2022 Annual Report


Rima Kuprytė, Director of EIFL

Our year began with the shock of Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine. The war remained on our minds throughout the year, and we were seeking ways of supporting libraries and their users. We welcomed initiatives by publishers to open up their content to all Ukrainian institutions free of charge.

As the war intensified, the numbers of refugees grew. We were asked by libraries in Europe for advice on how to obtain accessible format reading materials in the Ukrainian language for refugees with print disabilities. We prepared an information sheet on how to use the Marrakesh Treaty to get such materials.

To help keep Ukrainian scholarly journals alive, we joined SUES - Supporting Ukrainian Editorial Staff - a coalition of organizations involved in scholarly communications. SUES raised enough money to support 45 journals, helping them with day-to-day activities. Journal editors were also interested in learning about best practices in academic journal publishing, and so we co-organized a series of webinars for them.

In February the Budapest Open Access Initiative, which coined the term open access, celebrated its 20th anniversary. EIFL was one of the original signatories to the initiative. We were happy to assist in the celebrations and identify priorities for the future.

In November the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science, which provides an international framework for open science policy and practice, marked its first anniversary. The work of the EIFL Open Access Programme in advancing open science policies, open infrastructures and open science skills is featured in this report.

Commercial scholarly journals are transitioning to open access. While the transition is happening, we are continuing to negotiate with publishers for affordable access to e-resources and Article Processing Charges (APC) for publishing in open access. EIFL-negotiated access to journals, e-books and databases was well used in 2022, with almost seven million downloads of full-text articles, e-books and e-book chapters by scholars in our partner countries. Over 1,470 researchers took advantage of the waived or discounted APCs and published 1,679 articles with 12 publishers. However, in general APCs remain unaffordable, and we are concerned about this.

Thank you to everyone who helped to make our work possible - our partners, our funders, our board members and our staff. I hope you enjoy our report, and look forward to engaging with you again in 2023.

Our vision is a world in which all people have the knowledge they need to achieve their full potential.


EIFL worked in 37 developing and transition economy countries. Here are key achievements in relation to our three main goals.

Advance the transition from paywalled to open access content

6 countries and 8 institutions adopted open access and open science policies mandating deposit of research output in repositories

14 agreements available for free / reduced-price open access publishing

1471 authors benefited from the agreements, publishing 1679 articles in open access

Foster digital transformation of public library services

27 Ugandan public libraries joined training-of-trainers programme

11000+ vulnerable people in Uganda, mostly women and youth, trained to use ICT by public library trainers

Uganda training wins recognition - 110 computers donated to 11 public and community libraries

Support research, teaching and learning

208 libraries subscribed to services allowing remote access to e-resources

Supported ratification and domestication of the Marrakesh Treaty for persons with print disabilities in 4 countries

98+ open access repositories and journals improved

146 open science trainers trained


Using knowledge to change their lives and the lives of others


* Phiona Nafuna, Uganda


* Dr Gitau Njoroge, Kenya


* Awa Cissé Diouf, Senegal



“Over the years, I have learnt that with advocacy, you must be patient and optimistic. I am more optimistic than ever before that we are getting closer to creating a copyright environment in which libraries can support education and research without fear of copyright infringement and litigation.”

Awa Cissé Diouf, EIFL’s Copyright Coordinator in Senegal, has been part of several EIFL delegations to meetings of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), where EIFL campaigns for a global copyright framework that supports libraries and the people who use them.

In 2022, Awa participated in the 42 nd session of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR/42). “Agreements at that meeting really inspired me with confidence. The main item was a proposal by the African Group for a work plan on limitations and exceptions. It contains concrete actions directly affecting libraries, including the development of a toolkit on preservation, and examination of the complex topic of cross-border uses of copyrighted works. These actions will be presented at SCCR in 2023,” she says.

“When copyright exceptions differ from country to country, librarians are hindered from sending and receiving requested resources across borders. A WIPO agreement would help by encouraging countries to bring their national laws into alignment, making cross-border resource-sharing more possible globally.”

With support from EIFL, Awa also leads advocacy for copyright law reform in Senegal to promote the rights of libraries, education, research and people with disabilities.

“Senegal has no explicit exceptions for libraries. Our law is more about protecting rightsholders and commercial interests. It does not take into account the social aspects of access to knowledge and information. This has to change. To support our goal, we established a coalition of stakeholders to advocate for national reform, held a launch workshop with high-level government officials, and commissioned a review of Senegal’s copyright law as a baseline for advocacy. The review will be published in 2023.”

Find out more about EIFL's Copyright and Libraries Programme



“Read & Publish agreements are helping authors and institutions gradually to tip the balance of publishing output to open access, by making the publishing process easier and more financially viable.”

Karmen Štular Sotošek, EIFL’s Country Coordinator in Slovenia, has been managing COSEC, EIFL’s partner library consortium, for almost 20 years.

COSEC, which works within the framework of the National and University Library of Slovenia, has three overall goals: to save public money; to provide digital content for its network of 46 university, faculty, research and regional libraries, and to create a sustainable ecosystem for open access publishing.

“EIFL has played an important role in helping us to achieve our goals,” says Karmen.

Karmen is part of the COSEC team that negotiates agreements with publishers for affordable licensed access to scholarly e-resources for member institutions. “We base our agreements on the EIFL model,” says Karmen.

In 2022 COSEC negotiated agreements for access to 66 e-resources for universities, 22 for special research organizations and eight for public libraries. These e-resources include scholarly journals, databases and e-books.

“Savings in public money have been substantial. We estimate that on average, we are saving more than 50% in subscription fees,” says Karmen.

In the context of Slovenia’s open science policies and guided by EIFL’s principles for negotiations, COSEC also enters into Read & Publish (R&P) agreements with publishers. These provide access to scholarly journals while at the same time allowing authors to publish articles in open access without having to pay Article Processing Charges (APCs). In 2022, COSEC had six R&P agreements providing authors with the opportunity to publish for free in 4,637 e-journals, resulting in a significant increase in the number of open access articles in hybrid journals.

“Thanks to these agreements, authors published 119 articles in open access in hybrid journals of these six publishers in 2022, compared with just 13 in 2019 before the R&P agreements.”

Find out more about EIFL's Licensing Programme



“KLISC and EIFL have together built a strong base for increasing and improving open access journal publishing in Kenya for wider research accessibility and discoverability.”

Open access journal publishing in Kenya is steadily increasing as a result of a project that was implemented by the Kenya Library and Information Services Consortium (KLISC) in 2022, with support from EIFL.

Before the project, only three KLISC member universities had active online open access journals, says Dr Gitau Njoroge, who is EIFL’s Open Access Coordinator in Kenya. “About 20 of our member institutions were publishing print journals and we targeted those that wanted to publish their journals online.

“The key challenge was to convince university managements that high quality open access journals could increase visibility of research output and raise university profiles. We achieved this by ensuring that senior staff participated in awareness-raising and training workshops, which we organized in five regions of Kenya.

“We trained editorial boards, researchers, ICT staff and librarians in open access publishing. We set up Open Journal Systems (OJS) platforms for hosting online journals at 17 institutions. We trained technical staff to customize and manage the platforms. In addition, we spoke about meeting quality standards for indexing in directories like the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). And we stressed the importance of policies to ensure adherence to best practices.”

As a result, the number of open access journals being published is steadily increasing. Some universities such as Meru, Rongo, Strathmore, Kambianga and Kirinyaga have published the latest issues of their journals online, and other institutions have also uploaded back issues.

“There is now a new enthusiasm for open access publishing and a ‘can-do’ attitude. We will continue to build on this through follow-up workshops to make sure that publishing schedules and quality standards are maintained,” says Dr Njoroge.

Find out more about EIFL's Open Access Programme



“Women and young people should get involved in every activity offered through these digital skills courses offered by the library for a better and brighter future.”

“My first experience of using a computer was when the library training started,” says Phiona Nafuna, a young mother living in Nkoma Village near the town of Mbale in Eastern Uganda.

The eldest of four children, Phiona left school early. “My three young brothers were still going to school, and my mum could not afford my school fees,” she explains.

One day, a friend told Phiona about free digital skills classes being offered by Mbale Public Library. Mbale is one of 27 public and community libraries in Uganda taking part in a project implemented by EIFL and partners, National Library of Uganda, Maendeleo Foundation and Peer 2 Peer University. The project builds the capacity of libraries to provide digital skills training in their communities, and connects learners to free online courses in entrepreneurial, craft-making, technical and other useful skills.

“I learnt Word, PowerPoint, writing and sending emails, and using the internet,” says Phiona. “I started applying for work, and was called to a job interview by Know Your City TV.

“They asked if I have a certificate for my computer skills. I produced the certificate that the library awarded me - and I have got the job! I am happy to be able to support my daughter, who is aged two, and to help my mother.”

Phiona also has a strong community spirit. Every Saturday, a women’s group meets at the library to learn new practical skills. Using YouTube courses, the women have learnt how to make vaseline, liquid soap, paper bags and other crafts. As a volunteer Phiona helps the women to make and sell their produce.

Find out more about EIFL's Public Library Innovation Programme

“Through its expertise, networks and long-standing experience in promoting access to knowledge, EIFL has been an instrumental partner in developing the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science and is at the core of the global efforts focusing on its implementation.”

- Ana Peršić, Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, Natural Sciences Sector, UNESCO



EIFL’s contribution to implementing the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science

The UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science - EIFL’s contribution in 2022

Open Science

6 countries adopted national policies

4 countries drafted national policies

8 institutions adopted policies

8 institutions drafted policies

Open Science infrastructures

100+ new journals published in open access

65 institutions launched open access journal publishing platforms

8 institutions launched new open access repositories

98+ open access journals and repositories services improved

Capacity building for Open Science

3500+ people trained

146 open science trainers trained

The UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science - the first-ever international standard for open science - was formally adopted by UNESCO’s 193 Member States on 23 November 2021.

EIFL participated in the development of the Recommendation through the UNESCO Global Open Science Partnership, which brought together open science stakeholders from across the world in an inclusive consultative process. Iryna Kuchma, EIFL Open Access Programme Manager, was one of 30 international experts appointed by UNESCO’s Director-General to serve on the Advisory Committee that advised the global partnership and prepared a draft recommendation.

The Recommendation provides an international framework for open science policy and practice that recognizes regional and disciplinary differences, and takes into account academic freedom, gender-transformative approaches and the specific challenges faced in different countries.

It provides the first internationally agreed definition of open science, as an inclusive construct that combines various movements and practices, aiming to make multilingual scientific knowledge openly available, accessible and reusable for everyone, to increase scientific collaborations and to open the processes of scientific knowledge creation, evaluation and communication to societal actors beyond the traditional scientific community (for example, indigenous knowledge-holders). A key aim of the Recommendation is to bridge the science, technology and innovation gaps between and within countries.

To realize its objectives, and to guide implementation, the Recommendation proposes seven areas of action. As a member of the UNESCO Global Open Science Partnership, EIFL is committed to implementing the Recommendation, working with library consortia and other institutions in our partner countries.

In 2022, our work centred on three areas of action. Here we share some highlights of our contribution in 2022.

Thank you to the Open Society Foundations for supporting the EIFL Open Access Programme.

ACTION: developing an enabling policy environment for open science

Open science policies are essential to foster a culture of open science nationally and within public and private institutions, and the Recommendation has sparked the revision of existing policies as well as the formulation of new ones.

In 2022, EIFL’s contribution to national and institutional open science policy development processes bore fruit in several of our partner countries.

At the national level, our work has contributed to the adoption of a National Open Science Action Plan in Ukraine; completion of draft national science roadmaps in three countries (Armenia, Botswana and Moldova) and a draft policy for the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture.

In Ukraine, EIFL’s Iryna Kuchma served on the National Open Science Working Group at the Ministry of Education and Science that developed the National Open Science Action Plan. Late in 2022, the Government of Ukraine approved the National Open Science Action Plan, and mandated all Ministries to ensure that it is implemented.

The Action Plan stipulates integration of open science into all national science, research, education, technology and innovation policies, strategies and action plans, by 2025, and provides guidance to achieve this. The Action Plan encourages Ukrainian open access journals to register with the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), and allocates Government funding for a national research repository to be integrated with institutional repositories. Reforming research assessment and open science training are among the priorities for 2023.

In Botswana, EIFL’s partner, the Botswana Libraries Consortium (BLC), played a central role in coordinating the drafting of a national open science policy. The chair of the BLC, and EIFL Country Coordinator, Naniki Mphakwane, is the Secretary of the Botswana Open Science Policy Working Group.

Developing the policy was a huge task, says Naniki.

“Most of Botswana’s universities and research institutions, and government ministries, civil society and the private sector were represented on the Working Group. The task came towards the end of the year and we worked tirelessly to ensure that there would be a draft ready before the recess in December 2022. We succeeded, and the draft policy is ready for the Ministry of Communications, Knowledge, Science and Technology, which is leading the due process for consultations and adoption.”

If the process runs smoothly, Parliament will approve the policy in June 2023.

“It will be exciting to have an enabling policy that will be a driver of change. The policy promotes innovative processes for open science, by providing incentives - for example, rewards for researchers who innovate, and support for scholars undertaking research using open science practices. We have proposed a budget for the implementation of the policy, including for actions like establishing infrastructure and capacity building of librarians and students.

“EIFL played a big role in the development of the draft policy through Iryna who constantly provided expertise and experience,” says Naniki.

In 2022 EIFL also contributed to the adoption of open science policies by seven institutions, in Armenia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya and Uganda. One institution in Moldova updated its existing open access policy to include open science, and eight institutions, in Armenia, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan and Lesotho, have drafted policies in 2022 that are now being discussed by university managements.

ACTION: investing in open science infrastructures and services

In 2021 / 22 EIFL provided small grants to support projects to establish and improve open science infrastructures for sharing of research. The grants supported development of open journals publishing platforms and institutional repositories in eight partner countries: Armenia, DRC, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho and Uganda.

The results have been far-reaching: 20 institutions in Georgia, 18 in Ghana, 17 in Kenya and 10 in Ethiopia - a total of 65 institutions - have launched national and institutional open access journal publishing platforms. Eight institutions - one in the DRC and seven in Ghana - have established open repositories. In addition, the funded projects contributed to improved quality of services of almost 100 institutional open access journals and repositories.

All the projects had awareness-raising and capacity building components, with workshops and training that reached hundreds of people - institutional leadership and management, faculty and researchers, journal editorial staff and authors, librarians and IT teams. As a result, there is now greater buy-in for open science at leadership level, and the question of policies to govern and guide use of open science infrastructures is firmly on the agenda.

As a further contribution, we organized seven weekly webinars for African open access journal editors and publishers, with partners (ASSAf - Academy of Science South Africa; AJOL - African Journals Online; DOAJ; LIBSENSE and the University of Cape Town), and coordinated the writing of DSpace 7 user documentation for repository managers and administrators.

Some examples

In Ghana our partner, CARLIGH (the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Ghana) has member institutions spread across the country. CARLIGH deployed technical teams to visit selected institutions to support installation of new repositories, to improve existing ones and to train library staff to populate repositories with research output. As a result, 16 institutions now have functioning OA repositories and are sharing their research.

CARLIGH also organized three regional open access journal management, editorial and technical workshops, reaching 240 journal managers and editors, authors, librarians and IT staff from 19 institutions. The project built capacity to install and manage Open Journal Systems (OJS) publishing platforms at 18 institutions. Most of the institutions have taken steps to install OJS and have begun publishing and hosting institutional journals.

“There is now greater enthusiasm for open science.Faculty and students are keen to deposit their articles and data in the new institutional repositories. And we have stronger backing from university managements because they are more aware about how showcasing your research affects university rankings,” says Richard Bruce Lamptey, Librarian at the College of Science Library at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), and EIFL Country Coordinator in Ghana.

The CARLIGH technical teams are available to provide ongoing technical support to member institutions that have established new open science infrastructures.

In Kenya, our national partner, the Kenya Libraries and Information Services Consortium (KLISC), worked with member institutions that wanted to publish their print journals in open access online. KLISC set up OJS publishing platforms, and built editorial and technical capacity at 17 institutions in five regions of Kenya. Work has now begun on moving back issues of journals online and publishing current issues using OJS.

In Armenia we supported the National Library of Armenia (NLA) to create a new open access repository using the most up-to-date open repositories software, DSpace 7. The new repository is central to Armenia’s growing national open science infrastructure. By the end of 2022, NLA staff had moved 825 theses and dissertations to the new repository, and will continue with this work in 2023.

ACTION: investing in human resources, training, education, digital literacy and capacity building for open science

EIFL is involved in several open science capacity building initiatives.

As chair of the OpenAIRE Training and Support Standing Committee, Iryna Kuchma contributed to building the OpenAIRE training platform for open science and co-designed open science support materials for Horizon Europe, the European Union’s key funding programme for research and innovation. Iryna also co-hosted two open science train-the-trainer bootcamps for 76 trainers.

EIFL is one of 11 partners taking part in the OPTIMA project, funded by the European education and training programme, Erasmus+. The OPTIMA project promotes openness and transparency in research in Ukraine by fostering open science practices and open peer review among early career researchers. The project has developed 15 open science courses in Ukrainian for Master’s and PhD students, and these have received accreditation in four project partner universities.

With support from EIFL, the American University of Central Asia (AUCA) in Kyrgyzstan organized and hosted open access training for university librarians and research offices from all regions of Kyrgyzstan. AUCA has also developed and shared a handbook on open access in Kyrgyz and Russian.

EIFL is contributing to the UNESCO Open Science Toolkit, with factsheets, guides and checklists to support implementation of the Recommendation.

We collaborated with the LIBSENSE community in developing the Checklist for universities on implementing the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science.

We teamed up with OASPA (the Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association) to develop the Checklist for open access publishers on implementing the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science. :

“We’re grateful to UNESCO for hosting the guidelines and also to EIFL’s Iryna Kuchma for working with OASPA on these and making the Checklist for open access publishers a really valuable and globally relevant resource,” said Claire Redhead, Executive Director of OASPA.

The UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science is just one year old. As it goes into its second year we will continue to work with our partners to advance a global vision of open science.


EIFL income and expenditure 2022

    Programme income 2,588,906 73.5%
    Participation fees 487,477 13.8%
    General Support 443,917 12.6%
    Sponsorship, interest and other income 1,828 0.1%
Total 3,522,128
    Programme delivery 764,795 85.3%
    Personnel & contracted expenses 105,255 11.7%
    Operating expenses 26,897 3.0%
Total 896,947
    Committed expenditure for 2023 to 2026 programme delivery 2,610,530
    Continuity reserve 269,531



We would like to thank the following organizations for their generous support for our work in 2022.

  • Arcadia Fund through the American University / Washington College of Law, and the Creative Commons Corporation
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • European Commission Erasmus+ Programme through Lviv Polytechnic National University, Ukraine
  • European Commission Horizon 2020 Framework Programme through OpenAIRE AMKE
  • European Commission Horizon Europe Framework Programme (HORIZON)
  • LEGO Foundation
  • Open Society Foundations
  • University of Luxembourg (UNILU)
  • Wehubit Programme (implemented by the Belgian development agency, Enabel)

Thank you to all the individuals who contributed to our campaign to raise funds through GlobalGiving for our ‘Digital skills to empower women & youth in Uganda’ project.


EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries) is an international not-for-profit organization that works with libraries in developing and transition countries to enable access to knowledge for education, learning, research and sustainable community development.


EIFL works in collaboration with libraries in 53 developing and transition countries.


Meet our Staff, Management Board and Network.


EIFL has built relationships with a wide range of organizations to make knowledge more accessible. See the list of partners we worked with in 2022.


In 2022, EIFL organized, supported or took part in 124 events, workshops and conferences about issues that affect access to knowledge.


  • Cover: Reading room, George Bariţiu County Public Library of Braşov in Romania. Photo taken during a learning and knowledge sharing visit to Romania by librarians from Africa participating in the 2022 programme of the EIFL Initiative for Young African Librarians (IYALI 2022). Photo by Ramunė Petuchovaitė.

  • Vision background image: Photo by Jjumba Martin.

  • EIFL Director: Photo by Augustinas Žukovas.

  • Spotlight: Photo by Anna Yepifanova.

  • Awa Cissé Diouf: Photo by Emmanuel Berrod. © WIPO. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.

  • Karmen Štular Sotošek: Photo by Maj Blatnik (NUK).

  • Phiona Nafuna: Photo by Jjumba Martin.

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