Category: OA

178 - Beyond Open Access: A Health Information Access Strategy for Africa

Monday, May 29
2:30 PM – 3:25 PM

Objectives: The aim of this research is first, to assess the role of open access (OA) model in health information access in Africa. Secondly, to identify the barriers to health information access in Africa under the OA model. Lastly, to recommend a health information access strategy that will employ language and media technologies and is well balanced between globalisation and localisation.

Methods: The methodology employed is desk research. Literature that was collected and reviewed included government and institutional policies on open access for health information and research articles on how OA policies have been implemented in Africa. Further, research articles on how OA has been employed for health information access were also collected and reviewed. The former set of articles were collected and reviewed in order to assess and identify barriers to health information access through OA in Africa. The new strategy of information access is situated on the premise of localization of internet, its content and information technologies for health information access in conformity with the standards and culture of Africans.

Keywords: Open access model, Health information, Africa, language technology, media technology, health information access

Toluwase V. Asubiaro

Librarian II
E. Latunde Odeku Medical Library, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
London, ON, Canada

My name is Toluwase Victor ASUBIARO, (CLN, SCJP now OCJP), a medical librarian from E. Latunde Odeku Medical Library (ELOML), University of Ibadan, Nigeria. I had B.Sc (Hons.) in Mathematics from the University of Ado-Ekiti (now Ekiti State University), Nigeria. Afterwards, I obtained a Master's of Information Science degree from the University of Ibadan where I graduated with a distinction. I took up a position as an academic librarian in Kenneth Dike Library, the University of Ibadan in 2012 where I was posted to the systems unit of ELOML in May 2013. I was granted a four-year study leave at work to pursue a full-time PhD at the Faculty of Information and Media Studies (FIMS), University of Western Ontario, Canada. My primary assignment as a professional is the management of digital content, software and information technology infrastructure in the library. I am also a member of the team that is developing the institutional repository (IR) of the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan. As a member of the IR development team, I participate in stages of the IR development like digitization of print resources, collection of born-digital resources and metadata development.

As an academic, though my responsibilities include the study of processing, development, use, production, presentation and retrieval of information, my chosen areas of research are natural language processing (NLP), information retrieval and bibliometrics. I started to develop interest in NLP when I conducted my master's final research project which was in NLP. I found it easy to embrace NLP sub-discipline of Information Science because it gives me the opportunity to employ my programming skills and knowledge of mathematics. As an NLP researcher, my interest is in language identification, diacritics, text pre-processing and information retrieval of Yoruba texts. Yoruba is an African language that is spoken in south-western Nigeria, some parts of Benin Republic and Togo. My research interest in bibliometrics is tailored towards understanding authorial behaviour, citation and collaboration pattern of biomedical and information scientists.

I have skills like website design and development, and programming in Java and Python. I teach ELOML patrons search strategies and reference management using zotero. I also facilitate training of librarians in information technology for libraries. Presently, I am a teaching assistant at FIMS where I assist Professor Rubin in teaching LIS 9002-Information Organization. I also work as a research assistant at the Language and Information Technology Research Lab, UWO.

I look forward to contributing substantially to body knowledge in language technology, information retrieval and bibliometrics.

I am married to the most beautiful and valuable woman in the world, we have a handsome boy. I play the violin and sing baritone in the choir. I believe that the most important things in life are faith, family and friends.

Acronyms: CLN means Chattered Librarian of Nigeria
OCJP means Oracle Certified Java Programmer
SCJP means Sun Certified Java Programmer