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The Malian Library Consortium (COMBI) in collaboration with Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie country office in Bamako, celebrated Open Access Week 2011. The celebration consisted mainly of three activities: a conference and two training sessions.
Conference at the Faculty of Sciences and Technology
The conference on the benefits of open access for Mali was held on Tuesday, October 25th at the Faculty of science and technology. The audience of two dozens consisted of professors, PhD candidates, and represents of faculty administration. In his talk, Mr. Abda Anne, after a broad overview of open access history and current state, highlighted the benefits of open access for Mali both as consumer and as producer of information.
As a consumer of information Mali and Malians can access more information resources that can be freely used, modified and adapted to local context. As a producer of information, open access was presented as a way to make the Malian intellectual output more visible through open access journals and repositories, as well as directories such as DOAJ or OpenDOAR.
Searching and using OA resources training
On October 26th a training session took place on how to search and use open access information resources in social sciences and humanities. This training given by Mr. Birama Traore, EIFL-OA country coordinator, was attended by 32 participants. During this three hour session, open access journals and open access digital repositories were covered.
Health sciences OA resources training
During the conference the participants suggested that COMBI should lead the open access movement in Mali and setup up a national digital archive.
Also, at the end of each of the training sessions, participants expressed interest to have additional training on related topics, such as: scientific writing and communication, management of information, and information retrieval.