INASP survey final.pdf
The Open Science movement is changing the way in which research is conducted. Increasingly, the ability to disseminate and re-use research data are becoming hallmarks of how scientific research are conducted. This movement towards openness is underpinned by strong egalitarian commitments that emphasize the importance of data to be accessible to all scientists - regardless of funding, nationality or geographic location. While this egalitarian commitment cannot be faulted in principle, in
... inciple, in practice it is possible that the focus on providing equal access to online resources masks important differentiations in scientists' ability to effectively use the available resources. In particular, we must question whether the research environments of scientists in low/middle-income countries offer significant barriers to the effective engagement with online resources. These issues were qualitatively examined in a previous study involving scientists in South Africa and Kenya, during which a number of seemingly innocuous aspects of research environments were identified by research participants as key barriers to their online data engagement activities. In this study we extended these qualitative findings by rolling out a quantitative survey to scientists within the 13 countries involved in the Southern African Network for the Biosciences (NEPAD SANBio). Through this survey we hope to generalize the qualitative findings and initiate robust discussion on how best to structure future OS initiatives aimed at improving capacity or networking within the sub-Saharan African region. It will be an important contribution to furthering the knowledge and information sharing objectives of NEPAD SANBio.