Hadithi, an online library aiming at facilitating access to quality research for African scholars has already signed up 100 users, added 300 publications in their library and got 5000 plus papers from the World Bank.
The user-friendly platform harvests, curates and aggregates existing open access content in one space says Manka S. Angwafo, the founder.
Angwafo told TechMoran Hadithi has so far signed up 300 publications in its library, negotiated another 5000+ papers from the World Bank Group to be accessible via its library in the next couple months and signed up about a 100 users sign into the system.
Good news isn’t it?
Thursday January 24, Kenya’s Hadithi Ltd launched its online open access library with a panel discussion around open access, technology and higher education in Kenya. Panelists included Permanent Secretary Dr. Ndemo Bitange, Google Kenya country manager Joe Mucheru and Alex Gakuru, program manager of Creative Commons Africa.
The Hadithi library is a curated collection of peer-reviewed articles, policy briefs and strategy reports about Africa. While some African universities and institutes have open access repositories, there is no single space that collects content, curates it, and hosts it all in one space.
Basing on a recent survey that 76 percent of the top 20 internationally indexed multidisciplinary journals plus those from Oxford University Press and Elsevier are open to students in public universities in Kenya and just about two fifths of Kenya’s research community are aware of these resources, Hadithi saw a gap to fill. Moreover, while about 70 percent of Kenya’s research community crawls the Internet at least 3-5 times a week for academic content, less than 3 articles per scholar are searched and downloaded from these databases yearly.
According to Hadithi’s Director Manka Angwafo, “data shows that Kenyan scholars are actively searching for academic content but are either unaware of existing databases or unable to effectively find relevant content within databases made available to them. We decided to provide a platform that works on low bandwidth and is as easy to navigate as a basic internet search. Users can search for articles by keyword (e.g. author) or by publication year or even field of study. Our interactive search tool allows users to eliminate articles across several categories until they find exactly what they are looking for.”
PS Dr. Ndemo highlighted the importance of Hadithi going beyond research documents to include government strategy plans which should be made freely available to the public. “With new officials, fresh resources are spent on consultants and strategy reports. Most of the time these reports repeat exactly what was already outlined in previous reports.”
With an online open access library, scholars can search and download research material in one place at no cost and schools save on costs of research databases. Additionally, Hadithi’s platform can be accessed at any location with internet or from any internet ready device such as a feature mobile phone; providing scholars with flexibility to work in any environment.