Palestine

There has been a positive and steady though slow response towards Open Access among the different stakeholders.

Researchers from Palestine publish articles in international OA periodicals. For instance, there have been 12 research articles published with BioMed Central – an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine), pioneer in the OA publishing model, and among them most viewed articles published by researchers from Department of Biology and Biotechnology, An-Najah University, and Biodiversity and Environmental Research Center. As of September 2015, there is one OA journal published in the State of Palestine which is indexed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and 12 OA journals indexed in the Directory of Open Access Scholarly Resources (ROAD).

Enabling Environment

The Open Access initiative has been further strengthened through embarking digital projects funded by international entities. With the support of Open Access organizations, Palestinian Library and Information Consortium (PALICO), and partners like EIFL – an international not-for-profit organization based in Europe with a global network of partners to enable access to digital information in developing and transition countries, and groups as EIFL-OA coordinator, academic and research libraries in Palestine have started to show interest in having their own institutional repositories. However, implementation has been limited by lack of policy at institution level and poor ICT infrastructure.

Potential Barriers

No proper broadband bandwidth -low internet bandwidth- which affects remote input to the collection as well as public access from local workstations; and Lack of clear institutional and national policy on Open Access.

Major Projects

Bethlehem University (B.U.) launched a project to digitize their videos, films, DVD's. The B.U. Library has been awarded two separate but related grants by the New Zealand Embassy Home Office: one for the purchase of a streaming server and another for the purchase of high-powered computers to support the access to the streaming server and other internet services. in support for the project of digitalization started by the Library in 2009, funding was received from the New Zealand Embassy in Ankara, Turkey with special role and support in the successful procurement of these funds by Vice Chancellor, Brother Peter Bray, FSC, a native of New Zealand.

In her interview OA in Palestine, Diana Sayej Naser, library director, Birzeit University, West Bank, discussed the Open Access movement, projects including the open access book project at the Law Faculty.

National and Institutional Level Policies/Mandates:

None exist at present.

Success Stories

eIFL Success Story wins UNESCO Information for All Programme (IFAP), In Jun 2008, EIFL award winning story “Open Source Software brings a new lease of life to libraries in Palestine”  EIFL submitted stories from its “Spotlight” series, which highlights achievements of EIFL members and the users of their library services, in developing and transition countries. The eIFL award winning story illustrates how a few old computers, some freely available open source software and a little knowledge was all that it took to create a high-speed network that pleased staff and astonished students in the Main Library at Birzeit University in Palestine’s West Bank. Press release

Key Organizations

Al-Quds Open University

Communication address: Head Quarter - Ramallah, Al-Ersal, Tel: +970 2 2964571/2/3/4, Fax: + 970 2 2964570, e-mail: yamro(at)qou.edu

Project web links: www.qou.edu/englishIndexPage.do

Birzeit University Library, Diana Sayej, Library director, dsayej@ birzeit.edu., University Birzeit ranked the third among all Universities in Arab countries in Webometric ranking after The American University in Beirut (AUB) came and Cairo (AUC).The ranking of the top 5000 universities in the world in webometric. (News here)

Communication address: P.O. Box "14", Birzeit – Palestine, Tel.: +972-2-2982006, Fax: +972-2-2982901; e-mail: library(at)birzeit.edu, librarian@birzeit.edu

Project web links: home.birzeit.edu/library/

Bethlehem University Library joins the ranks of its sister universities (Birzeit and An-Najah) and is the third library in the consortium of West Bank University libraries to enter into partnership with Springer in its offer of a wide array of e-books and e-journals with a digitization project.

Project web links: www.bethlehem.edu/index.php

 

Palestinian Library and Information Consortium (PALICO), University libraries with 15 members. Electronic content licensing, advocacy for open access, intellectual property advocacy, use of open source software, education and training, digital services, union catalog services and cooperating with EIFL.net programme-

Open Access organizations and groups: EIFL OA country coordinator, Palestine. Contact: Francis Wadi' Sleibi, PALICO, fsleibi(at)bethlehem.edu

Past and Future OA Related Activities:

On September 11, 2008, Palestinian university works with Norweigan universities to launch Institutional repositories. Birzeit University library in Palestine, Tromsø University library and Telemark University College library in Norway have decided to cooperate and to promote the development and establishment of an Open research archive for scientific publications and master and PhD theses from Birzeit University funded by Norwegian Government.

Workshop at BZU on Open Access to Research Information and its Positive Impact on Scientific Research, A workshop concluded by Birzeit University Main library (BZU) on 25-26 May 2009 on Open Access to research information and its positive impact on scientific research. The workshop was attended with the participation of a number of experts from the Palestinian universities and abroad. The workshop comes as part of the Library Events on Jerusalem as the capital of Arab culture for 2009.

Maximizing Research Impact workshop in Palestine was held on 4 Jun 2009 at Birzeit University Library organized by Palestinian Library and Information Consortium (PALICO), Birzeit University Library, Telemark University College Library, Norway, and eIFL.net in celebration of Jerusalem Capital of Arab Culture in 2009. The workshop was attended by 35 of experts from the Palestinian universities.

On 16 December 2010, a Workshop sponsored by Springer Publishers at Bethlehem University library to demonstrate access to their e-books/e-journals was organized and attended by librarians from the West Bank universities. There were 14 participants, among them Birzeit and An-Najah universities.

Al-Quds Open University library (Open distance education University with centers in West Bank and Gaza) is a member in Palestinian Library and Information Consortium (PALICO), the library conducts many training sessions and activities.

The Digital Library for International Research and the Middle East Research Journals Project offer OA to the back files of Yedi‘ot ha-Hevrah la-hakirat Erets-Yi?ra’el ye-‘atikoteha, Jerusalem: Jewish Palestine Exploration Society.

 


 

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