Promoting the growing and access to scientific literature through NRENs in Africa
Mulhanga, Marangaze Munhepe
Lima, Solange Rito
Ferreira, João Nuno
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Currently, it is undeniable the role of the Internet in sustaining knowledge growth through a multitude of technologies, user devices and network infrastructures. National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) promote the involvement of research and education community in the use of new services and applications oriented to support research, innovation and teaching activities. In this context, sharing knowledge in the information age is seen as a vehicle for the development of society, being digital libraries and other technological platforms used as a way of preserving and disseminating scientific production. Against this backdrop, based on worldwide initiatives and on the Portuguese experience in the field, this article aims to present the challenges and strategies for the implementation of digital libraries and open access (OA) to scientific contents through NRENs in Africa. The focus will be given to Mozambique and its NREN, the MoRENet (Mozambique Research and Education Network), still in implementation phase. In this sense, this article addresses aspects such as: i) the access to scientific literature through digital libraries; ii) OA initiatives regarding repositories and journals; (iii) the relevance of adopting OA policies and mandates; and (iv) the role of governmental and institutional strategies and initiatives in supporting science and technology. The discussion and directives advocated in this article may also provide useful insights for identifying potential international cooperation synergies to sustain knowledge growth in developing countries.