Figshare – a world leader in digital infrastructure that supports open research, and part of Digital Science – has formed a new partnership with the African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA), which is committed to open data and information sharing across Africa.
The partnership is aimed at promoting open data awareness and participation in Africa, to improve access to and use of open data across the continent.
Helena Asamoah-Hassan, Executive Director of AfLIA, said: "We are excited to enter into this partnership with Figshare, to work on collaborative activities that support awareness of open science and data repositories, and to support the research and education communities in Africa.
"Open data has the potential to drive innovation, economic growth, and social development by enabling individuals and organizations to make more informed decisions. However, in many African countries, access to open data is limited, and there is a lack of awareness and understanding of its potential benefits.
"Through our open data initiatives, we aim to support African higher education and research institutions, ultimately contributing to a stronger open science ecosystem in Africa for the benefit of our communities, and the world."
Daniel Hook, CEO of Digital Science, said: "At Digital Science, we believe that research needs to be open, collaborative and inclusive so that the benefits are accrued rapidly, maximally and fairly. It is humbling to see the leadership shown by the willingness of so many researchers and institutions in Africa to embrace open and FAIR data principles, and I am proud that Figshare is able to support AfLIA through this new partnership.
"By providing key infrastructures such as those in this project we hope to increase Africa's voice in the global research ecosystem and foster not only openness and collaboration but also diversity."
As a key part of the partnership, Figshare and AfLIA are building an open access repository portal to host and disseminate AfLIA's conference proceedings – including papers, presentations, posters, and videos – from 2023 onwards.
The AfLIA Conference Repository will provide authors, researchers and presenters at AfLIA conferences with improved archiving, and increased access to all resources and outputs. The repository will also include other features, such as altmetrics and citation data. Authors will get credit for all their outputs.
Figshare and AfLIA will work together to raise awareness of Open Science and Open Data principles and practices contextualized to Africa, including effective data management in data repositories, intellectual property rights, the FAIR data principles, data sovereignty, and will contribute to developing stakeholders' professional skills.
The African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA) is an independent international not-for-profit organization. AfLIA connects Africa's library and information communities and is the trusted voice of the African library and information community in Africa's development. The primary focus of the organisation is to empower the library and information community to actively promote the African development agenda through dynamic services that transform livelihoods. It drives equitable access to information and knowledge for all. AfLIA believes in Professionalism and Inclusivity, Integrity, Transparency & Accountability, Innovation & Creativity, Customer focus and Access to Information as a Human Right. Visit web.aflia.net and follow @AfLIACon on Twitter.
Figshare is an open access turnkey Software-as-a-Service repository solution that supports open science. Its infrastructure and global community provide institutions with a platform to share and preserve their outputs – including large datasets – in a findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR) way. Part of Digital Science, Figshare is committed to enabling open science through various initiatives,including: member of the UNESCO Global Open Science Partnership – providing thought leadership, technical advice and guidance to support countries around the world to implement the UNESCO Open Science Recommendation, and; strategic partner to key African associations that support higher education and research – facilitating effective research data management, enabling improved visibility of African research outputs, and increasing library literacy among African professionals to further the understanding of Open Science and the FAIR Principles. Visit figshare.com and follow @figshare on Twitter.
About Digital Science
Digital Science is a technology company working to make research more efficient. We invest in, nurture and support innovative businesses and technologies that make all parts of the research process more open and effective. Our portfolio includes admired brands including Altmetric, Dimensions, Figshare, ReadCube, Symplectic, IFI CLAIMS Patent Services, Overleaf, Ripeta, Writefull, and metaphacts. We believe that together, we can help researchers make a difference. Visit www.digital-science.com and follow @digitalsci on Twitter or on LinkedIn.