Central Africa – Cameroon

OPEN ACCESS: The case of a Cameroonian University

In 2013, the University of Buea signed the Berlin Declaration. The University of Buea before 2013 had not signed the Berlin Declaration and OA was not yet accepted by this institution. It took a lot of advocating convincing the authority of this institution on the relevance of OA. The following procedures were used to advocate for OA: There was awareness creating in the Deans and Directors meeting of the university where a clearly written presentations on OA was made with copies distributed to members of the assembly followed by a question and answer session with permission from the Vice-Chancellor, secondly there was a short article written and published on the university newsletter on what OA is all about and its benefits, there were discussions with faculty members who were already very familiar with OA and its benefits who were used to take the idea to their departmental and faculty board meetings and this yielded good fruits  and finally there was a formal request made requesting the Vice-Chancellor to sign the Berlin declaration after exciting feedback and requests from the institution’s establishments in favour of OA. After this important step, its Library took the opportunity to explore the possibilities and advantages of promoting the Open Access drive:

BioMed Central Foundation Membership

In the same year 2013, the University of Buea Library with the approval of its institutional hierarchy, submitted an application for the Foundation Membership to BioMed Central. The choice of this publisher was as a result of the fact that the faculty members of the University of Buea in the field of applied sciences and sciences were very interested in publishing with BioMed Central. Most of them had published already a number of articles with this publisher and were hoping to see the publication fee either reduced or waved. This was to be achieved if their institution became a foundation member of this publishing house.

This has gone through successfully and over 10 journal articles have been published by the University of Buea faculty members with BioMed Central in the fields of Science and Health.

It is worth mentioning that BioMed Central provides the following:

  • Broad subject coverage
  • Quality, reputation and high stand of peer review
  • Fast publication
  • Open access
  • Visibility
  • Indexing and Impact Factors
  • Included in PubMed, Google and all major bibliographic databases
  • No space constraints
  • Promotion of articles

Besides the above named facilities, the authors of BioMed Central articles stand to benefit from the following:

  • High visibility through unrestricted online access
  • Rigorous peer and editorial reviews
  • Rapid publication
  • Authors retain copyright
  • Compliance with open access mandates
  • Citation tracking and inclusion in bibliographic databases.

Benefits to BioMed Central Institutional Members

  • Automated Article Deposit
    Here BioMed Central enables the simple transfer of an institution’s complete published article content from BioMed Central’s journal into the institutional repository.
  • Again, based on the SWORD Protocol (Simple Web-Service Offering Repository Deposit) any open access article published in a BioMed Central journal will be automatically deposited in its official final published form (including PDES, additional files and article metadata) into the author’s institutional repository, offering significant savings of time and effort for both authors and repository administrators.
  • Time saving
  • Policy/mandate compliance
  • Repository population

Given that the University of Buea Library is in the process of building its institutional repository, its newly acquired BioMed Central membership is just timely to help this institution to improve on the content of its repository with the input from the publications of its faculty members

Rosemary Shafack

Last update: 1 August 2014

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