Rhodes University (RU), as a research-intensive university, became a signatory to the Berlin Declaration on 24 October 2013. As a signatory to this Declaration, Rhodes University is committed to adopting Open Access (OA) as a paradigm which enhances the institution’s research strategy “to encourage research at the highest level of excellence and to ensure that our research programmes are internationally recognised for their excellence” (Research Office, 2016).
The call to South African universities to support Open Access was strengthened by a statement issued by the National Research Foundation (NRF) in January 2015, after it became a signatory to the Berlin Declaration on 20 October 2014. The NRF announced that from 01 March 2015, all publicly funded authors “deposit their final peer-reviewed manuscripts that have been accepted by the journals, to the administering Institution Repository with an embargo period of no more than 12 months.” (NRF, 2015). The statement advocated institutions to:
Furthermore, a statement was issued from the Research Office on 6th October 2015, wherein the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research & Development advocated Rhodes University researchers register with ORCiD (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) as the preferred institutional researcher profile platform. This OA scholarly communication practice is aligned with the requirements of the National Research Foundation (NRF) on OA advocacy.
The Rhodes Digital Commons, the official institutional repository, was established and is managed by the Rhodes University Library.
In 2016 Rhodes University Library implemented the Rhodes Hosted Journals service. The Rhodes Hosted Journals service complements the Rhodes Digital Commons in that these systems provide an established platform for scholarly communication. The Rhodes Hosted Journals service runs on the Open Journal System System (OJS), a journal management system developed by PKP (Public Knowledge Project). The service is intended to improve and expand access to research and to support scholarly journal publication processes by optimising article level discovery (linked data environment, including link resolvers, indices and harvesters).
Quick guide to 10 recent open access policy and positioning statements
1. G8 Ministers of Science statement (June 2013
2. Global Research Council Action Plan (May 2013)
3. UNESCO OA policy (May 2013)
4. RCUK policy (UK) (April 2013)
5. Science Europe (April 2013)
6. Office Science Technology Policy (USA) (February 2013)
7. HEFCE proposal (UK) (February 2013)
8. Australian Research Council (January 2013)
9. Irish National Principles on Open Access Policy Statement (January 2013)
10. European Commission (July 2012)