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The state of Open Access in Nigeria: Let’s stop talking, and start doing! – Obinna Ojemeni

Open Science is a global issue. This series has so far highlighted perspectives from our open science stars from around the world, and we believe having this diversity is critical to have a well-informed viewpoint on the state of research in general.

So this week, we are absolutely delighted to have Obinna Ojemeni with us from Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Nigeria.

Hi Obinna! Thanks for joining us. Could you tell us a bit about your background?

I am from the South-eastern part of Nigeria and the third/last of the three sons of my parents. I attended Nnamdi Azikiwe University where I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Science Education & Mathematics. After my National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) program, I proceeded to the premier University of Ibadan where I obtained both Master of Education and Master of Information Science in 2010 and 2014 respectively. A Science Educationist and Information Scientist by training, and presently a University Teacher in the newly formed department of Library and Information Science, Enugu State University of Science & Technology. I am also a Doctoral (PhD) student in Nnamdi Azikiwe University where I’m studying Information Science with special focus on developments in Nigeria’s Open Access publishing landscape and bibliometric studies.

When did you first realise you wanted to be researcher? What was it that turned you?

That would be probably after my Master of Education degree program in the department of Teacher Education, University of Ibadan, which is also where I learnt how to do research and had academics that inspired me too. Besides having been trained as an Educationist, the best career would be to educate the younger generation and encourage them too as well as change the poor perception about the teaching profession.

I would rather emphasize that I come from a family of teachers, both my paternal grandparents were secondary (grandfather) and primary (grandmother) school teachers respectively. While my Mother was a Secondary school teacher, which is why I decided to take the family legacy to another level by becoming a University Teacher 🙂

When did you first hear about Open Access and Open Science? What did you first think about it all?

I was introduced to Open Access by my Master of Information Science Project Supervisor, Dr Williams Nwagwu at Africa Regional Centre for Information Science (popularly known as ARCIS) in University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Before then I was proposing a bibliometric study of a local journal published by a scholarly society and suggesting its’ inclusion in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), but had no knowledge of the concept of Open Access. So I was mandated by my supervisor to read up studies on Open Access which gave me background knowledge of the concept and the BBB declarations that facilitated its adoption globally.

My first thought was the reality that little or no research would have been possible in Nigeria without the free availability of OA publications via the internet. And we as Nigerians especially Academics, are doing little or nothing to foster its sustenance.

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