EIFL began working in Zimbabwe in 2005, at a time when open access was just starting to be recognized and practised globally. Our first project in Zimbabwe was to support an open access awareness campaign and the creation of an open access repository at the University of Zimbabwe. Launched in 2005, the University of Zimbabwe Institutional Repository was the first institutional open access repository in the EIFL network.
In 2011 we supported the University of Zimbabwe Library to develop an open access policy. The policy that was adopted mandates open access to theses and dissertations, and has led to a sharp increase in deposits in the repository.
Since then, EIFL’s work in Zimbabwe has contributed to the creation of 13 more institutional open access repositories and five institutional open access policies, increasing visibility and availability of Zimbabwean research.
Following EIFL-supported national advocacy campaigns, the Zimbabwe University Libraries Consortium (ZULC) submitted an open access concept paper on a national open access policy to the Ministry of Higher & Tertiary Education, Science & Technology Development (MHTESTD), after which ZULC was granted a mandate to drive a national consultative process on open access and research data management.
- Workshops to raise awareness about and build capacity in open access and open science;
- Training librarians to support faculty and students with Research Data Management (RDM) procedures;
- Creation of institutional open access repositories;
- Drafting and adoption of institutional open access policies;
- Advocacy for a national open access policy and efficient research data management.
2005 - Ongoing
Raised awareness and deepened understanding of open access and open science:
- Government officials, university chancellors and vice chancellors, directors of research institutes, academics, lecturers, librarians, researchers and students are more aware about the benefits of open access and open science.
Improved open science skills at academic and research institutions:
- Open science training has become a regular course in Chinhoyi University of Technology’s annual residence programme for M.Phil and D.Phil students.
- Improved RDM skills of librarians at ZULC member institutions, enabling them to support faculty and students with RDM procedures and requirements.
Increased visibility and availability of research:
- 13 institutional open access repositories were established.
- Five institutions adopted open access policies: Bindura University of Science Education, Lupane State University, Midlands State University, University of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University.
- Equipped librarians with the knowledge and skills to manage institutional repositories and research data.
Stimulated processes for development of a national open access and open science policy:
- Secured pledges of support for open access from the MHTESTD and the Zimbabwe Council of Higher Education.
- The MHTESTD granted the Zimbabwe University Libraries Consortium (ZULC) a mandate to lead national consultative processes on open access policy development and management of open research data.