Omo Oaiya, Chief Strategy Officer at WACREN – the West and Central Africa Research and Education Network – was interviewed by the GÉANT’s CONNECT magazine on the relatively new collaboration called LIBSENSE.
In the interview, Omo Oaiya introduced the initiative and its history: “LIBSENSE is a collaboration between libraries and NRENs, launched in 2016, to develop sustainable and relevant approaches for Open Access and Open Science in the African context.”
He emphasized on the benefits of LIBSENSE to researchers in Africa: “Making scientific processes and results more transparent and accessible in the Open Science paradigm allows others to evaluate, use, and analyze them in new ways, which speed up scientific discoveries, reduce redundancy of experiments, and provides a mechanism for innovation, social justice and economic growth. LIBSENSE aims to increase capacity to support, maintain, deploy and reconfigure digital scholarship services which directly benefit researchers.”
At the end, Omo Oaiya discussed the next steps for LIBSENSE: “The LIBSENSE initiative has drafted templates for data exchange model agreements that cover the data acquisition policy for aggregators and data usage policy. Draft metadata guidelines to ensure interoperability across African repositories have also been released for public comments. The next step will be to continue the advocacy and community building around strategic development of Open Access publishing and e-research infrastructure. This will be complemented with training programs targeting digital skills needed by the librarians and researchers as well as workshops targeting senior university management who make decisions regarding investment in these digital services to raise awareness of the importance of the Open Access and Open Science.”