Research in the Developing World

Video: Plagiarism, copyright and ethical conduct in Tanzania

Maureen Fondo, Senior Legal Officer at COSOTA, on copyright awareness in Tanzania

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In Tanzania, not all people are aware about the existence of copyright. It’s the duty of the Copyright Society of Tanzania to at least create awareness. … We actually educate them and try to make people understand that infringement of somebody’s rights is a crime.

That's Maureen Fondo, Senior Legal Officer at the Copyright Society of Tanzania (COSOTA), expressing her concerns about the awareness of copyright in Tanzania. Understanding and protecting copyrights is of great importance in strengthening local publishing.

Copyright is one of the issues the Elsevier Foundation’s Publishers without Borders volunteers focused on during their month-long training visits to Tanzania over the past two years. “Plagiarism and ethical misconduct in Tanzania is actually the topic which is most frequently asked about in our presentations,” Dr. Charon Duermeijer, a Publishing Director at Elsevier who wrote about her volunteer experience in Elsevier Connect.

Paul Doda, Global Litigation Counsel at Elsevier, emphasized the need for this discussion:

It is often the case that not only larger international publishers like Elsevier are harmed by piracy, but also smaller local publishers with less resources to address the problem or withstand the harm it causes. Creating awareness about the harm to local publishing can sensitize local markets about the importance of supporting their local publishers by sourcing content legally — and it can also encourage local government enforcement on behalf of its community.

TZAP or Strengthening Tanzanian Publishing is a collaboration between the Elsevier Foundation, VSO (Voluntary Services Overseas), INASP (International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications) and the Tanzanian Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH). It aims to reinforce the Tanzanian research and publishing ecosystem together with academics and publishers in the field.


Elsevier Connect Contributor

Josina LeguitJosina Leguit is a Corporate Responsibility intern for the Elsevier Foundation. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communication Science and is finishing her master's degree in International Development Studies at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

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