This report was undertaken to evaluate the success of this pilot project to support 11 African journals to put their full text content online using a variety of hosts.
The different experiences of the journals and the variable feedback and available information made comparison impossible and complicated the resulting conclusions. However it may be reasonable to deduce that online publishing will only be successful if the journal already has a strong publishing operation (publishes regularly and with a recognised editorial quality), and is able to promote itself widely. Online publication cannot support or be supported by weak and struggling journals.
It is generally believed that online visibility is crucial to the success of any journals around the world, however where the core readership are not able or willing to access the online journal, online presence is only justifiable if it extends the visibility of the journals. This project has not provided any increase in global visibility of these journals through online full text presence.
Within the western publishing environment, online presence has not been proved as a means for increasing revenue and is generally perceived to be a means of avoiding revenue erosion. This project has also shown an inability to make additional revenues through online publication.
INASP, Oxford, UK. 20 pp.