Bellville, South Africa Workshop
June 28 – 29, 2007
The University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa, hosted a two-day workshop on scholarly publishing from 28 to 29 June 2007. Samuel Smith Esseh was the main facilitator assisted by Paiki Muswazi. The workshop attracted an average of 34 participants, mainly potential editors, librarians, editors and information technology (IT) administrators from the University of the Western Cape, University of Stellenbosch, University of Cape Town, and Cape Peninsular University of Technology and Publishers.
The salient points arising from the two day engagement with participants were:
- African research is not easily accessible, locally and globally.
- Journals in Africa lack global presence. OJS implementation helps open up global access to African knowledge.
- OJS is suitable for postgraduate training and publishing.
- Accreditation of a journal by the South African Department of Education (DOE) is dependent on peer-review, irrespective of whether the title is print or online.
- Publishing in an accredited journal attracts a subsidy from the DOE.
- While it is worthwhile to start a new journal, accreditation may take up to two years. Academics may not want to wait for two years and lose on subsidies that come with publishing in journals that are already accredited.
- Many more role players should come on board in order to sustain online publishing.
- Low band width, low access to computers, and lack of training and computer skills pose challenges to OJS implementation.
- A local company, African Online Scientific Information Systems (AOSIS) (Pty) Ltd is using OJS to publish. To date, the company is publishing six journal titles using OJS. More details on AOSIS are available at