Opening access to African scholarly content : Stellenbosch University’s AOARI platforms
Africa is viewed as a consumer of the world’s knowledge production. A significant factor influencing this status is the low research output, with the main contributor to this status being minimum access to scholarly content to support research. Stellenbosch University, a leading research institution on the African continent, is committed to contributing to changing this status quo through the distribution of its own research output utilizing open sources. Given the challenges that have plagued Africa in developing processes for the distribution of their research, Stellenbosch University has developed the African Open Access Repository Initiative (AOARI) which uses open source software for two platforms that support the ‘green’ and ‘gold’ route to sharing scholarly literature: Ubuntu is used as the operating system, DSpace is used for its repository and Open Journal Systems for its publication platform. It is anticipated that AOARI will be the bridge that facilitates the sharing of research output and nurtures a culture of research production in Africa.