King Abdul Aziz Foundation offers a quarter of its Arabic content online

King Abdul Aziz Foundation for Research and Archives. (SPA)
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Updated 30 June 2020

King Abdul Aziz Foundation offers a quarter of its Arabic content online

  • Darah has selected 83 publications of different topics related to Saudi, Islamic and Arab histories, geography and archaeology

RIYADH: The King Abdul Aziz Foundation for Research and Archives (Darah) recently launched its open access initiative after 5 years of hard work, offering a quarter of its Arabic content online for readers as part of its electronic transformation plan.
Darah’s efforts align with the principle of granting access to knowledge as a human right, guaranteed by international laws.
“The project started in 2017, which aims to achieve the objectives of the King Abdul Aziz Foundation (Darah) to make knowledge available through modern technologies and facilitate access to it for scholars, researchers and readers,” said Sultan Al-Owairdy, director of digital media management at Darah. “It is also in response to Riyadh’s call for open access to scientific information.”
This move came as a result of Darah’s participation in International Open Access Week after contributing to the activities with lectures and exhibitions.
Darah has selected 83 publications of different topics related to Saudi, Islamic and Arab histories, geography and archaeology. These books have been published at different times since Darah’s inception.
“The website is available for free; you can browse the website of the King Abdul Aziz Foundation by entering the Darah store and click on open access books, and by downloading the books provided. The browser should comply with the conditions mentioned on the website,” Al-Owairdy said.
The conditions include downloading/printing the content of the website for reading, without reproducing/copying/storing in retrieval systems or transmitting it by any means without Darah’s consent.

HIGHLIGHTS

This move came as a result of Darah’s participation in International Open Access Week after contributing to the activities with lectures and exhibitions.

Darah applies the Creative Commons Attribution–NonDerivative (CC-BY-ND) license to the works they publish. This license was developed to facilitate open access, free immediate access to and unrestricted reuse of books and research.

The intellectual property rights are still reserved for the author and publisher and what is included in the (CC-BY-ND) license.
The aim of the project was to ensure that it preserves Darah’s intellectual and material rights. To save its scientific products from being hacked, Darah calls on all scientific, educational and training institutions inside and outside Saudi Arabia to take the same step to contribute to the knowledge economy at a global level.
“King Abdul Aziz Foundation (Darah) seeks to expand its open access and establish a policy within its publishing system,” Al-Owairdy said.
He added that all publications are currently available in Arabic and will soon will be offered in English.


Young Saudis ‘have learned a great deal’ amid pandemic: Expert

Updated 13 min 18 sec ago

Young Saudis ‘have learned a great deal’ amid pandemic: Expert

  • Modern internet infrastructure, accessibility in Kingdom ensured smooth running of online education


 LONDON: Despite its short-term challenges, the learning experience from the coronavirus pandemic may prove to be an advantage for young Saudis in the medium to long term, an expert has argued.

The pandemic, and the changes it has caused to education, employment and general wellbeing, have been major challenges for young people all over the world, including in Saudi Arabia.

But Mark Thompson, head of the Socioeconomic Unit at the King Faisal Center for Research & Islamic Studies, believes that there could be a silver lining to the disruption it has caused: A more strategically minded young population.
Speaking on Tuesday at an online seminar attended by Arab News, Thompson said Saudi youth, which make up 60 percent of the population, adapted quickly to the massive changes to their education that accompanied virus-control measures.
Saudi Arabia suspended all schools, universities and educational institutions on March 9 to contain the spread of coronavirus, delivering education entirely online.
Thanks to the Kingdom’s 90 percent internet penetration rate and the wide availability of internet-ready devices, Thompson said, the country successfully navigated “the switch to online learning” and managed to ensure “the continuation of learning through digital methods.”
One standout triumph from this period was the smooth delivery of university exams by the Ministry of Education, which conducted over 220,000 tests entirely online.
But more than just changing their method of learning, the disruptions have been a chance for many young people in the Kingdom to reflect on their own futures.
“This has also changed attitudes to specialization, toward programs such as business degrees, which are more suited to virtual classrooms,” Thompson said.
“The pandemic has altered young Saudis’ idea of education. It has compelled many young people to become more self-taught,” he added.
“They’ve learned a great deal from this experience. They can now develop clearer visions for their future careers, as well as the institutions they want to join.
“If the pandemic helps foster critical and strategic thinking in a lot of young Saudis, in the medium to long term we can consider this an indirect benefit.”
The pandemic has caused major disruption to children’s and young adults’ education worldwide.
UNESCO estimates that up to 60 percent of students globally have been impacted by school closures, amounting to over 1 billion affected learners.