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"Information is essential to meeting challenges" (Mc Bean, 2005). Other conditions must be met for STI to become "assimilable", e.g.information literacy, technological capacity and financial resources (ibid.).Here, questions are more about visibility and impact, referencing, access to publishing technologies and communication channels, attitudes toward open access and copyright.
The need for open access means on the one hand that scientific communities need access to scientific information for their research and teaching activities, as a matter of content accessibility, infrastructures and computer networks, hardware, information behaviour, digital divide and awareness.
On the other hand, the need for open access also means, the dissemination of local scientific production on the Internet, "free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions", via the green or the gold road, or both.
This paper will provide a review of relevant literature on the topic, followed by a short overview of open repositories in sub-Saharan African countries, a region facing serious political, economic and social challenges.
The main section will present a project for the digitizing of Ph D theses of two universities in Togo, and we will then discuss questions and problems related to the specific conditions of the project, in order to contribute to the understanding of the dynamics and rich diversity of the open access movement.
self-archiving of scientific work in an open access repository, is often considered as the choice for less wealthy institutions and developing countries because of lower investment and operational costs. We will provide a review of relevant literature on the topic, followed by a short overview of open repositories in sub-Saharan African countries, a region facing serious political, economic and social challenges.
The crucial role of scientific and technical information (STI) in the development of countries in Africa is highlighted by different authors and institutions.Freely available means, "free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions" (Suber, 2012, p. The access principle (Willinsky, 2005) is generally considered as a global movement, without national or regional frontiers.Open access to scientific information includes research from developing countries. There are a number of sources where grey literature can be found.Culture Vision™ is the first comprehensive, user-friendly database that gives healthcare professionals access to culturally competent patient care. and of professional training programs for the library staff (Ani et al., 2005).Together, these and other factors create and maintain a digital divide that challenges economic development (Mutula, 2005, 2008).Peter Suber, one of the leaders of the world-wide open access movement, acknowledges the access gap in scientific information ("serials crisis") as a global problem particularly alarming for developing countries: "Several Sub-Saharan African university libraries subscribed to zero, offering their patrons access to no conventional journals except those donated by publishers" (Suber, 2012, p.31).Also, he regards the need for open access to scientific information as most pressing in developing countries.Under the open access perspective, the scientific world often appears as if it were already a global village with the same cultures, technologies and infrastructures.Yet what may be right and desirable on an abstract level, as an idea or goal, can be misleading on the field because of different conditions and needs.