Professor Bawa gives talk on Open Access
Professor Ahmed Bawa, who hails from Universities South Africa (USAf), visited the Durban University of Technology (DUT) at the Hotel School Conference at Ritson Campus.
Prof Bawa lectured on the Open Access 2020 model and focused on a presentation titled, A journey towards open access to scholarly journals: towards transformative agreements.
Open access (OA) refers to free, unrestricted online access to research outputs such as journal articles and books. OA content is open to all, with no access fees.
He further said that universities produce 90% of the research output in South Africa, ‘so we have to have a say in this.’
During his talk, the theoretical physicist and former Vice-Chancellor of DUT explained the new local and international situations regarding Open Access journals and the need for new models of scholarly publishing and the costs related to the project.
“Are we producing the next generation of academics?” Bawa asked. “We want to see this as a national project, not an individual university project. Science Councils, universities and government have all collaborated on this project,” he said.
The audience was lively and engaged, one audience member asked: “Many of us aspire to publish in these journals, how long is it going to take for Open Access to get the reputation you want for a publisher?”
To which Bawa replied, “We are not talking about producing new journals, we are talking about them cutting ties with our current journals. This isn’t just a project of the Vice-Chancellor, this is a project of the academics because if they withdraw, then the future validity of those journals begins to develop.”
The session concluded with a presentation from Sagren Moodley, who elaborated on using the library as a publishing model. He was accompanied by Sboniso Ngcobo, Kunle Oparinde, and Tasneemm Seedat, who all gave a short presentation on Open Access.