A UNESCO-supported study carried out in 2013 in the Latin American region in partnership with the Public Knowledge Project (PKP), SciELO, RedALyC, AJOL, FLACSO-Brazil and CLACSO showed that only 0.02% of OA journals indexed in Latindex journal database are published in Haiti. According to the study, there is also no journal representation of Haiti in either ScieELO or RedALyC journal databases. In addition to these local journals, researchers from Haiti are also found to publish their articles in International Open Access Journals. For example, 08 OA articles have been published with BioMed Central- an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the Open Access publishing model – by researchers from the National Public Health Laboratory, the  National Malaria Control Program, the Haitian Study Group on Kaposi's Sarcoma and Opportunistic Infections ( GHESKIO ) Center, the International Training and Education Center on HIV (I-TECH) Haiti, and the National tuberculosis control program. 03 articles have been published with Elsevier by researchers from Ministry of Health and Population; National Laboratory, and the Albert Schweitzer Hospital. Currently, there are no OA journals published in Haiti which are indexed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) or the Directory of Open Access Scholarly Resources (ROAD).

Enabling Environment

The acceptance and acknowledgement of the Open Access movement in Haiti has been a fairly slow one as there has often been no recognition of the economic status of the local subscriber community. However, as the local economy is seen to improve due to increases in focused investment, Open Access to research publications will present a broader spectrum of educational opportunities for the digital citizens of Haiti and will make them educational stakeholders within their communities to advocate for open access in the country and drive further developments in providing open access to the publication output of local research labs.

Programs such as the World Health Organization’s HINARI project has provided access to over 2,000 medical journals to Latin American countries that have a per capita income of less than $1250. Haiti is among the countries which qualify for full free access to these journals (Alperin, 2008).

Open Access Policies and Mandates

According to University Web Ranking (2015), there are currently 17 universities in Haiti, with the State University of Haiti topping the list. There are currently no OA policies in place, both at the national or institutional levels. However, under the realization that for a developing country  like Haiti, higher educational institutes would be the single largest beneficiaries of providing an increased level of access to research publications, a growing number of government agencies in Haiti are exploring legislation practices that mandate Open Access.

OA Projects & Initiatives

January 2015-December 2016: Action Research Project SOHA (Science Project Opened in Haiti and Francophone Area). The Project will cover 16 universities from 12 countries, of which Haiti is one. (Other participating countries are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, DRC, Senegal, and Chad).

The project aims to educate and enable researchers from these developing countries to make their work more visible and for them to be able to access world science more easily. The Action Research Project SOHA is part of the network OCSDNet funded iHub and the International Development Research Centre.

Key Objectives of the project:

  • Understanding barriers to the adoption of Open Science by students of second and third cycles and students of participating universities in various disciplines;        
  • Support the establishment of local training tools open to science through Open Educational Resources;
  • Test the feasibility of institutional repositories and science shops in the universities
  • Post a roadmap for the widespread adoption of Open Science in universities in those countries.

Publications

 


 

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