Open Science and Policy Interface: The Tanzania Perspective

Main Article Content

Paul Muneja

Keywords

open science, open access, open data, institutional repository, research dissemination

Abstract

The 21st century has seen a paradigm shift in scholarly communication, with digital technology changing the entire process of the scholarly communication lifecycle. As the cost of online reference materials for research continues to rise and restrictive conditions persist, global academic and research communities are pursuing countermeasures to make knowledge equitable and accessible. This is made possible through the Open Science (OS) movement that aims to make knowledge accessible to researchers and citizens irrespective of their technical or financial capability. This paper explores open science to ascertain the status of open science practices in Tanzania. The paper highlights the policy interfaces and frameworks that favor open science practices in research endeavors. Also, it provides a baseline for understanding the situation to inform scientific research and education communities about the status of open science and possible areas of intervention. Open science is still in its infancy, although certain steps have been taken in adopting it for example the adoption of open access practices, including the creation of institutional repositories and the adoption of policies that direct its implementation. Additionally, the implementation of open data practices has been quite slow. Also, researchers and organizations in Tanzania are gradually adopting open data practices. Currently, some academic institutions, particularly public universities, have adopted and used open journal publishing systems, particularly the online journal system (OJS). The published journal articles through journal systems are freely accessible online like other open-access content, however, the journals are not yet registered in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) despite the fact that some are already indexed in different abstracting services such as Africa Journal Online (AJOL) and they have Digital Object Identifiers (DOI). The policy interface of open science needs to be harmonized and COSTECH is strategically positioned to take the lead.

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