SA Open Science Policy Workshop

23 March 2017, 11:25

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The South African Department of Science and Technology (DST) is drafting a White Paper on Science and Technology for completion in 2017. The White Paper will guide the strategic direction of the South African System for Research and Innovation for the next decade. The country needs to be taken forward as a leading African knowledge provider aligned with 21st century technology and 21st century thinking, utilising 21st century skills.

Against this backdrop it is envisaged that the new White Paper will address policy options in respect of developing a South African-integrated digital strategy that would define the key enabling role that information and communications technology would play in order for the country to respond favourably to the requirements of the fourth industrial revolution, regional transformation and a digital society. To achieve this a national digital Bill or Policy should be introduced to regulate research data sharing and access, its integrity, privacy and intellectual property (IP).

An inclusive stakeholder workshop was held to develop a set of recommendations on research data sharing/Open Science for consideration by the authors of the White Paper. The topic of these discussions was Open Science, which encompasses open access to scholarly publications, open data, and open and collaborative research, all essentially related to the democratisation of knowledge. The workshop has provided the sector with an opportunity to think collectively and offer advice on moving the system forward to achieve the objectives of national digital policies. Results from the workshop were integrated into this document, contributing towards Open Science being included as part of the SA White Paper on Science and Technology (2017 version).