Impact and Learning: Open for Development... what are the implications for research communication?
"The EADI Information Management Working Group (EADI IMWG for short!) is a long-standing working group whose annual meeting has been a regular event in the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) calendar for well over 20 years. This year’s meeting was held in the beautiful surroundings of the University of Antwerp and hosted by the impressive Institute of Development Policy and Management (IOB). The topic was 'Open for Development' and explored how the linked movements of Open Access, Open Data and Open Content are relevant to our work and how to make the best use of these innovations in the development context in which we work - that is knowledge-brokering and research communication. Open Access has been a recurring theme for the group over the years but there have been significant developments in the last 18 months. A high profile global boycott of academic publisher Elsevier and the publication of the Finch report in the UK have caused unprecedented debate on Open Access issues in the broader academic community. Similarly DFID’s new Open and Enhanced Access Policy has forced many in the development community to sit up and take notice. At the same time new technical innovations and increasing access to the internet have led to growing interest in the potential application of Open Data and Open Content (Open Educational Resources) for sharing knowledge and learning in international development. A key question for the development community to address is to understand: Who is driving these innovations? Do they really reflect the needs of research producers and consumers in developing countries? Or could they actually be adding to existing information inequalities across the digital divide? To help answer this IDS was pleased to be able to support the attendance of Eve Gray from the Scholarly Communication in Africa programme at the University of Cape Town to give the opening keynote presentation 'Open Access is 2012 –a developing country perspective' ..."