Studies indicate that Africa has lost 11% of its share in global science since 1978. In Sub-Saharan Africa this figure stands at 31%. The most-cited reason for this is that the creation and dissemination of the latest research and scientific information plays an important role in the further production of knowledge and scientific output. In the African context, this is exacerbated by the lack of financial resources allocated to the publication of research and scientific exploration.
Thus it is important to look at alternative business models, especially those which employ information and communication technologies (ICTs), as these could offer practical, cost-effective opportunities for improving the publishing and dissemination processes. However, the cost profile of traditional and emerging scholarly communication models is uncertain, making it difficult for sound decisions to be made about how best scholarly communication activities should be supported. It becomes necessary to identify and quantify the costs involved in the scholarly communication value chain and also to identify the benefits gained from increased access to scholarly output.
The economic aspects of traditional and emerging scholarly communication models include the following:
- The costs, and how to quantify such costs, associated with the steps along the scholarly communication value chain;
- The benefits, and how to identify such benefits;
- The conceptual frameworks, methodologies and tools used to identify the costs and benefits;
- The value of the investments by universities and how these are funded;
- The implications for such university investments, given the costs and benefits that have been identified; and
- The critical success factors related to building sustainability.
Workshop videos related to this theme:
|Colin Steele: An Australian Perspective on Research Costs and Benefits||Gary Rosenberg: Measuring Social and Development Impact in an African Context|