The momentum to embrace Open Access initiatives in Egypt has been building up, a positive and good response towards Open Access among the different stakeholders and many institutional repositories are being established.
As of June 2015, Directory of Open Access journals lists 531 journals mostly published by Hindawi Publishing Corporation - A rapidly growing academic publisher with more than 300 Open Access journals covering all major areas of science, technology, and medicine.
African Journals OnLine (AJOL) has the world's largest peer-reviewed, African-published scholarly journals to enable the African researchers to access the work of other African academics and to make the African-origin research output available to Africans and to the rest of the world- Also hosts Open Access journals: Egyptian Journal of Biology, Egyptian Journal of Natural History, Annals of Pediatric Surgery, and Bulletin of Alexandria Faculty of Medicine.
Egypt is one of the countries covered by BioMed Central’s Open Access Waiver Fund and in 2013, authors from Egypt have already published 412 research articles in BioMed Central journals – an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the Open Access publishing model – and among them are highly accessed articles from: Cardiology Department, Cairo University, Faculty of Medicine; Agronomy Department Faculty of Agriculture, Ain Shams University; Zagazig University, Virology and Immunology Unit, Cancer Biology Department, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University; Pathology Department, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University; Clinical Pathology Department, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University; Biostatistic & Epidemiology Department, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University; Tropical Medicine Department, Ain Shams University; Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Mansoura University Children Hospital; and Institute of Environmental Studies & Research.
OpenDOAR registers 5 digital OA repositories from Egypt. This includes ARC- The Agricultural Research Center an Institutional research for the Egyptian agricultural research outputs, ARLIS (Arab Repository for Library and Information Studies) by Helwan University and It provides access to research in the field of library and information science (Articles; Conferences; Theses; Books), from the Middle East, AUC DAR Repository (Digital Archive and Research Repository) (DAR) Launched by the American University in Cairo (AUC), an open access institutional repository for sharing and preservation of scholarly collections, based on DSpace and features multidisciplinary subjects and publications of graduate student theses, faculty and department publications and special digital collections, The BUE e-print repository by The British University in Egypt's e-print server that supports OAI 2.0 and powered by EPrints 3. It provides access to a collection of self archived papers by BUE academics. Also, it offers searching and browsing facilities using a full range of fields. Using Web 2.0 feeds as RSS or atom feeds can be set up to keep updated, The Digital Assets Repository (DAR), is a system developed at The Library of Alexandria. DAR acts as a repository that preserves and archives all types of media (including books, slides, negatives, manuscripts, maps, audio and video) and provides public access to over than 200,000 books are now available on DAR's website. All out-of-copyright books are available on the Internet. For books that are in copyright, Internet users can browse only 5% of the book with a minimum of 10 pages. The new repository at Cairo University is built using DSpace. It presents a comprehensive bibliographies of some digitized materials and it is constructed to host multidisciplinary (publications, theses, manuscripts, pictures, conference materials..etc).The interface is in Arabic with searching facilities in each section, IDR-MDLIS - Institutional Digital Repository For Library and Information Department at Faculty of Arts, Menofia University - the first institutional repository in Arab countries for libraries and information. It provides access to the collections of the institution as theses, e-books, journal articles, and digital (Text, Video, Photo, and audio) and it offers searching and browsing facilities using a full range of fields. IDR-MDLIS adopts Dublin Core as a criterion of metadata to organize the entities and uses Greenstone program to build the digital repository.
The continuous development in Egyptian’s national information infrastructure has greatly contributed to the computer and internet facilities, in particularly affordable access to a greater population of the country. According to the Internet world statistics (2011), the Internet usage in Egypt has grown from 450,000 users in the year 2000 to about 20 million users in 2011. This implies that the current percentage of population that now have access to the Internet either from public internet cafes, workplace or their homes is 24.5 percent. Egypt has the highest percent of users in Africa by 16.9 percent and the internet access costs in Egypt are lower than in any other Arab country, and even lower than those prevailing in the advanced nations.
Egypt is poised for a scientific renaissance with a plan to more than double its research investment over the next 4 years. The Open Access initiative has been embraced in Egypt, dedication and commitment, financial and moral support from the government, government institutions, academic and research organizations are of paramount importance.
Low level of awareness of the potentials of Open Access amongst researchers and scholars, and stakeholders. Lack of governmental framework and policy regulations to guide institutions make researchers unwilling to share research information online.
Egyptian Universities Libraries Consortium (EULC) - The consortium provides access to the largest International databases contracted by the Supreme Council of Universities, in addition to access to more than 25 thousands periodicals and download the full text of it. Egyptian Universities Portal is a new project funded and implemented by ICTP Unit in cooperation with the Supreme Council of Universities (SCU), It aims to provide the latest news and information for all the universities in one site.
National Archives of Egypt (NAE) is the national project for the digital documentation. It was inaugurated on 14th of December, 2009, following the launch of the world's first domain name in Arabic script. The National Archives' website provides online access to a selection of the archive material, most of which is in Arabic. The project aims to help preserve and document the heritage of the Egyptian National Archives and it is expected to increase the Arabic e-content and broaden the web access to Arabic speakers with over twenty-five million records representing over ninety million documents.
National e-Learning Center (NELC) is a building block within the Higher Education Information Center, SCU. With the objective of promoting and supporting the development of e-learning in Egypt.
Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA), Egypt: The Bibliotheca Alexandrina represents the most ambitious initiative from an Arab country to launch a Digital Library. It is meant to become a leading institution of the digital age and a center for learning, tolerance and understanding in the Arab world. In addition to being a Digital Library, the BA holds millions of books and ancient manuscripts, an Internet archive, six specialized libraries. Museums and planetariums are also available in BA as well as seven research institutes.
The Library initiated and implemented many projects/initatives such as:
- Access to knowledge (A2K) aims to build local capacity of researchers, librarians and practitioners to effectively implement new and emerging (A2K) tools and practices.
- The Arabic Digital Library - the largest Arabic Digital Library worldwide on the Internet, launched by Bibliotheca Alexandrina - in April 2010; the Library now includes more than 179,000 fully searchable Arabic books online, around 93% of which are Arabic. The collection can be accessed online on the Digital Assets Repository (DAR)
- Embassies of Knowledge represent a replication of the full digital functionalities and privileges offered to BA visitors, such as unrestricted access to the BA Digital Assets Repository (DAR), which is the largest Arabic Digital Library worldwide, Description de l’Egypte, L’Art Arabe, Al-Hilal Digital Collection, La Main à la Pâte, Science Supercourse, Arab InfoMall, and the Development Gateway. The Embassies of Knowledge also offer their beneficiaries good quality Webcasting Service, which provides live and archived access to all the conferences, lectures and events taking place at the BA Conference Center in smooth streaming and clear display at a high speed. Furthermore, the BA grants the Embassies users' full access to the BA Multimedia Library, in addition to the Supercomputer network.
- The BA Internet Archive is the first center of its kind to promote the distribution of digital material to all researchers established outside US. It is designed to act as a backup for the mother archive in San Francisco, USA and a hub for Africa and the Middle East. The Archive now includes over 70 billion web pages covering the period 1996 – 2007, 2000 hours of Egyptian and US television broadcasts, 1,000 archival films, and 25,000 digitized books. It is widely accessed through the BA website, via the Wayback Machine, with over 31 million hits yearly. The Internet Archive has also donated some equipments to the BA’s My Book: Digital and Printed project.
- Memory of Modern Egypt - The BA has initiated the project of a digital library of the modern history of Egypt. It integrates the collection of specialized libraries, such as that of Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar El Sadat and eminent Egyptian authors and historians as well as contents related to diverse subjects from all over the world. The objective is to scan, catalog, index and achieve the “Optical Character Recognition” of its collection and present it in a searchable form to its users. This project will benefit from the efforts done on the Million Book project.
- The Supercourse is a global partnership anchored in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA). It is a repository of lectures on public health and prevention targeting educators across the world. The Supercourse has a network of over 65,000 scientists in 174 countries who are sharing for free a library of 37,12 lectures in 31 languages. Science Supercourse project is aiming to provide the most updated and accessible online science lectures free of charge to assist educators and scholars from developing countries.
- The Universal Networking Language (UNL) initiated within the United Nations and devised by the Universal Networking Digital Language (UNDL) Foundation. It is an artificial Interlingua and is considered a new technique towards bridging the linguistic gap among civilizations to enable all people to generate information and have access to cultural knowledge in their native languages Featured Publishers
Hindawi Publishing Corporation, - a commercial publisher of peer-reviewed journals that publishes more than 300 Open Access journals covering a wide range of diversified academic disciplines. Original case study (2009), it explored Hindawi’s transition from a subscription-based journal operation to an all open-access publisher, with the bulk of revenues derived from fees from authors rather than subscription charges. Over the past two years, the company’s leadership has continued to develop programs to launch new journals, while trying to maintain a high level of quality and to shorten the time between article submissions Hindawi Publishing Corporation: Growing an Open-Access Contributor-Pays Business Model.
Details of Key Organizations
National Archives of Egypt, is a government research and cultural non- profit authority, whose main concern is to render library services throughout Egypt and the Arab World.
Project web links: http://nationalarchives.gov.eg/nae/home.jsp
Communication address: Abd Al-Wahed Al-Nabawy, Chairman National Archives of Egypt, Cornish El-Nile, Ramlet Boulaq, Cairo, Egypt, Tel.: (+202)25751092, Fax: (+202)25751092; e-mail: chairman(at)nationalarchives.gov.eg
Hindawi Publishing Corporation, A commercial publisher of peer-reviewed journals that publishes more than 300 Open Access journals covering a wide range of diversified academic disciplines.
Communication address: Paul Peters, Head of Business Development, Cairo Free Zone, Road 5, Block E, Nasr City, Cairo 11816, Fax: +12158934392, Egypt; e-mail:.paul.peters(at)hindawi.com
Library of Alexandria (BA), The New Library of Alexandria in Egypt conducts many promising digital projects as Memory of Modern Egypt, Memory of Arab world, Science Super Course and hosts the Digital Assets Repository (DAR) to create and maintain Library's digital collection for preserving and archiving the digital media, as well as providing public access to digitized collections.
Communication address: P.O. Box 138, Chatby, Alexandria 21526, Egypt Tel.: (+203)4839999; e-mail: Secretariat(at)bibalex.org
Supreme Council of Universities, established in 1950,plans the policy of the University Education and Scientific Research as well as to coordinate between the Egyptian governmental universities
Communication address: Cairo University campus , Giza , Egypt. P.O.12613, Tel.: (+202 ) 35738583 / 35716348, Fax: (+202) 35728877/ 35706490; e-mail:scu(at)eun.eg
Past and Future OA Related Activities
9 June, 2015: Digital Technologies and Development: Mobilization, Censorship, Entrepreneurship and Copyright; Cairo, Egypt.
27-28 April, 2014: The American University in Cairo (AUC) organized a two-day event under the name "Open Access Days in Egypt". The organizers aim was to promote open access to researchers in Egypt and the Middle East, and to plant a seed for future initiatives. The sessions varied between those raising awareness about the topic, panel discussions and other technical sessions introducing the audience to softwares like Open Journal System (OJS) and the university’s Digital Archive and Research Repository (DAR Repository), which is open to host the university’s theses, faculty publications, student projects, and departmental records and publications.
"A Digital Library of the Middle East” workshop January 15-17, 2006 was held at the BA in Alexandria, Egypt. The workshop aimed to develop a vision and mission statement for a digital library of the Middle East and to identify key constituents in a community of practice that can ensure realization
Open Access Week celebrations in Egypt:
- 26 October, 2014: "Status and Future of Academic Publishing in Egypt", University of Alexandria, Egypt.
- 2013: Open Access week celebrations held at University of Alexandria
- 2012: Open Access week celebrations held at Faculty of Science, Faculty of Engineering and the Library of Alexandria.
- 11 October, 2011: "Open Access- Alternative Perspectives of Scholarly Communication" held at University of Alexandria. This Semiar discussed the benefits of Open Access for scholars and researchers in the Egyptian universities.
- 17-24 October, 2010: Mandy Taha, EIFL Open Access country coordinator organized a series of seminars, and lectures for students and young researchers in the Bibliotheca Alexandria, and faculties in University of Alexandria.
“Copyright Protection in the Digital Age, 29 September – 1 October 2009” workshop organized by A2K, library of Alexandria, Egypt. The main issues that were discussed during the workshop were copyright and the new tools to access and disseminate knowledge in the Arab countries. Participants are from the Arab world (Egypt, Sudan and Jordan): Judges, lawyers, researchers, ICT engineers, librarians and all practitioners and scholars interested in copyright issues. Full description.
- 9 March 2015: "Open Access Publishing: Evidence From Egypt" by Prof. Dr. Thomas Eger, Director of the Institute of Law and Economics at the University of Hamburg. This was a study that analyzed how Egyptian researchers compare to their international colleagues regarding OA. From April to December 2014, the research team carried out a survey in Egypt, where 296 researchers from various disciplines, shared their experiences with OA publishing.