The Science International Accord on Open Data in a Big Data World was launched at the Science Forum South Africa (SFSA) in December 2015. It was fitting that the next edition of SFSA should see the launch of an African Open Science Platform initiatative that seeks to put into practice the principles and enabling practices for Open Data and Open Science that are laid out in the Accord.
The Africa-wide initiative will promote the development and coordination of data policies, data training and data infrastructure. An open science platform is conceived as an integrated set of arrangements that provides a policy, capacity-building and infrastructural framework for enhanced accessibility and impact. The initiative also focuses on the creation of national Open Science fora through which policies and coordination can be discussed and established.
The pilot phase is supported by the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST), funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF), directed by CODATA, the Committee on Data of the International Council for Science (ICSU) and implemented by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf).
The African Open Science Platform initiative was announced by the Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs. Naledi Pandor, at the Science Forum South Africa 2016 (SFSA).
Minister Pandor commented: “The creation of the African Open Science Platform is an excellent example of the tangible impact our Science Forum has already achieved in harnessing international partnerships to advance African science. The Platform will play a critical role to assist African countries in developing the necessary capacities to manage and exploit scientific data for the benefit of society. I am proud that our Department, and its entities the NRF and ASSAf, are contributing to this crucial mission.”
Read the full press release.
ASSAf and CODATA organised a side-event workshop and a parallel session at Science Forum South Africa. The programmes for these events are linked below.
- African Open Science Platform Side Event: a forum for conversations on data policy, data training and data infrastructure, 6 December
- African Open Science Platform Side Event: Conversations around Openness in African Research, Open Access, Open Data, Open Science, 7 December
Additionally, CODATA has assisted our colleagues at ASSAf on the preparations of a workshop intended to prepare recommendations towards the preparation of a White Paper on Open Research in South Africa.
These are major developments and indicative of the determination of African countries, research institutions and scientists to embrace the benefits of the digital revolution and open approaches to research.
Updated CODATA Prospectus: Strategy and Achievement, 2015-2016: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.165830
Legal Interoperability of Research Data: Principles and Implementation Guidelines
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