Open access in Myanmar

Setting up open access repositories at universities in Myanmar

You are here

NEXT PROJECT
Participants at an open access workshop at the University of Mandalay in March 2016.

BACKGROUND

As Myanmar opens up to the outside world after decades of isolation, universities across the country are embracing the concept of open access (OA).

In 2015 EIFL began working with two leading universities, University of Mandalay and University of Yangon, to set up OA institutional repositories. In 2017 we expanded our support to include three more universities - Yadanabon University, Yangon University of Economics and Yezin Agricultural University. There are 158 universities under the Myanmar Ministry of Education, and several more are also keen to set up OA repositories.

EIFL’S OA support is part of the EIFL e-Library Myanmar project, which was created to enable libraries at universities under the control of the Ministry of Education to provide effective support for teaching, research and learning.

“Open access is essential for us to achieve the university’s vision. We need access to up-to-date scientific publications, and to be able to make our research visible and available to scientists and researchers in Myanmar and the international community.” - Professor Dr Thida Win, Rector, University of Mandalay.

MAIN ACTIVITIES

  • EIFL – in association with the University of Mandalay, the University of Yangon and Yadanabon University – ran a series of seminars in February 2015 on 'Open access: How to maximize the impact, efficiency and availability of your research'.
  • As a result of the seminars, the University of Mandalay and the University of Yangon set up OA working groups to develop institutional OA repositories and draft OA and repository policies. The working groups included Rectors, Pro-Rectors, faculty members, librarians and PhD students.
  • To support the two OA working groups, EIFL invited Fred Chan, Research and Data Services Librarian from the University of Hong Kong (HKU) Libraries, to attend working group meetings in May 2016. Chan shared HKU’s experiences of adopting an OA policy, and running the HKU OA repository. Chan also visited four more universities (Yangon University of Economics, Dagon University, West Yangon University and East Yangon University), to share HKU’s approach to OA.
  • Provided training and advice on setting up OA institutional repositories at three more universities: Yadanabon University, Yangon University of Economics and Yezin Agricultural University. 
  • EIFL is collaborating with KnowledgeArc, a UK-based company, to provide a DSpace platform to host repositories until technology infrastructure and support at universities in Myanmar is ready.

TIMELINE

2015 - 2019

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Created institutional OA repositories at University of MandalayUniversity of Yangon, Yadanabon University, Yangon University of Economics and Yezin Agricultural University, opening up their research to the world. The repositories include peer-reviewed journal articles, research papers, and papers from selected international conferences.
  • All five universities have adopted OA policies that guide deposits and stress their commitment to disseminating the outputs of their research as widely as possible.
  • Raised awareness on OA at eight universities: University of Mandalay, University of Yangon, Yadanabon University, Yangon University of Economics, Dagon University, East Yangon University, West Yangon University and Yezin University of Agriculture.

PROGRESS

The EIFL eLibrary Myanmar project will continue to provide training and support to the five universities until their technology and skills have improved sufficiently for the repositories to be transferred to their own servers.

The eLibrary Myanmar project is available to work with other institutions in Myanmar that produce research and would like to set up OA repositories.

For further information, contact Iryna Kuchma: iryna.kuchma@eifl.net

FURTHER READING

Read more about the EIFL eLibrary Myanmar Project.

Read about the launch of OA repositories at University of Mandalay and University of Yangon, and at Yadanabon University, Yangon University of Economics and Yezin Agricultural University.