The SACMS was developed to enhance the visibility and accessibility of African scholarly work and materials on the Internet. Main objective is to provide open accessible materials like articles, online books, images, audio records etc. together with their bibliographic data. We want to inform the worldwide scientific community about the scientific progress in Africa not by speechifying but by providing content and detailed information. The main publishing techniques are self-archiving and graduated peer-reviewing for quality control.

It is essential that every scholar, who registers as a member of the Scientific African website, (1) introduces her- or himself by providing name details and a short biography, (2) compiles a complete publication list and (3) uploads several full-text articles. Members can also use the website to inform about projects and events, to appeal for funding, to initiate scientific discussions etc. Contents in the personal member area is not subject to the reviewing process unless it is submitted for publication (see workflow chapter).

Scientific African is part of the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) and is, therefore, committed to OAI interoperability. See

for further information. The website exposes OAI-compliant XML-formatted metadata of specific content types (see below) to an interface which can be accessed by OA Service Providers. The following link will show you the data exposed:

Some parts of following the text have been adopted from the book The Definitive Guide to Plone written by Andy McKay (Apress 2004).

1. Registration

e.g. John Edward Smith = jesmith

A password will be generated and e-mailed to you to complete the registration process.

2. Log in

The form is self-explanatory.

Change your password after first log in.

3. My Basic Details

+[country code] [city code] [number]

4. My Biography

5. My Folder

This is your personal member folder where you can add different types of items (= objects). Two items are already in your member folder: (1) the object biography with your short CV and (2) a bibliography folder called files into which you can upload articles, images, sound files, etc, wrapped with their bibliographic data. You can also add further items into your main folder. In the following you'll find a complete list of addable content types.

6. Add New Item

Warning: In Firefox browsers on Windows clients the drop-down menus Add New Item and State may show only one singular item or state, respectively. This is due to a bug in Mozilla Firefox and will hopefully be fixed in the upcoming Firefox version. If this bug appears we recommend to add or change the state of items using the folder contents view (click the Contents tab) instead.



This content type has only a Title, Description and List Order field. Additionally, it has a Link field which can be used to refer to an internal or external URL. External URLs start with http://. Internal URLs must be relative to your home folder. For example, if you want to refer to the item with ID abc in your files folder, the URL must be files/abc. All the information provided (Title, Description and URL) will automatically show up on your homepage.


This content type is complemented by bibliographic data which comprise the fields 'Authors', 'Publisher', 'Source', 'Pubtype' and 'Year'. The content type can be used to publish articles on your homepage. The SAFullInfo objects are exposed to the OAI interface.


This is an upcoming event, meeting, conference, or other event. If you want the event to show up in the calendar, then you must provide a start and end time. Events can span multiple days or be in the past - as long as the start date is before the end date. To enter a date, select the appropriate dates from the drop-down menu, or click the little date icon to open a graphical date picker.

Once the event is published, it'll show up in the calendar and the global Upcoming Events box. Moving a mouse over the item in the calendar will show the start and end dates for the event, as well as the event's title


This is a container for items which are wrapped with bibliographic data. The files folder, which has already been created during setup, is such a container and is meant for the various files used on your homepage. Bibliography folders are very useful to create different publication lists, for example seperate lists for your articles, conference papers and unpublished manuscripts.


This is the second content type with bibliographic data. In contrast to SAFullInfo, SABibliography items do not have a Body Text field. Instead they are used to upload binary files (pdf, doc, gif, jpeg etc.) from your local computer and to inform precisely about the file content. Only SAFullInfo and SABibliography objects are exposed to the OAI interface. SABibliography items contain the following additional fields:


Only one SABiography item is allowed in your member folder and has already been added automatically during setup. Adding a second item would result in an error message. Please contact the system administrator if you want to add a new or second biography.

7. State (Workflow)

The workflow system defines states and transitions. At any point in time, each item of content is in a particular state. This state describes its permissions and roles within the site. By having items in different states, it's possible to apply different security and visibility to each item of content.


The states of the SACMS are:


The change from one state to the other is called transition. The possible transitions of the SACMS are:

8. Content Action Tabs

9. Metadata (Properties)

Any piece of content can have any number of properties assigned to it. These properties are known as metadata and provide information such as keywords, copyrights, and contributors of an item. This entire set of properties is optional and is usually used only if there are special requirements for this piece of content, especially since this information isn't normally shown to the person viewing the content. So the main reason for entering this data is to add information for tasks such as searching or categorizing the content. The properties form has the following fields, which are common to all content types:

After completing the values for this form, click Save to commit the changes. As stated, usually you won't need to edit the values on this tab. Editing the contents of this tab is usually based upon the requirements for your site and the type of site you're building.

10. Restructured Text

Restructured Text (also reStructuredText or rst) is a simple markup language. Actually it's plain text with only a few style elements. For a full list of restructured text rules and examples see the Quick reStructuredText documentation. Also this text has been written in the rst format and can be used as an example. The html body (html code without header and stylesheets) can be seen here.

11. Your Publication Lists

A very simple way to create a publication list on your homepage is to add a SAInfo item into your member folder, switch off hyphenation in your text editor and copy and paste your publication list into the Body Text field. Insert an empty line between successive references and start each reference with '- '. Activate the News box and save the form. The list will immediately show up on your homepage.

The second and more appropriate method is to create a new SABibliographyFolder into your home folder and to add SABibliography items into this folder, one for each reference. You can attach a file to each item or include a link to an external file, e.g. the open accessible pdf reprint of your article on a journal website.

Important: Only the second method renders OAI compliant bibliographic data. Lists in text fields cannot be dissolved and are thus invisible for Open Archives Search Engines.