Open access in South Africa

Open access to scholarly communication in South Africa occurs online via journals, repositories, and a variety of other tools and platforms. Compared to other African nations, open access in South Africa has grown quickly in recent years.

According to UNESCO, South Africa is a leading African country in terms of open access policies on the governmental level and grass-roots initiatives in universities and research organizations.[1] South African signatories to the international "Open Access 2020" campaign, launched in 2016, include the South African National Library and Information Consortium (SANLiC) and University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.[2] As of January 2018, there are nine research entities with policies in the international Registry of Open Access Repository Mandates and Policies.[3]


As of April 2018, the international Directory of Open Access Journals records some 79 open access journals produced in South Africa.[4]


As of July 2018, the Directory of Open Access Repositories lists 39 repositories in South Africa. This includes 11 traditional universities (or at least their departments), several universities of technology (Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Durban University of Technology, Central University of Technology and Tshwane University of Technology), three comprehensive universities (University of Johannesburg, University of South Africa and University of Zululand) and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).[1][5]

See also


Definition of Free Cultural Works logo notext.svg This article incorporates text from a free content work. Licensed under CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0 License statement: Global Open Access Portal, UNESCO. UNESCO. To learn how to add open license text to Wikipedia articles, please see this how-to page. For information on reusing text from Wikipedia, please see the terms of use.


  1. ^ a b "South Africa". Global Open Access Portal. UNESCO. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  2. ^ "OA2020 Expression of Interest: List of Signatories". Münich: Max Planck Digital Library. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Browse by Country: South Africa". ROARMAP: Registry of Open Access Repository Mandates and Policies. United Kingdom: University of Southampton. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Directory of Open Access Journals". Directory of Open Access Journals. United Kingdom: Infrastructure Services for Open Access. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Africa: Southern Africa: South Africa". Directory of Open Access Repositories. United Kingdom: Jisc. Retrieved 12 July 2018.

Further reading

External links

Academy of Science of South Africa

The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) is the national science academy for that country. It was started in 1996, and encompasses all fields of scientific work. Its legal foundation is the Academy of Science of South Africa Act, Act 67 of 2001, which came into operation in May 2002.

The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) was inaugurated in May 1996 by the former President of South Africa and patron of the Academy, Nelson Mandela

The mandate of the Academy encompasses all fields of scientific inquiry and it includes the full diversity of South Africa's distinguished scientists. Since its inception, ASSAf has grown from a small, emergent organisation to a well-established academy. To date, the Academy comprises 338 members.

Access to information in South Africa

Offering citizens access to state-held information is "one of the most effective ways of upholding the constitutional values of transparency, openness, participation and accountability." Currie and De Waal suggest that accountability is unattainable if the government has a monopoly on the information that informs its actions and decisions. Access to information is not only fundamental to a properly-functioning participatory democracy; it also increases public confidence in government and enhances its legitimacy. There are also, according to Cora Hoexter,

many other benefits to be had. For instance, access to information discourages corruption, arbitrariness and other improper governmental conduct. It facilitates the protection of rights, something that is easily demonstrated in the area of administrative justice. Like reasons for administrative action, access to state-held information can be of enormous assistance to a person who suspects that her rights to administrative justice have been infringed and is in the process of building a case.

African Human Rights Law Journal

The African Human Rights Law Journal publishes peer-reviewed contributions dealing with human rights related topics of relevance to Africa, Africans, and scholars of Africa. The journal appears twice a year, in March and October.

African Journals OnLine

African Journals OnLine (AJOL) is a South African non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the online visibility of and access to the published scholarly research of African-based academics. It is headquartered in Grahamstown. By using the internet as a gateway, AJOL aims to enhance conditions for African learning to be translated into African development.

Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Cape Peninsula University of Technology, a university in Cape Town, South Africa, is the only university of technology in the Western Cape province, and is also the largest university in the province, with over 32,000 students. It was formed by merging the Cape Technikon and a various independent colleges.

Digital divide in South Africa

The Digital Divide is described as the characterization of the gap between individuals or countries that have access to technology and individuals or countries that do not. This also includes, but is not limited to: access to computers, internet, and information literacy. General contributions to the digital divide are geography and next generational users. Next generational users are more involved with using devices that can connect to the internet, while the geography factor focuses more on how an individuals' location put them at an advantage or disadvantage to compete with the digital age. However, only a handful on people and communities are being represented. Underdeveloped geographical locations, like certain regions of the continent of Africa serves as one of the underrepresented minorities. South Africa faces many developmental problems that make it one of the more complex societies in the world. The country is divided by ethnic inequality and discrepancies in the level of development between different sectors. These obstacles result in disparities in access to information and communications technology (ICT). This disparity is commonly known as the digital divide. There has been another major contributor, namely, Telkom and its monopolistic hold on the progress of ICT in South Africa

HTS Teologiese Studies

HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies in Afrikaans; previously also known as Hervormde Teologiese Studies) is a peer-reviewed academic journal covering interfaith theological research. It has a broad scope, publishing on aspects of religious studies, philosophy, ancient languages, practical theology, sociology, and ethics. In 2009, the journal Practical Theology in South Africa was merged into Theological Studies, which became an official journal of the Society for Practical Theology in South Africa.

Journal for the Study of Religion

The Journal for the Study of Religion is a semi-annual journal published by the Association for the Study of Religion in Southern Africa. It was established in 1980 with the title Religion in Southern Africa, and adopted its current name in 1987.


Lexikos is a peer-reviewed academic journal in the field of lexicography, established in 1991. It is published by Bureau of the Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal of the association the African Association for Lexicography. It became the official journal of the latter in 1996. It appears annually and publishes contributions in English, Afrikaans, Dutch, French and German (with abstracts in English). The editor in chief is Johan C. M. D. du Plessis.

List of universities in South Africa

This is a list of universities in South Africa. For the purposes of this list, colleges and universities are defined as accredited, degree-granting, post-secondary institutions. In 2004 South Africa started reforming its higher education system, merging and incorporating small universities into larger institutions, and renaming all higher education institutions "university" (previously there had been several types of higher education institution). The country's universities and "technikons" which were incorporated with others and thus no longer exist are listed at the end of the article.

There are also a large number of other educational institutions in South Africa - some are local campuses of foreign universities, some conduct classes for students who write their exams at the distance-education University of South Africa and some offer unaccredited or non-accredited diplomas. Universities and colleges are accredited by the Council on Higher Education.

Two new universities launched in 2013, Sol Plaatje University and the University of Mpumalanga. They are tentatively classified in the universities of technology category, pending clarification of their programs.

National Research Foundation (South Africa)

South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF) is the intermediary agency between the policies and strategies of the Government of South Africa and South Africa's research institutions.

It was established on 1 April 1999 as an autonomous statutory body in accordance with the National Research Foundation Act. Dr Molapo Qhobela has been appointed the Chief Executive Officer of the National Research Foundation of South Africa with effect from 1 January 2016. The NRF Board is chaired by Professor Belinda Bozzolli.

South African Medical Journal

The South African Medical Journal is a monthly peer-reviewed open-access medical journal which has been published in South Africa since 1884. It is sponsored by the South African Medical Association and published by the association's publishing arm, the Health & Medical Publishing Group. Daniel Ncayiyana was the journal's first black editor-in-chief.

University of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is a public research university located in Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. UCT was founded in 1829 as the South African College making it the oldest higher education institute in South Africa. It is jointly the oldest university in South Africa and the oldest extant university in Sub-Saharan Africa alongside Stellenbosch University which received full university status on the same day in 1918.

UCT is the highest-ranked African university in the QS World University Rankings, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities, and its Law and Commerce Faculties are consistently placed among the hundred best internationally. It is the only African member of the Global University Leaders Forum (GULF), within the World Economic Forum, which is made up of 26 of the world's top universities. The language of instruction is English.

University of KwaZulu-Natal

The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) is a university with five campuses in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. It was formed on 1 January 2004 after the merger between the University of Natal and the University of Durban-Westville.

University of Pretoria

The University of Pretoria (Afrikaans: Universiteit van Pretoria, Northern Sotho: Yunibesithi ya Pretoria) is a multi-campus public research university in Pretoria, the administrative and de facto capital of South Africa. The university was established in 1908 as the Pretoria campus of the Johannesburg-based Transvaal University College and is the fourth South African institution in continuous operation to be awarded university status. The university has grown from the original 32 students in a single late Victorian house to approximately 39,000 in 2010. The University was built on 7 suburban campuses on 1,120 hectares (2,800 acres).The University is organised into nine faculties and a business school. Established in 1920, the University of Pretoria Faculty of Veterinary Science is the second oldest veterinary school in Africa and the only veterinary school in South Africa. In 1949 the university launched the first MBA programme outside North America and the university's Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) has consistently been ranked the top business school in Africa for executive education, as well as being placed in the top 50 in the world. In 2012 the Financial Times ranked the GIBS Executive MBA 1st in Africa and 60th in the world.Since 1997, the university has produced more research outputs every year than any other institution of higher learning in South Africa, as measured by the Department of Education's accreditation benchmark. In 2008, the university awarded 15.8% of all masters and doctorate degrees in South Africa, the highest percentage in the country.The university is commonly referred to as UP, Tuks, or Tukkies and in post-nominals the university is typically abbreviated as Pret or UP, although Pretoria is also used in official publications.

University of the Free State

The University of the Free State is a multi campus public university in Bloemfontein, the capital of the Free State and the judicial capital of South Africa. It was first established as an institution of higher learning in 1904 as a tertiary portion of Grey College. It was declared an independent Afrikaans-language university in 1950 and the name was changed to the University of the Orange Free State. The university has two satellite campuses. Initially a whites-only precinct, the university was fully de-segregated in 1996. The first black university vice-chancellor was appointed in 2010. Oprah Winfrey was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2011.

University of the Western Cape

The University of the Western Cape (UWC) is a public university located in the Bellville suburb of Cape Town, South Africa. The University of the Western Cape has a history of creative struggle against oppression, discrimination and disadvantage. Among academic institutions it has been in the vanguard of South Africa's historic change, playing a distinctive academic role in helping to build an equitable and dynamic nation. UWC's key concerns with access, equity and quality in higher education arise from extensive practical engagement in helping the historically marginalised participate fully in the life of the nation. The university was established in 1960 by the South African government as a university for Coloured people only. Other universities near Cape Town are the University of Cape Town, (UCT, originally for English speaking whites) and the Stellenbosch University (originally for Afrikaans speaking whites). The establishing of UWC was a direct effect of the Extension of University Education Act, 1959. This law accomplished the segregation of higher education in South Africa. Coloured students were only allowed at a few non-white universities. In this period, other "ethnical" universities, such as the University of Zululand and the University of the North, were founded as well. Since well before the end of apartheid in South Africa in 1994, it has been an integrated and multiracial institution.

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