The University of Pretoria’s (UP) Lazarus Gallant Matizirofa has been appointed as a board member of the global Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) Board of Directors. He is currently a Deputy Director at UP’s Department of Library Services (DLS).
The NDLTD is an international organisation dedicated to promoting the adoption, creation, use, dissemination, and preservation of electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs). It supports electronic publishing and open access to scholarship, to enhance the sharing of knowledge globally.
This comes as a recognition of his commitment to open scholarship and open research visibility in South Africa and Africa. Matizirofa is a member of the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) Next Generation Repositories Working Group. He was also a Technical Advisory Board member for the African Open Science Platform (AOSP) (2017-2019), and a member of the Steering Committee for the SA-EU Open Science Dialogue (2018-2019). Matizirofa was one of the pioneers of Open scholarship librarians who steered the formation of the Institutional Repository Managers’ Forum in South Africa in 2011, which led to the IRTALK.
Before joining the University of Pretoria, Matizirofa was Head of Digital Curation and Content Management (2014-2019), Acting Executive Director of the Knowledge Management Directorate at the National Research Foundation (2017-2018). Furthermore, he was the first Open Scholarship librarian at the UJ Libraries from 2010 to 2014. He steered the digitisation of the entire hardcopy collections of theses and dissertations, digitally curating these e-copies to the University of Johannesburg Institutional Repository (UJ IR), and was instrumental in the implementation of the Online Research Output Submission System (OROSS). These projects culminated in the global reach and visibility of UJ research outputs in support of its Open Access policy. Matizirofa, together with Dr Daisy Selematsela (new WITS Library Director) was instrumental in drafting the NRF’s Open Access Statement (2015). He also worked with colleagues at the WITS library to ensure the Wits-NRF Digitisation Capacity Development Initiative is sustained as National Digitisation Project.
Currently, as Deputy Director: Scholarly Communications, Digital Systems and Services, Matizirofa is responsible for DLS’ sub-directorate comprising the following services units: Open Scholarship, Digital Scholarship, Information Technologies, Research Data Management, Digitisation, Makerspace, Library Website Management, Libby, the first Robot Librarian in Africa, and Special Collections. To date, the library and the Faculty of Education launched the UP Journals in 2021. This publishing platform hosts 14 journal titles (powered by Open Journal Systems (OJS), an open-source software application for managing and publishing scholarly journals). The UP Journals host 14 journal titles, and 7 journals are DHET accredited. The library is also currently investigating an Online Researcher Tools Platform to support research visibility and the impact of UP scholars on a global scale. DLS is also taking advantage of the digital shift, embracing the digital transformation of its strategy, people, processes, and technology. The DLS will also be looking into a project to visualise ETDs to enhance their usefulness to the Sustainable Development Goals and the South African knowledge economy.
Matizirofa holds a Master’s and Honours degree in Library and Information Studies from the University of Cape Town, a Higher Diploma in Library and Information Science, a Diploma in Information Science, and a Diploma in Public Relations from the Harare Polytechnic, Zimbabwe. He is currently studying for a Doctor of Philosophy in Information Science at the University of South Africa. His research interests include Open Innovation, Open Scholarship, Open Science - Open access: Transitions and transformations; Evolving integrated library systems, Research Data Services (RDS): Ethics and maturation; Streaming media; Copyright of digital media, and Research visibility and impact. He has made presentations on areas of research interest at both national and international forums.