The purpose of this paper is to examine the access and use of the institutional repository (IR) among academic staff at Egerton University.
The paper provides a description of the building and development of the IR at the Egerton university and describes expected benefits of the repository to the University and relevant stakeholders. A survey was conducted among 84 academic staff with an aim of examining their levels of awareness on the existence of the IR at the Egerton University and assess their access and use. Through a structured questionnaire both quantitative and qualitative data were collected.
The study revealed that majority of the academic staff at the Egerton University are still not aware of the existence of the IR. Staff also faced challenges in accessing and using the content available. The paper provided suggestions on how best to enhance the access and utilization of the IRs among the academic staff.
From a practical point of view, the paper provides implications on the access and use of IRs by the academic staff. The paper points out some challenges faced by this group of users which other academic institutions may try to solve in their respective contexts.
Findings and discussions provided in the paper will pave way to solving the challenges faced in access and use of IR by the academic staff at the Egerton University.
“All survey results converge towards the fact that the researchers have generally accepted the idea of open access and that they consider it as globally beneficial for their field, even if their information and publishing behaviour may be somewhat delayed. In Europe, 461 research organisations and funders have adopted open access mandates and policies that require or request their researchers to provide open access to their peer-reviewed research article output by depositing it in an open access repository7 ; many have signed national or international statements on open access, such as the Berlin Declaration. Both, individual awareness and uptake and institutional, political commitment are crucial for the further progress of open access.
Senior researchers, especially research managers and directors of research centres, are key stakeholders in this process in two ways:
They are appointed by their peers, coordinate the research activities and represent their colleagues in the executive and advisory bodies; as such, they act as a kind of transmission belt of the researchers’ opinions and demands, including reporting (bottom-up).
At the same time, they stand for the research organisation and are the guardians of the application of institutional decisions and rules within the local laboratory, including supervision, follow-up and control (top-down).
This intermediary or middle function may not always be an easy situation, as a latent source of conflict, but it makes them particularly interesting and influential as opinion leaders and even as potential models for good practice. For this reason, instead of a new assessment of scientists’ attitudes and behaviours towards open access, the CNRS conducted an exploratory survey on Scientific and Technological Information (STI) specifically at the senior management level, i.e. the directors of the CNRS research units (laboratories). One part of this survey was about open access. Our paper reports the survey results on open access, in particular to obtain answers to four questions:
Do the CNRS senior research managers (laboratory directors) share the positive opinion towards open access revealed by recent studies with researchers from the UK, Germany, the United States and other countries? Are they supportive of open repositories and OA journal publishing?
Does their information behaviour, i.e. use and production of open access publications, meet the challenge of open access or does it lag behind their opinions?
Like in other studies, will this survey identify a group of unaware or even reluctant senior research managers not interested in open access?
And finally, what can be said about differences between scientific disciplines?”
“Today, Figshare released the results of its global survey of 2,000 researchers in a report that assesses the global landscape around open data and sharing practices.
“The State of Open Data” – Figshare’s report and survey finds 80% of researchers value data citation as much as, or more than article citation.
This report has been supported by Digital Science and the survey was conducted in partnership with Springer Nature. It highlights the extent of awareness around open data, the incentives around its use, and perspectives researchers have about making their own research data open.”