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‘Adopt open science, data to combat plagiarism’

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General Manager, Eko-Konnect, Owen Iyoha

Librarians, academic, data and information scientists have been urged to adopt the paradigm change of open access repository from norm of information hoarding to deepen audit train of intellectual output in a scientific community.

Noting that the repository provides one-stop custody and access to institutional data, the experts said further research is encouraged when scientific processes and methodology is shared.

Calling on Africans to do more, the experts said only 21 institutions in Nigeria have a repository library while only 13 have open access repository out of the 4175 globally is in Africa.

General Manager, Eko-Konnect, Owen Iyoha, advised librarians and educational bodies to adopt open science and open data to combat plagiarism and boost further research works.

Speaking during the yearly Eko-Konnect User’s Conference, he added that the event is to enlighten librarians and researchers on the emerging paradigms for information management and content discovery, and the opportunities this brings for the institutions.

Iyoha said: “The relevance of easy data availability cannot be undermined in boosting research, and that is what the advocacy of library repository, open science and open access is about. We are sensitising librarians on how they can use the open science repository to get information and share among themselves.”

He noted that the traditional mindset of research by looking for some well-known journals must be discarded for the nation to advance in technology, quality research and data harvesting.

“The open access repository is the accepted international standard than propriety database systems where you have to pay subscriptions to access information. We are saying that knowledge needs to be shared because the more knowledge behind pay walls, the more data abuse and plagiarism due to hidden information.

“We all are benefits of the Internet that uses open source software, which has allowed its expansion to what it is today; same will be for library if same technology is adopted.”

Chairman, Eko-Konnect, Prof. Charles Uwadia, said the open science and data is still a movement because many are yet to subscribe to or accept it. He defined open science as the practice that encourages free research data and processes for reuse redistribution and reproduction.

Uwadia said some factors that restrict access to information include publishing for profit making and expensive pay walls, non-standardisation of data formats, propriety software, reluctance to share or lose control of research.”

“When you have research output behind pay wall, it is an inhibition to further research but open access breaks the barrier and accelerates collaboration. There’s need for a network collaboration, contribution, cooperation and support of library in digitising their content. To promote open science, Eko konnect is among the first signatories to the Dakar Declaration supporting open science.

Meanwhile, Open Access Programme Manager, EIFL, Iryna Kuchma, stressed that research work in self-archived repository are more used and help provides the possibility of indexing and tracking.

“The university that doesn’t know paper its faculty publishes is like a factory that does not know what its factory publishes. This implies that open science strengthens research impacts visibility, improves teaching and research, and contribute to the work of the society,” she added.


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