256	
    7.11	
    Library Support of Local Journals ........................................................................... 257	
    7.12	
    Benefits Derived from Library Support of Local Journals ........................................ 259	
    7.13	
    Technical Support Available for the Library ............................................................ 260	
    7.14	
    Principal Challenges of Supporting Local Journals ................................................. 262	
    7.15	
    Challenges of Stocking African Journals................................................................. 263	
    7.16	
    Other Challenges .................................................................................................... 264	
    7.17  Summary ................................................................................................................. 265	
    CHAPTER 8 THE STATE OF IT ADMINISTRATION IN AFRICAN UNIVERSITIES ........ 272	
   8.1	
    Introduction ............................................................................................................. 272	
    8.2	
    Qualification Levels of IT Administrators ................................................................. 273	
    8.3	
    Technological Expertise .......................................................................................... 274	
    8.4	
    Types of Institutional ISP Connections ................................................................... 275	
    8.5	
    Current Level of Internet Access ............................................................................. 275	
    8.6	
    Bandwidth Availability ............................................................................................. 276	
    8.7	
    Changes in IT Participation and Use Over the Past 5 Years .................................. 277	
    vii  8.8	
    Institutional ICT Goals ............................................................................................. 278	
    8.9	
    The Role of IT Units in Supporting Online Scholarly Publishing ............................. 279	
    8.10	
    Principal Sources of IT Development Funding ........................................................ 280	
    8.11	
    The Principal Challenges of Providing IT ................................................................ 281	
    8.12	
    Summary ................................................................................................................. 282	
    CHAPTER 9 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS ............................................... 288	
   9.1	
    Introduction ............................................................................................................. 288	
    9.2	
    The State of Scholarly Journal Publishing .............................................................. 288	
    9.3	
    Scholarly Communication Resources ..................................................................... 291	
    9.4	
    Current Levels of ICT-Related Resources and Their Likely Impact on Online Publishing .................................................................................................... 296	
    9.5	
    Online Publishing Systems ..................................................................................... 302	
    9.6	
    Campus Unit Combinations .................................................................................... 305	
   9.6.1	
    Information Technology Unit ...................................................................... 306	
    9.6.2 	
   Library ........................................................................................................ 308	
   9.6.3	
    Journal Editors ........................................................................................... 309	
    9.6.4	
    Faculty/Students ........................................................................................ 309	
    9.6.5	
    University ................................................................................................... 310	
    9.7	
    Major Challenges and Responses .......................................................................... 312	
    9.8	
    Recommendations .................................................................................................. 316	
   9.8.1	
    Network and Collaboration ........................................................................ 316	
    9.8.2	
    Training and Development ......................................................................... 318	
    9.8.3	
    Policy ......................................................................................................... 319	
    9.8.4	
    Donor Support and Initiatives .................................................................... 321	
    9.9	
    Conclusion .............................................................................................................. 322	
    9.10	
    Future Direction....................................................................................................... 323	
    BIBLIOGRAPHY ................................................................................................................. 325	
   APPENDICES ..................................................................................................................... 346	
   Appendix A: Proposal for Center for Study of Online Scholarly Publishing in Africa .......... 346	
   Appendix B: Survey Schedule A ......................................................................................... 368	
   Appendix C: Survey Schedule B ......................................................................................... 372	
   Appendix D: Survey Schedule C......................................................................................... 380	
   Appendix E: Survey Schedule D ......................................................................................... 385	
    viii  LIST OF TABLES Table 4.1  Workshop Location and Participants ............................................................ 132	
    Table 5.1a  Mode of Publication ..................................................................................... 147	
    Table 5.1b  Mode of Publication ..................................................................................... 148	
    Table 5.2  Subscription Rates (in USD) and Circulation Rates ..................................... 157	
    Table 5.3  Av. Price, Number of Articles & Circulation per Journal by Publisher Type .. 158	
    Table 5.4  Circulation, Submission, Price, & Frequency of Journals by Discipline ....... 159	
    Table 5.5  Journal Publication Schedules ..................................................................... 164	
    Table 5.6  Reasons for Break in Publishing Schedules ................................................. 164	
    Table 5.7  Sources of Funding Journals ....................................................................... 167	
    Table 5.8  Regional Trends in Authorship ..................................................................... 171	
    Table 5.9  Trends in Readership ................................................................................... 172	
    Table 5.10  Trends in Readership ................................................................................... 172	
    Table 5.11  Geographical Distributions of Document Deliveries on AJOL ...................... 174	
    Table 5.12  Number of Authors from Sub-Saharan African Countries, 1997 & 2007 ...... 175	
    Table 5.13a By What Means Do You Get Access to Scholarly Articles/Journals? .......... 180	
   Table 5.13b By What Means Do You Get Access to Scholarly Articles/Journals? .......... 180	
   Table 5.14  Average Scholarly Documents Read per Scientist ....................................... 183	
    Table 5.15  The Use & Purpose of Scholarly Journals to the Research Community ..... 185	
    Table 5.16  Motivations to Publish in Scholarly Journals ................................................. 186	
    Table 5.17  Factors Affecting Author’s Choice of Which Journal to Publish In ................ 188	
    Table 5.18  Challenges Faced by Authors Who Submit to the Journals ........................ 189	
    Table 6.1a  Editors’ Qualifications ................................................................................... 199	
    Table 6.1b  Gender of Editors .......................................................................................... 199	
    Table 6.1c  Editorial Experience ...................................................................................... 199	
    Table 6.2  Motivational Factors Behind Editing Work .................................................... 200	
    Table 6.3  Editorial Practices and Procedures ............................................................... 209	
    Table 6.4  Reasons for Rejecting Manuscripts .............................................................. 210	
    Table 6.5  Journal Review Processing Time ................................................................. 212	
    Table 6.6  Challenges of Attracting Reviewers .............................................................. 218	
    Table 6.7  Role of the Internet in Journal Production .................................................... 221	
    Table 6.8  Planned ICT Changes for Journals ............................................................... 222	
    Table 6.9  Anticipated Future ICT Changes .................................................................. 223	
    ix  Table 7.1  Responding Institutions by Country .............................................................. 235	
    Table 7.2  Responding Institutions by Region ............................................................... 235	
    Table 7.3  Highest Tertiary Degree Obtained ............................................................... 235	
    Table 7.4  Professional Staff and Non-Professional ..................................................... 236	
    Table 7.5  Mean Library Staff: Student/Faculty Ratios .................................................. 236	
    Table 7.6  Level of Library Technological Expertise ..................................................... 237	
    Table 7.7  Number of Web Servers Operated by Library ............................................. 244	
    Table 7.8  Distribution of Networked Computers .......................................................... 245	
    Table 7.9  Status of IR Development Among Institutions .............................................. 246	
    Table 7.10  Level of Automation of Library Functions ..................................................... 247	
    Table 7.11  Other Electronic Resources in Library ......................................................... 248	
    Table 7.12  Number of African Journals in Library ......................................................... 249	
    Table 7.13  Annual Subscriptions of Print Journals and Online Journals ....................... 250	
    Table 7.14  Current Library Journal ................................................................................. 253	
    Table 7.15  Sources of Funding ...................................................................................... 254	
    Table 7.16  Library Production of Local Content Databases ........................................... 257	
    Table 7.17  Library Support of Local Journals ................................................................ 258	
    Table 7.18  Benefits Derived from Library Support of Local Journals ............................. 260	
    Table 7.19  Technical Support Available for the Library .................................................. 261	
    Table 7.20  Principal Challenges in Supporting Local Journals ....................................... 263	
    Table 7.21  Challenges of Stocking African Journals ...................................................... 264	
    Table 7.22  Experience of Network Failure ...................................................................... 265	
    Table 7.23  Experience of Power Outages ..................................................................... 265	
    Table 8.1  Level of Staff Qualification ........................................................................... 273	
    Table 8.2  Technology Expertise .................................................................................. 274	
    Table 8.3  Source of Internet Connection ..................................................................... 275	
    Table 8.4  Level & Distribution of Internet Access Within the Academic Community .... 276	
    Table 8.5  Bandwidth Available for Internet Access ..................................................... 277	
    Table 8.6  Changes in IT Participation and Use Over Past 5 Years .............................. 277	
    Table 8.7  Institutional ICT Priorities .............................................................................. 279	
    Table 8.8  The Role of IT Units in Supporting Online Scholarly Publishing ................... 279	
    Table 8.9  Principal Sources of IT Development Funding ............................................. 281	
    Table 8.10  Principle Challenges in Providing Campus IT Services ................................ 282	
    x  LIST OF FIGURES Figure 3.1  The Use of Print vs. Online Journals in UK Universities ............................... 102	
    Figure 4.1  Data Collecting Instruments .......................................................................... 123	
    Figure 4.2  Workshop and Survey Coverage .................................................................. 144	
    Figure 5.1  Demographic Characteristics of Journals Surveyed 2006 and 2007 ............ 147	
    Figure 5.2  Journal Ownership ....................................................................................... 149	
    Figure 5.3  Publishers of the Journals ........................................................................... 150	
    Figure 5.4  Academic Disciplines of Journals ................................................................ 153	
    Figure 5.5  Size of Circulations Among the Journals ..................................................... 156	
    Figure 5.6  Publication Frequency ................................................................................. 162	
    Figure 5.7  Publication Frequency Across Disciplines ................................................... 163	
    Figure 5.8  Trends in Authorship .................................................................................... 171	
    Figure 6.1  Editors’ Perceptions of Reviewers ................................................................ 213	
    Figure 6.2  Summary of the Peer-Review Recruitment Process .................................... 216	
    Figure 9.1  Recommended Combination of Campus Units for Support for Online Publishing .......................................................................................... 307	
    xi  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS When I started my PhD program, I had some doubts about how this journey would pan out. As I reflect now on my four-year program, I can appreciate and relate wholeheartedly to Rose (1989), who said: We live, in America, with so many platitudes about motivation and selfreliance and individualism … that we find it hard to accept the fact that they are serious nonsense. To live your … life on the streets … and to journey up through the top level of the American educational system will call for support and guidance at many, many points along the way. You’ll need people to guide you into conversations that seem foreign and threatening. You’ll need models, lots of them, to show you how to get at what you don’t know. You’ll need people to help you center yourself in your own developing ideas. You’ll need people to watch out for you (pp. 47–48).  I have been blessed to have met people whose encouragement, advice, prodding and empathy made me travel this path with certainty and success. Here, I acknowledge them: My adviser, John Willinsky, and Co-supervisor, Amy Metcalfe, and committee member Rowland Lorimer not only taught me to think in new ways but also made learning a stimulating experience and made communication feel safe. They showed confidence in me when I doubted myself. I wish to thank my committee, especially for their trust and encouragement, and for their insightful advice and guidance. They encouraged me to persevere and continue to provide the right balance of determined prodding and empathetic support. They persistently pushed me to deepen my reasoning and clarify my arguments, and I’m very pleased with the outcome of their efforts. xii  This research was largely funded through a grant from the International Development and Research Council (IDRC), Canada. The Carnegie Corporation also provided financial support. I cannot adequately express my gratitude to my wife, Emmanuela, and our precious daughters, Vanni and Theola, for their support during my candidature. They have endured the journey and have made the most sacrifices in these past four years and for that I am forever grateful. Emmanuela spent many hours assisting with the data entry, editing my write-ups and provided great encouragement. I am grateful to my colleague, Lucy Ry-Kottoh, Head of the Department of Publishing Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana, whose ingenuity created the time and space for me to complete this dissertation.  xiii  DEDICATION As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations, before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. (Romans 4:17)  This dissertation is dedicated to my dad, the late Kwaku Abode Esseh, who against all hope believed in me and called into my life those things which were not as though they were. Growing up in a poor household and poor neighborhood called Christian Village in Ghana, living in a one-bedroom apartment with a family of eleven, and without any hope for formal education, you saw into my future and called me “Dr. Smith”. Today, I am what you envisioned some 40 years ago. Thank you, Dad.  I also dedicate this thesis to my siblings whose pleasure in seeing me complete this program has been uplifting.  xiv  CHAPTER 1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY 1.1  Introduction  This dissertation is based on the tenet that information, and scientific research findings in particular, constitute a public good which society and individuals have an obligation to make as widely accessible as possible, and which individuals should be able to access as a basic right. John Willinsky, has termed this an “access principle” in which “a commitment to the value and quality of research carries with it a responsibility to extend the circulation of such works as far as possible and ideally to all who are interested in it and all who might profit by it” (2006, p. xii). The access principle calls for increasing access to research, and this dissertation explores the question of the potential for just such increases in the sub-Saharan African (SSA) context in the digital era. While pointing out how extending the circulation of knowledge adds value to published work, he argues for greater access as a basic human right: “Basic rights of participation ... are taken for granted by scholars who exist at the centers of publishing activity, even as they assume that these publications represent an open and free discussion of ideas, while in reality ... [circulation limits] define an intellectual periphery” (p. 106). Such an access principle has a history that goes back centuries. The Chinese invention of paper provided means for mass dissemination and the storage of knowledge; books once owned by the privileged few, and treasured as symbols of  1  wealth and power, became more accessible through Gutenberg’s press; and scientific journals published in the late seventeenth century provided a new forum that ensured the concepts of openness and publicness became prominent in modern society, thus underscoring the relevance of access to information and inclusion. The access principle has found new currency on the back of recent developments in digital technologies. New technologies such as the Internet are having an impact on scholarly communication, and this can be seen in its superior speed and interactivity relative to print media; more importantly, and compared to traditional media, the Internet’s superior range and accessibility has helped greatly reduce the high cost of producing and distributing scholarly journals, such costs having proved in recent times antithetical to the ethos of knowledge sharing which underlies the access principle. With the advent of the latest technological and information revolution in the 1990s, Willinsky questioned whether the research community would capitalize on this new publishing medium, already integral to the scholarly process, to extend and advance the circulation and exchange of knowledge. Would digital technologies allow for the free flow of information? Would they help establish an equitable global information order beyond the colonial legacies of “center” and “periphery” in the geopolitics of knowledge? To the extent that most of the world’s scientific activities are concentrated in a handful of countries, from a global perspective, these constitute the “center” while other countries stand at the periphery of world scientific activity (Maričić, 2002). This intellectual periphery, in practice, represents a lack of access to scholarly research in certain regions of the world due to communication, ideological  2  and economic barriers which work against engagement in this human endeavor (Maričić, 2002). In this regard, further research on the access principle is very timely; the digital revolution continues to influence every aspect of scholarly communication in ways that demand that such questions be addressed. Research that aims to explore the current state of this access is in line, for example, with the ideals and principles of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which strives to promote cultural pluralism, the free flow of ideas, and the need for regulation of global exchanges and global societies of shared knowledge. As things now stand, too many people are denied access to basic information as a result of geographical location or social condition. It is against this background that this study was conceived and administered; specifically, this study sought to examine how globalization and the expanded use of information technology are affecting the adoption of online publishing systems in order to a) enhance African participation in global scholarly discourse, and b) explore ways of improving access to, and circulation of, African scholarship and research.  1.2  Purpose of the Study  The overall purpose of this study was to investigate current publishing practices among scholarly journals in Africa, while exploring the potential use of online publishing systems to aid those practices. Over the last decades, several initiatives have been conceived to improve information communication infrastructure and human capacity-building in Information Communication Technology (ICT) in Africa. 3  Now that access to research, Internet bandwidth, and librarians’ technical skills are improving, the next logical step is to direct these developments toward supporting local scholarly publishing initiatives designed to both increase access to African research and advance local research capacities. This study was therefore designed by the author to meet with and survey journal editors and academic librarians across sub-Saharan African universities in an effort to assess a) the current state of scholarly journal publishing, b) the level of technical infrastructure supporting access to knowledge for faculty and students, and c) the potential value of utilizing online journal management and publishing systems to increase both the reporting of African research and global access to it. This study was designed to describe the current state of scholarly journal publishing by its editorial, production, economic, and institutional aspects, all of which will provide a baseline from which to assess changes in coming years. This study further seeks to better understand the various technical, editorial and scholarly issues involved in journal publishing today as well as the potential viability of online publishing systems from a variety of perspectives: journal editors and their IT staff, potential editors, interested faculty and students, university librarians, and IT administrators. At a time when global access to knowledge is a fundamental requirement for economic development, when research is recognized as vital to evidence-based policy initiatives, and when higher education is increasingly seen as an important component in development, there is a pressing need to explore the current and potential new ways of having African researchers and scholars participate in the 4  exchange of global knowledge. This project thus aspires to research and develop one possible means of enhancing that exchange.  1.3  Research Questions  Scholarly Journal Publishing: What changes are underway in the editorial, economic, technical, and distribution patterns among sample African journals in this study? What are the major challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for these journals? Scholarly Communication Infrastructure: What are the current levels and patterns of access to online/print resources, both African and global, among faculty and students participating in this study? What are the current levels of ICT-related resources in research libraries and academic centers in African universities, and what is their likely impact on online publishing? What are the social, scholarly, and economic factors affecting scholarly communication? How have changes in technical infrastructure over the last five years affected scholarly publishing and communication? Online Publishing Systems: In what ways can online technologies (e.g., locally maintained open source software) be used to strengthen and support scholarly publishing? What are the related needs in infrastructure, and training, and support networks? What combination of campus units (e.g., libraries, IT services, university presses) could provide strong support for online publishing?  5  1.4  Significance of the Study  This study has sought to provide a more accurate and factual description of the current state of scholarly publishing in Africa through an empirical study designed to elicit information from active participants within the scholarly community: authors, editors, publishers, graduate students, faculty, scientists, librarians, IT staff and university administrators. As a result of this analysis, a set of recommendations has been drawn up. These recommendations include establishing some form of Online Scholarly Publishing Sites (OSPS) in association with university libraries or other research institutional centers, which would be responsible for supporting vibrant online journal publishing and management systems. A second recommendation is for a publishing support and training unit for OSPS as part of the Publishing Studies program at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana (see Appendix A)1. By working in conjunction with institutional centers and university libraries, we can prepare students in a variety of capacities to provide support and training in establishing OSPS in research libraries which can operate as publishing sites for journals throughout Africa. This model has already been successfully implemented by the Brazilian government through the Instituto Brasileiro de Informação em Ciência e Tecnologia (IBICT) in Brazilia, which has assembled a team who are currently supporting over 500 Brazilian journals and using Open Journal Systems (http://www.ibict.br/). And just as IBICT continues to work with the Public Knowledge 1  The factors that influenced the choice of Ghana and KNUST in particular are clearly explained in Appendix A.  6  Project on the development of publishing software, so the OSPS support and training unit at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology is a growing part of a global community that continues to evolve around the development of open source software as part of its sustainability strategy. The research and academic community in Africa would do well to understand the nature and current state of scholarly publishing, not to mention the opportunity proffered by online publishing systems within the research community. During periods such as the present, when the emphasis is gradually shifting from teaching to research and from print to online sources, the production and dissemination of scholarly research is important to the professional development of both academic institutions and individual faculty members. This study shows how the current system of print journal publishing in Africa is under considerable stress and, as a result, how the research community in Africa has lost much of its ability to fulfill its original mandate. This study explores the degree to which the research community in Africa is interested in employing new information technologies. At the same time, the research examines the limitation of this new medium and provides a cautionary note on moving too quickly from print to online publishing. Finally, the research information gathered within this study serves to inform journal publishing strategies and planning on economic, technical, editorial, and scholarly quality issues across the continent.  7  1.5  Statement of Problem and Rationale for the Study  There is no culture without knowledge production (Zegeye and Vembe, 2006), and throughout history, Africans have developed their own powerful culture of knowledge. In the words of Hamel (2005a), “the African spirit, ingenuity, creativity, cleverness, inventiveness and imagination gave birth to hominization, and humanization. Homo sapiens (scientist) and homo faber (technologist) were truly Africans.” As Hamel states further, “today, African knowledge continues to excel in many areas, such as in science, literature, theater and painting” (2005, p. 11). Hamel’s sense of historicization here is persuasive, but the additional point has to be made that, while Africans have developed a powerful knowledge culture, the limitations placed on the transmission of African scholarship has limited African scholars and constrained their meaningful participation in the global exchange of knowledge. Be that as it may, the access principle calls on society to leverage technologies in order to improve not only access but also to create opportunities for greater African participation in global knowledge exchanges. The underlying principle whereby a commitment to scholarship carries the obligation of broad dissemination finds various articulations in differing contexts. Some 50 years ago, UNESCO set out guidelines for the development of higher education in Africa, which included the “elucidation of, and appreciation for, African culture and heritage, and to dispel misconceptions of Africa, through research and teaching of African studies and the development of “a truly African pattern of higher learning dedicated to Africa and its people yet promoting a bond of kinship to the larger  8  human society” (UNESCO, 1963, p. 3). Yet no sooner had research libraries in Africa and other parts of the developing world begun to build modest journal collections in the hundreds and even thousands of titles during the 1960s and 1970s than those collections were decimated by subscription price increases, currency fluctuations, and local economic troubles. In Ethiopia, for example, Addis Ababa University lost 70% of its 1,200 subscriptions to its institutional journals in the late 1980s (Rosenberg, 1997). The introduction of the Internet in Africa has proven a source of hope for higher education’s improved access to research and scholarship. Internet access across the continent is now a reality, some 93% of university campuses operate networks, the majority on leased lines, and satellite downlinks (VSAT) representing a close second (Steiner, Tirivayi, Jensen, and Gakio, 2005). As a result of the support of various organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP), African research libraries have been able to obtain free access to a wide range of online scholarly publications.2 It is time to shift attention to scholarly publishing as a means of developing research capacities, as universities in the North and Africa work together “by sharing their resources within [the] framework of formative projects” [and] as Bonaventure Mvé-Ondo advocates, “with shared responsibilities and  2  Since 2000, INASP has been operating its Program for the Enhancement of Research Information (PERii), which currently makes 11,000 full-text journals available to qualified countries, along with database access and document delivery service, and additional titles (including e-books) are added each year. This program is also supported by a series of workshops that develop local skills in electronic resource library management.  9  benefits, by taking advantage of digital tools to do so, by gaining and producing knowledge together” (2005, p. 62). The economics of scholarly research access in Africa are currently such that higher education institutions are paying 100 times more for Internet bandwidth than what a comparable college would pay in North America or Europe, even as the bandwidth of a typical institution may be little more than that of private home in the West (INASP, 2003). Still, efforts are underway to improve the situation by introducing market reforms and competition, improving bandwidth management within universities, and utilizing open source systems and software; meanwhile, it seems only prudent to continue with research and development projects aimed at increasing Internet access to faculty and students in order to further develop local research capacity and culture through such ventures as improved scholarly publishing systems. Recently, the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa (a consortia of six major US foundations) announced plans to commit $350 million to African universities, with the intent of creating, among other things, “an eightfold increase in Internet bandwidth to a coalition of 11 African universities and two higher-education organizations” (“Six Foundations Commit”, 2005). Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, has said that “knowledge, innovation and talent are critical currencies needed to thrive in today’s interconnected world, and Africa’s universities are increasingly looked upon to generate the ideas and talent necessary to address Africa’s challenges, on Africa’s terms” (“Six Foundations Commit”, 2005). The rise of “knowledge-based aid” is placing a greater emphasis on post-secondary education 10  and the building of research culture as a focus for development (King and McGrath, 2004). Now that African universities have achieved far greater access to scholarly literature through increases in Internet access and open access initiatives, there have been expressions of concern over what Y. Z. Ya’u, Executive Director of the Computer Literacy Project (CLP) Nigeria, describes as “the resurgence of imperialism, this time represented by knowledge dependence” (2004, p. 11). Others, such as Silvia Federici and George Caffentzis, have addressed the undermining of “the production and distribution of knowledge in Africa,” making “it increasingly difficult for African intellectuals and professionals to carry on with their work and participate in the global exchange of ideas” (Federici and Caffentzis, 2004, p. 81). New methods of publishing are only one piece of the puzzle, of course, but supporting a strong academic journal culture among African universities would certainly contribute to creating “autonomous universities and an independent set of African scientists and lawyers,” which Federici and Caffentzis insist form “the necessary institutional support for the protection of ‘local’ knowledge” (p. 95).3  1.6  Research Design  This study required a combination of mixed-mode survey and workshop discussion, which generated both qualitative and quantitative analysis of research questions.  3  The Committee for Academic Freedom in Africa, of which Federici and Caffentzis are a part, has developed a code of ethics which calls on scholars to, for example, ensure that Africans “have the means of production and distribution of knowledge” and that African people's “contribution to world culture” is valued (Federici and Caffentzis, 2004, p. 97).  11  The application of standard research principles in developing countries without allowing for the social, cultural and linguistic boundaries of these countries will fail to achieve the desired results. As noted in Chapter 3, getting people to complete questionnaires is always difficult and is perhaps more so in Africa. To compensate for these inadequacies, a strategic decision was made to transform the original data collection instrument into a multifaceted one – mixed-mode survey and workshop discussion – to be administered within a workshop setting. Essentially, the goal was twofold: to select a principal data collection procedure whose strengths suited the project’s aims, and to select a contrasting but complementary method whose strengths could add to the research design’s overall ability to address the research questions (Morgan, 1998). Survey research is regarded by many as one of the most important methodological breakthroughs in the social sciences. Babbie (1995) noted that “survey research is probably the best method available to the social scientist interested in collecting data for describing a population too large to observe directly” (p. 550). It has been the most widely applied tool of empirical investigation for decades. It ensures that we “make factual as opposed to conjectural statements about the world—that is, statements based on evidence as opposed to statements based on suppositions or hunch” (Guppy and Gray, 2008). It is well defined, and it requires precise procedures which, when followed closely, yield valid and easily interpretable data. Survey research can provide comprehensive insights into current practices in scientific and scholarly communication among the research community, as well as the various organizational and technical forces shaping scientific communication; at 12  the same time, it enables the researcher to gauge the attitudes and orientations of respondents towards the adoption of emerging electronic infrastructure for scholarly communication. Another strategic consideration was the use of workshop discussion as an adjunct to the mixed-mode survey method. Publishing is often considered a cultural industry because it deals in meaning making and ideas, which help give shape and define the distinctiveness of a particular society. Understanding the complexities involved in scholarly publishing practices of a given society requires the researcher to allow the society itself to interpret its own environment and practices. It was thus necessary to anchor this research in the norms, values, and experiences of the population under study. Consequently, video and tape recorded workshops were particularly well suited for conducting research that provided qualitative data reflecting participants’ feelings, values, opinions, and attitudes (Courtois and Turtle, 2008, p. 2). Finally, workshop discussion provided the opportunity to explore participants’ knowledge of and experience in scholarly publishing. They were encouraged to explore related issues using their own phraseology, based on their own ideas and priorities in the possibilities for utilizing online technologies to support journal publishing.  13  CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1  Introduction  This literature review examines the scope, state and manner of scholarly publishing as well as the underlying challenges of scholarly communication in higher institutions in Africa. What became apparent in the process of this review, however, was the lack of adequate literature on scholarly publishing in Africa compared to other regions in the world. Furthermore, some of the literature available was based on opinions and speculations with little data to support the conjectures that were being made, while other studies that do exist are typically too narrow in their scope to be of value in understanding the situation across the continent. Still, there is much to be learned from the work that has been done.  2.2  Historical Perspective  Scholarly journal publishing, an authoritative voice of academic publishing, is characterized by successive, typically regular—monthly, quarterly or biannual— releases of issues containing original academic research and scholarship. The content of scholarly journals is usually established through peer review, a system employed to maintain standards, improve performance, and provide credibility (Page et al.,1997; Schauder, 1994). The route to publication can be lengthy, as content is verified, validated, revised, published and disseminated.  14  The genesis of scholarly publishing, which evolved unevenly around the world, dates to the second half of the seventeenth century in Europe and the nineteenth century in the United States (Tenopir and King, 2000). Among the earliest peer-reviewed research journals were the Journal de Scavans and Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, both published in the seventeenth century [1666/1665]. Until this time, private communication between scholars was largely accomplished through carefully crafted notes and letters. The meetings and activities of these early scholars were often referred to as constituting an “invisible college”. But as these societies began to witness growth in membership, regular meetings were augmented with “an expanding number of printed pamphlets and treatises” (David, 2008, p. 56), and years later the principal communication tool, scholarly journals. Since the seventeenth century, scholarly journals have served as the principal medium for communication among scholars (Kaur, 2007; Harter, 1998; Tenopir and King, 2000).  2.3  Higher Institutions and the Development of Scholarly Journals in Africa  In Africa, however, a panoply of factors has played a significant role in shaping the state of scholarly publishing. It is therefore essential that scholarly communication be situated within appropriate historical context to better picture the evolution and current state of scientific publishing on the continent. An attempt to present a historical perspective of journal publishing in Africa, however, is a challenging task because of the unavailability of literature in this area. A search in the most reliable  15  databases yielded almost zero results. My observation is that African journals are not indexed in the major international databases for a range of reasons that are disputable but outside the purview of this paper. What is examined in this dissertation, therefore, covers both reviewed and non-juried articles, with much reliance on monographs as well as conference proceedings, and reports from gray literature together with limited consultation with experts. According to available literature, although scholarly journals appeared on the continent as early as 1903,4 the burgeoning of scholarly printed and peer-reviewed journals occurred mostly in the late 1950s through to the early 1960s as the following examples with their founding date illustrate: the Military History Journal, 19675; The Journal of Religion in Africa, 1967; African Columnist, 19596; Africa Studies, 19217; The Black Sash, 19598; English in Africa, 19749; The Journal of Folklore Research, 1964; Africa Today, 1954; and Transition, 1961.  4  South Africa Journal of Science was established in 1903 as the proceedings of the annual meetings of the SA Association for the Advancement of Science. <http://www.sajs.co.za/index.php/SAJS/about/editorialPolicies> 5 The Military History Journal (incorporating the Museum Review), established in 1967, is published by the South African National Museum Of Military History in association with the South African Military History Society, bi-annually, in June and December. The aim of the journal is to publish research and articles of interest concerning military history by members of the Society or the Museum or any other person who wishes to submit his or her work. 6 African Communist is the journal of the South African Communist Party. It is published quarterly as a forum for Marxist-Leninist thought. 7 First published as Bantu Studies in 1921, the journal included among its early editors and contributors many pioneering scholars in anthropology and linguistics: Schapera, Gluckman, Marwick, Mayer, Vilakazi, Rheinallt Jones, Doke, Cole, and Hammond-Tooke. Building on this legacy, the journal now casts its net more broadly and includes history, sociology, politics, geography, and literary and cultural studies. 8 The Black Sash was a journal concerned with human rights and how they were abused during the Apartheid Era." 9 English in Africa was founded in 1974 to provide a forum for the study of African literature in English. The journal also publishes scholarly articles on African writing in English with particular emphasis on research in new or underresearched areas in African literature.  16  An examination of these founding dates indicates that the production of scholarly journals is a post-independence phenomenon that accompanied the institutionalization of university education in Africa. This was a period when many countries in Africa begun to shake off the shackles of colonialism and commenced the onward move toward institutionalization of higher education. In The Scholarly Journal in The Production and Dissemination of Knowledge in Africa, Adebowale (2001) states that, “the establishment and proliferation of universities and higher institutions in Africa from the latter half of the twentieth century influenced the development of scholarly journals on the continent” (p. 2). Paul Zeleza (1997, p. 14) also traced the history of journals in Africa to the establishment of universities on the continent, which were seen as an “ivory tower for cultural modernity and factories for economic development.” The development of university education itself in Africa was piecemeal, and access by the indigenes was very limited for the simple reason that “the colonial authorities were generally suspicious of and opposed to the modern educated African elite and their nationalist demands for equality and freedom, and colonial civil servants feared African competition” (Zeleza, 2006, p. 2). Educating the indigenes was thought by the settlers to have the power to make them a “republic of letters” who might engage the new print technology to create an environment to foster cosmopolitan debate, reform and social mobilization against the colonial regimes. Even the few Africans whose voices found a place in the press were branded as dangerous African elites that had shown the “tendencies toward pan-Africanism, nationalism and hostility toward the settler population … and such elite class were in fact, malignant forces in 17  the health of indigenous communities, and the ‘de-tribalized native’ disrupted what would otherwise be a happy cooperation between Africans and their tutors in civilization” (Windel, 2009, p. 12). Until the dawn of independence of African states, according to Zeleza (2006, p. 2), higher education of a university status was scarce and limited. Access to higher education was most possible abroad, and in Africa it was limited to only states that were controlled and protected by the British and French; territories controlled by Belgian and Portuguese had no higher institutions of learning. The system of education at this point – called “industrial education” advocated by the United States and supported by Britain – was “designed to maintain the exploitative colonial relationship between white Europeans and black Africans” (Brown, 1964, p. 369; Windel, 2009, p. 1). It was a system, as observed by Malinowsky (1964, p. 655) that opposed the colonial system of education, designed “to educate Africans to an inadequate and inferior position within the lower caste of a mixed community.” However, the unpopularity of and general discontent with the educational system by the people it was intended for, around this period, fostered movements for African independence in education, “Movements toward an independent school system with African teachers, literary curriculum, and anti-colonial political aims emerged in multiple sites” (Windel, 2009, p. 6). And with those movements, the stymieing of higher education in Africa was soon over. By 1950–60, most countries in Africa had succeeded in throwing off the shackles of colonialism and establishing university education, accompanied by a smattering of scholarly journals. The development and  18  growth of universities before and after independence is described in the following statement by Zeleza: Colonial rule left behind very few universities; the majority of countries did not even have a single university, so that one of the key challenges for the new independent states was to establish or expand their higher education systems. Across Africa the growth in higher education after independence was nothing short of phenomenal. The new states embarked on ambitious development programs in which universities were seen as central for training a highly skilled labor force, creating and reproducing a national elite, and enhancing national prestige. … the number of universities grew from less than three dozen in 1960 to more than four hundred in 1995 and several hundred more have perhaps been introduced since then with the explosion of private universities. (Zeleza, 2006, p. 4)  The new universities were larger, had a broader mission, were diverse and flexible in their structures and models, and they were more relevant to Africa’s developmental needs. They expanded their purview of knowledge “from the arts and social sciences to include professional fields of study such as business, medicine and engineering” (Zeleza, 2006); and were viewed, by the new states, as channels for cultural modernity and vehicles for socio-economic development (Agbo, 2005, p. 91). African historian, Zeleza (1998) further wrote: Charged with this mission, and committed to the protocol of scholarly discourse, journals were founded – mostly in literature, history and political science, and development economics – to trace the teleological march of the once reviled “native” subject to respected national citizens and their society from underdevelopment to development.  19  Journals, as it may seem, were fostered and sustained by the development and growth of university education that held the promise for economic and social development. The goal of nationalism, shared by governments and scholars of higher institutions of learning, created a symbiotic relationship between the state and the universities, which ensured extensive government funding for the universities (Teferra, 2003, p. 26). As Gaillard and Waast explain (as cited in Teferra, 2003, p. 25), “African universities experienced academic expansion with a record nine percent annual increase (more than developed countries) in the number of scientists and … made a valiant effort to build national research systems.” As more universities were established and student intake increased, there were more opportunities for scholarly publishing. At approximately the same time, the developing atmosphere of scientific discovery, collegiality, the quest for personal and professional advancement and the determination to emancipate the continent, required an improved means of communication; and the choice was the scholarly journal. Furthermore, as funding for academic institutions increased, and scientists sought an outlet for their intellectual product, so too did government’s capacity to support scholarly publishing increase. The result was the proliferation of journals (Zeleza, 1997, p. 15). In Zeleza’s (1997, p. 14) assessment, journals established during this period “enjoyed widespread circulation.” He identified two journals – Black Orpheus and Transition, which had a large impact on the West – as the “most influential literary journals that flourished, providing writers, critics and students with an unprecedented 20  forum to exchange ideas and to share the intoxicating moment of Africa’s independence.” Now, unfortunately, they are published in the US. Many years after independence, universities and research institutions remain the major centers of knowledge production in Africa, and the journal remains the major means of scholarly communication and a central unit of knowledge domain within the academic community (Teferra, 2004, p. 161; Zeleza, 1998, p. 18). However, over the years, the production of scholarly journals in African universities has seriously declined, and access to African research output is simply not accessible or available across the region or outside it. The deteriorating economic state of most African countries in the 1970s and 1980s, the daunting task of nation building and the ensuing repression and starvation of (funds in) higher education along with undue state interference and control of universities soon affected research and knowledge production and for that matter the production of scholarly journal (Adebowale, 2001; Zeleza, 2002, p. 11; Teferra, 2003). Academic freedom of inquiry by faculty and students, and freedom to teach and communicate ideas and fact without state censorship or discipline, was brought to a halt. A 2002 World Bank publication, Higher Education in Developing Countries Peril and Promise, reveals how the state controlled the universities “in the same way they managed roads, the army or customs…” (World Bank 2002, p. 63). Governments frequently appointed vice-chancellors and influenced faculty appointments and promotion; ministries designed and dictated degree requirements and curricula, and similar decisions were made on political grounds rather than on merit (World Bank, 2002, pp. 53, 63; Adebowale, 2001). This undue state 21  intervention affected and created a frosty relationship between the state and the academic communities “as academics began to question state research agenda and excesses of corruption, tribalism and incompetence among members of the ruling elites” (Adebowale, 2001). The political climate for publishing became challenging because the state began to perceive publishing, as “irrelevant” academic research, “either because it was not ‘applied’ research or because African academics were adversarial… or because they blindly followed Western research themes” (Zeleza 2003, p. 101).10 The state became suspicious of and repressive towards academics, seeing them as perpetuating foreign ideology, and this left little or no room for scholars to engage in critical discourse. Zeleza explains further that this trend worsened in the 1980s when studies were published by people who obviously wanted to promote a particular course or support a particular viewpoint, like the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), questioning the cost-effectiveness of universities. It is impossible to discuss African higher education and research capacity building without discussing the important role of donors and international agencies, particularly the WB and the IMF. Since the 1980s, the WB and the IMF have consistently compelled African countries to adopt and implement Structural Adjustment Policies (SAP) designed and packaged by these donors. This SAP 10  Paul Zeleza “Managing and inventing the postcolonial States in Africa” See also Mkandawire, "African Intellectuals and Nationalism." Ali A. Mazrui, Political Values and the Educated Class in Africa (London: Heinemann, 1978); Academic Freedom in Africa, ed. Mamadou Diouf and Mahmood Mamdani (Dakar: Codesria Book Series, 1994); Emmanuel Ngara, The African University and Its Mission (Roma, Lesotho: Institute of Southern African Studies, 1995); Kwesi Prah, Beyond the Color Line (Cape Town: Vivlia, 1997); J. F. Ade Ajayi, Lameck K. H. Goma, and G. Ampah Johnson, The African Experience with Higher Education.  22  included the removal of subsidies to student education, the introduction of costsharing measures in higher education (including user fees), the privatization and diversification of the higher education system, and currency devaluation (Metcalfe, Esseh, and Willinsky, 2009). The WB/IMF insisted on educational reforms that promoted primary and vocational training because Africa “lacks both intellectual and technological capacity to sustain higher education” (Federici, Caffentzis, and Alidou, 2000, p. 39). The WB argued, in effect, that “higher education in Africa was a luxury…and that most African countries were better off closing universities at home and training overseas” (Brock-Utne, 2003, p. 8). Only since the turn of the century has the WB begun to get behind what it now calls “knowledge societies,” placing greater emphasis on higher education about themes of “knowledge sharing” as part of its direction for future support (World Bank, 2002, p. 107). The misguided twentieth-century stance of the WB, which resulted in a shift in educational policy in the late 1970s and 1980s, led to a drastic decline in state resources for universities. University budgets for education were slashed by 26%, enrolment rates declined, and books from primers to biology textbooks became scarce commodities (Federici, Caffentzis, and Alidou, 2000). Meanwhile, student enrollments in universities in Africa increased by 61% between 1980 and 1990, from 337,000 to 542,700 (Saint, 1993, cited in Teferra, 2003, p. 26). For example, at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana, student enrollment to pursue the Publishing Studies program was 9 in 1992; by 2002 the enrollment for the same program had risen to 230.  23  However, growth in student population at the universities did not result in a corresponding increase in resources. Instead, government funds for universities drastically declined and had far-reaching consequences. Life on university campuses across the region was marked by overcrowded classrooms, collapsing and dilapidated buildings, and ailing water and electrical systems. University faculty lived and worked in similar conditions with below subsistence wages (Metcalfe, Esseh and Willinsky, 2009, p. 96) Universities were without books; teachers and scholars were deprived of the material required to pursue their studies and follow the developments taking place in their disciplines elsewhere in the world, and of an ability to keep teaching and research up-to-date. As we know, the correlation between the level of funding of university education and the level of research production in a country is conversely related. Teferra (2003, p. 56) aptly remarks, “much of what goes on in the university thus has a direct bearing on the lives of these journals.” As financial resources for university education declined, the infrastructure and other resources for the creation and dissemination of knowledge declined, and the actual quantity and quality of national research and publication generated by the universities declined (Teferra, 2003, p. 29). Jacques Gaillard (2003, p. 15) emphasizes this point when he observes that the “severe cuts in [state] funding pushed institutions of higher education and research centers into steep decline.” These crises not only affected the university system but also crippled every effort directed towards scientific research. Olukoju (2002) and Teferra illustrate the situation in the following statements:  24  First, outstanding scholars fled [their] countries’ tottering ivory towers for stable climate, others were distracted into pursuits aimed at ensuring their material survival, [while] others left the academia for business, still others vegetated as library facilities proved increasingly obsolete and grossly under funded. Olukoju (2002).  Teferra (2003, p. 29) corroborates Olukoju’s argument: In fact, the primordial scholarly environment that emerged in the 1960s and the effort that gathered momentum to establish a high-powered scholarly and civic infrastructure lost its steam in the chaotic decades that followed. The small but critical numbers of scholars Africa managed to produce have left [for] overseas, forced by the serious plight at home to seek a better working and living environment elsewhere, rendering massive drain while those who remained behind watch themselves [become] academically stagnated and incapacitated.  These policies and conditions have meant that Africa has fallen behind the rest of the world in its contributions to global scholarship (Gevers and Mati, 2006; Mouton et al., 2008; Butcher et al., 2008, Gray, 2009, p. 6). According to the UNESCO Science Report 2005, while all the regions of the world – Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania – made a significant increase in their contribution to world scientific knowledge in the year 2000, Africa was the only continent that failed to make any significant contribution (UIS Bulletin, 2005, p. 6). The report concludes that in five years (1991–96), compared with Europe or with the rest of the world, Africa had lost 20–25% of its relative capacity to make contributions to world science (UNESCO Science Report, 2005, p. 183). This is in part because academic research and knowledge production has been enmeshed in a net of economic, social, political and technological challenges. Ability  25  to access scholarly journals and monographs outside the continent has also been affected by declining national economies, diminishing library budgets, and escalating subscription costs. African countries have been pushed further to the margin of knowledge acquisition and production and subsequently isolated from the global community of scholars. The inability of the universities to contribute to research meant that other actors had to surface as the producers and disseminators of research on the continent. According to Adebowale (2001), “this vacuum was filled by the proliferation of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and other civil society actors” (p. 4). He states further that, “From the late seventies, scholarly publishing in Africa would be dominated by NGOs [and] today, some of the outstanding academic journals on the continent were either established or are being supported through the efforts of continental institutions” (p. 4). Gaillard and Waast (1993) assert that about 70% of the research resources of African universities come from external sources. This historical overview of scholarly publishing in African universities brings to the fore some important questions with particular reference to the emergence and proliferation of electronic communication. Because of the already polarized and deteriorating state of scholarly publishing, have African universities the capacity – economic, infrastructure, human resources and socio-political will – to benefit from the advantages offered by new publishing systems? Will the transition to electronic forms of publishing from print further widen the gap or narrow the gap between researchers in the developed nations and their counterparts in the developing countries, and further marginalize already marginalized scientists and scholars in 26  developing nations? Knowing that higher education institutions in Africa are unlikely to recover in the near future from the funding attack they have experienced in the last three decades, what new publishing strategies and methods could be successfully employed to give African scholars a global presence in the scholarly community? The body of literature that could address these questions is limited and even where it exists it is fragmented, inaccessible or outdated. The aim of this research is to provide answers to these questions in a systematic way.  2.4  The Current State of Scholarly (Journal) Publishing in African Universities  Much has been said and written about the state of journal publishing in developed countries in the past two decades. Many individuals, task forces, committees and associations have conducted surveys and studies on scholarly communications with the purpose of sustaining the system. However, once again, searching through databases reveals that many fewer studies been devoted to understanding the state of scientific journal publishing in Africa, compared to studies in developed countries. Notable exceptions that give a good indication of the state of journal/scientific publishing in Africa in the mid- to late-1990s are contained in three remarkable works. Altbach’s (1998) review of The Role and Nurturing of Journals in the Third World looks at journals from the point of view of the international network and its impact on journal production in developing countries. He examines problems and prospects with contemporary journals, and the challenges of Third World journal publishing. Paul Zeleza (1998) examines the forces that have contributed to, and  27  constrained, the publication of scholarly journals in Africa in the last two decades. Specifically, he looks at the challenges of editing journals in Africa. The third, Damtew Teferra (1998), looks at the significance of information technology for African scholarly journals by examining the role of (Desktop publishing) DTP in African scholarly publishing, and level of ICT infrastructure etc. Other attempts have been made to present a portrait of journal publishing in Africa. Some of these initiatives consisted of looking at scholarly publishing as a whole (Darko-Ampem, 2005), and others were restricted to the study of individual countries (Aguolu, 1998; Pouris 2005; Olukoju, 2002). Far fewer have been the attempts to present a qualitative and quantitative overview of the state of journal publishing with emphasis on trends in number and size, trends in cost and price and the circulation trends of scholarly journals in Africa (Hussein and Priestley, 2002; Teferra, 2004). This study, complemented with workshop reports, critically examines the current state – trends in number and size, in cost and price, and in circulation – of scholarly journal publishing in Africa. Over and above that, this research examines the state of journal publishing with particular reference to readership and authorship, editorial and peer review, and the role of digital technology in the publishing process.  2.5  Current Trends in Numbers  Although there are many common trends relating to scholarly publishing worldwide, there are a number of specific matters that affect African scholarly publishing. A review of many studies shows unstable trends in scholarly publishing in Africa. The 1960s to 1970s witnessed a rise in scholarly publishing. The rise continued to the 28  early 1980s and plateaued in the mid-1980s. In the late 1980s, scholarly publishing began to fall. This trend continued to the end of the 1990s (Adebowale 2001; Hussein and Priestly 2002; Teferra, 2003). For example, in a survey conducted in 1996, Jaygbay (1998) puts scholarly journals on the continent at 400 titles produced by forty-eight countries. A year later, the African Periodical Exhibit (APEX) catalogue listed 135 titles from 22 African countries and two years later this number further dropped to 70 titles from 16 countries (Adebowale 2001; Teferra 2003, p. 55). The continuous fall in the number of journals published from the late 1980s to the 1990s is an indication of the dwindling capacity by African scholars to contribute to global scholarly discourse. Using the African scholarly publication index in the PASCAL database from 1991 to 1997 and in the ISI database from 1981 to 2000, the following trends are observed. The capacity to research and produce scholarship in Africa is concentrated in a few countries. Gaillard (2003, p. 17) observes that South Africa produced 3,000 publications in 2001, accounting for a third of the continent’s scientific literature indexed in the ISI database. This is followed by Egypt with a little under 2,000 publications. He explains further that South Africa and Egypt together with seven other countries—Morocco, Tunisia, Kenya, Nigeria and Algeria—account for threequarters of African scientific production. Another gloomy revelation from PASCAL is that the output per scientist is abysmally low compared to the rest of the world. “The PASCAL database shows that in 1991 African scientists’ production in terms of publication amounted to just four per cent of the publication output of European scientists. This figure fell to three per cent in 29  1997” (Gaillard 2003, p. 17). The implication is that, Africa, as claimed by Gaillard (2003, pp. 17–18), could not keep up with the production of knowledge in the 1990s. Worst of all, African scholarly publishing has been characterized by irregularities and uncertainties (Aguolu and Aguolu, 1998; Ganu, 1999; Yahia, 1999). The most current and comprehensive database devoted purely to African published peer-reviewed scholarly journals is the Africa Journal OnLine (AJOL) database. It claims primarily to provide access and increase visibility to African-published research and indigenous scholarship worldwide. As of 2010, the AJOL database shows a total of 402 journals, 5,567 issues, 59,961 abstracts, and 48,469 full texts. Circulation numbers for African scholarly journals are also very low. The APEX catalogue puts circulation numbers for African periodicals from 100 to 16,000. It is important, however, that this statement be treated with care, since this figure is not a representation of pure scholarly publications. Hussein and Smart (2002) describe it better by saying, “[The] higher circulation numbers are associated with the semipopular magazines and society/association publications with the true scholarly journals usually having a circulation of less than 500, usually in the order of 100– 200.” In another survey of African journal editors in a 1996 workshop, it was established that only one journal had more than 400 external subscribers. The rest of the journals had a maximum circulation of 50 or even less (Teferra, 2003, p. 57). This observation re-emphasizes the fact that African scholarly works are poorly distributed, barely marketed and hardly accessed. The worst situation is that most journals that enjoy high circulation outside the continent have very limited circulation within the continent (Teferra, 2003, p. 58). 30  If there is a correlation between level of circulation and the cost of producing a journal and hence the unit price of a journal, then journals with small circulation rates require a very high unit sales price to cover production costs, whereas journals with very large circulation rates can afford to sell at a lower unit price to cover production costs (Tenopir and King, 2000, pp. 247–248). Most scholarly journals from Africa publish research that has potentially low readership, and therefore publishers require large first-copy cost to recover costs of production. This cost is beyond the budget of most research institutions in Africa. To this end, the cost of publishing a single journal is so huge that research institutions cannot afford to publish a single volume before the demise of the journal.  2.6  Current Trends in Authorship and Editorial Process  There are many stakeholders who are actively involved in the business of scholarly publishing. Tenopir and King (2000) identify principal participants in the process of journal publishing to include creators and authors, reviewers/referees including editors, and the libraries. The following sub-sections examine the literature on the current state of scientists (authors and readers) as well as other participants and how their activities influence the production of scholarly journals in Africa.  2.6.1  Trends in Authorship  Authors are the creators and originators of ideas. They are, according to Tenopir (2000), the educationists, social scientist, scientists, and engineers who, through experiment, investigation, observation and experience, create new information. They  31  are the fountains from which ideas flow that eventually crystallize into scholarly journals. Ultimately, the key to any successful business of scholarly publishing hinges on their willingness to write and on their commitment to read (Tenopir 2000). It is therefore necessary to address the question of the proportion of authors/scientists who write in scholarly journals, the number of articles written by these scientists, the level of investment made in these scientists, the quality of what they write and the factors that impact the stewardship of these scientists in Africa. It will take a handful of indicators to address these questions. The UNESCO Science Report (2005) analyses the current state of science around the globe, providing key indicators for world GDP, Gross Expenditure on Research and Development (GERD), and research personnel. Reporting on researchers in the world, the report shows that of the 5,521,440 researchers in 2002, 2,034,000 were from Asia, 1,843,400 were from Europe, 1,506,900 were from the Americas, 76,200 from Oceania, and 60,900, the smallest number of scientists, were from Africa. To be country specific, Burkina Faso has 200 full-time researchers in both the Public and Private Sector (PPS), Cameroon has only 300 full-time researchers in the PPS, South Africa has 13,500 full-time in the PPS, and surprisingly, Tanzania and Mozambique have no full-time researchers in the PPS (UNESCO Science Report, 2005, p. 183). Turning to financial investment in African scientists, the situation is bleaker. The total intramural expenditure on research and development performed on the national territory during a given period is called Gross Expenditure on Research and Development (GERD). Dividing the GERD by the number of researchers in a country 32  will give us GERD Per Researcher. Reporting on GERD, UNESCO (2005) indicates that, in 2002, Africa’s GERD was just a fraction—0.6%—of the world’s GERD compared to Asia, which was responsible for 31.5% of the world’s GERD, Oceania 1.1% and Europe 27.3%. The figure of 0.6% GERD indicates a rosier picture than in reality: “South Africa is responsible for 90% of GERD in sub-Saharan Africa. Egypt and, to a lesser extent, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria carry out practically all Research & Development in the Arab states of Africa,” (UNESCO Science Report, 2005, p. 7). The report further laments that, although there are positive signs of progress in a number of countries, because of the prolonged period of disruption, many countries in Africa “are struggling simply to get back to where they were in the 1970s and early 1980s. On the whole, the situation is deeply distressing and the distance to travel so far.” The downside of it is that expenditure per researcher amounts to a pittance in Africa. The question to address is: With this few researchers in Africa, and almost zero expenditure on them, how much contribution can they make to the production of scientific knowledge? The answer is not farfetched. The UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS) Bulletin on Science and Technology Statistics published a bibliometric analysis of 20 years of world scientific production, with special emphasis on developing countries. The report indicates that scientists’ contribution to scientific production is changing. The “developed countries’ share of world scientific publications has declined over the last 20 years. While developing regions such as Latin America and Asia are increasing their scientific production, Africa is not” (UIS Bulletin on Science and Technology Statistics, 2004).  33  In 1981, a total of 371,346 papers were included in the Science Citation Index (SCI). In 2000, this figure increased to 584,982, representing a 57.5% increase from 1981. According to the UIS report, in 2000, authors from North America produced 36.8% of the world’s total; authors from Europe published 40.2% of the total world output, up from 32.8% in 1998. Japan increased from 6.9% to 10.7% in 2000. The report further shows, at the other end of the spectrum, that sub-Saharan Africa publication was only 1% of the world’s total, “while the share of publications from the Arab states increased from 0.6% to 0.9% in 2000” (UNESCO Science Report, 2005, p. 183). This report provides a bird’s-eye view of regional scientific output. When it comes to specific countries in Africa, a great resource is King’s (2004) bibliometric study, titled “The Scientific Impact of Nations.” In this study the picture for most African countries is gut-wrenching. Measuring the quantity and quality of scientific output, King presented a table that shows the rank order of nations based on the share of the top 1% of highly cited publications from 1997 to 2000. South Africa at 29th place in the rank order and the only African country on the list. From other data extracted from Ulrich’s database, there were about 43,500 peer-reviewed journals worldwide in 2004. Of this figure, only 327 peer-reviewed journals were published in the 47 countries of sub-Saharan Africa, averaging 6.9 journals per country. As pointed out by Smart (2005, p. 44) there is no definitive index of African scholarly literature, and accurate numbers are impossible to ascertain; however, based on information from African Journal Online, there are 402 titles listed on the site, averaging 4.07 per country.  34  The above indicators suggest certain conclusions or generalizations on the state of authorship of scientific journals in Africa: a) The quality and quantity of scholarly articles tend to be low because of an unfavorable environment for African science authorship. For example, the low level of investment in scientists has translated into low salaries and negligible expenditure on equipment, housing and consumables. This implies poor working conditions, which obviously impact negatively on the productivity levels of scientists in knowledge production. b) The low income of African academics, together with the impoverished state of university libraries, means that academics lack access to the up-to-date information they need to keep up with current developments in their field – a prerequisite for the planning, undertaking and reporting of new original research projects (INASP, p. 4) c) The small number of scholars, coupled with the small number of scientific publications, makes it difficult for local journals to be published with the regularity and frequency required by international standards. In addition to this empirical evidence, many factors influence the quantity and quality of scientific authorship, which require scientific investigation. For example, what is the amount of time spent by African authors reading scientific journals and scholarly monographs, what are the goals of African authors and readers of scientific journals, what usefulness and value do scientific information journals and monographs have for African scientists, what are the different modes and channels for accessing  35  scientific information by authors? Tenopir and King (2000, p. 128) found that, of all the resources required for a scientist to perform his duties, time and information are the two most important. They report that studies “over the years indicate that those who spend more time reading perform better or are high achievers” (p. 128). Reviewing many different studies, Tenopir and King (2000) conclude that the total amount of time spent per university scientist writing an article and reading an article reflects their overall journal authorship. It is therefore necessary to investigate the amount of scientific information read by the African scientists, and the extent to which African scientists use journal articles and other documents as information input for scientific activities such as research and teaching. My attempt to investigate this issue using the existing literature yielded no results. The literature has little empirical evidence to provide any answers. Therefore, this study examines and presents factual data on these questions and a description of the current state of scholarly publishing including emerging trends in circulation, price and size of journals, frequency and regularity of publication. Attempts have been made to address questions on current trends in authorship and readership of scholarly journals, motivation to publish and factors that affect an author’s choice of a journal to publish in, and sources of access to information and the usefulness of information to the research community. The literature has little to say on why authors submit to a particular journal, what motivates them to publish, the mode of accessing scholarly articles, or challenges that affect them.  36  2.6.2  State of Editing/Peer Reviewing  The practice of peer reviewing, also known as refereeing, of scientific publications has been around for nearly 300 years. Its genesis has frequently been associated with the Royal Society of London, reported to have published the first scientific journal, Philosophical Transactions, in 1665, (Hames, 2007, p. 1; Kronick, 1990, p. 1321). The initial authorization for the publication of Philosophical Transactions, according to Zuckerman and Merton (1971, pp. 68–69), was the order that it be “first reviewed by some members” of the Council of the Royal Society of London. Since its institution, peer review has been observed as the process of “evaluating research findings for competence, significance, and originality by qualified experts” (Benos, Bashari, Chaves, Gaggar, Kapoor et al., 2007, p. 145). Peer review holds an important position in the system of scientific knowledge production. Fundamentally “it maintains standards and ensures reporting is as truthful and accurate as possible” Hames (2007, p. 3). According to Goldbeck (2009), it confers legitimacy on the scientific journals, the authors and on the people who publish them and therefore able to influence the dissemination and progress of scientific research. It should be considered as a type of “scientific quality control or detection system” that ensures that only publications that are well conceptualized, planned and executed are made available to the scientific community (Hames, 2007, pp. 3, 7; Bloom, 1999, p. 789). Because of the reviewers’ important role in the scientific communication process, they have been rightly described as gatekeepers of science (Crane, 1967; DeGrazia, 1963; Hojat, Gonnella and Caeleigh, 2003, p. 75) 37  From several personal anecdotes and considerable opinion based on the literature, one can best describe the nature of editorial and peer-review process in Africa as arduous, if still inspired by pride and love of learning. The following is the personal story of an editor of an African scholarly journal: The two scholarly journals I have edited have both [been] labors of love— and mainly single-handed efforts. The journal I currently edit has a proud record of 18 unbroken years in publication – rare in sub-Saharan African scholarly journals. My most recent predecessor was a member of the teaching staff who took on the publishing side as an extra commitment. (Pearce, 2003, p. 54)  She continues: My responsibilities range over the entire production for each issue, from dealing with initial inquiries by potential authors to sending likely looking work to be refereed, handling all correspondence, receiving subscriptions and soliciting new ones, doing the copyediting and typesetting, and handling and supervising the production process. It is therefore less of a part-time commitment than it may appear and I never feel comfortable on holidays unless I have access to my email postbox, just in case I lose a remarkable author, alienate a subscriptions agency or miss out on a request to buy up our entire backlist. This is therefore the experience of one editor of one scholarly journal, with no claims that her experience is typical. (Pearce, 2003, p. 54)  Even though Pearce was modest in her last statement about the African editorship, based on the literature examined and the researchers experience, her experience is the archetypical rather than the exception. Teferra’s (2005) lament in the following quote makes Pearce’s experience the exceptio probat regulam, the exception that proves the rule.  38  Numerous institutions do not appropriately reward editors for their work; it is the same for reviewers also. Editors often work alone and without much—professional or technical—support. They juggle all responsibilities and duties of an editorial office by themselves acting as managing editor, copyeditor, production editor, marketing and distribution personnel and so on, often in addition to their regular teaching and academic responsibilities. (Teferra, 2005)  Describing the nature of peer review in Africa, Zeleza (1998, p. 29) says it is a poorly developed process, and though it is a policy of most African scholarly journals that their manuscripts must be refereed, in practice, some journals do not send manuscripts to be independently assessed. Pearce (2003, p. 57) says finding reviewers in Africa to review articles submitted to a journal is the beginning of the problems. In confirmation, Teferra says it is very difficult and sometimes just impossible to find reviewers in specialized subject areas to review an article and, sometimes when they are found, it takes them forever to finish the review, by which time, the author’s or editor’s interest in the publication wanes or the subject matter of the article has lost its relevance (Teferra, 2004; Zeleza 1998 p. 30). Both Zeleza and Teferra further question the integrity of the peer-review process. They think “the review process and the culture of unbiased critical judgment of scientific work are often not yet well developed” and that “this has the propensity in compromising the integrity of the work and scholarly ethics.” In the same vein, Zeleza believes that manuscripts are selectively assessed depending on the status of the author (p. 29). These problems, coupled with inadequate skills in editorial and review practices – copyediting, proofreading, design, layout and unreliable communication systems; the lack of resources for staff training and development, demotivated and “burnt-out”  39  staff; and poor distribution networks – have negatively impacted the image of scholarly journals coming from Africa. In addition, and sometimes related, to these problems, the quality of the majority of journals published in Africa, in page layout and design, graphics, copyediting, print quality and binding, remains poor (Altbach, 1998; Zeleza, 1998, p. 29; Teferra, 2005 p. 35; Pearce 2003). Pippa Smart (2005, p. 50) observes that ,because of poor investment in writing and methodology skills, manuscripts submitted are of very poor quality and authors cannot improve the quality because they just do not have the skills. She concludes that “while many editors spend a great deal of time correcting submissions and liaising with authors, the lack of time and quantity or quality of submissions frequently leads to publication of weak articles—which is detrimental to both the journal and author” (Smart, 2005, p. 50). When it comes to the “throughput” time for a published article (i.e., the average time it takes to convert a submitted article into a published article), Aina (as cited in Zeleza 1998, p. 30) reports that an article was written for publication in 1984, accepted for publication in 1987 and published in 1991. These undue delays, Bloom (1999, p. 789) observes, “[are a] the major temporal sink in the review process and affects a journal’s aggregate reputation.” Finally, because of the above problems, journals from Africa are inaccessible, lack global presence and subsequently the significance of research is lost because few libraries in developed countries subscribe to them (Willinsky, 2006, p. 104). Cetto and Alonso-Gambia (1998) report that the head librarian of a major university in Europe confessed that “there is too little space left on the shelves to use it up with 40  journals that are not relevant even if they are received for free” (p. 89). After many years of doing research under the most difficult condition, African research is confined to the margins. The literature so far on the editorial and peer-review process is largely anecdotal and largely based on the author’s experience. There has been little literature that systematically reviews issues about the editorial and peer-review process in Africa. While anecdotal evidence and opinions can be useful and provide a lead-in or a snapshot of a phenomenon, they are not necessarily representative of a typical experience and therefore do not provide sufficient evidence for scientific conclusions. This study employs a more systematic method to examine essential elements and issues involved with managing the editorial and peer-review process for scientific journals in Africa. This study further seeks to understand the motivation for one to participate in the editorial process in spite of it being arduous, demoralizing and uninviting. It further examines the role of technology in the editorial process and peer review.  2.7  The Research Libraries  University libraries are a critical part of any university’s research and teaching, and they play a crucial role in the creation, dissemination and consumption of knowledge and information. They are seen as intermediaries in scholarly communication systems in that they identify, locate and subsequently acquire materials to be used by their patrons (Tenopir and King, 2000, p. 97). Okerson (1996, p. 199) asserts that the library is the “indispensable mediator in the dialogue between writer and reader” 41  and therefore cannot be neglected in considering the dissemination of scholarly material. Rodríguez and Angelica do Amaral provide one essential framework for evaluating libraries: The university library is necessarily a reflection of the social, political, economical and cultural organization of each country. In order to better understand university libraries, these should be studied at their environment, from which they cannot be separated. (2002, p. 4)  The above quotation implies that a healthy socio-economic and political environment is an indispensable and essential condition (sine qua non) for a healthy university and ultimately a healthy and thriving library. Guided by this framework, this section draws on previously published works of Rosenberg, Teferra, Altbach, Adebowale, Zeleza and others to understand current state of African university libraries and their role in supporting the scholarly community. The deteriorating economic state of most African countries in the 1970s through to the late 1990s, examined by Adebowale (2001), Zeleza (2002, p. 11), and Teferra (2003), has been discussed in the early part of this chapter and therefore does not need repeating. But what is worth noting is the fact that these authors, including Rosenberg (1997, 1998a, 1998b), were all in agreement over the worsening social, political and economic environment and its impact on academic institutions and university libraries in Africa. In their estimation, the prolonged economic decline, unfavorable balance of payments and long-term debt financing, devaluation of currency, and high inflation rate, have led to the poor economic situation of many  42  African universities, in which there is a discernible steady decrease of government funding to universities. The decision of many governments in Africa not to fully fund university education is expressed by the educationist Kubi (2005) in the following statement: Although, the government has acknowledged the role of university education … it has clearly stated its inability to act as the sole financier of tertiary education due to economic constraints coupled with the fact that there are equally important sectors of the economy that need to be catered for. (para. 8)  It is obvious that governments have lost any initial enthusiasm they had for university education, and at best, libraries are begrudgingly tolerated and are placed low on any national list of priorities. Since libraries in Africa depend on parent institutions for their operational budget, often there is no budget allocated to the libraries because the parent institutions themselves have inadequate funding to run the university system. The downside is that, when universities are able to allocate more money to libraries, expenditures on monographs and serials tend to decrease in real terms over the following years because of the upsurge in student population and constant weakening value of African currencies (Rosenberg, 1998a, p. 10).  2.7.1  Library Collections  In the midst of dwindling government funding for universities, the world has witnessed growth and maturation in science, founding of new disciplines and advancement in information technologies, which have resulted in an exponential proliferation of scientific literature. Scholarly monographs and journals have  43  witnessed growth of gargantuan proportions. The question of concern here is to what extent have African university libraries been able to maintain a comprehensive collection in support of the teaching and the research mission of academic institutions? What is obvious from the literature is that African university libraries have failed to maintain any significant level of collections. They have been unable to cope with the exponential growth and skyrocketing cost of scholarly resources. Journals in particular were priced out of reach of all individual and most libraries. The situation was made worse by the rising value of the US dollar against most local currencies; consequently, libraries in Africa were compelled to reduce the number of journals they buy. Rosenberg (1998b, p. 74) observes in a study that “without exception, university libraries have been and continue to be underfunded … the amount now spent by universities from their own institutional funds on the purchase of books and journals is pitifully low.” Between 1993 and 1994, for example, the total expenditure on books and journals per student at the University of Ghana was $0.50, and $2.66 at the University of Cape Coast. The University of Dar es Salaam, Addis Ababa University and Kenyatta University spent a total of $9.00, $0.50 and $1.00 per student respectively. The expenditure per student for books and journals at Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Mozambique for the same period was zero (Rosenberg, 1998a, p. 4). Ironically, at Kenyatta University, the lion’s share (93%) of the university library’s budget for 1995/96 was spent on university staff, only to have them take care of the empty shelves and deteriorating facilities (Rosenberg, 1998a, p. 4). This finding is consistent with the World Bank report of 2000, which says public  44  universities in Africa “devote up to 80 percent of their budgets to personnel and student maintenance costs, leaving few resources for infrastructure maintenance, libraries, equipment, or supplies—all key ingredients in maintaining a research establishment” (World Bank, 2000, p. 25). According to Teferra (2003), since 1993, the University of Zambia has not allocated any funds to the library for the purchase of books and journals. Teferra points also to the University of Addis Ababa, which, in 1983, subscribed to 2,700 titles but lost its subscription to 2,574 titles because of its limited access to foreign exchange (p. 58). Similarly, a study conducted in 13 African countries by the American Association for the Advancement of Science Library revealed that 28 out of the 31 university and research libraries studied had a serious cut in their subscriptions to journals since the mid-1980s (Teferra, 2003, p. 58). And in a 2000 survey, researchers and academics in developing countries ranked lack of access to subscription-based print journals as one of their most pressing problems (Tabachnikoff and Miller, 2008, p. 42). The library’s inability to provide up-to-date scholarship “means that many scholars in Africa are disadvantaged. Their capacity to engage in cutting edge research is hampered by lack of access. They are isolated from formal communication networks, the global scholarly community and invariably remain behind research front, and are unable to set research agenda through cutting edge scientific publications” (Smart, Pearce, and Tonukari, 2004, p. 333).  45  This limited access is also reflected in the growing concerns of many scholars about the quality of available scholarly material and its relevance to their teaching efforts. The content of what is taught at the university generally harks back to what the teachers learned during their own degree studies, and students with no access to, have to rely on notes dictated by the teachers. And so the African scholar, scientist, researcher and student are behind their Western counterpart in the matter of access to information and therefore suffer a relative disadvantage (Goonatilake, 1993, pp. 259–267; Mchombu, 1991). According to Crowder (as cited in Mchombu 1991, p. 28) “many universities (and research centers) have lost their ability to make contributions in the theoretical and even applied sciences, and therefore to the solution of the continent’s problems.” In order to stay relevant and plug into global scholarly discourse, faculty and graduates students for lack of resources in their local libraries spent half their limited travel opportunities each year visiting libraries and bookstores (Willinsky, 2006, p. 102). This is the lament of an African librarian, Ogunseitan (as cited in Arunachalam, 1999, p. 469): “Many people in our universities are not sure what is the state of science. Scientists often have to rely on what they are told, for example, by newspapers, by friends or by Time Magazine. How can such people ever become authoritative and confident scientists?” Can the Internet and online publishing systems reverse this situation and allow research libraries to increase access to global research literature and increase global access to African research through indexing? This question provides justification for this study: reviewing the current state of research libraries with 46  special emphasis on ICT resources and how that is likely to impact scholarly communication.  2.7.2  Personnel in University Libraries  There is a sizeable number of articles and a few books on the development of library education in Africa (Lowrie, 1984; Marco, 1990; Gupta, 1997; Aina, 1998, Mchombu, 1991; Botha, 2007; Rosenberg, 1997). They typically highlight the role of notable individuals like Sidney Hockey (in Uganda), John Dean (Ibadan), Harold Lancour (Congo, Ghana) and Francis Otieno Pala (in Kenya) and organizations such as the British Council, UNESCO, and Carnegie in the development of libraries in Africa. Aina (1999, p. 399) observed that, until recently, the majority of librarians in Africa were trained abroad. The first major effort at training librarians locally was in the early 1950s when UNESCO sponsored a seminar on the development of public libraries in Africa. By the early 1980s, the UNESCO World Guide indicated that there were only 16 African countries, and 19 library schools responsible for training and development of human resources for the continent (UNESCO, 1981) Today there are 28 institutions of higher learning in Africa that offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses in librarianship, information science, information management and related disciplines (Wilson, 2010). But like most institutions in Africa, institutions responsible for training professional librarians have not escaped the historical baggage of economic hardship of many states in Africa, which invariably have affected university education. As noted  47  elsewhere in this chapter, the prolonged economic decline, and devaluation, unfavorable balance of payments and long-term debt financing, are visible in their impact on the state of education in Africa, and library education is not an exception. However, after many years of economic, social and political setbacks, the literature shows that training institutions in librarianship have done creditably well. After almost 50 years of library education in Africa (Aina, 1999, p. 399),11 Rosenberg reports that, for most university libraries in Africa, “numbers of staff and numbers of adequately trained staff are at an acceptable level (Rosenberg, 1997, p. 34). Three years later, Carnegie validated Rosenberg’s study with a report titled “Revitalizing African Libraries: The Challenge of a Quiet Crisis” with the following statement. While acknowledging the challenges with professional development in Africa, the report says that “there is no lack of professionally trained librarians in university libraries” (Marton, 2000, p. 5). Gupta and Gupta (1997, p. 105), in their extensive review of library education in Africa, concluded in 1999 that, considering the slow and late development of library education elsewhere in the world, development in Africa is quite satisfactory. This was the 1990s. The world has changed dramatically since then, and that change has introduced new challenges to the library profession. Libraries are confronted with digital technologies in the work place, information science concepts, 11  Aina reports that library education in Africa is barely 50 years old. The first major effort at training librarians locally was in the early 1950s when UNESCO sponsored a seminar on the development of public libraries in Africa. The seminar was held in Ibadan, Nigeria, in 1953. One of the resolutions at the seminar was the need to train librarians locally so as to suit the peculiar needs of the immediate environment. As a result of the conference, a fully fledged library school was established in Ibadan, Nigeria, in 1959. Since then, many library schools and information science schools have been established in the continent.  48  computer technology and knowledge management. These phenomena are designed to bring a shift in the ways we create, access and use information. The literature shows that the twenty-first century professional librarian in Africa is required to possess additional knowledge and skills required for work within the digital information environment (Baro, 2009, p. 215; Chowdhury, and Chowdhury, 2003). Tennant (as cited in Choi and Rasmussen 2006, para. 4) argued that “librarians are thus faced with the challenge of acquiring advanced knowledge and skills to augment what they have traditionally learned.” Choi and Rasmussen (2006), in a study of what is needed to educate the future digital librarian, found out that, to remain competitive and relevant in the twenty-first century, “working in the real world of digital libraries,” one needs to be knowledgeable in “digital library design, digital preservation, digitization, and current digital technologies such as: OAI-PMH, metadata standards, XML, EAD, and TEI as well as courses on usability testing, human-computer interaction, Web design and applications, information retrieval, and cataloging” (para. 28) Speaking of African library professionals, Baro (2009) thinks the same way: Owing to the changing nature of librarianship resulting from the increasing amount of information available in digital format, DL education has become an important agenda within Library and Information Science (LIS) schools, to design and offer appropriate courses and teaching approaches for training competent digital librarians. (Baro, 2009, 215)  Chiware (2007, p. 4) agrees with Baro: The training of librarians in information technologies that are used for building digital collections should be on hardware, software and networking  49  requirements for digital projects. This should involve the use of various computer hardware and software packages that are commonly used in building digital collections.  In addition, Adeyoyin (2005, p. 698), Morgan (1998), Marmwin (1998), Chiware (2007), Field (1998), and Kargbo (2002) make passionate appeals, tinged with despair, to African library professionals to reinvent themselves in order to be relevant to the research community. Although there is general consensus in the literature on the need for digital competency and skills for professional librarians in Africa, the literature is sketchy and inadequate on current level of skills on digital competency. While it is beyond the scope of this study to investigate in significant detail the skills/competency of library professionals, the study takes a limited look at the current level of ICT skills and competency among librarians in the sample and discusses how their skill can influence scholarly publishing or can enhance the activities of those involved in the creation and dissemination. In fact, as Campbell (2006) and Okoye and Anunobi (2008) pointed out, the digital age and subsequent transition from print to electronic media have compelled libraries to reposition themselves in order to be more responsive to the changing needs of the research community. A closer examination of the available skills/competencies of library professionals engaged in the information sector can only help understand how they can play an active role as equal partners/collaborators in the creation and dissemination of scholarship or how they can enhance the productivity of the research community.  50  2.8  Donor Support and Capacity Building in African Libraries 2.8.1  ICT Infrastructure  The issues of resource mobilization and sustainability as noted throughout this review continue to be among the most common challenges facing institutions of higher learning in Africa, particularly university libraries. Yet over the years, the literature suggests that many university libraries in Africa have made moderate but significant progress in the development of network infrastructure and research capacity (Partnership for Higher Education for Africa, 2003, p. 11; Africa University Network [AFUNET] and Bandele, 2009, p. 1). While national governments are the main financiers of state universities, the literature seems to suggest that the international donor community is the kingpin of ICT infrastructure and research capacity development in Africa’s university and research libraries (Rosenberg, 1997; Alemna, Chifwepa and Rosenberg, 1999; Odero, 2003; Ng’ambi 2006; Akorful, 2007, p. 3; Odero and Mutula, 2007, p. 67). Rosenberg (1997, p. 75), in his comprehensive review of the state of African university libraries, suggests that the continuous survival of university libraries in Africa, “lies in the support they have received from donor agencies, and that many libraries are highly dependent on external assistance for virtually any initiative—from acquisition of photocopiers, computers and staff training to the establishment of networks and databases. Odero and Mutula (2007) support that assertion when they stated, “Internet connectivity in some private universities …were all fully funded by 51  their parent institutions whereas public universities all depended on donor agencies, particularly the World Bank and Overseas Development Agency” (p. 71). Furthermore, the WB (2009), in a report, “Accelerating Catch-up Tertiary Education for Growth in sub-Saharan Africa”, concurs with the position of the others that “The principal providers of funding for university research are foreign donor organizations” (p. 57). Finally, as recently as 2010, Tom Egwang, a Ugandan immunologist and founding director of Uganda's Med Biotech Laboratories, attributed the improved condition of African research capacity to continued dependence on foreigners who foot most of the bills: "If you look at any of the researchers who carry out any significant research in Africa, 99.9% of their funding comes from outside" (Egwang, 2010 in Nature News, 465). It is obvious from the literature the important role of donor organizations in Africa’s capacity development effort. The work of such organizations has been extensively documented, and the contributions they have made to library development in Africa have received due acknowledgement. In particular, Stephen Parker’s (1984) review of UNESCO’s role in developing countries provides an excellent account, and Beverly Brewster (1976) has charted the history of the US contribution between the years 1940 and 1970. The contribution of the British Council has been chronicled by Douglas Coombs (1988). And in recent years, Paul Sturges and Richard Neill (2004), Jones, Bailey and Lyytikäinen (2007) and others have documented the role of DANIDA, IDRC, NORAD and private foundations such as Carnegie, MacArthur, Ford, Andrew Mellon, and Rockefeller in supporting African universities currently.  52  For example, as mentioned above, the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa (a consortium of six major US foundations) announced plans to commit $350 million to African universities, with the intent of creating, among other things, “an eightfold increase in Internet bandwidth to a coalition of 11 African universities and two higher-education organizations” (“Six Foundations Commit”, 2005). The MacArthur Foundation finances projects in 65 countries with particular emphasis on “strengthening universities and academic infrastructure” (Akorful, 2007, p. 4). Between 2007 and 2010, the foundation committed about $10,760 million to Nigeria universities with the goal of developing ICT and research capacity (MacArthur Foundation, 2010). The outcome of these initiatives is seen in the ICT infrastructural development across many institutions of higher learning in Africa. Steiner, Tirivayi, Jensen, and Gakio, (2004) observed that Internet access across the continent has been made possible in the twenty-first century, majority of university campuses are networked, using leased lines, and satellite downlinks (VSAT). The Africa University Network (2010), an organization working to enhance the ICT capabilities of African universities, has presented a poster showing the progress that some universities in Africa have made in ICT infrastructural development (AFUNET 2010). The ViceChancellor of the University of Education, Ikere, Nigeria, Prof. Samuel Oye Bandele, describes the current progress in level of ICT infrastructure: “The upgrading of African universities as shown by the acquisition of modern technologies and improved infrastructures is already leading to a gradual globalization of the environment of each university” (Bandele, 2009, p. 1).  53  Today, many functions in higher education in Africa have been affected by the increasing role of IT. Digital technologies have altered almost everything from course registration to library catalogs, from secretarial and administrative to human resource information systems, from teaching to research, from wikis or blogging to social networking. Responding to the growing dependence on IT, many universities in Africa have now established IT units/centers at various campuses across Africa to maintain all university networks, systems and tools and investigate new technology to assist the university community in their day-to-day duties. Although there is little information in the literature on the functions and responsibilities of these units, a closer examination of various university Websites gives a glimpse of what they were set up to do: the IT units of most of these universities are responsible for providing a help desk, managing the central computing facility, managing databases, developing network infrastructure, supporting electronic library resources, data security, document imaging, Web services, and electronic communications.12 After all that has gone into improving digital technology capacity in Africa, and now that Internet bandwidth and librarians’ technical skills are improving, the next logical step in this strategy is to direct these developments toward the support of local scholarly publishing initiatives that will increase access to African research and advance local research capacities. This research examines how these ICT  12  Some of the university Websites reviewed included KNUST http://www.knust.edu.gh/pages/sections.php?siteid=uits&mid=193&sid=638, UWC http://www.uwc.ac.za/index.php?module=cms, WITS, http://web.wits.ac.za/ Kenyatta University http://www.ku.ac.ke/index.php/administration/directorates/ict-center, Univ. of Makerere http://mak.ac.ug/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=126&Itemid=275  54  infrastructural developments can be combined with online publishing systems to enhance scientific knowledge production and dissemination in Africa  2.8.2  Improving Research Library Access and Resources  The growing recognition of the importance of access to knowledge in developing countries has also spurred a chorus of initiatives from organizations like INASP— with AJOL and PERii, WHO—with HINARI, UN(FAO)—with AGORA and eIFL.net originally initiated by Soros Foundation (Chan and Sely, 2005, pp. 5–6; Rosenberg, 2005 pp. 2, 8). The PERii program offers access to over 14,000 journal titles from 11 publishers plus approximately 20 databases, and country licenses available in Africa. The African Journals OnLine (AJOL), which hosts the tables of contents and abstracts of more than 250 journals with links to full text of over 80 titles, is accessible to university libraries across the continent. The HINARI (providing major journals in biomedical and related social sciences) and AGORA (providing journals in the fields of food, agriculture, environmental science and related social sciences) programs are available in all countries, and the eIFL program includes some journal packages, in particular EBSCO with over 10,000 titles (Rosenberg, 2005, p. 8). This massive scale of support has been an important step towards improving conditions in African university libraries and giving African scholars access to research. Willinsky (2006, p. 102) is upbeat about this initiative when he remarks, “think of the difference that access to 2,000 life science journals will make to the University of Zimbabwe, for example, which has seen its journal collection in this  55  area dwindle from a high of 600 titles to 170 because of escalating subscription costs over the last two decades.” But, the reality is that these initiatives are leaving in their trail critical and fundamental questions regarding content relevance, local capacity building and indigenous knowledge production that need to be addressed. Glamorous reviews abound on each cent spent by donors on every African institution of learning, but conspicuously missing from the literature is the impact that these initiatives have on the development of indigenous capacity. For example, what percentage of the information in these packages is relevant to the needs of developing countries; what percentage of information published in Africa is included in these databases in order to give equal exposure for the work of scientists within these countries; and to what extent do these packages go to strengthen indigenous knowledge production? Pippa Smart (2005, p. 41) gives an example of a recent study that evaluated articles on Medline. The study found that the topics covered in Medline had relevance to “the United States and Europe, and are likely to have excluded the interests of Africa.” These are staggering assertions. Altbach (1985, p. 142), an outstanding scholar and authority on African higher education, observes that when it comes to content, internationally circulated journals “tend naturally to cater largely for readers located in the industrialized nations and not the small minority of their readers in the Third World.” He states further that, “the Western journal generally pays relatively little attention to Third World needs. They use scholarly and methodological paradigms that are related to the major Western academic systems” (p. 133). He continues, “the debates in their pages are Western debates, the scholarship reported is 56  Western scholarship based on Western concerns and using western data” (p. 133). These have given cause for concern over what is termed “the resurgence of imperialism, this time represented by knowledge dependence” (Ya'u, 2004, p. 11). It ignores the far-reaching consequences of intellectual and mental subjugation perpetuated by the domination of local information centers by foreign scholarship. Others, such as Silvia Federici and George Caffentzis, have addressed an undermining of “the production and distribution of knowledge in Africa,” making “it increasingly difficult for African intellectuals and professionals to carry on their work and participate in the global exchange of ideas” (Federici and Caffentzis, 2004, p. 81). As Adebowale (2001) points out, the question is more than providing researchers in the developing countries with state-of-the-art content in mainstream science from the developed world. Rather, it is about ensuring that science content is produced efficiently locally and distributed effectively at home and abroad. In support of these views, Zeleza (cited in Willinsky, 2006, p. 104) suggests a “mutually beneficial network that reinforces productive capacity for all involved.” One that allows the “African research scholars to freely assert their intellectual autonomy; something they can achieve by publishing, without apology, in journals they control; by reading and citing each other, by demonstrating a greater faith in their own understanding of their complex and fast changing societies—for no one else will do that for them” (Willinsky, 2006, p. 104). This concern of Zeleza is addressed by Willinsky (2006), who believes that the presence of the Internet provides the world with the opportunity to “establish an 57  equitable world information order, one that is moved beyond the colonial legacies of center and periphery in the geopolitics of knowledge” (p. 94). This position is what inspired this research: the conviction that the advent of the Internet, a new publishing medium already integral to the publishing process, has the potential to advance circulation and exchange of knowledge and to reverse the current state of declining access to research within an otherwise expanding global scholarly community. Considering the Internet as a new publishing medium may show that it provides better capabilities and a significant increase in access and circulation over print, and I am thus compelled to explore how this medium can contribute to strengthening scholarly publishing in Africa.  2.9  The Transition to Electronic Publishing  The gradual transition in scholarly publishing, specifically journal publishing, to electronic forms has been heralded as a promising avenue for research, easy access to information, increased access for users in the developing world and collaboration and fluid exchange of information between the North and the South. In addition, digital journal publishing, as it relates to financial and material constraints in developing countries, has the potential to circumvent the huge cost of paper and scholarly publishing subscriptions (Hussein and Priestley, 1999). Unfortunately, electronic publishing has been viewed with a lot of skepticism, and the anticipated acceptance of online publishing has not materialized on the continent. There is tremendous inertia in academia, some scholars swearing that nothing can substitute for browsing bound printed journals. My concern is to 58  examine factors inhibiting the transition from print to online scholarly publishing in Africa in spite of the challenges—inaccessibility, lack of visibility, high production cost, poor print quality and inadequate circulation etc.—of traditional print journals. What are the overall implications of electronic journals to academia, publishers, libraries, researchers and those who fund them? After careful examination of a heterogeneous collection of propositions backed with some qualitative data, observations, reportage and in some cases personal anecdotes, two lines of arguments emerged from the literature: those who are very optimistic about new communication technology and argue that the electronic medium holds the key to bringing African scientific scholarship out of the doldrums (Adebowale, 2002; Willinsky, 2006, 2003; Tomlins, 1998), and those who are optimistically cautious and therefore argue that the current digital revolution has serious potential to exacerbate the gulf between the North and the South (Arunachalam, 1999; Cetto, 1998; Chan, 2004). Sulaiman Adebowale (2001), of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), holds the view that the Internet proffers great promise—speed, and easy access—for developing nations, “never seen in publishing since the advent of the Gutenberg printing press and desktop publishing combined” (para. 8). He debunks the argument that there is one Internet user for every 75013 people in Africa, noting that “the figure could be misleading for journal publishers in this part of the world” (para. 10). He contends that Internet connectivity 13  UNDP World Development Report of 1999 estimated that there is one Internet user for every 750 people in Africa, 3 in North America and Europe, 125 for Latin America and the Caribbean, 200 for South East Asia and the Pacific, 250 for East Asia and 500 for Arab States, 2500 for South Asia.  59  in Africa started mainly in academic institutions, a place where scientific publishing occurs, and there is little evidence that the interest of universities in Internet usage has waned (para. 10). In defense of his position, he quotes a survey conducted by Jean Diouf (cited in Adebowale 2001), which states: Eighty-five percent of researchers and libraries who use four journals published by CODESRIA have Internet access. It is noteworthy that 75 percent out of this particular group [i.e., the 85%] were from Africa alone (para. 10)  Ng’etich (2004), a sociologist and anthropologist expressing similar sentiment in a paper, “Old Problem, New Strategies: Internet as a Tool for Research in Africa,” believes that Africa is not only in a period of book famine but is “at the throes of digital famine” (p. 6). However, he has not dispensed with the idea that the Internet has the potential to solve these problems through electronic publishing and shared virtual libraries: African scholarship has long been undermined by lack of access and visibility, but the Internet affords African scholars the opportunity to break the chain of dependence. Failure to take the opportunities might result in Internet technology reinforcing the existing dependence on Western publications electronically as well (p. 9). Like many likeminded scholars, he concludes, “the ... Internet has the capacity to leapfrog Africa into the information age and narrow the information gap, which hitherto exists” (p. 1). It should be obvious by now that the online environment portends interesting avenues for the developing world, and protagonists like Adebowale and Ng’etich and probably Willinsky, have good reasons to be upbeat for the developing world. However, bringing the literature examined to bear on this debate, it is important to 60  bring to the fore certain caveats, the ignorance of which will make it more difficult for the Third World to take advantage of the new information and communication technologies. This is where optimistic but cautious authors argue that the maldistribution of access to ICT—telephone, computers, networks, Internet, bandwidth, socio-cultural and political factors—are major issues to be negotiated, misjudgment of any one of which could further isolate the developing world and reduce their role in the enterprise of knowledge production, dissemination and utilization (Arunachalam, 1999; Cetto, 1998; Teferra, 1998; Rosenberg, 2005). As noted, it is a fact that a great deal of effort has been made to give to the research community in Africa access to growing quantities of electronic information resources. In 2004, INASP commissioned a survey of university libraries in English-speaking Africa. The purpose was, among other things, to provide an overview of the current state of digital libraries that are capable of supporting research universities. Below are some of the rather distressful findings. Of the state of ICT, Rosenberg (2005, p. 7) says, “an adequate ICT infrastructure with a sufficient number of networked and Internet-connected workstations is essential if a library is to offer access to e-resources and develop e-services.” Yet 55% of the libraries in the study had a ratio of less than one computer to every 100 full-time equivalent (FTE) students, and 36% had a ratio of less than one computer to every 500 FTE students. Only 35% of libraries had 75% of their computers connected to the Internet, and 15% are not connected at all. Of bandwidth, the report indicates that many universities in Africa have an Internet connection of between 512 Kbps and 1.544 Mbps. Comparing this finding to what is available in 61  the developed world, INASP reports that the current level of bandwidth in most African universities (512 Kbps to 1.544 Mbps) is what is typically used to connect individual homes in the West and cannot compare to Bristol University that uses a 2.5 Gbps link, which is 5120 times more than what the University of Dar es Salaam has (INASP, p. 1). The University of Jos, one of the better-connected universities in Nigeria with a student population of 13,000, according Miner and Missen (2005, p. 27), shares a single satellite connection, which provides 128Kbps, whereas the University of Iowa enjoys a 300Mbps connection to the Internet. The maximum data that a lecturer can download in the University of Jos is 128,000 bits of information per second, whereas a lecturer at the University of Iowa is able to download 3,000 million bits of information per second (p. 27). Teferra (2003, p. 79) observes that, in some countries, bandwidth for Internet access is very small, and downloading large files, even those that do not contain graphics and images, can be expensive and slow even if the information itself is free. When it comes to cost, INASP (2003) reports the following: Makerere University pays about $22,000/month for 1.5Mbps/768Kbps (in/out), Eduardo Mondlane pays $10,000/month for 1Mbps/384Kbps, while the University of Ghana pays $10,000/month for1Mbps/ 512Kbps. These figures indicate that African universities, outside of South Africa, are paying over $55,000/month for 4Mbps inbound and 2Mbps outbound. These figures are about 100 times more expensive than equivalent prices in North America or Europe.  In a study conducted at the six universities in Cameroon to evaluate Internet connectivity and access to both students and faculties, Willinsky, Jonas, Shafack and Wirsiy (2005, p. 6) found that only 10% and 40% of students and faculty 62  respectively had access to the university Internet. Surprisingly, the majority of faculty (76%) and students (75%) could use the Internet through public, commercial facilities rather than at the university or home. The cost of browsing at the commercial facilities for an hour is equal to a day’s average wage for the Cameroonian. Most importantly, the study asserts that the commercial Internet cafés are not licensed to provide access to free or discounted journals offered through programs like HINARI, AGORA and PERii. Other infrastructural impediments, for example, lack of funds for purchase and maintenance of hardware and e-resources, frequent power cuts, limited library space, security of computers, speed and reliability of Internet connection, low levels of ICT literacy/electronic resource use among users, have debilitating effects on Africans in keeping pace with ever-changing communication technologies. These impediments cannot be ignored (Rosenberg, 2005, p. 14; Mine and Missen, 2005; Zeleza, 1997; Zell 1997). Furthermore, Mine and Missen (2005, p. 35) suggest that the poor human infrastructural development—inadequate exposure and training of editors, academic staff and librarians in Internet and computing skills—is another challenge developing countries will have to overcome in order to build research capacity through online publishing. According to Rosenberg (2005, p. 14), the most important challenge faced by university libraries in Africa is that “Library staff were said to be particularly lacking in knowledge of teaching skills (for user education), electronic resource management (e.g. subscription negotiating skills) and electronic services  63  development. University administrators and academic staff were also found to have low level of ICT literacy.” Complementing Rosenberg’s view, Zeleza (1997) and Teferra (1997) argue that most senior professionals running the universities in Africa, for example, were trained in a system that had not fully embraced fast-growing ICT, and they therefore still prefer the slow, paper-based peer-review process. Editors need to negotiate a steep learning curve when their journal goes online. Smart et al. (2004) observed that “there are no professional bodies in Africa that train editors, and only the most adventurous individual contemplates joining an (expensive) overseas professional body” (p. 333). They state further, “Commercially available training courses are beyond the reach of most universities and there are few, if any, courses designed to develop academic editing and publishing skills. Editors must learn by bootstrapping” (p. 333). Again, researchers are poorly remunerated and not properly recognized, which affects their morale and in turn affects scientific publishing. Putting all these factors together, authors like Rosenberg, Teferra, Zeleza, Arunachalam and Pearce et al. have clearly established that, in spite of heavy donor investment, the dearth and expensive bandwidth, and debilitating economies in Africa pose structural disincentive, which has the propensity to widen the digital divide. These factors could account for some of the reasons why many countries in Africa are hesitant to make the transition from print to online scholarly publishing, in spite of the challenges with print journal publishing. Furthermore, the minimal communication technology essential for online journals and databases is lacking in  64  many developing countries, and this is a challenge to a successful implementation of online journal publishing African countries (Teferra, 2003). Whichever way one looks at it, the point to reiterate is that the mal-distribution of access to ICT—telephone, computers, networks, Internet, bandwidth, as well as socio-cultural and political factors— are major issues to be negotiated, and the misjudgment of any one of these could further isolate the developing world and reduce its role in the enterprise of knowledge production, dissemination and utilization.  2.10 Economics of Online Journal Publishing The literature reveals extremely complex economics for scholarly publishing, which is constantly undergoing considerable change, influenced by a host of stakeholders, each working hard to meet his or her own agenda. There are heated discussions and debates among these players. Such debates and discussions have no doubt generated different models, proposals, and methods for financing online journal publishing. Harnad (1997, pp. 18-27) outlines a model based on author page charges. Because publication is a vital component of research, Harnad argues that the costs of publishing should rest with the author and his or her institutions rather than the reader, who, as a taxpayer, has technically already paid for the research. This means that journals will be available for all users free of charge on the Internet (pp. 18–27). Halliday and Oppenheim report that this model is currently being tested on the New Journal of Physics (NJP) owned by the Institute of Physics Publishing (IoPP). Authors that submit papers to this journal are charged $500 before their 65  papers are published. Halliday and Oppenheim, (2001, p. 268) observe that the “primary factor militating against implementation of this model is the author fee” because authors are not used to contributing directly to the cost of acquiring journals. Fiswick, Edwards and Blagden (1998) propose that journals could be funded by a combination of author submission fee and subscription sales. They argue that the current system of journal publishing is flawed with inefficiencies. For example, referees, editors and authors are not paid, and those who consume (the readers) what is produced almost never pay; instead, they borrow from the library at no cost. Authors also do not make contributions to publishing costs even though they constitute the primary source of demand for published journals (Fiswick et al. 1998). To correct these flaws, Fiswick (1998, p. 16) suggests a model that will see authors and readers contributing to publication costs, editors and referees being paid to encourage efficiency, and authors being paid royalties as a means of motivating them to submit high-quality papers to journals. Halliday and Oppenheim (2000) completely disagree with Fiswick’s model, saying, “their proposed solution is based on unsubstantiated assumptions about what motivates key players [authors] in the system. They present no evidence that academics wish to be paid for editing and refereeing journals articles. Further, direct financial remuneration for this work introduces motives that may themselves distort the system” (Halliday and Oppenheim, 2000, p. 63). The literature further shows that the ongoing discussions or debate on economics of online scholarly journals is between two major players (stakeholders) within the 66  scholarly publishing community. The first group of stakeholders is described by Halliday and Oppenheim (2000, p. 59) as those who aim at an effective and affordable system for disseminating peer-reviewed scholarly journals. This camp is made up of people from within the scholarly community: faculties, librarians, scientists, students and institutional administrators. They argue that electronic publishing is cheaper than print publishing and that printing and distribution costs account for 70% of the total cost of journal production This cost, however is eliminated when one transits to online publishing (p. 59). They also believe, however, that “scientific research and ideas should neither be owned nor controlled by publishers, but should belong to the public, and should be freely available through an international online public library” (Wellcome Trust, 2003, p. 11). On the other side of the debate are those with commercial interests whose preoccupation is aimed at exploiting the new technology to increase their profit margin rather than being concerned with using the new media to advance research and scholarship. These are corporate bodies whose functions as publishers are motivated by profit. They contend, as observed by Halliday (2000), that 70–80% of the costs of producing a journal are fixed, and variable costs like print and distribution account for only 20–30% of the total cost of production. Commercial publishers claim that other functionalities—ability to browse, search and print, good system performance, and links—found with online publishing more than compensate for any savings from print and distribution (p. 59). This debate has persisted for over a decade now, and yet there is not any economic model developed for online journal publishing that meets the needs of the various stakeholders: the commercial  67  publishers, the research community, and the originators and consumers of scientific research (Wellcome Trust, 2003). The question is where do developing countries fit in these equations? Which of these models is tested, proven and applicable to developing countries? Little is found in the literature that addresses these questions. The literature reviewed so far is about the developed nations and the models that are being experimented with there, and thus contextualized within these nations. Little is known about how these models can be applied in developing countries where the economic, social, political and cultural environment within which scholarly publishing is practiced differs in so many ways from that of advanced countries. For example, there are practical problems with the transition from currently paid subscription journals—in which the financial responsibility falls on the readers and libraries—to the online open access journal, in which the financial burden falls on the authors, the journals, research-funding agencies or government (Esseh, 2005). It is estimated that the average cost-per-article to an author to publish in an open access journal ranges between US$500 and US$1,600 and in some cases coalescing around US$3,000 (Houghton, Rasmussen, Sheehan, Oppenheim, Morris, Creaser, Greenwood, Summers, and Gourlay, 2009, p. 157). The challenge would be to ask authors, who have no source of funding for their research and are already disenchanted with an academic environment that is less supportive of authorship, to pay before their articles are published. This author-pay model is not realistic in Africa and has already been subjected to criticism because, as Abraham, Burke, Gray and Rens (2009) point out, “many felt it would disadvantage many authors from 68  developing countries and from disciplines, such as the humanities, that were not well endowed with research funding” (p. 27). Over the years, the funding of most scholarly journals in Africa has ceased to be the responsibility of governments; second, universities are not endowed with research funding; and third, local funding agencies have never played any active role in support of journal publishing. Therefore, to ask authors to pay before their articles are published may be a recipe for disaster. Additionally, journal editors are overly anxious about other cost-related elements in online publishing: starting-up and maintenance costs, hardware and software costs, upgrading costs, connectivity and bandwidth costs, infrastructure costs, and valueadded services costs. How are these costs going to be funded, and further, how can electronic publishing recover these costs? The literature so far offers little information that addresses these concerns. There is a complete lack of a body of research that has explored a cost model that allows the African scholar to assert financial autonomy over the publishing systems without depending on donor agencies for survival; a study that establishes a scientific model that factors in the economic, social, political and cultural environment of developing economies. Such an investigation is outside the scope of this study; however, this study provides a closer look at the various cost elements that affect print production and the digital implication for journal publishing.  69  2.11 Conclusion Scholarly journal publishing is an area that is ripe for study, as little has been reported in the formal literature despite intense interest in the topic. The literature search did not yield systematic data on many broad issues confronting scholarly publishing in Africa, and this review has consistently pointed out the various gaps in the literature. Although some relevant and useful studies have been reviewed, they are dated and there remain many questions that have not been addressed. There is not a current study that examines the essential elements in managing the editorial and peerreview process of scientific journals in Africa; there is little documentation and analysis of current African publishing practices from the perspective of journal editors, scientists, information technologists and librarians. There is little empirical study about the current level of digital competency and skills of library professionals and how that impacts the scholarly publishing process or enhances the activities of those involved in the creation and dissemination of scientific knowledge. The most widely quoted studies, Knowledge Dissemination in Africa, and University Libraries in Africa, authored by the most acclaimed scholars in the field of scholarly publishing in Africa (Zeleza, Altbach, Teferra, 1998; Rosenberg, 1998), although still useful, have outdated statistics. Data from these studies are recycled in every new publication. The reality is that these data are not only dated but have become of less relevance in this rapidly changing digital age.  70  These studies were written in the context of their time, with due regard to the current dominant ideas of that period, and those authors interpreted the evidence through the eyes of their worldview. The world has, since the 1990s, changed drastically, influenced by digital technologies. Over the past 20 years, these new digital technologies have affected the production process of almost every aspect of traditional print journals: from manuscript preparation through submission, editorial, peer review, production, and distribution. Second, digital technologies seem to provide answers to many limitations in the traditional scientific journal production process; for example, issues relating to speed, timeliness, regularity of publication, cost, visibility, accessibility and quality. And on the heels of ubiquitous digital technologies and the sweeping transformation of scholarly publishing, it is necessary that new studies, both qualitative and quantitative, are carried out to investigate the current state of scholarly publishing. They need to identify the underlying challenges and dilemmas of scholarly publishing in African universities on the premise that appropriate and positive measures could be taken only when a situation is well understood. This study therefore addresses critical questions about scholarly publishing in sub-Saharan Africa and the digital implication for editors, librarians and Information communication technologists. The current study examines the state of scholarly publishing in Africa, focusing on emerging trends in authorship and readership of scientific journals, trends in number, cost and circulation of Africa scholarly journals, usefulness of journals to African scientists, and authors’ goals and incentive for publishing. 71  This study also highlights essential elements in the management of the editorial and peer-review process, the motivation and drive for reviewers and editors to participate in the process in spite of it being described as arduous, demoralizing and uninviting, the level of technical infrastructure supporting access to knowledge for faculty and students, the current level and patterns of access to online and print resources, both African and global, among faculties and students. This study further examines how changes in technical infrastructure over the last five years have affected scholarly publishing. It also provides a current review of the state of African libraries with regards to the level of ICT infrastructure, digitization, digital competency and skills of library professionals and how these impact or enhance the activities of those involved in the creation and dissemination of scientific knowledge. The research also analyzes the current level of bandwidth availability on universities campuses in subSaharan Africa and the role of the IT departments in supporting scholarly publishing. It further seeks to better understand the various technical, editorial and scholarly challenges involved in journal publishing today as well as the potential viability of online publishing systems from the perspectives of journal editors, faculty, students, university librarians, and IT administrators.  72  CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH ASSUMPTIONS God suffers because there are such multitudes of souls to whom His sacred Word cannot be given; religious truth is captive in a small number of little manuscripts, which guard the common treasures instead of expanding them. Let us break the seal which binds these holy things; let us give wings to truth that it may fly with the Word, no longer prepared at vast expense, but multiplied everlastingly by a machine which never wearies—to every soul which enters life! (Johann Gutenberg as cited in Wilkie, 1883, p. 80)  3.1  Introduction  Over the last decade, several initiatives have been conceived to improve the information communication infrastructure through ICT in Africa. One hope of such work is to increase opportunities for African scholars to participate in the global knowledge exchange. However technological advances also tend to challenge traditional forms of knowledge dissemination in Africa. The aim of this study is to examine how the unfolding IT and globalization can be influenced through the adoption and utilization of online technologies (publishing systems) to reverse the marginalization of African participation in global scholarly discourse while exploring ways of improving access and circulation of African scholarship and research. This study is guided by three principal perspectives or assumptions about the value of a study intended to contribute to strengthening African scholarly publishing: (1) Willinsky’s Access Principle, a work that has roots in Rawls’ moral theory of justice;  73  (2) Altbach’s center-periphery perspective, rooted in postcolonial/dependency theory and as applied to the production of scientific knowledge in institutions of higher learning; (3) historical research on technological impact on knowledge manipulation with particular reference to McLuhan, Ong, Ballantyne and Eisenstein’s magisterial treatment of the second major communications shift from manuscript culture to printed communication. In The Access Principle: The Case for Open Access to Research and Scholarship (2006), John Willinsky contends that technology, specifically the Internet and digital publishing, provides creative options and tools to advance access to research: “That it is well within the capacity of the information technology provided by this infrastructure to provide greater public access to this public good known as research and scholarship, without diminishing its quality and quantity” (p. 10). Willinsky then put forward the access principle, which states, “A commitment to the value and quality of research carries with it a responsibility to extend the circulation of such work as far as possible and ideally to all who are interested in it and all who might profit by it” (p. 5). The access principle points to the fact that, while technological innovation creates avenues for greater access to scientific research and information, there is a moral obligation that places responsibility on the equal sharing of knowledge. Society has the duty to facilitate the creation of knowledge and the obligation to circulate the knowledge so created as widely as possible. This is a universal human right grounded in moral reasoning and moral theory (Britz and Lor, 2003).  74  Contrary to such a principle, academic dependency theory shows the unlevel playing field of international division of scientific labor, where the world is seen as consisting of systems and subsystems, dominant and dependent, core and periphery, metropolitan and satellite, where the subsystem and the periphery are characterized by smallness and communication barriers; where the center is the cynosure of knowledge production and circulation; and where knowledge from the periphery is subjugated to epistemological and cultural characteristics of scholars in the core. This academic dependency brings to question a strong ethical argument based on what Britz (2003, p. 168) termed distributive and contributive justice as well as the right of access to the intellectual efforts of “others.” That is to say, to what degree do actors within the two basic spatial systems (core and periphery) “acknowledge and declare information and its means of production, management and circulation as common goods towards which each social actor has rights and responsibilities, in order to ensure the minimal equitable conditions for the overall development of intellectual creativity?” (Human Rights in the Information Society, 2003). The following assumptions, which guide this research, will assist in addressing the above question. 1. That technological innovation in the publishing medium provides, or imposes on society, new methods of knowledge manipulation  (i.e.,  knowledge  generation,  preservation,  transmission and retrieval) and provides incremental opportunity for faster and wider dissemination and accessibility of information, an absolutely indispensable condition, sine qua non, for the progress of science as whole.  75  2. While it is true that new technologies have greatly increased the speed at which communication of cultural products and information is propagated throughout the globe, leading to world integration and interdependence, technology has also served as a tool for a continuing marginalization of developing economies in the production and circulation of knowledge; to that degree circulation of science and knowledge have not grown evenly from a historical perspective but circulation has been marginalized within the scope of imperial legacy. 3. The adoption and utilization of online technologies (e.g., publishing systems) have the potential to circumvent the unfair scholarly disparities at the global level as well as provide opportunities  for  Africans’  participation  in  global  scholarly  discourse.  3.2  A Brief History of Communication  As this study argues for the importance of this latest technological innovation of the Internet for communication, it might be helpful to present a brief overview of previous developments. Walter Ong (2002, p. 11), who draws on the pioneering work of Milman Parry and Marshall McLuhan to address the characteristics of oral culture and scribal culture, observed that oral culture which was not touched by any knowledge of writing or print relied on thought and its verbal expression within cultures to manipulate knowledge. Ong noted that physical and behavioral artifacts were used to store, manage and transmit knowledge. Oral culture developed mnemonic schemes/patterns to help in memory retention of thought (Ong, 2002, p. 11). Ong, who saw “writing” as technological invention, posited that scribal/writing  76  technology transformed the way information was manipulated and thereby shaped and powered the intellectual activity of modern man (Ong, 2002, p. 83). This position is corroborated by Jason Mittel (2009), who states, “Writing enables modes of thinking such as historical and scientific reasoning, which arguably could not thrive in an oral culture” (p. 403). With a writing material (clay tablet, wood or parchment), ink, a hand-sharpened feather quill and a scribe, knowledge or thoughts that resided in people were transferred onto a writing surface. A copy of a clay tablet or parchment ensured the generation, preservation, dissemination and retrieval of knowledge as required across time in a highly efficient and accurate manner only in comparison to oral culture. A processed clay tablet was almost indestructible and served as a temple archive, but it was not very convenient as a means of dissemination. Imagine expending hours scoring a message into a heavy clay tablet and then having to transport it. Yet this technology and succeeding ones – papyrus, wax tablet, parchment and scroll – provided new approaches to how information is generated, stored, transmitted and retrieved as well as offering avenues for greater circulation and access to knowledge. The written word broke the power of the few who possessed knowledge in oral traditions and propelled human beings into a new era of knowledge and change (Gurumurthy, 2004, p. 6). Then came the technological innovation that led to the production/invention of paper. Eisenstein (1983), who has an intimate familiarity with the great narrative of modern history since the fifteenth century, shows how unwittingly the invention of paper created new opportunities and facilitated the manipulation of knowledge in a new way. “Paper production,” she says, “serves the need of … literati; it quickened the  77  pace of correspondence and enabled more men of letters to act as their own scribes” (p. 47). The gradual transition from scrolls to codices, and the widespread use of paper as a new writing medium, improved the quality and portability of text preservation, the quality of access to information and even the cost of production (Eisenstein, 1983, p. 598; McLuhan, 1962, p. 134). The availability of paper as the new medium of communication meant that great thoughts could be written, circulated with speed and be widely read. Paper provided the mass means for disseminating and storing knowledge. Goldschmidt (1943, p. 102, cited in McLuhan, 1962), illustrates the extent of the invention of paper on access to information when he says, “soon after 1300 the expensive vellum could be dispensed with and the cheaper paper made the accumulation of many books a matter of industry rather than of wealth" (p. 134). The extreme monopoly on knowledge by the wealthy with their empires over many lives could not hold longer, as paper enabled access to knowledge by ordinary men of letters. But this was still a scribal culture, and the one major constraint at this point is that the only way to reproduce written work was by hand, a painstaking task. Spreading information to the larger society and over long distance was a difficult task and did not allow for effective dissemination of information. Then five and a half centuries ago, the son of a noble family of Mainz in Germany, named Johannes Gutenberg, invented the movable type printing press. The advent of the press led to a veritable explosion of knowledge, allowing the general public to have access to information that had not been available to them before. Print technology “standardized and preserved knowledge which had been much more  78  fluid in the age of oral manuscript circulation” (Briggs and Burke, 2002). Eisenstein’s magisterial treatment of this second major communications shift – from manuscript culture to printed communication – shows how, unlike the high cost of scribal works and the laborious time of copying that often led to slow spread of ideas, the printing press allowed rapid dissemination of information, which subsequently created a knowledge and cultural movement that were far harder to exterminate. To that degree, Eisenstein argues that the advent of the printing press was a revolutionary historical event of great significance, especially in Europe. Here again we see how a new publishing technology created new opportunities and opened new channels of dissemination and access to knowledge. The new publishing medium allowed direct access to the source of information that was contained in the Scriptures, which ultimately disintermediated the leaders of the Catholic Church and the wealthy (Jukes and McCain, 2001). Politically and socially, the printing press broke limiting boundaries – the knowledge monopoly of the Church and the wealthy – creating an environment for balance flow of information, open participation in the communication process, and in the spirit of access principle free “circulation of ideas as far as possible and ideally to all who are interested in it and all who might profit by it” (Willinsky, 2009, p. xii). Print gave wings to the NinetyFive Theses of Martin Luther and was “circulated as far as possible and ideally to all who were interested in it” – to both clergy and lay, rich nobles and poor farmers, regardless of class, worth or status at an era when such notions were important to the social order. Opening access was the spirit behind Gutenberg’s invention,  79  opening access was the primary catalyst for the reformation, opening access was the principal prod that sparked off the scientific revolution. The emergence of the scientific journal in the seventeen century offered a serial publication in which the established community of scientists could communicate their discoveries under a society’s authority and according to its scholarly judgment. Henry Oldenburg, the creator of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, engaged the service of print technology to attract some of the finest European scientific authors to register their discoveries in the journal. His use of this new medium of publishing eventually served as defining moment in the European scientific movement (Guédon, 2001). And of this Eisenstein indicated that, because of the technology of printing press, scientific knowledge spread more rapidly at that time than at any other time in previous history. Handwritten letters had limitations in the degree to which they convey scientific result, but the journals extended the circulation of scientific discovering and enabled scattered scientists to keep abreast of each other (Eisenstein, 1979, p. 460; Chodorow, 2000, p. 88). These accounts by mostly Western historians are grounded in the belief that printing was a fundamental agent in the creation of Western civilization; as a result, the narratives they present are fundamentally European in orientation (Ballantyne, 2007, p. 342) Situating the print technology within the framework of eighteenth-century colonial and European empire-building history, however, shows regional divergence and differential cultural significance. That is to say, the impact of the Gutenberg’s press appears starkly different if viewed from the perspective of the developing world. In the book Agent of Change: Print Culture Studies after Elizabeth, 80  Eisenstein, Baron, Lindquist and Shevlin (2007, p. 158) lay out their thoughts on the differential cultural significance of print technology with the following statement: “Just as print broke down the one set of ancient, enduring, limiting boundaries, so too it helped create and erect new limits that would continually need to be broken down in successive ages, across cultures as well as around the globe.” In their opinion, while the medium of communication throughout history defined a new architecture for knowledge generation, preservation, transmission and retrieval, thereby fostering “self-conscious, cosmopolitan western European intellectual community,” it serves as an agent that helped solidify narrower national parameters in other parts of the world.  3.3  Postcolonialism  This leads to the second assumption of this study: that while it is true that new technologies have greatly increased the speed at which communication of cultural and information is propagated throughout the globe, leading to world integration and interdependence, technology has also served a tool of fostering the tradition of marginalization in the production and circulation of knowledge in developing worlds; to that degree, circulation of science and knowledge have not grown evenly from a historical perspective but have been marginalized within the scope of imperial legacy. It is important to note that it is beyond the purview of this dissertation to provide a systematic summation of the interrelationship between print and colonialism; however, it is very necessary to observe how print culture fostered and  81  continues to foster the tradition of marginalization in the circulation and the production of knowledge in developing worlds which are the legacy of imperialism. First, Ballantyne (2007, p. 345) in What Difference Does Colonialism Make? pointed out that, while printing was integral in the developing process of the colonies, its goal in general was to promote the agenda of an imperial system. He argues that the printing press was an agent for empire building and a tool in the hands of colonial administrators, missionaries, ethnographers etc. to pursue cultural projects of colonialism in the vast part of Africa etc. To the degree that “the ‘textualization’ of indigenous cultures in Africa, South Asia and the Pacific, was a crucial foundation of colonial rule in many, if not all, colonial contexts” (Ballantyne, 2007, p. 345). Sounding a similar note, Goh (2007, pp. 109–111) thinks that the ethnographers responsible for textualizing the native cultures were devotees of the “metropolitan ideologies that guided the imperial hands” and “were part of the colonial officials directly involved in the imposition of dominance over the society being studied (Goh, 2007, pp. 109, 111); they therefore privileged text as a way for colonial administrations to ensure continuous domination over the colonies (Mani, 1986 as cited in Burton 1994). The textualization of native society was to produce ethnographic knowledge that could be applied to inscriptive colonial administration and hybridizing – the grafting of Western modalities of cultural life onto conquered worlds – education of native elites (Goh, 2007, p. 110). Thus Ballantyne argues that, while printing text was the “very basis of the day-to-day function of imperialists, the process by which they were created profoundly altered the knowledge they recorded, disembodying these traditions, wrenching them free of the traditional  82  social contexts of knowledge transmission to revalue them as an aid to the operation of imperial authority.” As far as the colonial administration was concerned, the printing press was a crucial means to systemize and disseminate colonial knowledge. The colonies were flooded with moral tracts, textbooks, and “enlightenment texts” and “improving literature”—“designed, as it were, to inculcate the value of domesticity, work, Western learning and science” (Ballantyne, p. 453) while gradually and purposefully instilling in them a sense of inferiority complexes and the notion of congenital incapacity. Ballantyne further reveals how the missionaries and protagonists of “useful knowledge” considered print as vital bridge of intellectual engagement between European and non-European, but the colonial administration feared indigenous printing because indigenous people were considered agents of obscenity, resistance and rebellion. And therefore it was a matter of utmost importance, for the colonial administration, for instance, to guide, guard, police and create a regime of surveillance, as it were, to carefully control the knowledge of the colonies that found their way into printed text (Gupta, 2000, pp. 89–118; Darnton, 2001, p. 138; Buckingam, 2007, p. 218; Ballantyne, 2007, pp. 345–346). When Baghdelleh and Makange of Tanganyika, now Tanzania, found their voices in print by publishing in the Tanganyika Standard in 1958, three years before independence from British rule, they were clear about the need for a postcolonial sensibility: All of us know that the Britisher is here in our country for the purpose of sucking our blood and to obtain for himself raw materials and let him not  83  deceive us that he is here because he is sorry for us or for the purpose of teaching us civilization or to bring progress to the country ... That sort of talk is just meant to pull the wool over our eyes and the longer he stays here the more minerals and money will be taken out of this country and sent to his country in which without us they cannot continue to exist comfortably. (Tanganyika Standard, 5 July 1958, p. 3 cited in Scotton 1978, p. 14)  Baghdelleh and Makange were charged with sedition and served six months in prison with, I imagine, hard labor. And when Julius Nyerere, a teacher and leader of the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU), printed the following under colonial rule in 1958, At once time trouble was reported in Mahenge, and on inquiry I learnt that the DC [?] has already closed down a TANU branch before being posted to Mahenge.... This evening I am interviewing an elderly gentleman from the same area [Songea]. …this DC is now instigating people to make false accusations against TANU. He has already dismissed a subchief who refused to give false evidence in court against TANU. These same officials would have people committing perjury in court if only to villify TANU. These same people who intimidate and punish innocence, cajole and reward crookery, have the temerity to invoke law and order. (Tanganyika Standard, 12 August 1958, p. 1, cited in Scotton 1978, p. 14)  He was charged with criminal libel, found guilty and given a choice of six months in jail or a $375 fine. He paid the fine, saying he did not want to become a martyr. Similarly, Buckingham (2007, pp. 218–220) describes how, in Mexico and Peru, viceroys were at the mercy of the Crown, and printed materials came only from approved printers back in Europe.  84  As a part of this colonial mentality, Europe had established itself as the epicenter of knowledge production from which flows this knowledge to the outliers. Knowledge spun from the centers of righteousness in the West reflected an ideologized orientation to the barbarian and unrighteous in the margins (colonized countries) who needed cleansing. Indigenous cultures and knowledge were treated as “others,” through their exclusion and marginalization, while English identity was preserved as cultured, mannered, compos mentis and rational. Knowledge gleaned from the subjugated colonial world countries was only useful as long as it served the imperialists to tighten their rule over the colonies’ knowledge for ruling others (HansJürgen Lüsebrink, 2006). The press was controlled by the colonial powers, and the voice of the “common man” in print was carefully mediated and compromised by the colonial texts that host them (Newell, 2009, p. 3). Even more pernicious is the fact that the colonial powers have become the sole actors in the knowledge production and dissemination field, who identify and control the direction and quality in the knowledge spheres, and most importantly find ways to use the technology to layer new inequalities upon the old. This had a perfect fit to “media imperialism” as defined years later by British scholar J. Oliver Boyd-Barrett: “The process whereby the ownership, structure, distribution, or content of the media in any country are singly or together subject to substantial external pressures from the media interests of any other country or countries, without proportionate reciprocation of influence by the country so affected” (1997, p. 117). At the heart of the problem is the imbalance and asymmetric access to the printing technology that (drove) propelled various forms of domination. The center-periphery  85  structure epitomized in the world-system theory to explain dependency theory and how it is enforced by the role of technology (Wallerstein, 1974; Vernengo, 2006; Dairity and Davis, 2005; Maswana, 2009). Maswana argues that technology is "just one more area through which the Centre consolidates its economic, [intellectual] and cultural domination over the periphery. Thus, the control of technology or its exclusive mastery by one class or country can also justify uneven development” (2009, p.72). This dependent/center-periphery relationship extends the economic and cultural period of colonialism so that printing technology becomes one device for intellectual domination and marginalization. In comparison, it is obvious at this point that Eisenstein and McLuhan’s compelling list of social change brought about in Europe by printing technology was very much different, according to the literature, from what happened in Africa and other parts of the world. Instead of breaking new boundaries, print help create and erect new limiting boundaries. Instead of opening access to knowledge and divergent views, print helped create an extreme monopoly of knowledge by colonial powers and selectively disseminated information to whom they so chose in order to foster the biases, whims and caprices of the metropolitan ideologies. Printing technology served as a tool of instilling in the native a sense of inferiority complexes and the notion of congenital incapacity. The technology was so controlled that the voice of the ordinary citizen in print was carefully mediated and compromised. The printing press, which afforded inclusivity in Western Europe, became a tool that strengthened the imperial centralized control and marginalization of unorthodox  86  voices, to the degree that peripheral countries were left out of the intellectual discourse that is at the very foundation of print culture. After more than 50 years of independence throughout Africa, the practice of subjugation through threat and force is nearing an end. Racist assumptions about the black African’s inability to rule may be over. The period of concerted effort designed to maintain the exploitative colonial relationship between colonial masters and black Africans may also be over. But Africa is still fighting a new form of colonialism termed knowledge neo-imperialism or “academic neo-imperialism” or “academic neo-colonialism.” This is so because, though independence has been attained, the West continues to have monopolistic control and influence over the nature and flows of scientific knowledge (Alatas, 2003, p. 602). Wallerstein (1974), in his famous book The Modern World System, views the world as a system that has the characteristics of an organism. The world is made up of core states, semi-peripheral areas, and peripheral areas. These are necessary structural elements in the world-economy based “on a series of dimensions, such as the complexity of economic activities, strength of the state machinery, cultural integrity” (349). Wallerstein employed the phrase world-economy to delineate the widespread cultural and economic link that European colonialism had promoted in the late fifteenth to nineteenth centuries. Years later, Galtung and Vincent (1992), Traweek (1992, p. 103) and Hwang (2005) employed the metaphor of centerperiphery encapsulated in the world-system theory to describe the phenomenon of global communication and in the daily production of scientists and scientific knowledge. Alatas applied the center-periphery structure to explain academic 87  dependency where scientific endeavors in certain countries (periphery/dependent) are conditioned by the development and growth of the scientific endeavors of other countries (centre), to which the former is subjected. Alatas speaks to the postcolonial aspect of dependency theory: “According to academic dependency theory, the social sciences in intellectually dependent societies are dependent on institutions and ideas of western social science such that research agendas, the definition of problems areas, methods of research and standards of excellence are determined by or borrowed from the West” (2003, p. 603). Evidently, these frameworks, though borrowed as they may be from a variety of disciplines and ideologies, have relevance to this study, particularly as applied by Altbach. This is because this study examined the systems of knowledge production and circulation in Africa, but more specifically, knowledge production systems in African institutions of higher learning in view of the fact that the bulk of scientific knowledge produced in Africa comes from the universities and research institutions. However, it is important to note that, although the emphasis is on African universities and institutions of higher learning, the knowledge production system of any nation is not only influenced by endogenous factors but by external factors, particularly the functionalism of the global knowledge production system. Altbach (1981) tends to see the center-periphery not only as relating to the profound inequalities in the global knowledge production system but more specifically as it relates to knowledge production within universities in the industrialized nations (centers) and their counterparts in the less developed countries (periphery). Altbach (1981, p. 602) makes a stark distinction between how universities in the center and 88  those in the periphery engage in knowledge production: According to Altbach, core institutions/countries in knowledge production: Are  research-oriented, prestigious, and  part of an  international  knowledge system. Their libraries are large and their laboratories well equipped. The central institutions have access to the bulk of research funds, produce a high proportion of the doctoral-level research degrees, and are recognized as leaders. …The apparatus of knowledge access and distribution is concentrated at the center. Major publishers of scientific materials, the prestigious academic journals, and the like are predominantly located at the centers. Scholars tend to gravitate to the centers for advanced research and “refresher” training. Central universities are, almost without exception, located in the central nations—those countries with high per capita incomes, a high level of technological development, substantial academic traditions, and possess all the infrastructures of intellectual life. (1981, p. 602)  The opposite is true of the universities in the peripheral whose structure for scientific endeavors are small, have less qualified scientists, lack a critical research mass to undertake research in many fields; they suffer a “variety of disabilities” and tend to be located in poorer nations. The challenges or what Altbach termed “disabilities” facing institutions in the periphery are discussed elsewhere in this chapter. However, it is important to examine some important factors that have made this center-periphery theory relevant today. One of these factors is that the means of knowledge production, access and distribution is concentrated at the centre and has oftentimes been used to the disadvantage of those in the periphery.  89  The core countries with strong economies are host to some of the most outstanding laboratories, the majority of world scientists, highly rated libraries and knowledge production technologies. Because of these and furthermore the weight of their resources which cannot be matched by those in the periphery, the core tends to dominate and have a stronghold on knowledge production. The lack of access to similar resources in the periphery puts knowledge production at a very high cost. For example, in a country like Ghana, with five state universities, two major university presses were established in the early 1960s to produce literature, both textbooks and works of scholarship (Ampen, 2004, p. 101). For printing equipment, one of the presses has a 1980 Nuarc 26-1K Mercury Exposure System (Darkroom Camera). This equipment has been out of production for many years and could be counted as museum pieces or antiques in the developed world. Replacement parts have been improvised over and over again because manufacturers stopped producing those machines several years ago. The latest print technology available on the market, which is used by those in the developed world, is many light years ahead of what is found in most parts of Africa, for the simple reason that the technology does not come cheaply and often is out of reach of many institutions of learning. Unpropitiously, every consumable material—paper, ink, fountain solution, films, plates, contact screens, dampening solution, including masking tape—that goes into the production of a journal or a book has to be imported from the center with foreign currency at an exchange rate that is often determined by the advanced nations. Nothing in print production is locally produced, not even the duct tape used by layout artists. Soon after independence in Nigeria, all that was needed to buy a $1.00 piece  90  of “masking tape” from the US was NGN1.00. The value of the US dollar was the same as the Nigeria naira. But today, for the same masking tape, you need NGN150.125. In sum, the cost of print production is so high that many institutions of higher learning in Africa are unable to afford it. Although print technology has opened new opportunities for wider circulation of knowledge, the lack of access to these technologies reinforces the inequalities existing in knowledge production and has created more barriers. Again, the lack of access to technologies, the high production and distribution costs and the other "disabilities" of publishing scientific research within the periphery universities make institutions in the periphery produce what Hwang (2010, p. 392) termed “subsidiary knowledge,” or rather they are unable to produce what Altbach (1998, p. 3) termed “advanced scholarship.” More challenging is the fact that, when researchers have surmounted all the endogenous "disabilities" within the research environment in the periphery, their ability to produce and make available their findings to the wider scholarly community is conditional on certain externalities constructed by the scientific community in the core, which often disadvantages the periphery. Traweek (1992, p. 103) has pointed out how “scientists are more likely to be [judged] meritorious if they are from Europe or North America [the core] (and male).” Woe betide you if you are from the periphery because you “have the disadvantage of [your] knowledge claims requiring approval from an international scientific community through [a] self-referential system in science and technology" (Hwang, 2005, p. 393). Subsidiary knowledge is subject to analyses that are biased to the core and the core is often suspicious of the quality of scientific work done in the  91  periphery. Your best chance in the global scholarly arena is to make friends in “high places” or relocate to the centre. Abdus Salam (as cited in Gibbs, 1995, p. 2), a Nobel Prize-winning physicist from Pakistan, observes that when a scientist whose paper has been rejected "goes abroad for postdoctoral study, the change of address makes all the difference”; and Ana Maria Cetto (as cited in Gibbs 1995, p. 2), a Mexican physicist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, similarly observed that even in her field, "numerous colleagues have mentioned that their articles co-authored with collaborators in the US are much more easily and promptly published than those of similar quality and content that they write alone.” That is making friendship in “higher places.” The reverse holds true. Calvin Morrill (as cited in Traweek 1992, p. 104) of Harvard candidly observed how American scientists routinely call into question research observations made by their counterparts in Brazil, even if those scientists were trained in the United States and now live in Brazil. To that degree, “many researchers in the developing world feel trapped in a vicious circle of neglect and … prejudice by publishing barriers they claim doom good science to oblivion” (Gibbs 1995, p. 92). It is now very difficult and almost impossible for a peripheral university to attain central status in the international context or become a major actor within the global scholarly community, because the price of entry is so high. This evinced a supposition that the periphery has nothing to contribute—a supposition which has no validity (Globalization and University, p. 65) and is at variance with the access principle which advocates for South-North cooperation that will lead to “equitable world information order, one that is moved beyond the colonial  92  legacies of center and periphery in the geopolitics of knowledge,” an equitable information order that goes beyond the Westernization of “others,” by opening access to other scholarly traditions and diverging voices (Willinsky, 2006). In the same line of thinking, Britz (p. 162) arguing on the principle of human rights, a principle which is at the core of the access principle, suggested strongly that “the equal sharing of knowledge (North-South and South-North) is a moral obligation that we cannot escape. It must therefore not fail to accommodate the information poor in the South.” In fact, if we can step back from the distortion created by the centerperiphery dichotomy and begin to see the research community as one universal system functioning together in search of answers to the problems common to humanity, and therefore the need to depend on each other’s research result to succeed, society can establish that equitable information order. Scientific research can only be maximized when it is shared on an equal basis, when isolated thoughts are acknowledged in global scholarly discourse, and when there are no impediments to the circulation of ideas even from the periphery. Borgam (2007, p. 15) once said that “scholarship is a cumulative process, and its success depends on wide and rapid dissemination of new knowledge … Society overall benefits from the open exchange of ideas within the scholarly community.” Another way that Altbach articulates the concept of center and periphery is that the inequalities between the core and periphery, in knowledge production capacity, have turned scientists from the periphery into basic consumers of science produced from the core. They have become dependent on the core for basic research principles,  93  formulas, concepts and interpretation of scientific advances which often are Americentric or Eurocentric (Altbach, 1998, p. 602; Hwang, 2010, p. 423). Unfortunately, the consumption of science from the centre by the periphery comes at a high cost to the periphery. To keep pace with information needs, libraries in developing countries have to spend their entire university budget on serials from the core. Sadly, development within the academic community within the last few decades—the transformation of knowledge into capital commodity, a commercial system that supports a business model that has become unsustainable, escalating high costs of serials above the cost of living, rate of inflation, currency fluctuation and budget cuts—have drastically reduced serial holdings in libraries in Africa and have deprived the periphery access to what is produced in the centre. The impact of the serial crisis was so acute that even leading research libraries in developed nations could not keep pace with escalating journal costs. Association Research Libraries in North America (ARL) is quoted as saying, “The current system of scholarly publishing has become too costly [in the core] for the academic community.” This point was re-echoed by the finding of a study by the Wellcome Trust UK, which indicated that “[t]he current market structure does not operate in the long-term interest of the research community” (The Wellcome Trust, 2003, p. iv). If universities within the core could not sustain the information requirement, then one can imagine the devastating impact on the universities from the periphery. How can knowledge-producing institutions anywhere in the world (center or periphery) make any meaningful contribution to global scholarly discourse if students from those institutions have no access to current textbooks, nor access to scientific 94  journals, but rather rely on outdated notes dictated to them by professors whose only source of information is a notebook they inherited from their professor when they were students? How can scientists contribute to global scholarly discourse when they are at the point of no access and are totally disengaged from their peers within and outside? One reason that the periphery has been at the margin of knowledge production and often excluded from global scholarly discourse is that “small scientific communities in developing countries are almost always found to be in a situation of no access or insufficient access to the flow of scientific communication” (Estaban, 1994, p. 5). The high production and distribution cost of journals, the transformation of knowledge into capital commodity with its inherit prohibitive cost of serials, the declining access to research in a knowledge society, the current inequalities in production and distribution of science, the publisher’s goal of increasing profit margin instead of circulation, are factors that have drawn attention to an “access principle” in scholarly work. The access principle is about transferring knowledge “from the close cloister of privileged well-endowed university campuses” (Willinsky, 2006, p. 33) mostly found in the developed nations (center) to poorer institutions in developing countries (periphery). The access principle is about expanding shared knowledge across scientific fields. It is about broadening the circulation and exchange of knowledge and more importantly expanding the presence of research globally. The access principle is crucial in helping narrow the knowledge-producing gap between the center and periphery because “when a scientist has access to scientific communication and information, he or she can be a potential or actual user  95  of systems for communication among scientists and a potential producer of scientific knowledge. This explains the nourishing effect of communication among scientists on the production of new knowledge” (Estaban, 1994, p. 5). Thus a system of scientific innovation is a byproduct of knowledge and knowledge has always been a major input for the process of new scientific knowledge: knowledge begets knowledge. And knowledge only qualifies as knowledge if it is circulated as widely as possible, if it stands the test of appraisal and reviews and is able to further other scientific inquiries (Willinsky, 2006, p. 6). A wider and efficient accelerating circulation of research empowers those in the periphery to actively participate in a global scholarly discourse at a more equitable rate than they have done under the constraints of traditional publishing. The two important factors that have given impetus to the access principle are first, the inherit limitation in the traditional publishing process, along with escalating journal prices, which over the years have worked to impede the accelerating circulation of knowledge globally. The second is the advent of the Internet, a new publishing medium already integral to the publishing process, with the potential to advance circulation and exchange of knowledge and to reverse the current state of declining access to research within an otherwise expanding global scholarly community. It is upon this second factor that the third assumption of this research is premised that: the adoption and utilization of online technologies (publishing systems) have the potential to circumvent the unfair scholarly disparities at the global level as well as provide greater opportunities for Africans to participate in global scholarly discourse.  96  Centuries after the industrial revolution, we are witnessing the throes of another astonishing shift in human civilization – the information and communication technology revolution. The new information and communication technologies, especially the Internet, have been seen as ushering in an unprecedented possibility of knowledge manipulated. The Internet phenomenon of the last two decades has matured very quickly into an online revolution that has fundamentally changed knowledge production, dissemination, preservation and retrieval. Before this, over the last 300 years, the printing press contributed significantly to the scholarly community, for example, the establishment of a community of scientists who could easily communicate their discoveries that helped bring about the scientific revolution; the press helped scientists bring knowledge closer to the people. One cannot doubt its impact on the preservation and dissemination of scholarship. However, over the years and with passage of time, information generation and distribution mediated entirely by the printed word has widened the gap between the core and the periphery, which is further exacerbated by the relentless focus on knowledge capitalization and stakeholders’ value which has rocketed journal prices above the means of most academic libraries particularly for developing economies. There is now well-documented evidence of the devastating effect of the current traditional publishing systems on the scientific community in Africa (Levy, 1993; Rosenberg, 1997; Willinsky et al., 2005, p. 93; Hoppenbrouwer and Kanyengo, 2007; Sawyer, 2004; Olukoju, 2002; Onari-Okemwa, 2007; Wirsiy, 2007). Africa’s huge journal collections built during the 1960s and 1970s were drastically reduced in strength, showing how the buying of new scholarly monographs and journals ground  97  to a halt and so also the intellectual activities of the research community, because both students and faculty lack the one most essential resource (the scientific journal) that will assist them in staying current in their field and facilitates their participation in the global circulation of knowledge (Willinsky, 2006, p. 93) More disturbing is the fact that, after carefully navigating all the eco-socio-political challenges, the little science that is produced in Africa falls short of reaching the global knowledge sphere because it is too expensive to publish or what is published lacks visibility. Rosenberg (as cited in Willinsky, 2006, p. 103) illustrates how several scholarly monographs had been prepared to camera-ready stage for printing at the University of Cape Coast but could not be published because of the high cost of print production. Zeleza (1998, p. 23), in an article published in 1998, showed how nine out of the nineteen journals that were started in Nigeria met their demise not many years after they had started possibly because of a lack of funds to meet print production costs. The high cost of print production as discussed earlier in this section was one major factor that limited African research dissemination capacity. Also print journals in Africa have limited print runs, limited reach and therefore limited visibility. The reason is that print journals demand physical dissemination, but most countries in Africa lack that efficient distribution network to disseminate as widely as possible the little research that is published. The journals published suffer from the slow and unreliable African mail systems, resulting in limited distribution that seldom goes beyond the borders of the countries in which the journals are published (CODESRIA, 2006, p. 2)  98  The lack of visibility of African research journals has manifold consequences: journals cannot be abstracted for indexing; the journals will lack articles from scholars because they do not know the existence of the journal or are discouraged from writing for lack of support; lack of articles means journals cannot be produced in a timely manner. They lack a reputation, which forces authorities to set evaluation systems that tend to privilege publication in foreign journals instead of local journals. The lack of reputation also means the journals cannot attract reputable reviewers and editors globally and soon, for these and other reasons, journals cease to exist. So, even though print journals have served the academic community well since the creation of scientific journals in the seventeenth century, the traditional publishing system is failing, because of the inherent limitation of print production, coupled with the monopolistic-elitist nature of the journal publishing industry.  3.4  The Internet Opportunity  Today, time and technology are changing to the degree that we can say that they have changed irrevocably with the advent of the ICT and, more specifically, the Internet. And there is strong empirical evidence that new online publishing systems have the potential to circumvent most of the current constraints to traditional scholarly publishing in Africa. The new online publishing systems provide alternative publishing platforms for information; we are thus compelled to explore how this new medium can contribute to an increase in access and circulation over print in Africa. As a facilitator of global knowledge exchange, the Internet provides a system of interaction that is quicker and more efficient than traditional scholarly publishing that 99  involved scientists exchanging materials by post. African scholars have the opportunity to share their intellectual output in a timely and efficient function with the rest of the world. As rightly observed by Ng’etich (2003), the Internet creates a single community linked by telecommunications networks where scientists “look beyond their usual environment (may it be national or disciplinary) and acknowledge the value of publications produced elsewhere. Thus, the Internet as a research tool liberates scholars and researchers constrained by social, legal, political, economic, and geographical constraints associated with traditional print media” (p. 5). Ng’etich’s observation parallels the access principle which is concerned with using the emerging Internet technology to promote greater “global circulation and exchange of knowledge, while expanding research presence in the world” (Willinsky, 2006, pp. 33, 206; Nwague, 2005). The Internet is providing a different sort of global system in which the intellectual resources from the periphery (Africa) are far more globally present. In his spirit, Nwague (as cited in Ahmed 2007, p. 17) argues that “the beauty of a truly globalized world would lie in the diversity of contributions by all country members of the world. A less than multi-colored global community would have omitted variety and diversity; such a community could not be considered truly global.” Stating the obvious, online publishing systems provide a host of changes: faster and instant extraction of journal articles for indexing, therefore increasing visibility and citation impact (Lawrence, 2001, Kurtz 2004; Willinsky, 2006, p. 23); trimmed-down publishing process, ensuring efficient online management of journals (Kinne, 1999, p. 2); reduction of throughput time and for that reason timely publication schedules;  100  globally instant marketing, promotion and distribution, and accessibility in cyberspace; useful value-added features like hyper-linking to large scientific bibliographic databases and datasets (videos, audios) (Bevan, 2001; Youngen, 2001; Garfield, 2004; Shine, 2004, p. 222) and most importantly reduction of production cost (Kinne, 1999, p. 2; Houghten et. al., 2009). As Hamel observed, the Internet is the best thing ever to have happened to African nations (cited in Ahmed 2007, p. 23) in that it provides great opportunity for knowledge sharing and reduces the isolation of those scholars in the periphery. Online publishing systems have the potential to remove access and disseminating barriers and with time narrowing the knowledge gap between the core and periphery. This study was therefore conceived with the belief that Internet technology has the potential to remove access and disseminating barriers between the core and periphery and with time, bring African scholars closer to the center of global knowledge exchanges. There is therefore the need to strengthen the research capacities of the continent through the adoption and application of online publishing systems. That power wielded by commercial publishers, who decided who, when, how to have access for the journals which they control, is now being shared in the case of a good number of journals with consumers of scientific information – faculty, students, libraries and even the citizenry – because of the incredible technical advances in information technology. When the first online journal was published in 1989, reaction from the publishing industry was such that no one hoped for a future for online academic journals. But as Willinsky (2006, p. 14) reported, in 2005 there were 101  20,000 journals that had moved to online editions. Today, according to a Scholarly Publishing Practice Survey (2008), it is estimated that 86.5% of titles in the arts, humanities and social sciences and 96.1% of journal titles in science, technology and medicine are now available online. Further, empirical studies are showing an increasing preference for electronic journals within the academic community. The rate at which UK university libraries are switching from print to electronic subscriptions is illustrated in the Figure 3.1.  Figure 3.1 The Use of Print Vs. Online Journals in UK Universities  Source: (SCONUL, from RIN 2009)  These data show a strong inverse relationship between the demand for electronic journals and print journals in which an increase in the volume of e-journals results in a decrease in the volume of print journals, strong evidence that the primary means of gaining access to knowledge in scholarly articles is fast shifting to e-journals.  102  The Journal of Scientific Research (JSR) was the first international interdisciplinary journal to operate from Bangladesh.14 The journal, which was launched online in 2008 using the Open Journal System, had within the first and second months of launching, seen a dramatic increase in submission rate from five continents. By the third quarter of the first year of JSR, it had received a total submission of 145 articles. Because of the high volume of submissions, the journal, which was originally planned to publish one issue a year, quickly increased the number of issues to three, plus one print volume a year. This experience is never possible with traditional print journals. Hardly will a print journal, including those from developed nations, within its first year of operation receive 145 submissions from five continents of the world. To quote the editor of the journal, Dr. Azharul Islam, The advantage of the online editorial system is that the multidisciplinary reviewers from far and wide are now available relatively easily, which is considered a major constraint with the conventional editing system. At the beginning of June we had 209 reviewers registered with the system (in a little over 9 months). Only 20% (roughly) of these enlisted reviewers are personal contacts or were recruited by me. In terms of visibility, online publication is a great benefit as readers need only visit the website rather than have a publisher send the print journal to their library or directly. (Islam, 2009, p. 1)  After many years of frustration because of its inability to meet the needs of its scholarly community, the Pakistan Higher Education Commission (HEC) introduced the Pakistan National Digital Programme (NDLP) in 2003, with the mission of  14  During a science faculty meeting at Rajshahi University in 2008, the idea to launch a journal that would publish high-quality scientific work was hatched. At this time, according to Dr. Azharul Islam, “no international journal (online or print) with an interdisciplinary character, specifically catering to the academic needs of the international community, operated from Bangladesh.”  103  building and strengthening the research capacity of the academic community. In 2008, the project coordinator, Hassan Zaidi (cited in INASP, 2009), indicated that “a typical university in Pakistan now has greater access to electronic journals than most universities in both Europe and the United States.” About research output, Hassan indicated that “there has been a 161% increase in physics research papers alone produced between 2004 and 2007. This continues to increase with all having been produced in peer-reviewed international journals. More generally, between 1997 and 2001 (pre-HEC) 3,260 articles were published whereas in the 6 years post-HEC 8,224 articles have been published—this represents an amazing 152% increase.” This relationship between online access and rate of scientific output is confirmed by a study in the UK which shows a “clear correlation between levels of use of ejournals and research outcomes, with more usage linked to the number of papers published, number of Ph.D. awards and income from research grants and contracts.” The study indicated that these correlations are independent of institutional size. Finally, in Latin America, various online publishing initiatives – Latindex, Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO) and Red de Revistas Cientificas de América Latina y el Caribe (RedALyC) – were implemented to compensate for the weak traditional scholarly publishing system. The resultant impact of those initiatives is a reported 13% increase in Latin American journals offering open access compared to 3% in Canada/US and 2% in Western Europe (Haider, 2005). These examples are illustrations of the potential value of the new online publishing systems and the enormous opportunity they offer the scholarly community, especially those in the periphery. The growth in online journals, the high rate at  104  which the scientific community is shifting to online journals and the relative impact of online access to research productivity is a clear indication that online publishing is the way forward for the scholarly community. Willinsky’s discourse on the access principle has particular relevance for public access to information, and it has taken the particular form of open access to research and scholarship through author selfarchiving of articles from subscription journals and the publication of open access journals. As Willinsky elaborates, “The open access idea is not simply a child of these new publishing technologies. Efforts to improve access to knowledge have a long and venerable history” (Willinsky, 2006, p. 30). This new approach to publishing scholarly journals ensures that the “concepts of openness and publicness became prominent in the self-description of modern society, pointing to the relevance of access to information and inclusion” (Schiltz, Verschraegen and Magnolo, 2007, p. 162). This is not to ignore the many eco-socio-political and institutional factors that weigh heavily against scientific research activities in Africa. We also acknowledge the continent’s ICT infrastructural challenges that have the potential to negate any gain that online publishing systems may proffer. But recent developmental initiatives by the international and regional community provide a strong indication that Africa is gradually making significant progress in the ICT capacity development and therefore a timely opportunity to, at least, explore the potential benefits of online publishing systems. In 2005, the World Bank devoted $800 million to increasing the Internet connectivity of developing countries (Willinsky, p. 96); the US government has been supporting a 105  five-year, $15 million Leland initiative to support Internet infrastructure in twenty-one African countries (Adeya and Oyelaran-Oyeyinka 2002, p. 31; Willinsky, 2006, p. 96). In addition to other initiatives, that space does not allow to be listed here, in 2009, a new high-speed undersea fiber optic cable (Seacom) connecting East Africa to the rest of the world was completed (Blenford, 2009). A year before, a single fiber optic cable called the South Atlantic 3/West Africa Submarine Cable (SAT-3/Safe), that runs up West Africa, was also completed. Marine fiber cables now circle the African continent and bring high-speed Internet to Africa. The East Africa fiber optic cable with a 1.28 Terabyte per second connectivity will allow East Africans to access the net cheaply and in greater numbers. Meta-analyses of recent studies show that, while the digital divide is still at its most extreme in Africa, networked readiness is beginning to increase rapidly. Internet access is now possible in every state in Africa, from 14 countries in 1995 to reasonable connectivity in the entire continent by the turn of the century (Jegede, 1995). Studies further show that, by 2007, Internet users in sub-Saharan Africa had grown fivefold to 33 million, nearly 4% of the population (Juma and Mayor, 2008). Currently, Internet growth rate is some 30% per year (Internet World Stats 2009 and AHE 2009). The change is recent and steep. It is an accepted fact that this rapid growth of Internet access has not been even in countries across Africa but mostly confined to the major cities, very few small towns and cities being networked. Even the level of penetration at universities has been described as “too little, too expensive and poorly managed” (Gakio, 2006) in relative terms. Yet experts like Mike Jensen (2000) indicate that universities are the vanguard of Internet development in Africa. The highest number of Internet users  106  surveyed belongs to universities in Africa and NGOs, while more and more universities in Africa are establishing Campus Area Networks (Gyapong, 2002; Lwehabura and Matovelo, 1999). ICT infrastructure on university campuses continues to grow, albeit at a very low pace. Internet connectivity continues to shift from dial-up connections to wire, fiber or radio link and satellite connections; average bandwidth increased in 2006 by 31% uplink, 63% downlink in African higher institutions from what was reported in 2004; there is a continual marginal fall in bandwidth cost; campus networks are present in 97% of the academic institutions (Gakio, 2006); and there are IT units at almost every university in Africa (Lwehabura and Matovelo, 1999, p. 224). With these levels of ICT infrastructural development, what is there to stop Africa’s research community from exploring the potential benefits of online publishing systems to their scholarly activities? In the words of Willinsky (2005, p. 118), “were the spirit willing, the technology is ready.” There are those who argue, and factually they may be right, that the technology has the potential to exacerbate inequality between the center and the periphery. They are quick to dismiss the modest gains made in ICT infrastructural development on the continent as they compare it to what is available in the center. Is that to suggest that Africans should wait until every household and village has access to computers, and are fully networked and have full access to high speed broadband Internet before we actively engage the technology in our professional activities? In fact our refusal to engage these technologies in our institutions, governments, professions and social lives is to move the continent backwards in time to some moment before the Industrial Revolution. In  107  fact, history teaches us that developing countries were slower, during the Industrial Revolution, to adopt industrial technologies, and consequently fell behind in economic development. History should not be seen as repeating itself. The truth is that even in advanced countries, which have become the standard of comparison and measure, there are many households that still do not have access to computers and the Internet. In July 2008, it was reported that 17 million people in the UK did not have access to broadband Internet. Another report by the Royal Geographical Society, UK, says a third of households in the UK do not have access to the Internet. In 2009, nearly 5 million residents of North Carolina alone did not have access to high-speed Internet. But this has not stopped the US, the UK and other developed countries with similar demography from fully exploiting the benefits of network technologies. Though the provision of ICT infrastructure remains one of the key challenges facing Africa as it builds an information society, Africa cannot sit back any longer. Africa cannot wait to attain 100% ICT infrastructures before exploring the potential of online publishing systems in fostering the dissemination of science. As Abdus Salam (1988), the Nobel Laureate in physics observes, “in the final analysis it is basically mastery and utilization of modern science and technology that distinguishes the South from the North.” They can emancipate the individual scientists in developing countries with technical resources, for the first time, to close the gap between the center and periphery (Arunachalam, 2004). As the Access Principle explains, the Internet, as a new publishing medium, provides better capabilities that provide a significant increase in access and circulation over print, and we are thus compelled  108  to explore how this medium can contribute to strengthening scholarly publishing in Africa. These three assumptions provided the framework for this dissertation. This study was designed to examine first how the current system of traditional publishing has provided, or imposed on, Africans incremental opportunity for faster and wider dissemination and accessibility of scientific knowledge, an absolutely indispensable condition for the progress of science as whole. Technical and economic issues of traditional scientific journal publishing – authorship, readership, editorial and peerreview issues, as well as the level of science resources in African academic libraries – were studied with the goal of knowing if the traditional scientific journal publishing process has also contributed to the marginalization of African intellectual discourse within the global scholarly sphere. Second, this study assumed that the new online publishing systems have the potential and can enhance capabilities to remove access and disseminating barriers and with time bring African scholars closer to the center of global knowledge exchanges. On the basis of that assumption, this study also examined the current state of information communication infrastructure within academic institutions of higher learning and the degree to which they have been engaged in the production process – editorial, peer review, publishing – of scientific journals, including level of technology resources available in library, current technology expertise/experience in library and interests in, and sense of value of, library publishing scholarly journals.  109  This study was designed with imbedded elements of reciprocity, as discussed in the next chapter. Stakeholders – journal editors, faculty, scientists, authors, postgraduate students, librarians, and IT administrators – were provided with training in online publishing systems in exchange for information. Within a workshop environment, stakeholders were exposed to recent development in the online publishing environment and how free open software could help ensure efficiency within the online management and publishing process of journals, and how new online publishing systems could ensure journals’ economic sustainability and opportunity to increase access and dissemination to knowledge. The workshops provided a hands-on opportunity to see how these new online publishing systems work. Participants provided relevant answers to questions relating to needs in infrastructure, faculty working conditions, current technology expertise, technology resources, technical requirements, and publishing budgets for print versus online. The information provided by participants, which became the basis/unit of analysis for this study, gave the investigator the opportunity to access and to gauge the opinions, interest and sense of value of librarians, journal editors and scientists utilizing online publishing technologies to support and strengthen local research cultures and capacities.  110  CHAPTER 4 METHODOLOGY 4.1  Introduction  The present study sought to investigate the state of scholarly publishing in subSaharan Africa with particular reference to editorial practices, cost structures, technical aspects, and distribution patterns among a sample of African journals. In trying to identify the major challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for these journals, this study examined the scholarly communication infrastructure with special reference to the level of online/print resources available to the research community, as well as the likely impact on scholarly publishing of current levels of ICT resources in research and academic libraries. Further, this study sought to determine if there was a sufficient basis for introducing new online communication technologies and publishing systems into this context as a means to strengthen scientific communication in SSA. The research questions that define the parameters of this study have been presented above (p. 4). In order to address the research question, the methodologies described below were adopted. The remainder of this chapter includes descriptions of this study area, research design, population, sampling techniques, and further details regarding specific methodologies used in data collection and analysis.  111  4.2  Research Design  Existing literature on the state of scholarly publishing in Africa is based largely on anecdotal information. Other sources have presented hard data which, while verifiable, do not offer a broad enough picture of the current situation. In any event, there remains an erroneous perception of scholarly publishing in Africa, and in response, certain lexicons and rhetoric have been mobilized to inaccurately characterize the situation. When investigating a field in which little or no previous research has been conducted, it is necessary to employ an appropriate empirical research method capable of eliciting useful and accurate information from the target population. In this case, this study established breadth of a research population by surveying and holding discussions with authors, editors, publishers, graduate students, faculty, scientists, librarians, IT staff, and university administrators, all of whom are active within the scholarly community in SSA. This study’s mixed-mode approach to the research questions utilized a combination of surveys and workshop discussion, requiring both quantitative and qualitative analyses of the data.  4.2.1  Research Method (Mixed-Mode Surveys and Workshop Discussion)  Babbie (1995) has stated that “survey research is probably the best method available to the social scientist interested in collecting original data for describing a population too large to observe directly” (p. 270). It ensures that we make factual as opposed to conjectural statements about the world, that is, statements based on evidence as opposed to statements based on suppositions or hunch (Guppy and  112  Gray, 2008). Survey research is well defined, and follows precise procedures which, when followed closely, yield valid and easily interpretable data. With respect to the present study, survey research can provide comprehensive insight into a) the current diversity of scientific/ scholarly communication practices within the research community, b) the various organizational and technical forces shaping scientific communication, and c) the disposition of respondents towards the adoption of emerging electronic infrastructure for scholarly communication. As Mertler states (2009 p. 83), the “ultimate goal of survey research is to learn more about the current status of a reasonably large population either by surveying a subset (known as a sample) from the population”; by this we can measure attitude, orientation, attributes or opinions, and information that is not available from secondary sources (Babbie, 1995, p. 257; Salant and Dillman, 1994, p. 9) However, the fact that this research is being conducted in developing nations poses its own challenges with respect to survey research. Bulmer and Warwick (1983) observed that survey design in developing countries presents a paradox so far as sample design is concerned. They noted that, although some of the most advanced applications of survey methods have been conducted in developing countries, standard surveying principles could pose formidable problems in developing countries. They argue further that survey research, which originates in the West, is foreign to many developing countries, and that standard sampling textbooks were not written with developing countries in mind. Therefore, the application of standard principles of sampling in developing countries without recourse to associated social, cultural and linguistic boundaries will fail to achieve the desired results. 113  Although not directly related to this research, Chikwanha (2005), Coordinator with the Afrobarometer Network, provides an excellent example, when she cautions that the land resettlement exercise in Zimbabwe has altered the demarcation of enumeration areas, and until a post-census count is completed, researchers must refrain from using outdated population lists. As Chikwanha (2005, p. n.a.) further states, “whereas reliable samples can be drawn, [survey] work is often affected by the sometimes-poor quality of maps that do not keep up to date with changes in land use patterns.” She illustrates how, in 1999, Zimbabwe had maps that dated to the pre-independence era (1980), and that these did not indicate post-independence infrastructure development or any contemporary settlement patterns. Bulmer and Warwick (1993) also illustrate the practical difficulty researchers can encounter, in their analysis of two contrasting cases of sample designs in Syria and Somalia. In addition, Mitchell (1993, pp. 219–240) documents the poor quality of sampling frames used in a variety of Asian surveys. If selecting a sample seems problematic, gaining access to respondents and establishing rapport with them can be even more daunting. Describing the frustration of accessing respondents, Chikwanha (2005) points out that poor road networks mean that researchers often spend considerable time getting to where respondents are, and even then, they may have additional difficulty in locating respondents. Long-term and seasonal migrations are other factors that can impede access to respondents and lead to low response rates (Mitchell, 1993). Although it is not customary to seek permission to contact respondents in established democracies, Chikwanha reports that in Africa, refusal to seek permission from relevant  114  authorities—village headsman, or the cabinet minister—can hinder sample area penetration. In this sense, respect for traditional authorities and local customs are two vital elements that can significantly impact response rates. For example, selected respondents are more likely to cooperate with the researcher if they are informed by the community leaders (regarded as “gatekeepers”) about the purpose of the study and the reason for their particular selection (van der Reis and Lombard, 2003; Hershfield, 1993). Stycos (1993, pp. 53–63) noted the advantage of doing so, reporting that “after the relevant leaders had been contacted and had given their approval for the survey, there were usually comparatively lower refusal rates in developing countries.” SSA’s characteristic tense political environment, where almost a quarter of the subcontinental region is in political turmoil, is another major challenge for researchers. For example, in 2002 (Chikwanha, 2005), when president Bakili Muzuli of Malawi attempted to change the constitution in order to serve a third term in office, the political tension was so high that researchers were labeled either anti-Muzuli or proMuzuli, and were thus prevented from entering certain areas of the country. In another case, research respondents in the Kunene region in Namibia refused to give interviews because they feared that interviewers were recruiting for political parties (Chikwanha, 2005). Generally, we can see that local community values and behavioral norms can seriously impact the potential success of survey research in developing economies. In the book, Survey Research in Africa, Drake (1973, pp. 58–59) states, “the failure to spend time socializing [in developing countries] dooms many a project to failure 115  and destroys any chance of [representativeness].” Van der Reis and Lombard (2003) advise that researchers can gain valuable advice on the structure of a given village and its people as input into a valid sampling frame if researchers spend some time with the village headsman. Recognition of local customs and practices can thus help cushion the perceived intrusiveness of non-indigenous approaches to research and information gathering: “The Western researcher’s concern for efficiency and getting on with the job [is] simply not the African way of doing things” (pp. 8–9). Consequently, the social-cultural and political environments in many of these economies cannot be ignored if one expects to successfully conduct research projects. Of course, none of these challenges is particularly unique to Africa, or even developing countries generally, but as noted by Bulmer and Warwick (1993, p. 146) and referring to Africa in particular, such difficulties are “more frequent, more severe and more intractable” than in developed countries. Because the researcher has lived in Africa for over 38 years, worked as a lecturer in a leading university for 12 years, and participated in many research projects in socio-cultural environments similar to those described above, the inherent challenges of conducting survey research in Africa have directly informed the present study’s methodology. As a result, and in an effort to steer clear of the inherent pitfalls of conducting research in Africa, a strategic decision was made, based on expert opinion, to adopt a mixed-mode methodology whereby multiple modes (survey questionnaires, workshop discussions, and semi-structured interviews) were combined to create various data collection strategies. This approach allowed the researcher to compensate for the inherent limitations of each 116  individual mode. As Bulmer and Warwick (1993) maintain, “the case for multiple data sources is especially strong in the developing countries for the simple reason that the data collected by any one method is often subject to substantial errors” (p. 288). In the case of Africa, van der Reis and Lombard (2003) also advocate the use of multiple methods. By using mixed modes, we are able to compensate for the shortcomings of individual modes. Using mixed modes has the potential of generating responses from a greater range of individuals, thereby minimizing nonresponses, increasing the speed of data collection, and reducing costs (Groves et al., 2004). Here there is an explicit trade-off between cost and errors, particularly regarding such non-sampling errors as those related to frame or coverage, nonresponse, and measurement (cf. Biemer and Lyberg, 2003; Groves, 1989). In contrast, mixed-mode methods offer new possibilities for surveyors, but they also introduce new challenges for measurement error. One overarching principle is to not to allow non-response concerns to outweigh concerns regarding the possible introduction of mode effects.  4.2.2  Study Area, Population and Sample  The present study was carried out in SSA. Briefly, SSA is a geographical term used to describe the area of the African continent located south of the Sahara (desert), and which comprises those countries located fully or partially south of the Sahara. In contrast, North Africa, or Arab Africa, is considered more a part of the Arab world, for geopolitical reasons.  117  The population from which the sample was drawn for this study included African universities and research institutions. With a few exceptions, journal publishing in Africa is a postcolonial phenomenon rooted in the modern-era expansion of regional universities. While journal publishing dates to the late 1600s, it was not until the establishment of universities in Africa (following the withdrawal of colonial powers in the 1950s) that it saw significant growth (APEX, 1997; Adebowale, 2001; Zeleza, 1998, 2003). Universities and research institutions have been the dominant force responsible for the local production of scholarly journals. Consequently, in order to accurately characterize the current state of scholarly publishing, these institutions represented the main target of this study. To ensure regional representation in this study, institutions were selected from West Africa, Southern Africa and Eastern Africa. Central Africa was excluded because of the political instability in the region. The sampling method employed in this study was purposive sampling, a technique which involves selecting certain units or cases ‘‘based on a specific purpose rather than randomly’’ (Tashakkori and Teddlie, 2003a, p. 713). Many other authors (e.g., Miles and Huberman, 1994; Kuzel, 1992; Patton, 2002) have also presented typologies of purposive sampling methods. However, the case for purposive sampling was perhaps made most powerfully by Maxwell (1997), when he stated that in ‘‘particular settings, persons or events are deliberately selected for the important information they can provide that cannot be gotten as well from other choices’’ (p. 87). Accordingly, the goal of this study was to elicit information from people with acknowledged experience and insight into journal publishing, as well as others whose profession directly or indirectly influences the publishing process.  118  These included journal editors and reviewers, librarians, faculty and students, and IT administrators in universities and research institutions across SSA either directly or indirectly involved in scholarly journal publishing. Using purposive sampling led to a sample of 380 participants in this study. The sample was organized into groups representing the viewpoints of all participants. Journal Editors Journal editors are responsible for all policies and practices related to journal publication. From determining the scientific merit of submitted manuscripts, to maintaining general publishing standards, editors are assigned the authority to oversee all aspects of their journal’s publication. With this authority and responsibility comes a considerable sense of obligation and commitment which is recognized as a major contribution to the journal’s academic discipline. Overall, editors are in a position to develop a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and dynamics of journal publishing, because the success of every journal is largely dependent on their efforts. University and Research Libraries Traditionally, facilitating access to scientific information has been the core function of university libraries; however, new models in scholarly publishing and communication are emerging in which the libraries themselves are playing a central role. For example, many academic libraries the world over have taken initiatives to acquire servers to archive and digitize scientific knowledge produced in their institutions. As a result, there is an opportunity to develop these into effective and efficient systems of publishing more in tune with the needs of the scholarly community. As observed  119  by Savenije and Grygierczyk (2002, p. 317), the university library is best positioned within the university to “organize the support process and the back office functions that facilitate” the transition from traditional to electronic publishing if the academic community desires to take control of the scholarly publishing process. Faculty and Students These two groups represent authors and readers, key actors whose contributions to the scholarly communication process are vital. Authors (creators and originators of scientific knowledge) initiate the life cycle of the scholarly process, and readers represent the end users, or consumers, of that knowledge. Thus, successful journal publishing, be it print or online, hinges mainly on the availability of authors willing to write, and readers willing to read (Tenopir, 1995). In this regard, any study looking to evaluate the state of scientific journal publishing must take into consideration their expectations, and the strength or intensity of their interest. IT Administrators In view of rapid developments in the area of IT, coupled with the advent of networked information services, a great number of universities have established ICT units (IT administration) in order to increase efficiency within the system, based on emerging global information and industry requirements. The goals of these units are to advise parent institutions on the development and implementation of IT infrastructure. IT administrators in universities are committed to systems (hardware and software) installation, maintenance, configuration, and upgrading. They provide Internet and Intranet support, helpdesk services and end-user computing support, and minor repairs to PCs and common peripheral devices. Clearly, then, the  120  implementation of any innovative online publishing systems requires the maximum participation of IT units within these institutions. The central purpose of this study, therefore, was to target active participants within the scholarly community who could lend an authoritative voice to discussions regarding issues affecting scholarly publishing, hence the decision to select a more structured (purposive) sample, an approach which focused the attention of the research on journal editors, university and research libraries, faculty and students, and IT administrators within the scholarly community. These are stakeholders who are not only able to talk authoritatively about issues affecting scholarly publishing but who also have the ability to significantly influence the process, direction and outcome of any new initiative within the publishing environment. As a result, to successfully investigate the state of scientific communication, and to understand the possible ways in which online technologies can be used to strengthen and support scholarly publishing, the interests, opinions, expectations, and experiences of these stakeholders should be evaluated in relation to the socio-cultural and institutional environments in which scholarly publishing occurs. Finally, understanding the interests and views of these sample sub-groups could enhance the quality of the overall publishing environment through a legitimation of recognition provided by a formal study of their work, as well as a sharing of standards and best practices, which in turn improves the chances of their adopting new modes of scholarly publishing.  121  4.3  Mode of Data Collection  The application of standard research principles in developing countries, without recourse to their associated social, cultural and linguistic boundaries, risks failing to achieve the desired results. As noted above, getting African participants to complete survey questionnaires has never been an easy task. In many documented instances, questionnaires were returned unanswered, partially answered after months of delay, or simply reported lost. To compensate for these inadequacies while at the same time responding faithfully to the research questions, a strategic decision was made to incorporate both a survey and workshop discussion within a mixed-mode approach (see Figure 4.1). When planning a mixed-methods approach to research, there are several forms of data collection strategy and procedural components to consider (Creswell, 1994; Morgan, 1998; Morse, 1991; Patton, 1990; Tashakkori and Teddlie, 1998). In the present study, the researcher adopted the data collection typology suggested by Dillman (2000) and Balden (2004), which is based on “timing of interaction” with respondents as organizing principles. This mixed-mode approach consists of three phases: the contact phase, the response phase, and the follow-up phase. When expanded, these phases involve “data collection mixtures” and “mixtures of means of communication.” The following section outlines this study’s data collection design based on the typology suggested by Dillman and Balden.  122  Figure 4.1 Data Collecting Instruments  4.3.1  Stage One: Contact Phase  Establishing Contact with Heads of Universities Using electronic mail, pre-recruitment letters were sent to the vice-chancellors of the SSA universities selected to host the workshops. Letters to the vice-chancellors explained the goals, objectives, and the significance of the research, and how this study was likely to impact the research publications of Africa’s academic institutions. The letters further explained the researcher’s expectations of institutions agreeing to host the workshops. A few days later, persuasive calls (Groves and Couper, 1998)  123  were made to the vice-chancellors in order to communicate the legitimacy and importance of this study. Once a given vice-chancellor’s office approved the research plan and agreed to host a workshop, a person or unit (a head of research and development, or the library) was officially written to by the vice-chancellor and authorized to liaise with the researcher in planning and organizing the workshop. This first contact with the vice-chancellors was crucial to the success of the entire research program. We needed institutional buy-ins, and because of the traditional respect and high regard for authority in Africa, it was important to first seek support and approval from the heads of institutions. Once a vice-chancellor approved of the research and workshop, it was easy to get the cooperation of others. Secondly, establishing contact with institutional heads ensured that we complied with ethical standards associated with conducting research in the selected institutions; in other words, these contacts helped us get past gatekeepers and helped establish a sense of trust and legitimacy towards the research (de Leeuw, 2005). Deciding on Workshop Dates and Participants The second step in the initial workshop preparations involved discussions and negotiations with host institutions to establish suitable workshop content and organization. Specific instructions on the purpose of the workshops and who was to be invited were then issued to host institutions.  Formal Invitations to Workshops Once workshop dates were agreed upon, formal letters of invitation were prepared by host institutions, as well as a covering letter from the researcher detailing the  124  aims and objectives of the research and the workshops; these were then sent to journal editors, librarians, faculty, postgraduate students, and IT administrators at all universities and research institutions located within travelling distance of host institutions. Those who attended the workshops constituted the main sample of this study. Recruitment of respondents in this “contact phase” was done entirely through electronic mail and telephone communication.  4.3.2  Stage Two: Response Phase  This is the actual data collection phase, which occurred in conjunction with workshops. Multi-mode data collection involved survey questionnaires, workshop discussions, and interviews.  4.3.3  Questionnaires  To address this study’s research questions, four sets of questionnaires were developed. The first questionnaire was designed to elicit information from journal editors who attended the workshops. The questionnaires were designed to help establish the current state of journal publishing from an editorial, economic, technical, and institutional perspective, and provide a baseline from which to assess anticipated changes in the coming years. Issues addressed in the survey ranged from the particular research culture on journal publishing, to the more technical aspects of journal production. The second questionnaire was designed to have journal authors, readers, faculty, and postgraduate students supply information on authors’/readers’ experiences with 125  journal publishing. The questionnaire also sought information on frequency of journal consultation, the various uses of journal literature, sources of scholarly articles/journals, choice of medium in which to publish, usefulness/relevance of scholarly journals to the university community, access to regional and international journals, and the role of technology in journal publishing. The third questionnaire was designed to provide information on the state of academic libraries in SSA. Questions covered library subscriptions to scholarly journals, challenges in stocking African journals, library journal subscription budgets, level of library automation and information, available library communication infrastructure, interests in, and sense of value of, library-based publishing of scholarly journals, principal challenges perceived in library-based journal publishing, and level of skill in managing electronic information services. The fourth questionnaire, addressed to IT administrators, sought to gather information on institutional IT goals, technology priorities for universities and research institutions, current bandwidth access, IT funding sources, perceived future challenges for IT development, and level of available technology resources in the universities and research libraries (including Web server access, level of available technical support to the library, examples of current technology expertise/experience in libraries, and prospects of supporting online scholarly publishing in cooperation with other campus units). In general, these questionnaires employed primarily open- and closed-format questions with categorical response options. Essentially, semi-structured interviews  126  conducted during this study were based on the content items found in the questionnaires (Appendices B–E).  4.3.4  Workshop Discussions  Another strategic consideration was to use workshop discussions as an adjunct to this study’s mixed-mode survey method. Publishing is often considered a cultural industry because it deals in meaning and ideas which help define the distinctiveness of a particular society. To understand the complex, overlapping features of a given community’s scholarly publishing practices, and to challenge them, requires involving members of the society itself to participate in a (re)evaluation of its environment and practices. It was thus necessary to position the research within the norms, values, and experiences of the population under study. In this sense, it has become increasingly important that stakeholders and institutions of higher learning be involved in an ongoing dialogue regarding their capabilities and expectations in the face of emerging forms of electronic publishing. To achieve this, data collection methods predisposed towards participant perceptions, beliefs, traditions and values were required. Consequently, workshop discussions were particularly well suited to providing qualitative data on participants’ feelings, values, opinions, and attitudes (Courtois and Turtle, 2008). Workshop discussions provided the opportunity to explore participants’ knowledge and experience regarding scholarly publishing. They were encouraged to explore issues about online publishing in their own phraseology, based on their own ideas, perspectives and priorities regarding the potential for online technologies to support  127  journal publishing. This study also examined how institutional, economic and social factors could impact research participants participating in online scholarly publishing. Here, the goal was to understand what participants thought about online publishing, and why they thought the way they did. Kitzinger (1995) explains that gaining access to such a variety of perspectives is useful because knowledge and attitudes are not always entirely encapsulated within reasoned responses to direct questions. Indeed, everyday forms of communication may reveal as much, if not more, about what people know or experience. In this sense workshop discussion s potentially provide insights that other methods cannot, revealing dimensions of understanding that often remain untapped by more conventional data collection techniques. Workshop Discussions and Content Workshop discussions were conducted as part of two-day workshop programs at the institutions. The workshop had three primary objectives: 1) to introduce participants to new developments in online publishing support, 2) to facilitate the administration of survey questionnaires to workshops participants, and 3) to allow the researcher to follow up on initial survey responses with qualitative workshop discussions in order to further triangulate the data. The first workshop objective was to introduce participants to recent developments in online publishing support such as the Open Journal Systems (OJS). The Public Knowledge Project (PKP) developed OJS, which is open source journal management and publishing software which, like other open source journal publishing software, was designed to increase the accessibility and quality of scholarly publishing. In 2004, INASP’s African Journal OnLine (AJOL) program 128  employed an earlier version of OJS to provide online access to the tables of contents and abstracts of 230 journals (Smart, 2004). In the AJOL program, however, OJS is not being employed to manage or support the publishing of journal content online; rather, it is currently only being used to facilitate document delivery service for articles (about 3,000 articles are distributed by photocopy annually). The workshop provided a potential platform from which to take the work of AJOL to the next level, based on assessing the needs and interests of participants, and assisting those journals that wished to move to online content management and publishing using subscriptions and/or open access models in print and/or online editions. The workshops were designed to accommodate the background and situation of participants: besides providing an overview of recent developments in the field, workshops provided a hands-on opportunity to see how these systems work. As part of this work, the research team developed training materials for technical and editorial staff which were used both during and after the workshops. The team also set up online management and publishing sites where interested editors could introduce themselves to OJS, the online management and publishing software. In the course of conducting workshops, the researcher demonstrated (a) how the software could be implemented on local Web servers, (b) how management and publishing systems could be configured to meet the needs of a wide variety of journals and disciplines, (c) how the journal’s submission, review, editorial and publishing processes could be handled both online and by traditional means, and (d) how the software could be integrated with existing institutional repositories and 129  metadata harvesting systems, and how it could build on librarians’ growing technical command of online resources. The researcher reviewed various editorial and economic models (including combined subscription and open access models), which could be utilized with such systems. It was made clear to participants that they were under no obligation to utilize OJS, and that other systems, such as Hyperjournal and the forthcoming DPubs, were also available. Because the research was conducted within the context of online publishing workshops and system demonstrations, all related individual and group activities were intended to offer real and lasting value for participants. For example, practical demonstrations showed how free software, such as OJS or Hyperjournal, could help ensure a journal’s economic sustainability while increasing access to knowledge; an experimental electronic journal was set up to simulate the online publishing process, and participants assumed the role of authors, editors, peer reviewers, copyeditors, and layout artist. In addition to the topic of online publishing, workshop discussions provided participants from research and academic institutions the chance to critically consider current challenges facing scholarly publishing, such as publishing budgets, technical requirements, the editorial and peer-review process, authorship and readership benefits, and scholarly impact. Participants took up journal questions relating to print and online editions, subscription, and new publishing models. This gave us the opportunity to meet with individuals and to gauge their opinions on new  130  developments in scholarly publishing, and what they perceive to be the best way to strengthen local research cultures and capacities. The second goal of the workshop was to administer survey questionnaires to workshop participants and ensure their completion within the two-day event. As noted, getting locals to complete questionnaires has never been an easy task in Africa, and so the goal here was to increase the survey response rate without unduly imposing on participants. Thirdly, the workshop was designed to provide qualitative data in the form of workshop discussions which could then be compared and contrasted with participants’ initial survey responses. In other words, workshop discussion data provided a complementary basis from which to evaluate the survey data. This triangulation provided a “richer, fuller and a powerful way of ensuring concurrent validity” (Mason, 2002; Manion and Morrison, 2000) On November 23 and 24, 2006, the first in a series of eight workshops was held at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in Ghana. This was followed by six workshops in Nigeria (Kaduna State University and University of Ibadan), Kenya (University of Nairobi), Uganda (Makerere University), and South Africa (University of Witwatersrand and University of Western Cape). The eighth and final workshop took place at the University of Ghana, Legon, on December 12–13, 2007. Each workshop comprised four groups of participants: Journal editors and staff Potential journal editors, faculty, and postgraduate students  131  Librarians and library IT personnel University IT administrators and researchers Although workshops were coordinated among eight universities, they were organized in such a way that all universities and research institutions within traveling distance of host universities were able to participate. By the end, a total of over 32 universities and 25 research institutions had participated in the workshops, and a 394 participants had attended eight workshops, each workshop averaging 49 participants (Table 4.1).  Table 4.1 Workshop Location and Participants No  Date  Location  Participating institutions  Editors  Faculty/ students  Libra ries  IT adm.  Subtotal  1  Nov. 23– 24, 2006  Kumasi, Ghana  KNUST  18  26  16  6  66  Apr. 3–4 2007 Apr 10– 11 2007  Kaduna, Nigeria Ibadan, Nigeria  Kaduna State University University of Ibadan  15  12  14  8  49  17  13  11  5  46  Jun 24– 25 2007  Johan’ burg S. Africa  University of Witwatersrand  11  13  8  4  36  June 9– 10 2007 June 14– 15 2007  Nairobi, Kenya Kampala, Uganda  University of Nairobi University of Makerere  15  18  13  5  51  14  21  18  8  61  7  June 27– 28 2007  Cape Town S. Africa  University of Western Cape  7  10  13  6  36  8  Dec. 12– 13 2007  Accra, Ghana  University of Legon  12  15  12  10  49  109  128  105  52  394  2 3 4 5 6  Total  4.3.5  Stage Three: Follow-Up Phase  After the two-day workshop, the researcher spent five days conducting semistructured interviews with university administrators, department deans or heads,  132  publishers, and university presses to elicit additional information. As a reminder to respondents who could not complete the questionnaires during the workshops, persuasive follow-up emails were sent, stressing the importance for the research of completed surveys. In cases of questionnaires generating high non-responses, full electronic versions were sent to respondents in order to complete unanswered questions. This follow-up proved an efficient way to increase the response rate (de Leeuw, 2005).  4.4  Validity and Reliability  No survey data are completely free from error, but in order for a survey to provide sufficiently sound, consistent, and relevant data, the information it provides must be both reliable and valid. Reliability requires the use of standardized information collection instruments and survey procedures designed to provide consistency in the data. Research design requires careful planning to ensure that the data being sought directly support the research study’s objectives, and to ensure that it is collected from those respondents capable of providing such information. Below are some of the procedures which were adopted to establish the validity and reliability of this study. To strengthen claims of content or face validity, outside experts were asked to judge whether items in the questionnaires accurately represented the concept being measured. Prior to the field trip, a peer-review expert meeting was held in Accra, Ghana. This meeting was attended by experienced individuals and institutions  133  familiar with scholarly communication practices in Africa. The following members constituted the panel of experts: 1. Damtew Teferra:  Co-director and Lead Researcher, African Higher Education Project, Center for International Higher Education, School of Education, Boston College, USA; Editor, Journal of Higher Education in Africa.  2. John Willinsky:  Khosla Family Professor of Education, Stanford University; Sometime Professor of Education, the University of British Columbia; Director, the Public Knowledge Project (PKP). Among his many publications, Dr. Willinsky’s book, The Access Principle: The Case for Open Access to Research and Scholarship (MIT Press, 2006), has received two outstanding book awards.  3. Mumuni Dakubu:  Editor and former Dean, Faculty of Science, the University of Ghana; currently Director, ICT Centre, University of Ghana; member, Advisory Committee, Ghana Academic and Research Network (GARNET).  4. Pippa Smart:  (INASP) Head of the publishing initiative, International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications, Ms. Smart has over 20 years’ experience in academic publishing, editing, production, business and project management. She also has extensive experience working on improving scholarly communication within the developing world (particularly within the Open Access movement). Ms. Smart now helps provide a variety of services related to general journal development, and to developing communication between researchers, publishers, and editors throughout the world.  134  5. Patrick Y. Kuti  (Legon) Programmer and Developer, ICT Center, University of Ghana, Legon.  6. AJOL  African Journals OnLine (AJOL) is the world's largest and most pre-eminent collection of peer-reviewed, Africanpublished scholarly journals. In partnership with hundreds of journals from all over the continent, AJOL is working to make more African-based research output available to Africans and to the rest of the world. Representatives: Sarah Hanton and Christo Crampton.  7. AVOIR  An international alliance of 16 African universities and other partners in North America, Europe, Kabul, and Afghanistan, African Virtual Open Initiatives and Resources (AVOIR) builds capacity in software engineering in Africa using free open source software. Representative: Megan Watson.  8. Isaac K. Appiah  Head, Publishing Studies program, KNUST; Advisory Committee member, Ghana Publishers Association.  9. Albert Puplmapu  Professor, Publishing Studies program, KNUST.  10. Helena A. Hassan  (KNUST, IFLA, eIFL.net) Helena Asamoah-Hassan has been in the library profession for 28 years, including 5 years at the top management level. She is the Ghana Country Coordinator for two programs: the Electronic Information for Libraries Network (eIFL.net) and the Programme for the Enhancement of Research Information (PERii) of INASP. She is Chairperson of the IFLA Africa Section Standing Committee, and President of the Ghana Library Association. In addition, she is Chairperson of the Management Committee/Consortium  135  of Academic and Research Libraries in Ghana (CARLIGH), and Commissioner with the National Media Commission of Ghana. 11. Alec Smecher:  (Simon Fraser University Library) Technical Architect, Public Knowledge Project (PKP), and Lead Developer of Open Journal Systems (OJS), Open Conference Systems (OCS), PKP Harvester, and the PKP Web Application Library (WAL). When not actively developing PKP software, Mr. Smecher runs workshops around the world, runs marathons internationally, and plays drums in a band.  The researcher brought the above experts together in October 2006 at the University of Ghana, with the sole intention of providing expert review of this study. They were provided with all relevant information about the research, with which they were then able to determine the appropriateness of this study’s methodology and the content relevance of survey questions. Items that did not meet with the approval of the experts were eliminated or further revised. In addition, areas considered essential but omitted from this study were identified. As noted by Creswell and Miller (2000), this expert guidance proved invaluable in providing support, challenging researcher assumptions, and asking probing questions about study methods and interpretation. Following the peer-review process, the data collection instruments were pilot-tested. The researcher selected the College of Art and Social Science of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana, whose characteristics were similar to those of the pilot test’s target sample. Five participants from each of the respondent groups were recruited for the pilot. Guided  136  by the typology suggested by Russ-Eft (1980), respondents were first asked to read and explain the questions; they were then asked to explain their reasons for providing certain answers and not others. This approach revealed incorrect assumptions and rationales that the researcher had not anticipated. The researcher was able to check for bias in the wording of questions based on participants’ understanding of them. Following this exercise, some questions and terminologies were subsequently revised. In data collection strategies, Creswell and Miller (2000) argue for the triangulation of methods, in which researchers seek a convergence among multiple data sources. Patton (2002) also advocates the use of triangulation, stating that by combining several kinds of (qualitative and quantitative) data, “triangulation strengthens a study” (p. 247). Accordingly, triangulation research methods represents a key feature of the present study; initial quantitative survey questionnaires were augmented by qualitative workshop discussions, thus providing the researcher with an additional source of data against which to evaluate the validity of survey responses. Furthermore, outside of the workshop discussion format, additional interviews were conducted with key stakeholders within the scholarly community in order to gain a general overview of the publishing industry. Deans, heads of institutions, and heads of departments were also interviewed to gauge their perceptions and receptivity to new online publishing technologies. Although interviews were not structured, questions were based on items extracted from the survey questionnaires.  137  Overall, the triangulation of so many different data sources provided the researcher with a relatively high level of confidence in this study’s analysis and subsequent findings. In particular, information obtained from post-workshop interview discussions provided a wealth of additional information with which to validate, interpret, clarify and better illustrate this study’s quantitative and qualitative data. As Yach (1992) puts it when methodologies are complimentary, a triangulate approach provides a powerful means for analysis and interpretation of data. One of the challenges associated with large-scale surveys is that a small proportion of participants may not respond reliably to survey questions. To improve survey validity and reliability, Russ-Eft (1980) suggested that, during analysis, it may be preferable to eliminate unreliable respondents from the sample. To this end, a screening scale used during the data analysis stage ensured the identification and subsequent elimination of respondents whose data were considered spurious. For example, some of the questionnaires designed for journals editors were completed by editors who worked in the university presses but who had never served as journal editors, and some of the questionnaires for university libraries were also completed by public libraries. Ultimately, these questionnaires were eliminated from the data set.  4.5  Study Limitations  Although offering promising avenues for future research, a number of limitations of the current study should be noted. Firstly, this study as such represents a variation  138  from standard survey designs in that it combines survey research with professional workshops. The purpose of the workshop, once again, was to provide participants with an overview of developments in the field of electronic journal publishing software. More specifically, the letter of invitation to the workshop explained, among other things, how the implementation of free open source software (such as OJS) could help journal editors, libraries, and IT staff sustain online management and publishing of existing and new scholarly journals. However, given the likely motivations of prospective workshop attendees, the researcher later recognized that not only had respondents been somewhat predisposed to improving the state of scholarly publishing, but they likely also had interests in online publishing. Survey responses may thus reflect these biases, and because the sample may not be reflective of the scholarly community in SSA as a whole, results must be interpreted with caution. Similarly, the use of a specialized non-probability sample, made up of core members of the scholarly community, may also have influenced the quality of responses. Therefore, given that non-probability sampling limits the generalizability of results to other populations, the researcher cannot claim to have surveyed African journals’ interests in online publishing in any representative way. Another important consideration is that the investigator is part of a team that developed Open Journal Systems and thus could be said to have an interest in seeing it used. This might lead the investigator to overemphasize its capabilities as well as influence participants in trying to please the investigator and to pay the investigator back for putting on the workshop. Although the investigator tried hard to 139  avoid such undue effects, the reader should be aware that this is a necessary limit on this study and one justified by this study and the PKP project of improving scholarly publishing, a topic on which we are not neutral, although we try to be objective and realistic about it.  4.6  Data Analysis  Data collected through survey questionnaires were coded and entered into a statistical spreadsheet program. The majority of survey questions were closedended, and the responses clearly coded on the original form. Responses were then screened to ensure that a) all important questions had been answered, b) responses had been legibly completed, and c) all contextual information had been included. Given the large amount of information collected, two data entry personnel were engaged to input data into personal computers, a procedure allowed data entry by one person to be checked against the other for accuracy. By this method, discrepancies were detected and correct entries were made, a process which significantly reduced entry errors. The data were subsequently entered into a spreadsheet and transformed into variables used in different analyses. Each set of questionnaires included several open, nondirective questions to which respondents were asked to supply information. Responses were first analyzed, sorted and coded by the primary researcher; to ensure reliability, responses were then coded independently by two experts following identical coding procedures. Accuracy was ensured when the coding choices of the independent experts  140  matched those of the primary researcher. When there was variation, negotiation between coders determined the final coding (Groves et al., 2004; Botan, Friedman and Kreps, 1991). Coded data were then entered into a statistical spreadsheet program and statistical analysis was performed. The primary type of statistical analysis used in this study was basic descriptive statistics, because most of the survey questionnaires were essentially categorical in nature. Analyses of quantitative data involved the generation frequencies, simple averages, tables, and graphs. When relevant, cross tabulations were also performed on some categories of data.  4.6.1  Analysis of Workshop Discussion and Semi-structured Interviews  Interview and workshop discussion tapes were transcribed, and field notes reorganized. Although the transcribed text contained valuable information, it also contained a considerable amount of less essential detail. To simplify the analysis, it was necessary to order, reduce and clean up the data. This was done bearing in mind the objectives of the discussion topics. Informed by Patton’s (2002) methodological treatment of the evaluation process, a cross-case analysis method was used, which allows for grouping together responses by topic in working across cases. Responses from journal editors/reviewers were grouped together, and then answers from librarians were grouped together, and so on and so forth. All of these category-specific answers were then compared across the various workshops and geographic regions in order to see how different respondents answered the same question. A thorough, in-depth review of all transcripts and field  141  notes then followed in an effort to uncover emerging themes, sequences or patterns. Recurrent issues and themes were then coded, allowing for commonality and differences of opinion, regarding various scholarly publishing practices. This systematic process ensured the identification of convergent and divergent points of discussion, motivations, relationships, and practices between and within groups. Finally, issues and themes were prioritized according to their frequency of occurrence. As with most qualitative reports, the data consisted of representative quotes from respondents which illustrated typical or main points in the findings. The primary purpose in linking survey responses with workshop discussions was to try and establish complementarity of the data via methodological triangulation. This process allowed the researcher to reinforce the survey data with the complimentary qualitative insights of workshop discussions. In reporting on this study, participant comments from both workshop and interviews were included when it was thought they could shed more light on a particular issue.  4.7  Summary of Sample and Survey Response Rates  A total of 394 members of the scholarly community from the selected region participated in the workshops, but not all participants agreed to answer survey questionnaires. Although participants willingly accepted the questionnaires with the promise to answer them, some could not be reached for the return of questionnaires. Others refused to participate in the survey for reasons best known to them. In the end, the total number of survey respondents was 286, giving a survey response rate  142  of 72.6%. A summary of sample procedures and responses from various sub-groups which make up the overall sample is presented in Figure 4.1.  143  Figure 4.2 Workshop and Survey Coverage Workshop and Survey Coverage  Nigeria  Kaduna  Kenya  Ibadan  Ghana  UoN  KNUST  S. Africa  Uganda  UoG  Makerer e  Journal editors & staff  Wits  UoWC  University librarians  Sampled  Respondents  Response rate  Sampled  Respondents  Response rate  109  80  73.4%  105  76  72.4%  Potential editors & faculty/students  IT administrators and staff  Sampled  Respondents  Response rate  Sampled  Respondents  Response rate  128  101  78.9%  52  29  55.8%  Respondents (n = 286)  144  CHAPTER 5 THE CURRENT STATE OF JOURNAL PUBLISHING 5.1  Introduction  Scholarly publishing plays a substantive role in the dissemination of knowledge among academics, and it is aimed specifically to reflect the results of teaching and research of universities. It is an important vehicle to develop academic exchange within the international scholarly community. The purpose of this study is to examine the state of journal publishing and the scholarly communication infrastructure of journal publishing in Africa and an effort to explore the potential value of utilizing new communication technologies and publishing systems that could increase both African research and global access to African research. Existing literature on the state of scholarly publishing in Africa has been created by the accumulation of anecdotal information; other sources are given credence by hard data that, while verifiable, do not offer a broad enough picture of the current situation. In any event, there is an erroneous perception of scholarly publishing in Africa, and in response, certain lexicons and rhetoric have been mobilized to describe the situation. This study therefore aimed at providing a more accurate and factual description of the current state of scholarly publishing in Africa through an empirical study designed to elicit information from active participants within the scholarly community: authors, editors, publishers, graduate students, faculty, scientists, librarians, IT staff and university administrators. The data therefore  145  presented here is a new picture, one that is not impressionistic but founded upon carefully analyzed evidence. This chapter specifically analyses data from the survey that addresses research questions on the current state and trends in scholarly publishing with regards to editorial, technical, readership and authorship and distribution patterns among African journals. The analysis is gleaned from the four sets of questionnaires administered during the data collection stage targeting four categories of respondents. The survey data are complemented with results from interviews with participants within the scholarly community as well as feedback and responses obtained from the eight workshops organized across SSA. As far as possible, data were tabulated and displayed through tables, charts and figures, organized by survey themes. The tables and charts etc. are followed by a discussion of the results, complemented with existing literature and finally drawing a brief conclusion.  5.2  Journal Basics 5.2.1  Demographic Characteristics of Journals in the Study  There were in all 80 journals that constituted the sample of this study. The geographical location of these journals spread across five countries in the subSaharan region of Africa (see Figure 5.1).  146  Figure 5.1 Demographic Characteristics of Journals Surveyed 2006 and 2007  9%  8%  14% 24%  45%  South Africa  5.2.2  Ghana  Nigeria  Kenya  Uganda  Mode of Publication  The journals in the sample were found to be published in a variety of formats. Of the total number of journals in this study, 55 (69%) were published in print format only, and 25 (31%) were published online or had some form of online presence. Of these 25 (31%) journals, 2 (8%) were published in electronic format only, 8 (32%) had their full text online in addition to the print version and 15 (60%) were abstracted and listed with their table of contents in the AJOL database.  Table 5.1a Mode of Publication (N=80) Mode of Publication  No of Journals  Percentage  Journal with print edition only  55  69  Journals online or online presence  25  31  Total  80  100  147  Table 5.1b Mode of Publication (N=25) Journal Online or Online Presence  No of journal  Percentage  Online journals only  2  8  Print journals + full text online  8  32  Print Journals + TOC only in AJOL database  15  60  Total  25  100  In essence, only 10 journals were published online. It is clear that current developments in information technologies have yet to result in significant changes in the mode of scholarly journal publishing in Africa. While acknowledging the need to increase online presence of African journals, participants pointed out that university authorities and part of the academic community in Africa have yet to accept the authenticity of online journals. It is only when university authority accepts electronic journal for tenure/promotion will editors then make that leap. The following are statements made by two journal editors: When it comes to policy for scholarly publishing towards tenure, online journals are sidelined in favor of the traditional print articles published in international journals as the single measure of successful performance.  Another editor with 10 years’ editorial experience stated: The idea of considering or legitimating new forms of journal formats has been the challenge for university authorities. Anything that does not look like the traditional print journal does not count towards scholarly work  5.2.3  Journal Ownership and Publishing Type  The purpose of this question was to establish the pattern of journal ownership and publication types among African scholarly journals in the sample and how these  148  impact the editorial and financial dynamics of journal publishing in Africa. Responses provided by editors in the survey show that scholarly journals are largely owned by universities and research institutions with no presence of commercial publishers, at least in the sample of journals in this study. Of the total number of journals surveyed, the data indicated that about 73% were owned by universities, 26% by research institutions and one percent (1%) independently owned (Figure 5.2).  Figure 5.2 Journal Ownership (N=80) 80 70  73%  60 50 40 30 26%  20 10  1%  0 University  Society  Independent  While it is evidently clear that journals are owned by universities and research institutions, what was not clear is who the publishers of these journals are. On a follow-up question to establish this fact, a total of 71 of respondent indicated that the journals they publish have publishers. Investigating these responses further, this study showed that, of the 71 respondents who indicated that the journals have publishers, only four (6%) of these journals were published by organizations with 149  commercial interests or commercial publishers (Table 5.3). Sixty-three percent (63%) were published by academic institutions, and (21%) were published by research institutions. This study further found that the “others” as indicated in Figure 5.3 were commercial printers, NGOs and donor agencies. Whereas NGOs provided financial support towards research and publication, commercial printers were found to work closely with research and academic institutions to provide services such as copyediting, proofreading, page design and layout and physical production – printing – of these journals.  Figure 5.3 Publishers of the Journals (n=71) 70 60  63%  50 40 30 20  21%  10  6%  10%  Commercial  Others  0 University  Society  The dominance of universities and learned societies in journal publishing in Africa has a historical and economic frame of reference. Journal publishing in Africa is a postcolonial phenomenon and the burgeoning of regional universities. Although the production of journal in Africa dates to the late 1800s, it was not until the establishing of universities in Africa, after the overthrow of colonial powers in the 1950s, that 150  journal publishing saw a sturdy growth (APEX 1997; Adebowale 2001; Zeleza, 1998; Zeleza, 2003). Many African leaders saw journals as a medium to reverse the negative image created about the continent by the West. In words of Zeleza (1998, p. 14) “the establishment of journals is a post-independent phenomena, spawned and sustained by the expanding possibilities of university education, itself tethered to the dreams and demand of nationalism and developmentalism.” Journals therefore were mostly the preserve of institutions of higher learning in Africa. As the survey shows, journals are still owned and controlled by academic institutions. It also became evident, during the workshop discussions, that commercial publishers were not keen on entering the journal market in Africa because the market for journals was so small, heterogeneous in nature, fragmented and unable to sustain their economic returns; moreover, their terms of operation, for example, assuming complete ownership of the journal’s intellectual property, were unpopular with many journal editors in Africa. An editor of a journal in Kenya has this to say: The idea of turning over the ownership of your intellectual property to the publisher, and the complete control over how it is distributed and used, and reproduced did not encourage editors to deal with commercial publishers. After they have published the journal, they then turn around and sell it to the university at an exorbitant price, so expensive the individual cannot afford it.  Another participant observed: Many commercial publishers are here lobbying government for the right to publish textbooks for schools because it is more profitable and the market is huge. Scholarly journals are so specialized with limited market and they [commercial publishers] do not like to go there. 151  The university as the largest publisher of journals is what distinguishes journal publishing in Africa from the North, where three commercial publishers control and publish about 50% of scientific journals (Stanley 2002). Commercial publishers are seen in the North as being responsible for escalating exorbitant serial prices. To deal with the overbearing exploitation of commercial publishers, there is a new alliance of research institutions fighting to re-establish control over scientific publishing by radically transforming academic publishing through the adoption of digital online technologies as a medium for transmission. However, there is strong resistant to this move. The scholarly community in Africa does not have to engage in this struggle to take over the control of journal publishing because they already own and control the publication of scholarly journals. And therefore, while conscious of other challenges, transforming the current weak system of print publishing through the adoption of online publishing technologies to strengthen academic publishing should not be difficult.  5.2.4  Academic Disciplines of Journals  Journals completing this survey indicate that the disciplinary landscape of journal publishing is changing gradually from being dominated in the humanities and social sciences to being dominated in the core sciences. To ascertain the academic disciplines of journals in the survey, responses were categorized into four disciplines: humanities, social sciences, sciences and institution-wide or campus-  152  wide (Figure 5.4). A total of 36% of journals were published in the sciences, 23% were published in the humanities, and 21% in the social sciences.  Figure 5.4 Academic Disciplines of Journals (N=80) 40 35  36%  30 25 20  23%  21%  20%  15 10 5 0 Human  S. Science  Science  Campus Wide  One possible reason for increase in science journal production may be due to recent international collaborative efforts and international donor support mostly directed towards research capacity building in the sciences at the expense of the humanities and social sciences (Jones, Bailey and Lyytikainen, 2007). As recently as 2006, CODESRIA, the largest Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, put forward a statement bemoaning the falling level of social sciences and humanities research in Africa.15  15  At the 2006 Annual Conference Of Deans Of Faculties Of Social Sciences And Humanities, CODESRIA stated: Arguably, the social sciences and humanities have never been under greater pressure than today. In the worst cases, several departments/fields have simply been rationalized out of existence because they have been decreed to be irrelevant; others have atrophied for want of students and/ or qualified teachers institutions in the creation and dissemination of research in Africa.  153  This survey examined all the journals in the sample vis-à-vis the organizations that are partly or fully associated with the journals and providing financial support. The result shows that, of the 29 journals published in the sciences, almost half (41%) are funded by different international donors—DANIDA, Royal Museum for Central Africa in Belgium, Bioline, US National Institutes of Health through the National Library of Medicine and the Fogarty International Center—or are collaborating with organizations outside Africa. In contrast, not a single journal in the social sciences and humanities had any donor support. It is therefore not surprising that, of the total number of journals fully published online, 60% are science-based journals, and of the total number of journals found in AJOL database, 70% are from the sciences. “Campus-wide” or “university-wide journals” (24%) as indicated by the respondents (Figure 5.4) in the survey are published in institutions that have different departments and colleges specializing in different branches of knowledge, but for various reasons these institutions are unable to fund several journals in all branches of knowledge, so departmental journals and college journals have folded into only one institutional/university-wide journal serving the interests of all. The universitywide journal is bound to be interdisciplinary (but not all interdisciplinary journals represent a single university). One needs to see a university-wide journal as a special creature, born out of hard fiscal challenges. This kind of journal should be considered as speaking to a shortage of publishing opportunities and to the current isolation from the global journal system, as the journal is not intended to be circulated widely. These all-in-one journals publish articles from many disciplines.  154  The following quotes from interviews with journal editors may throw some light on the reasons for this practice. A professor and editor-in-chief of an institutional/university-wide journal explains why a university with a student population of 25,000 and a teaching staff of a little over 1,250 publishes only one legitimized journal covering the field of science, humanities and social sciences. The university has given serious consideration to other faculties and departments that want to publish specialized journals. But this has not been possible because allowing that will create many more challenges to the university. First, there must be a system in place to guarantee the quality and trustworthiness of these journals. The second issue is availability of articles and most importantly money. Even sustaining one journal in terms of articles has been very difficult. We have delayed publications many times because we do not have journal articles to publish; we have combined issues because of a lack of articles. Other challenges like availability of reviewers and funds will not allow for specialization in the journals we publish.  A senior administrator, who doubles as editor of one of the university journals, explains why his university has one journal. I occupy a position which makes me uncomfortable addressing this question. As an editor I wish we had different journals for each field of study especially in this Internet age when the publishing process has been enhanced. Many of my colleagues have made strong case for faculty journals, but being in administration it is a bit different. Allowing multiple journals will be a strain on the limited resources of the university. The university can’t afford to support each faculty journal. The university press is out of shape financially and we keep pumping money to keep it going in order to get books and journals published. Adding faculty journals will be too much.  155  These quotes capture three important issues that have given birth to campus-wide journals: the financial constraints facing many of these journals, the effect of low level of research output for these journals, and lack of institutional legitimization of new journals. Later the data will show how much these three elements have affected the quality, standard and frequency of journals published in Africa.  5.2.5  Circulation, Price and Size of Journals  Respondents further provided an overview of the current state of journal publishing with emphasis on trends in number, size, price and the circulation of scholarly journals in Africa.  Figure 5.5 Size of Circulations Among the Journals (N=80) 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0  63%  23% 1-100  101-500  6%  8%  501-1000  1001-above  Circulation numbers  Irrespective of whether the journal is published by society or a university, approximately 23% of journals have circulations between 1 and 100, and the majority (63%) have total circulations between 101 and 500 (Figure 5.5). Only four journals (8%) in this study had a circulation above 1,000. The range of circulation  156  numbers for journals in the sample from 1 to over 1,000 demonstrate a highly skewed distribution pattern. The mean annual subscription rate for individual purchased journals was $31.63 and $51.38 for libraries (see Table 5.2). The estimated average annual circulation per journal stood at 284.57 for individual and 99.66 for instituti