An image showing the title of the session, along with speaker details, date and time.

The academic and research landscapes are witnessing transformational shifts as there is an increasing focus from the global community on the accessibility of knowledge. This is especially pertinent in the African context, where scholars often find it challenging to gain visibility in international publishing platforms. Recognising these challenges, we are thrilled to announce a webinar on the 31st August 2023, featuring speaker Tom Olyhoek, DOAJ’s Head of Outreach, to address the importance of Open Access publishing in Nigeria.


The pressure to publish in prestigious subscription journals, indexed in platforms like Scopus and Web of Science, affects scholars worldwide. This challenge is further intensified for African scholars due to various linguistic and financial barriers. However, advances in Open Access publishing have emerged as a beacon of hope, especially with the DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) and DOAB (Directory of Open Access Books) leading the way.

The theme of cognitive justice resonates strongly in this context. As elucidated in works like “Justice cognitive, libre accès et savoir locaux,” Open Access might inadvertently serve to transfer knowledge from the global North to South, potentially overlooking the richness of local knowledge. This has been termed “cognitive injustice,” a form of neo-colonialism, and is a critical concern to be addressed.

The Webinar

This upcoming webinar aims to raise awareness among policymakers, scholars, and publishers in Nigeria about the importance of publishing research openly in local journals. Key highlights of the webinar will include:

  • Overview of the African Open Access publishing landscape for journals and books and the importance of Nigeria.
  • Open Access Advantages: Discussing the benefits of open access, enabling researchers to reach a wider audience without barriers.
  • Governmental Roles: Stressing why governments must adapt policies and reward systems that recognize local open access venues.
  • Criteria and Application Procedures: Explaining the application procedures for DOAJ and DOAB.
  • Q&A Session: Addressing questions from the audience.

DOAJ’s Strategy in Africa

Aligned with the webinar’s objectives, DOAJ’s focus on Africa, particularly Nigeria, is paramount. Our Ambassador programme aims to bridge the gap between the North and South, focusing on improving channels for publishing and dissemination of research from developing countries.

Strategic efforts include:

  • Recruitment of Ambassadors in Nigeria: Collaboration with WACREN to recruit ambassadors for promoting best practices and increasing the number of local journals in DOAJ and Open Access books in DOAB.
  • Involvement in the LIBSENSE Open Science Symposium in Nigeria: Participation in events to foster Open Access publishing culture.
  • Analysis and Outreach: Extensive analysis of the African publishing landscape and active outreach, departing from the former practice where DOAJ and DOAB awaited applications.

An important step of this strategy is the introductory DOAJ webinar on August 31, designed to engage editors of Nigerian journals, followed by in-person meetings with key stakeholders around the Open Science Symposium Days on 13-14 September in Abuja, Nigeria.


The webinar, in conjunction with DOAJ’s comprehensive strategy, marks an important milestone towards democratizing access to scientific knowledge. It embodies a shared vision to enhance the visibility and impact of Nigerian research, fostering a more inclusive and equitable global knowledge ecosystem.

Join us on August 31, 2023, to be part of this essential dialogue. Together, we can pave the way towards a more transparent, inclusive, and equitable scholarly communication system in Nigeria and beyond.

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