“…A Refreshing Wealth of Knowledge…”
Bello JO, Consultant Urologist, UITH, Nigeria
Why I support open access to research
For a young researcher in sub- Saharan Africa, Open access represents a lifeline that provides that vital nourishment which enables the region’s humble but growing contribution to world science. Open access is a sustenance and comes to the rescue in more ways than one.
Why is this so? Well, the reasons aren’t that farfetched. Traditional closed access model is such that it favors mostly large institutions with big budgets that are able to afford the subscriptions or tolls. Very few of these institutions (Possibly none) can be found in sub-Saharan Africa. Thus researchers in the region actually have no access or a very expensive and thus limiting access. Those of us affiliated to institutions of the region have few alternatives which include individual subscriptions or pay par article options both of which are often unsustainable and unsatisfactory.
Our hope is in an open access future; gold, green, a combination of both or possibly an even better model yet to be discovered. The benefits of open access are broad and include more efficient use of research, improved citations and probably impact. Libraries also wouldn’t need huge budgets to be functionally useful to researchers; however, the greatest of all benefits of open access to us in sub-Saharan Africa is the opportunity of availing previously unavailable research in our region.
My achievements in my field and in open access advocacy
I am a young urologist practicing in sub-Saharan Africa with enthusiasm for urology and Injury research. These enthusiasms lead me to be part of a pioneering group promoting research activities in my institution and region under the umbrella of the centre of injury research and safety promotion. From humble beginnings we have created a registry for trauma and injury, trained young eager researchers and made inroads into intervention programmes. We understood early the benefits of open access and have educated others about the model while also encouraging our institutions to develop open access policies. As a young and budding researcher in Africa, I have strived for excellence despite the prevailing hostile research environment in the region. I have published quite a few articles in open access journals and received the prize for best graduating urology fellow of the West African college of surgeons in 2012.
ORCID ID 0000-0001-5425-6798
Favorite quote: “The best things in life are free. The second best things are very expensive” – Coco Chanel
Two links to professional social media (Linkedin & Researchgate):