Open access: Promoting right and accessible knowledge

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IITA joined the international community to celebrate Open Access Week from 25 to 29 October, as the Institute keeps promoting the global mission of openness. The theme of the week-long event was “It matters how we open knowledge: Building structural equity.”

The Data Management Unit (DMU) embarked on an awareness campaign, with scientists sharing their opinions about open access throughout the week. The DMU also organized a webinar to share knowledge on the importance of open access and how to achieve it. Olayemi Oluwasoga, Open Access/Open Data Administrator, moderated the webinar.

In his keynote address, IITA Central Africa Hub Research for Development Director, Bernard Vanlauwe, spoke of the importance of open access, highlighting the five focal principles. He emphasized the advantages of open access, such as increased research visibility and citations of IITA scientists and the enhanced use and impact of IITA’s research. Because it addresses the lack of access to articles, open access positions IITA as a major source of trusted, free, and fair data related to agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. It also boosts international communication, supports collaboration, and increases donor trust in IITA as the Institute complies with open access policy for public-funded projects and research. “In summary, open access makes African research more accessible and visible,” he said.

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