Third Chapter May 2021 Update


by Lee Walton

Core Project

It has been almost 10 months since The Third Chapter Project, Inc. became a 501-C-3. COVID-19 complicated the launch of our new nonprofit venture in Africa, but I am happy to report that this has not dampened our passion for the mission. Without the ability to travel we (along with the rest of the world) have adapted to Zoom.  What has been underway is that we have been working with our Open Access partners (especially Knowledge Unlatched and their Open Research Library) to support access to quality scholarly resources. Our impact can be measured by the discoverability of almost 15,000 titles, articles, and journals in 5 countries (Uganda, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Guinea-Bissau, and South Africa). We are working with consortia to be able to track usage within the year. To date, 194 University/Colleges (including teacher colleges) are in various stages of adoption of the platform-packages we represent. This extrapolates to almost 400K students and researchers having seamless access to high-quality curated titles in humanities, social science and pedagogical theory and practice.

New Partner

I am pleased to announce our new publishing partner University of Michigan Press and their new Open Access initiative on the Fulcrum platform. We will have more information as this develops. Thank you so much Charles Watkinson and team–we are so pleased to be working with you again.


Oh, the Humanities Africa! Is our new project. We will be launching in the fall of 2021. Currently we have a subscriber list of over 2,000 and growing: librarians, faculty, and deans/chairs. This will start our subscriber base for OTHA. This newsletter will be mirrored on the existing Oh, the Humanities! format: however, content and the editorial team will be 100% African. This publication will truly be the voice of African scholars.  We will have more information on OTHA as we get closer to our launch date.

Third Chapter February Update



by Clare Doyle

The Third Chapter team had a call recently with our partner Knowledge Unlatched during which we were discussing the work of the Open Research Library (ORL), which is planned to include all Open Access book content worldwide on one platform for user-friendly discovery, offering a seamless experience navigating more than 20,000 Open Access books.

One topic that came up in our conversation was the perennial issue of obstacles faced by scholars in the Global South when it comes to publishing their work—echoes by many conversations with Third Chapter’s African Scholars Advisory Board. So it’s encouraging to see titles on the ORL list that highlight the African story told by Africans. For instance, there are several volumes from the Cape Town-based publisher AOSIS, with books on the ORL list having a focus on ethics, religious studies and education, for example titles such as Theology at the University of Pretoria – 100 years and Self-Directed Learning for the 21st Century: Implications for Higher Education. 

African Minds, another publisher represented on the ORL list, publishes predominantly in the social sciences and its authors are typically African academics or those with a close affinity with the continent. The University in Africa and Democratic Citizenship and Emerging Solutions for Musical Arts Education in Africa are two examples of African Minds title available via the ORL list. 

Among the many lessons driven home by the events of the past year is the intrinsic interconnectedness of our world. No country can—or should—live in isolation from the rest of the planet. But the Global North tends to dominate the global conversation. Initiatives such as the Open Research Library will be a valuable tool in assisting voices from the South to be heard.