Title page for ETD etd-08062007-120551

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Le Roux, Elizabeth Henriette
Email lrouxeh@unisa.ac.za
URN etd-08062007-120551
Document Title Transforming a publishing division into a scholarly press : a feasibility study of the Africa Institute of South Africa
Degree MIS (Publishing)
Department Information Science (Publishing Studies)
Advisor Name Title
Prof F Galloway Committee Chair
  • knowledge generation
  • knowledge production
  • university press
  • scholarly communication
  • academic publishing
  • scholarly publishing
  • Africa Institute of South Africa
  • African studies
Date 2007-09-05
Availability unrestricted

Based on informal discussions with a range of scholars across the African continent, it was felt that there was a need for a scholarly publisher located in Africa, focusing on African content, and targeting an African audience. It had also been expressed by a number of researchers, and was of wider potential interest – given the author’s institutional situation and context at the time, as well as management imperatives – that the Africa Institute of South Africa (AISA) could use its existing capacity and strengths in the area of African studies, specifically from a social science and development perspective, and its networks on the African continent, to form a possible institutional base for such a press, through the expansion of its publishing division. But there was no certainty as to whether this was in fact a viable business idea.

Thus, this study carries out a feasibility study, to investigate and evaluate whether a scholarly press focusing on African material would be viable in the current South African, continental and international context. The study takes the form of a literature survey, questionnaire-based empirical survey, and business planning exercise. The key research question that is investigated is: Given the limitations of and challenges currently facing the South African (and wider African) scholarly publishing industry, could a scholarly publisher working according to the above vision be viably set up, and how could this be achieved? Broad support is found for the notion of a new scholarly publisher, and a business plan is developed to show how such a press could be set up, working within certain constraints and assumptions.

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