The Centre National Pour la Recherche Scientifique et Technique (CNRST) - (National Center for Scientific and Technological Research) has joined SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics) on behalf of Morocco in 2010 - the first African country. Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) lists five Open Access journals: Bulletin de l’Institut Scientifique: Section Sciences de la Terre, Bulletin de l’Institut Scientifique: Section Sciences de la Vie published by Université Mohammed V Agdal, E-TI: E-revue en Technologies de l'Information published by Ecole Mohammadia d'Ingénieurs, Journal of Materials and Environmental Science published by University of Mohammed Premier Oujda, and Technologies de Laboratoire by TECHNOP.
Researchers from Morocco publish articles in international Open Access journals, for example 124 research articles have been published with BioMed Central – an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the Open Access publishing- articles highly viewed are from Hassan II University Hospital, University Military Hospital of Instruction, National Institute of Instruction, University Mohammed V Souissi, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, El Ayachi hospital, University Hospital of Rabat-Sale. The BioMed Central support members of the Faculté de Médecine et Pharmacie - Université de Rabat, Casablanca, Morocco.
The Moroccan kingdom has embarked upon an ambitious initiative: Maroc Numéric 2013, a five-year national program designed to help the kingdom to bridge the digital divide to provide its citizens with high-speed Internet, bringing the administration closer to the needs of the user through an ambitious e-government programme, and encouraging the computerization of SMEs. The Moroccan government, stakeholders, and banking institutions signed an agreement to implement the strategy. Digitization of unique collections of Moroccan heritage such as manuscripts, monographs, maps, and Journals and magazines are already embarked.
According to statistics provided by ITU (International Telecommunication Union) on 2011, there are roughly, 13,213,000 million internet subscribers with a penetration rate of 41.3 percent.
e-Omed project - The Open Digital Space for the Mediterranean (Espace Numérique Ouvert pour la Méditerranée, e-Omed) project, initiated in March 2009 by the Moroccan Virtual Campus (MVC) and the Foundation Université Numérique Ingénierie et Technologie (UNIT) in France and supported by UNESCO. It aims to build a digital Library in countries across the Mediterranean sea through a comprehensive framework of educational resources and facilitating co-production, exchanges and localization of educational content and pedagogical practices in the region. (News here)
Majaliss - UNESCO’s Digital Library - the Digital Library of classical Arabic literature, offers a modern platform for sharing hundreds of freely classical works of Arabic literature and provides access through Internet and digital format to the cultural heritage of the Arab world. The Majaliss project is a result of regional cooperation between experts and academics in Arabic literature, IT researchers and local associations and It is sponsored by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO).
Maghreb Virtual Science Library (MVSL) project with funding authorized by the U.S. Congress, the Civilian Research & Development Foundation (CRDF) is collaborating with Institut Marocain de I’Information Scientifique et Technique (IMIST) to enable convenient access to digital library resources, disseminate Moroccan research outcomes, and build new international collaborations.
Toubk@l, le catalogue national des thèses et mémoires (The national catalog of theses and dissertations) is an initiative of the Institut Marocain de I’Information Scientifique et Technique (IMIST) with a national in scope, and is part of a government policy agenda to promote Moroccan research and development. The platform is the result of collaboration between different parties: Moroccan researchers, national higher education institutions and IMIST.
The National Library of Morocco has elaborated a national policy to preserve, promote and disseminate the Moroccan cultural heritage among the members of the national community and beyond, and promote research about this heritage. This initiative falls within the framework of Maroc Numéric 2013, a five-year national program designed to help Morocco bridge the digital divide, namely providing citizens with high-speed Internet, bringing the administration closer to the needs of the user through an ambitious e-government programme, and encouraging the computerization of SMEs. The Moroccan government, stakeholders, and banking institutions signed an agreement to implement the strategy.
In October 2010, the EUR-OCEANS Council adopted an OA mandate that applies to its 29 member institutions in 15 countries. The 15 countries are Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany Greece, Italy, Latvia, Morocco, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. (Results of EUR-OCEANS vote on the adoption of an Open Access policy).
Details of Key Organizations
Al Akhawayn University. Some of the current and planned projects include: digitization of Moroccan Heritag
Communication address: Avenue Hassan II, Ilframe, Morocco, Dr. Abdelhamid Lotfi, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Al Akhawayn University, Tel.: (+212) 0535862171, e-mail: A.Lotfi(at)aui.ma.
Communication address: Avenue Ibn Khaldoun, Agdal Rabat, Tel.: (+212) 537771890, (+212) 537272300, Fax: (+212) 5 37 77 74 30.
Communication address:, CNRST-IMIST Angle Allal Al Fassi et Avenue des FAR, Hay Ryad, BP 8027, 10102 Rabat, Morocco, Tel.: (+212) 05 37.56.99.00, Fax: (+212) 05 37.56.99.01
Past and Future OA related Activities
In November of 2010, UNESCO’s International Basic Sciences Programme (IBSP) sponsored a weeklong School on Digital Libraries in Rabat, Morocco, which included hands-on training for librarians and technology specialists involved in implementing Open Access repositories.
The UNESCO Office in Rabat held an international workshop entitled “Implementing a Maghreb Digital Library for Education, Science & Culture” Rabat, Morocco from 25th to 27th of January, 2007, with major funding from UNESCO, US-NSF and the Moroccan Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research. The workshop is organized jointly between the Ministry for National Education of Higher education, Management training of Scientific Research (Morocco) and the Fulbright Academy of Science and technology, with the support and co-operation of the National Science Foundation (the United States of America), of UNESCO, scientific Thomson, and the American Institute for the Maghrebi Studies.
Dr. Abdelhamid Lotfi, Al Akhawayn University, Morocco, in his presentation at the Digital Library for the Maghreb Workshop, Washington, DC, January 24-25, 2011, discussed the Moroccan Digital Library projects and future plans.
List of Publications
- Lotfi, Abdelhamid. "Towards a Moroccan Digital Library" White Paper submitted for the Digital Library for the Maghreb Workshop held in Washington, DC, January 24-25, 2011
- Naim, Kamran and Charles Dunlap, "Maghreb Virtual Science Library: Solving National Challenges To Meet Regional Needs", White Paper submitted for the Digital Library for the Maghreb Workshop Held in Washington, DC, January 24-25, 2011.