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Scholarly Communication: Open Access @ Rhodes

This guide defines Scholarly Communication, and its role in raising visibility of Researcher output and web presence. Scholarly Communication is defined as "the system through which research and other scholarly writings are created, evaluated for quality,

We support Open Access

For more information:

  • What is Open Access?
  • The benefits of Open Access
  • Open Access Journals and Resources
  • Rhodes Digital Commons (our institutional repository)
  • Open Access Week @Rhodes

Rhodes University becomes a Signatory to the Berlin Declaration 24 October 2013


Rhodes Becomes Signatory to Berlin Declaration

Rhodes University joined the list of signatories to the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge.  Dr Peter Clayton, DVC, signed the Declaration during a seminar on Open Access  on Thursday, 24 October 2013.  Other speakers included Ms Natalia Timiraos (BioMed Central) and Ms Elsabe Olivier (former Open Scholarship Manager, UP).

The declaration reads


Rhodes University, a leading research university in South Africa, recognises the importance of the global Open Access Movement for the dissemination of knowledge and cultural heritage, and the need to share its research output with the rest of the African continent and the world. To this end, the University would like to join the list of signatories to the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge.

As a signatory, Rhodes University, commits itself to:

  1. Implementing a policy that encourages its researchers to deposit a copy of all their published articles in an open access repository, and

  2. Encouraging researchers to publish their research articles in open access journals where a suitable journal exists and provide the support to enable that to happen. "

Rhodes University Open Access Policy

RU Open Access Policy

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:

  • “Formulate detailed policies on Open Access of publications and data from its funded research;
  • Establish Open Access repositories; and
  • Support public access to the repositories through web search and retrieval according to international standards and best practice” (NRF, 2015).

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).