Determining the factors influencing the level of awareness and usage of open source digital repository software by academic librarians in India | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the level of awareness and usage of open source digital repository software (DRS). The paper also studies the factors, which influence the level of awareness and usage of different open source DRS by academic librarians in India.


The study administered an online questionnaire to academic librarians in India to know their level of awareness and usage of open source DRS. The questionnaire aimed to gather the awareness and usage of open source DSR. In total, 374 complete responses were collected from academic librarians in India and the collected data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Moreover, Fishers’ exact test was used to identify whether factors i.e. qualification and participation in workshop/seminar influence the level of awareness and usage of open source DRS.


The results of the study reveal that the level of awareness and usage of open source DRS, namely, DSpace (Mean = 2.92, SD = 0.906) and Greenstone digital library software (GSDL) (Mean = 2.18, SD = 0.699) are high amongst the academic librarians in India. In total, 33.4%, 11.5% of the participants are using DSpace and GSDL, respectively, on regular basis. Fishers’ exact test shows that factor(s) i.e. qualifications and participation in workshop/seminar affect the level of awareness and usage of open source DRS. The results show that there exits strong relation between participation in workshop/seminar and awareness and usage of DSpace (Fishers’ exact test = 13.473, p < 0.05).


This paper is the new type of study exploring level of awareness and usage of open source DRS by academic librarians in India. It identifies the factors that affect the awareness and usage of open source DRS. It is the first study to analyze the statistical significance between Indian librarians’ participation in workshop/seminar and their level of awareness and usage of different open source DRS.

Supporting Research in Languages and Literature | Ithaka S+R

“In general, language and literature scholars do not prioritize publishing in open access journals and are reluctant to pay article processing charges (APCs) to make their articles in hybrid journals open access. A few subfields, such as video game studies and digital humanities, have many open access journals and may represent exceptions to this trend.

Numerous interviewees expressed positive sentiments around the idea of their research being openly available, although they often conflated “open access”—free access to published, peer-reviewed articles—with other forms of online dissemination, such as digital archives and However, these interviewees usually did not report having taken concrete actions to make their research open access. The pressure to publish in prestige journals—which are usually not open access—and the cost of article processing charges[56] contravenes any desire to make their work open.[57] As one unusually well-informed interviewee explained, “I would like [my work] to be copyrighted under a Creative Commons [open access copyright license] and I have absolutely no way of doing that because of the tenure system. . . . After I get tenure I’ll start to try to push that forward.” This resonates with findings from the Ithaka S+R US Faculty Survey 2018, which showed that younger faculty members across disciplines place less of a priority on publishing in open access journals than older faculty members.[58]

The continuing supremacy of the monograph within the field of languages and literature may also contribute to scholars’ ambivalence toward open access publishing, since the open access movement broadly focuses on journal articles. Although some publishers are experimenting with open access monographs—at least one interviewee reported having published a book both in print and in a free online version—this was not a priority for the scholars interviewed for this project.

Only a few interviewees reported that they had uploaded preprints of their articles to their campus repositories. Many scholars simply do not understand that they are able to do this or why they should. Others are confused about whether and how the copyright terms of their own work allow them to share it on platforms outside the publisher’s website.[59] Several interviewees reported that they share PDFs of their articles on, Facebook groups, or, less commonly, their personal websites; only some of these scholars mentioned paying attention to the copyright status of their work when doing so….

Most interviewees who spoke about public humanities in relation to digital outputs did not articulate a vision for how they would measure or promote public engagement with these outputs, other than making them available. It is also important to note that language and literature scholars generally do not view open access publishing as a proxy for public engagement; there is an implicit sense that traditional scholarly research outputs are inappropriate for wider audiences….”

Supporting Academic Research: Understanding the challenges

“While making publications available openly is not the main priority in the research office, researchers’ support for making their own work openly available is growing….

Beyond Open Access and publications, more strategic alliances would be beneficial for both the research office and the library….

7% of research office staff reported that ensuring research is available openly is one of the top three priorities for their office. However, many referred to this as something for which they share responsibility with researchers and other departments within their institution. …

Open Access is the largest area of collaboration between the research office and the library, demonstrating the library’s role in complementing the research office’s priorities and areas of expertise. 35% of research office staff want greater collaboration with the library. Better systems for identifying publications and updating research profiles may be beneficial for enabling a collaborative focus on key priority areas for both parties….

Research office members are contributing more heavily to helping researchers find and apply for funding, and, to a lesser extent, monitoring the impact of their work. On the other hand, the library is helping more with depositing publications to institutional repositories and with Open Access compliance. …”

Survey of Academic & Research Library Plans for Journal Subscriptions Cancellations

“This study looks closely at academic and research library plans for their scholarly journal subscriptions.  These subscriptions are the heart of a research library’s scholarly services and often constitute the majority of materials spending, making them particularly vulnerable in an economic downturn.  This study helps its readers to answer questions such as: how many journal subscriptions have libraries cancelled this year? How many do they plan to cancel next year? Do they plan to add any subscriptions?  How much do they plan to spend overall on journals subscriptions and what is the likely trend? What are their criterial for subscription cancellation and which academic fields will be the hardest hit? What process or procedures do they follow when cancelling subscriptions? Are faculty consulted? How many proposed cancellations are prevented by faculty objections?  What percentage are saved due to agreements from faculty to partially or wholly support their cost?  What means do libraries use to satisfy requests for lost content when they cancel subscriptions?  How successful are these means in meeting library patron needs?

Just a few of the many findings of this 73-page report are:

Doctoral and MA/Level institutions in the sample plan to cancel a mean of 31.78 titles in the next year.

47.06% of libraries sample use a quantitative measure related to overall cost or cost per use to identify candidates for subscription cancellation.

The smaller the library, the greater the percentage of libraries that give faculty a chance to object to journals cancellations.

For research universities, the range of the percentage of times librarians are able to satisfy requests for content from recently cancelled journals is extraordinary with one participant able to satisfy library patron needs only 7.5% of the time, another, 90% of the time.”

Industry Report Reveals Challenges among Researchers and Research Office Leaders during COVID-19

“Ex Libris, a ProQuest company, is pleased to announce the publication of its annual study on the challenges that academic researchers face, the priorities of research office leaders, and key opportunities for research offices and libraries to support scholarship at institutions of higher education.

The study was commissioned by Ex Libris and conducted by Alterline, an independent research agency. The report presents findings from a survey of 314 researchers across a range of disciplines and 101 senior members of research offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia….

Senior members of research offices want to strengthen relationships with the library. The top areas of collaboration between the research office and the library consist of open-access compliance (noted by 64% of respondents), the tracking of publications by the institution’s researchers (46%), and the updating of researcher profiles (32%).
Researchers’ support for open access is growing. Before COVID-19, 72% of researchers viewed open access favorably, and 18% now report that they view open access more positively since the onset of COVID-19….”

Guest Post – Assessing User Perceptions of an Open Access Subvention Fund – The Scholarly Kitchen

“After eight years of funding open access (OA) articles, University Libraries at Virginia Tech has a wealth of quantitative data on article processing charges (APC). However, we lacked qualitative information on authors’ perceptions about funding OA articles, how this funding supports research in specific disciplines, and how authors view OA publishing in general. Since the fund’s inception, the Library’s expenditures on APCs has increased over 500%, prompting us to ask authors about their perceptions of the Open Access Subvention Fund (OASF) as we consider its future development and sustainability….

In fall 2019 we conducted a survey of all the VT authors and co-authors who had requested APC support between August 2012 and October 2019….

As context for understanding respondents’ views on the OASF, we wanted to learn about their views on the value of OA publishing more generally. Overall the attitudes were positive (perhaps not surprising given that those receiving the survey were seeking funding to publish OA) but the nuances are useful to understand.


56% of respondents felt that OA publishing should be a positive factor in promotion and tenure (P&T) considerations. But, 58% said it had not been discussed by any P&T committee they served on.
63% of the respondents received no special recognition from their departments for publishing an OA article.
Only 20% of authors reported that they deposited their articles in VTechWorks (our institutional repository). This indicates they may not be aware of the added exposure that the repository could provide for their work. Or, they may believe that by publishing the work OA, there is no need to provide a duplicate a copy in VTechWorks. (Note: OASF-supported articles are deposited in VTechWorks by Scholarly Communication Department staff if the authors do not deposit them.)
Authors are spreading the word about the OASF to their colleagues. While the Library uses a number of communication channels to advertise the fund, word of mouth seems to be very  effective. Nearly 80% indicated that they passed on information they got from a Library session, and 49% of respondents said they learned about the fund from a colleague.
Authors report encouraging others to publish in OA journals, including colleagues at VT (37%) and other universities (20%), graduate students (34%), and occasionally undergraduate students (8%)….”

LA Referencia – Big Deals survey shows that Latin America spends a little over USD $100 million per year on information resources

11 Latin American countries participated in the survey

82% of the surveyed countries say their expectations of Big Deals negotiations have been transformed by the importance of the Open Access movement.

79% of the expenditures (a little more than USD $81 million) are directed to 5 large publishers….”

Survey of Academic Library Use of Open Access Materials

“This survey studies how colleges and universities use open access resources as a supplement to or replacement for academic journals and other materials. Although the primary focus of the report is on scholarly publishing, especially academic journals, some questions relate to other information vehicles such as textbooks, audio-visual resources and print books.

As a response to the COVID crisis many colleges and universities are turning to open access resources and this report gives highly detailed data on the extent of use of a broad range of specific open access resources including but not limited to Google Scholar, Google Books, LOCKSS, the Directory of Open Access Journals, PubMed Central,  arXiv, bioRxiv, MedRxiv, ResearchGate the Directory of Open Access Books, OAPEN, the Online Guide to Open Access Journals, PDQY, Open Access Theses and Dissertations, the Registry of Research Data Repositories, MedEdPortal, the Open Access Directory, OpenDOAR, the Free Music Archive, EBSCO Open Dissertations, Science.Gov, OpenStax, MERLOT, Lumen Learning, the Open Course Library, Boundless and Saylor Academy.

The report also looks at use of interlibrary loan, direct appeals to authors and at pirating sites such as Sci-Hub as ways to fulfill patron demand after subscription cancellations.  The study also gives detailed data on the use of, and perception of the skill level in using, digital object identifiers to track and find open access and other available free or low- cost materials. Study participants also comment on what they are doing to publicize open access resources to their patrons, and what training they are providing in their discovery and use.  

Just a few of the 132-page report’s many findings are that:

37% of those sampled turn to interlibrary loan as their first choice in replacing content to which they have lost access.

The Resource – Open Access Theses and Dissertations – was used very frequently by 5.71% of survey participants and frequently by 20%.

63% of US-based colleges and universities in the sample produced a guidebook, listserv or LibGuide on how to locate and use open access resources.”

Accessibility in Institutional Repositories

“Report on findings from a survey conducted in Fall 2019 to gauge accessibility practices for digital content made available in institutional repositories. For the purpose of this study, we focus on the digital content collected in institutional repositories and workflows at academic libraries, rather than the websites and software platforms. This study is intended to establish a baseline measurement of current accessibility practices in hopes that studies such as this will help inform the wider community of the challenges and obstacles faced by institutional repository mangers and staff in ensuring accessibility to content.

Anonymized data from this survey is available in the Texas Data Repository. …”


Open and Equitable Scholarly Communications: Creating a More Inclusive Future – ACRL Insider

“ACRL is pleased to announce the release of “Open and Equitable Scholarly Communications: Creating a More Inclusive Future,” prepared for ACRL by Nancy Maron and Rebecca Kennison with Paul Bracke, Nathan Hall, Isaac Gilman, Kara Malenfant, Charlotte Roh, and Yasmeen Shorish. Developed over the course of a year with leadership from the Research and Scholarly Environment Committee (ReSEC) and with a high degree of community involvement, this powerful new action-oriented research agenda encourages the community to make the scholarly communications system more open, inclusive, and equitable by outlining trends, encouraging practical actions, and clearly identifying the most strategic research questions to pursue.

This report is an important contribution to ACRL’s core commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion which includes valuing different ways of knowing and identifying and working to eliminate barriers to equitable services, spaces, resources, and scholarship. The full research agenda is freely available on the ACRL website and will be available for purchase in print in the ALA store….”