New volunteer program to embed publishers in Tanzania

Published: Friday 3rd October 2014

MLibrary_eresources-trainingany Tanzanian academics are heavily involved in teaching and do consultancy activities on the side. This leaves them little time to conduct research, let alone publish.

If they do conduct research and wish to publish, often they lack the knowledge on how to write a good publication proposal that will ultimately enable them to get published, or simply their English language skills are not adequate enough.

To address some of these needs, several workshops for academics were conducted, called “How to Get Your Research Published,” focusing on each of their different areas of expertise (Humanities, Social Sciences, Business, Law and STM).

For publishers, the challenge is largely how to professionalize their publishing services and conduct quality control. Many are still very much book-oriented and most are struggling to move to digital, which is needed to increase their audience regionally and globally. Tanzania leapfrogged almost straight to good mobile phone coverage and Internet usage through mobile phones and USB dongles. This opens up exciting opportunities for digital content which we have promoted in trainings on digital publishing and e-resources.

These insights and experiences resulted is a unique two-year research capacity building project: Strengthening Indigenous Academic and Digital Publishing. Participating organizations are VSO, the Commission for Science & Technology in Tanzania (COSTECH); INASP, a nonprofit with over 20 years of experience building research in developing countries; and the Elsevier Foundation.

Read more about the Publishers Without Borders project