Fourth CODESRIA Conference on Electronic Publishing

Theme: The Open Access Movement and the Future of Africa’s Knowledge EconomyDakar, Senegal March 28-30 2016 CALL FOR PAPERS The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) hereby announces the fourth in its electronic publishing conference series. This year’s theme focuses on the open access publishing model with particular attention to […]


Theme: The Open Access Movement and the Future of Africa’s Knowledge Economy
Dakar, Senegal March 28-30 2016


The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) hereby announces the fourth in its electronic publishing conference series. This year’s theme focuses on the open access publishing model with particular attention to its possible impact on the future knowledge economy in Africa. CODESRIA promotes social science research and knowledge production and the publication and dissemination of research outcomes, and organises forums for discussing research findings and sharing of ideas to influence the improvement of the living conditions of African populations.

The Open Access Movement is a timely initiative to transform global relations and means of knowledge production, dissemination and use based on the power of information technologies to enforce free and timeous flow of scholarly content. Using digital media to circulate scholarly information creates direct linkages between scholars/authors and the public, facilitating a free flow of ideas and information vital to the process of scientific inquiry, and the ability of individuals and communities and institutions to address economic, environmental and social development issues, both regionally and globally.

Alongside this consciousness, however, the alarming serial crisis, namely historically royalty -free, freely peer-reviewed and publicly-funded scholarly publications were no more accessible to the public on the ground of soaring cost. The biggest and richest universities in the world were closing their branch libraries and had cut their subscriptions because the prices of journals were rising above inflation rates. The publisher which entered the academic publishing realm primarily to relieve scholars of the tedion of packaging and circulating research findings and whose role in this regard has been monumental, had gone rentier, mounting incredible pay walls on scholarly journals and possessing research reports they receive from researchers gratis. In an effort to cut costs and consolidate services, many research universities have closed small special branch libraries. The situation is worse in Africa, where the libraries have become stocks of back number information resources.

The Open Access Movement is now more than a decade old, posting several milestones in the face of surreptitious conflicts and oppositions. A major milestone of the movement is that people around the world now have increased access to scholarly publications. In addition to this, there is observed increasing empowerment, and radical socialization and democratization of knowledge from below as opposed to the prevailing statist nationalization and concentration of knowledge production in the developed North. Individuals, enterprises, and institutions currently participate in the production of knowledge thus promoting social equality in human knowledge production and management enterprises to all.

Africa has benefitted from, and has also contributed to the movement. Based on the listing of the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), the oldest closed access journal to migrate to the open access platform is Egypt’s Psyche (A Journal of Entomology) which debuted in 1874. However, Africa has generally contributed only 6% to the 10152 journals listed in DOAJ as at 2014, and only 20 of Africa’s 56 countries have journals that are listed in the database. Generally though, there exists open access consciousness in the region, but it is marked mainly by access to and use of free scholarly information available on the web. Many open access publishing activities are amateurish, fragmented and unorganised. There is no Africa regional accent to the meaning, definition and content of open access scholarship. Many institutions and organisations have no open access statements, and there are no clear directions about their positions on the contending issues in the movement. Also, the African social science community appears complacent about the significant role of the movement to the dissemination of its research outputs. Above all however, there is the reluctance of African governments and institutions to contribute in the definition and content of the global open access project.

The open access situation in Africa cannot be isolated from the underside of the movement resonating the global structure of biopolitical production – of ideas, information, images, knowledges, codes, affects, social relations, forms of life and dispositifs. For example the promise that the cyberspace will reproduce the core and periphery in matters of ‘immaterial and reproducible property’ appears not to have taken the ‘capitalist biopower’ into consideration. The basic contestations about asymmetrical power and representation, and the geopolitics of hegemonic and subaltern knowledge production and its epistemologies, validation and dissemination on a global scale persist. Within the consciousness of the significance of the coloniality of knowledge/power on knowledge economy in the developing world, there is the increasing claim that the nature of deployment of open access in Africa orchestrates perversion in the global ‘academic ecology’ of knowledge production. While language and technology, amateurish/apprenticeship publishing, business skills and activities of subverts, and spoof initiatives might truly puncture the strides of local open access publishers in Africa and elsewhere, much of open access publishing initiatives in Africa are classed as predatory.

The CODESRIA Open Access Conference will be a gathering of a broad spectrum of scholars and researchers from around the world who share a common concern about critical issues relating to open access in Africa in contemporary global society. This conference promises to push the boundaries of open access scholarship. It will explore core concepts and ideas, and help identify new technological and conceptual configurations. It will provide a rare opportunity for academics, librarians, publishers and policy-makers to come together for dialogues, discuss new research directions, methods and theories, and reflect upon the evolutionary issues about open access and their implications on research dissemination in Africa.

With this scope in mind, the major topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
• Open access in the context of Africa
• Value-added and marketing of African scientific information in the open access era
• Afro-sensitive open access economic models
• Africa in the emerging global politics of open access 
• Roles of institutions and governments in the open access movement in Africa
• Copyright and licensing regimes
• Opening indigenous knowledges
• Quality control in open access publishing in Africa 
• Open access and Africa’s knowledge economy
• The politics of open access

The conference will feature Workshops on repositories, open journal systems, open access policies, open access advocacy approaches and open data issues. There will also be a Doctoral Colloquium and a Social Media Expo.

Call for Papers

We invite researchers worldwide to submit original full research papers, social media demonstrations, research-in-progress or posters within the area of open access, with a special emphasis on the future of knowledge economy in Africa. Papers in the completed research category should have a maximum of twenty pages, including references. Papers in the Early Work/Preliminary Results subcategory should be a maximum of fifteen pages, including references. Submissions will be refereed in a double-blind process.

More information on each subcategory follows:

Completed Research

Submissions may include, but are not limited to:
• Empirical investigations
• Theories and models

Early Work/Preliminary Results/thesis and dissertation in progress

Submissions may include, but are not limited to:
• Emerging analysis in quantitative or qualitative papers
• Conceptual descriptions

Registration and funding

CODESRIA will provide funding support to paper presenters who show evidence that they are unable to cater for their participation. All non-paper presenting participants will pay a registration fee of USD150 to cover admission to the panels, and conference packages and workshops only; and will cater for their feeding and air fare.


  • 15 July 2015: Open for submissions
    • 26 October 2015: Workshop and Doctoral Colloquium decisions announced
    • 15 November 2015: Social Media Expo sign-up period ends 
    • 15 November 2015: Registration opens
    • 28 December 2015: Workshop and Doctoral Colloquium application deadline
    • 30 December 2015: deadline for the submission of Papers
    • 14 February 2016: deadline for the submission of final versions of papers, posters, and workshop proposals 
    • 29 February, 2016: Registration ends
    • 28 March 2016: Open Access Conference 2016 begins

Submission Information

Please note the following:
• Authors retain copyright to their work.
• All submissions must be in English or French.
• All submissions must be original work, not published elsewhere, or be under review for publication in a journal or other publication venue, or presentation in another conference before the review process is complete. 
• Authors should provide keywords with their submission.
• Submitters agree that if their work is accepted, it will not be published elsewhere prior to presentation at the conference.
• Submitters agree that if their work is accepted, only one author will be invited to participate in the conference. 
• We reserve the right to withhold publication in the Proceedings if at least one author does not register.
• Accepted work will be published as part of the official proceedings of the conference, or other.
• For Guidelines on the formatting of your presentation please visit :
• Questions about any issues regarding the conference should be directed to: Williams Nwagwu at [email protected].

All submissions to be directed to:

Open Access Conference 
Avenue Cheikh Anta Diop x Canal IV
BP : 3304, CP : 18524, Dakar, Sénégal
Email: [email protected]

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