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This template was developed by the LIBSENSE Terms of Reference Working Group as a follow-up from discussions at the LIBSENSE I workshop which took place in Zanzibar, Tanzania on November 19 & 20, 2018 and were further revised at the LIBSENSE II workshop in Accra, Ghana on March 11 & 12, 2019.

The Terms of Reference (ToR) set out the working arrangements for collaboration between a Research and Education Network (REN) and a Library or Library Association in the area of open science.


Open science is a global trend to increase accessibility and use of research outputs in order to increase the benefits of our investments in research and science. It is imperative in this digital age that there is active participation by Africans in the production of data, information and knowledge. Therefore, it is of great significance that the REN-Library collaboration facilitate the advancement of open science to be active participant in the world’s knowledge production. 


Together, our organizations are promoting a system for open science that recognizes the distinct conditions and priorities for research in different disciplines, countries and regions. To this end, due recognition should be given to the importance of developing local and regional services that are interoperable internationally but are also able to support these diverse needs.

Collaborative Activities

These ToR sets forth the intention of the collaborative partners to undertake the following  joint activities:

[examples of collaborative activities are listed below]

  1. Cultural change

    • Raise awareness with university administrators, research institutes and governments about open science and the potential benefits.

    • Advocate for the role of repositories and local journals in supporting open access and open science

    • Advance the principles of social justice through promoting a culture of open sharing, mentorship and skills development and

    • Make the case for regional and national preservation and management of local, indigenous knowledge

    • Promote information/digital research literacy skills in universities

  2. Technical support

    • Develop collaborative long-term storage and preservation solutions for content in repositories

    • Provision of support by RENs for hosting repositories

    • Engage in actions for improved repository workflows and automation

    • Provision of support by RENs for hosting publishing platforms

    • Assist with authentication for uploading content and security for repositories, accessing e-resources, etc.

    • Develop strategies for the adoption of ORCID and DOIs

  3. Capacity building

    • Undertake training activities for repository managers, and other open science services supported by the library

    • Undertake training for data producers (researchers) and end users

    • Identify, define and disseminate standards and best practices for repositories

    • Collaborate to improve technical support for managing repositories at the institutions

  4. Value-added services

  • Develop solutions for networking repositories across Africa

  • Establish a role for RENs in discovery of distributed repository content (e.g. through harvesting metadata)

  • Provide technical support for innovative publishing processes/activities

  • Engage internationally to remain in touch with trends and developments elsewhere

Roles and responsibilities

Key partners in his collaborative effort will assume responsibility for activities within their domain expertise.

  1. Universities, Research Institutes

    • Provide facilities/infrastructure for the establishment and maintenance of open repositories

    • Release research data into their institutional repositories

  2. Librarians

    • Create visible and interoperable institutional repositories

    • Carry out advocacy and provide support within their institutions and with researchers to populate and use their repositories

    • Contribute to strengthen institutional policies to enhance open access and open science

    • Define best practices and standards for open science practices

  3. Research Education Networks (RENs)

    • Federate and/or host repositories and other publishing platforms within their geographical spaces

    • Define technical standards for repositories

    4. International Organizations (EIFL, COAR, etc.)

  • Provide leadership in the open science global trends

  • Support the growth of the network and strategic partnerships


These ToR are effective from [insert start date] and continue until the [insert expected date of completion of the network] OR will be ongoing until terminated by agreement between the parties.

Meetings (if needed)

Who will chair

How often will they meet

Who will attend

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