Posts Tagged gratis OA

Video on importance of OA for research from Kenya

Prof. Mary Abukutsa-Onyango discusses the importance of Open Access for research from Kenya and other African countries, Leslie Chan, Bioline News Blog, March 27, 2009. Video (08:45 min) posted March 27, 2010 on Vimeo and March 20, 2010 on YouTube. See also [FriendFeed entry].

About this video:

In an interview conducted by Leslie Chan of Bioline International, Prof. Mary Abukutsa-Onyango of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology discussed the challenges she faced when trying to publish her original research on African Indigenous Vegetables (AIV) in “international” journals, and the importance of Open Access journals in Africa in ensuring that important research relevant to the continent are being published, read, and applied. The implications of Open Access for development in African countries were also discussed. The interview was recorded on Feb. 19th, 2010 at the University of Nairobi during a Workshop on Increasing the Impact of Research through Open Access, co-hosted by the University of Nairobi Library, eIFL.Net and Bioline International.

For an example of an article by Mary Abukutsa-Onyango in the African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development (AJFAND), see: The role of home gardening in household food security in Butere division of Western Kenya, Musotsi, AA; Sigot, AJ & Onyango, MOA, AJFAND 2008; 8(4): 375-90. Abstract:

Gardening remains the most important method of food production for a majority of people in the developing world, yet high population density has put a lot of pressure on land as more of it is required for settlement. This has led to land fragmentation, which has negatively affected food production, hence, resulted in food insecurity. Food insecurity is a concern today in many parts of Kenya. Land use practices thus have to be intensified to maximize food production on the small land available. Home gardening has been identified as a means of providing all year round access to food for rural households. Home gardens can make a significant contribution in meeting daily household needs for better nutrition and health. A study was carried out among rural households in Butere division, western Kenya, to determine the role of home gardening on household food security. Simple random sampling was used to obtain a study population of 100 households, to whom an interview schedule and an observation checklist was administered. Twenty key informants were purposively sampled and responded to questionnaires. Data obtained were analyzed quantitatively. Pearson correlation coefficient was applied on home gardening indicators: size of land for home gardening, home garden crops and home garden livestock, and food security indicators: food stock and number of meals eaten daily by households. Results obtained showed that home gardening plays a significant role in food security of rural households with respect to size of land and food stock (0.336 at p≤0.01), and number of livestock and food stock (0.211 at p≤0.05). Home gardening did not play a significant role in food security with regard to home garden crops. Households, therefore, should be empowered and encouraged to improve their practice of home gardening to realize food security. Findings of this study will be useful to governmental and non-governmental bodies involved in promoting food security in the rural households.

See also the Bioline International entry for AJFND and the home page for AJFND Online.

Comment: One of Prof. Abukutsa-Onyango’s noteworthy comments about “the challenges she faced when trying to publish her original research on African Indigenous Vegetables (AIV) in ‘international’ journals” was that the AIVs were dismissed by some people as ‘weeds’. See the article KENYA: No longer a weed, IRIN Africa, August 7, 2009.


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Are prominent publishers experimenting with OA?

Three examples, from 3 different publishers:

1) A viewing today of the 2009 Reviews archive of Nature Reviews Cancer revealed 4 articles, in the archive for April 2009, where the full text “is available free as a special feature to registered visitors“. They are:

Microenvironmental regulation of metastasis by Johanna A Joyce and Jeffrey W Pollard; Learning therapeutic lessons from metastasis suppressor proteins by Steven Christopher Smith and Dan Theodorescu; Transitions between epithelial and mesenchymal states: acquisition of malignant and stem cell traits by Kornelia Polyak and Robert A Weinberg; Metastasis: from dissemination to organ-specific colonization by Don X Nguyen, Paula D Bos and Joan Massagué.

2) A viewing today of the Genetics collection of the New England Journal of Medicine revealed 6 Gratis OA articles, all published at on April 15, 2009. They are:

Genomewide Association Studies and Human Disease by John Hardy and Andrew Singleton; Genetic Risk Prediction — Are We There Yet? by Peter Kraft and David J Hunter; Genomewide Association Studies — Illuminating Biologic Pathways by Joel N Hirschhorn; Common Genetic Variation and Human Traits by David B Goldstein; Genomewide Association Studies of Stroke by M Arfan Ikram and 45 co-authors; Crohn’s Disease, Autophagy, and the Paneth Cell by Daniel J Klionsky.

3) A viewing today of the Site Map for Cell Press journals led me to the Archive section for the journal Cancer Cell. I then browsed the current issue (7 April 2009, Volume 15, Issue 4). One “Featured Article” was labeled “Free“. It was: Rb Regulates DNA Damage Response and Cellular Senescence through E2F-Dependent Suppression of N-Ras Isoprenylation by Awad Shamma and 7 co-authors (page 255). However, when the same article was accessed via it’s digital object identifier (DOI), at:, I could not obtain access to the free full text.

However, when I checked access to the other 12 articles in this same issue, I was able to access the free full text of all of them. One example: Lessons Learned from the Study of JunB: New Insights for Normal and Leukemia Stem Cell Biology by Monica L Guzman and Craig T Jordan (page 252). Again, access via the DOI ( didn’t provide a route to the free full text.

Comment: Which of the examples listed above will be Gratis OA on an ongoing basis? I’ll plan to check the links included in this post at later dates, to try to obtain an answer to this question.

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Collection of free research articles in Blood journal

Blood, the journal of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), provides access to a collection of Free Research Articles. There are currently 551 articles (published between December 15, 2008 and May 1, 2004) in the collection.

The most recent article in the collection, at present, is one of the ASH 50th Anniversary Reviews: Stem cell concepts renew cancer research by John E Dick, Blood 2008(Dec 15); 112(13): 4793-4807.

Added December 15, 2008: See also the Public Access policy of ASH.

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A special feature in Nature Reviews Cancer

As is pointed out in: Cancer stem cells in solid tumours: a review (Cancer Stem Cell News, September 25, 2008), there’s a review entitled: Cancer stem cells in solid tumours: accumulating evidence and unresolved questions, by Jane E. Visvader & Geoffrey J. Lindeman, in Nature Reviews Cancer 2008(Oct); 8(10): 755-68. This review is currently available gratis, as a special feature, to registered visitors to Nature Reviews Cancer. Registration is also free. Yet another NPG experiment with OA? (See also: OA to Nature supplement, Gavin Baker, Open Access News, September 23, 2008).

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Articles in Nature Reviews Genetics (Oct 2008)

A series of articles in Nature Reviews Genetics are Gratis OA (after free registration): Table of Contents, Nature Reviews Genetics, 2008(Oct); 9(10).


Human genomic variation initiatives in emerging economies and developing countries, Béatrice Séguin, Billie-Jo Hardy, Peter A. Singer & Abdallah S. Daar, Nature Reviews Genetics 2008(Oct); 9(10 supp): S3-S4.


Genomics, public health and developing countries: the case of the Mexican National Institute of Genomic Medicine (INMEGEN), Béatrice Séguin, Billie-Jo Hardy, Peter A. Singer & Abdallah S. Daar, Nature Reviews Genetics 2008(Oct); 9(10 supp): S5-S9.

From diversity to delivery: the case of the Indian Genome Variation initiative, Billie-Jo Hardy, Béatrice Séguin, Peter A. Singer, Mitali Mukerji, Samir K. Brahmachari & Abdallah S. Daar, Nature Reviews Genetics 2008(Oct); 9(10 supp): S9-S14.

Universal health care, genomic medicine and Thailand: investing in today and tomorrow, Béatrice Séguin, Billie-Jo Hardy, Peter A. Singer & Abdallah S. Daar, Nature Reviews Genetics 2008(Oct); 9(10 supp): S14-S19.

South Africa: from species cradle to genomic applications, Billie-Jo Hardy, Béatrice Séguin, Raj Ramesar, Peter A. Singer & Abdallah S. Daar, Nature Reviews Genetics 2008(Oct); 9(10 supp): S19-S23.

The next steps for genomic medicine: challenges and opportunities for the developing world, Billie-Jo Hardy, Béatrice Séguin, Federico Goodsaid, Gerardo Jimenez-Sanchez, Peter A. Singer & Abdallah S. Daar, Nature Reviews Genetics 2008(Oct); 9(10 supp): S23-S27.

Added September 21, 2008: See also: Human Genomic Variation Studies in Developing Countries, McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health, Sep 18, 2008.

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