Kakai, M., 2021. An analysis of the factors affecting open access to research output in institutional repositories in selected universities in East Africa. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 9(1), p.eP2276. DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2276
Abstract: Institutional repositories (IRs) present universities with an opportunity to provide global open access (OA) to their scholarship, however, this avenue was underutilised in two of the three universities in this study. This study aimed at proposing interventions to improve access to research output in IRs in universities in East Africa, and it adds to the depth of knowledge on IRs by pointing out the factors that limit OA in IRs, some of which include lack of government and funder support for OA and mediated content collection workflows that hardly involved seeking author permission to self-archive. METHODS A mixed methods approach, following a concurrent strategy was used to investigate the low level of OA in IRs. Data was collected from three purposively selected IRs in universities in East Africa, using self-administered questionnaires from 183 researchers and face-to-face interviews from six librarians. results The findings revealed that content was collected on a voluntary basis, with most of the research output deposited in the IR without the authors’ knowledge. The respondents in this study were, however, supportive of the activities of the IR, and would participate in providing research output in the IR as OA if required to do so. CONCLUSION The low level of OA in IRs in universities in East Africa could be increased by improving the IR workflow, collection development, and marketing processes. Self-archiving could be improved by increasing the researchers’ awareness and knowledge of OA and importance of IRs, while addressing their concerns about copyright infringement.
“Kampala International University Open Access policy and Institutional Repository aims at archiving free online access to its research products funded by the university or its development partners. It also provides administrative and management guidelines to KIU Community on Open Access and Institutional Repository work.”
“When EIFL organized the first-ever workshop on open access in Kenya in 2010, there were just seven institutional open access repositories in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Awareness about OA was limited, and very few universities had open access policies.
Seven years later, in 2017, over 50 new repositories had been set up and 33 institutions had adopted open access policies. There were almost 200,000 documents available in the repositories, and download numbers had run into the millions.
This two-page case study tells how EIFL, in collaboration with our partner library consortia, the Kenya Libraries and Information Services Consortium (KLISC), the Consortium of Tanzania Universities and Research Libraries (COTUL) and the Consortium of Uganda University Libraries (CUUL), helped open up East African research to the world….”
“We, the stakeholders (researchers, policymakers, and knowledge intermediaries, including journalists, broadcasters, librarians, journal editors, and others) concerned with the diffusion of health information in Uganda, gathered at Munyonyo, Kampala, from 26 to 28 April 2017, on the occasion of the first in a series of Building Bridges forums, declare that: …We will build national capacity to disseminate quality, evidence-based and timely health information by establishing a health communication network comprising researchers, policy makers, and knowledge intermediaries, such as journalists, broadcasters, librarians, and journal editors. Our immediate objectives will be: …To promote, and lobby for improved access to the best health information….”
“Bioline International is a not-for-profit scholarly publishing cooperative committed to providing open access to quality research journals published in developing countries. BI’s goal of reducing the South to North knowledge gap is crucial to a global understanding of health (tropical medicine, infectious diseases, epidemiology, emerging new diseases), biodiversity, the environment, conservation and international development. By providing a platform for the distribution of peer-reviewed journals (currently from Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, Ghana, India, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda and Venezuela), BI helps to reduce the global knowledge divide by making bioscience information generated in these countries available to the international research community world-wide….”