An analysis of the factors affecting open access to research output in institutional repositories in selected universities in East Africa | JLSC

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:

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.

Full article: Open Access and Promotion and Tenure Evaluation Plans at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire

Abstract:  Department and program evaluation plans at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire were examined to see if these documents provide evidence that could be used to justify supporting the publication of peer-reviewed open access articles toward tenure and promotion. In an earlier study, the authors reveal that faculty members at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire are more unaware of open access publishing than their counterparts at larger universities. These findings dovetail with other studies that show that faculty members are reluctant to publish in open access journals because of concerns about the quality of those journals. The existing body of scholarship suggests that tenure-line faculty fear publishing in open access journals because it could adversely impact their chances of promotion and tenure. The authors of this current study sought to determine if department and program evaluation plans could influence negative perceptions faculty have of open access journals. The implications of this study for librarians, scholarly communication professionals, tenure-line faculty, departments, and programs are addressed.


Chinese PhD Students’ Perceptions of Predatory Journals: A Survey Study | Journal of Scholarly Publishing

Abstract:  This study investigates the attitudes of Chinese PhD students toward predatory journals. Data were gathered using an online questionnaire to which 332 Chinese PhD students responded. Our main conclusions are 1) in the sciences, technology, and medicine, respondents frequently confused predatory journals with open access journals; 2) in the humanities and social sciences, the respondents identified only Chinese-language (not English-language) journals as predatory and made a number of misidentifications; and 3) most respondents indicated that they would not submit papers to predatory journals, mainly because doing so would hurt their reputation, yet the minority who were willing to do so mentioned easy acceptance and a short wait time for publication as the top reasons for considering it.


Ewelina Pabja?czyk-Wlaz?o, Poland: Open Science is a must, which was strongly shown by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic | Eurodoc

What are the main challenges for Open Science implementation in your country?

The biggest challenges in Poland are, first of all, the lack of awareness and lack of knowledge about Open Science among researchers. Despite the fact that there are many initiatives, events and courses, either available for free on the internet or as services and resources provided by university libraries, scientists in Poland do not always know what Open Science and related concepts are about. Another problem concerns the lack of systemic support in this regard at the university level or national level policies e.g. during research assessment. If these policies will not include incentives for researchers to practice OS, it will be very difficult to develop this habit and permanently introduce it into the researchers’ daily work. In addition, practicing OS requires specific skills, as well as some kind of administrative work, which, given the current heavy workload of researchers, may become another unwanted duty if universities do not provide support in this area. The discussion on this topic in Poland is still difficult – Open Science has many opponents and, sadly, it often applies to scientists themselves who do not distinguish OS practices from practices of predatory publishing houses….”

Preprints South Asia Survey 2020: A Report

Abstract:  A survey on conducted to know the status of awareness and attitude particularly towards preprints among the research scholars, scientists and librarians in the South Asian region during the months of April and May 2020 had maximum responses from India (83.71%) and majority of Agricultural Sciences (54%) discipline. Respondents ranked ‘Journal’s Impact Factor’ at the top factor for selecting journals to publish. Seventy five percent had at least 25% of their publications in Open Access and had paid the APCs (65.33%) for publications and the source of funds are personal pooling (30.34%). While 61.72% read preprints, 27.03% have not heard about preprints and 11.26% never read the preprints. However, those read, 64.42% trust the preprints. And why they share preprints is because of ‘belief in open access’ (39.91%), ‘rapid feedback’ (23.53%) and ‘timely sharing results’ (21.72%). With regard to citing preprints, 60.36% never cited any preprints and 79.73% respondent’s preprints were never cited. However, the respondents mentioned that indexing, citing, visibility, consideration in assessment & evaluation will motivate the authors to share preprints.


Implementing Open Science policies into library processes – case study of the University of Eastern Finland library

Abstract:  This is a case study about the creation of open science services in the University of Eastern Finland. The library has overseen the open science services that have been actively implemented from 2010 onwards due to the development of the digitalisation of science and open science policies. A survey was conducted to determine how the UEF’s academic faculty use the services provided as well as their attitudes towards opening their own research findings in this manner. The researchers seem to be most interested in issues that influence their daily work, i.e. data management plans and opening their publications. It seems that the culture of openness is still at the development stage within UEF. The innovators, i.e. active research groups and researchers, are already practicing and encouraging openness, but the majority of the academic staff seems to be either unaware of open science or unwilling to implement it, due to the fact that incentives and career advancements still support the traditional way of conducting research.


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.

Integrating FAIR Data Science Competences in Higher Education Curricula: The Role of Academic and Research Libraries  | FAIRsFAIR

“Our point of departure for the workshop was to present the findings from FAIRsFAIR survey activites conducted by the European University Association (EUA) in collaboration with partners of the FAIRsFAIR project during 2019 to investigate the extent to which FAIR research data management principles are present in university curricula. These findings and the related recommendations are documented in the recently published report D7.1 FAIR in Higher Education.  For easy reference, a quick graphic overview of the report is provided at this webpage. 

The findings most pertinent to workshop participants include:

Awareness of the FAIR principles is considered high among professional and support staff (e.g. data stewards, librarians), moderate among the institutional leadership, but still rather low among researchers and especially students.
Higher education institutions are increasingly aware of the need to integrate digital skills into their curricula. Only 38% of respondents to this question stated that their organisation had a related strategy in place at institutional or departmental level – or both. However 31% stated that although there was no strategy yet in place, their institution was developing one.
The extent to which data science skills are currently being addressed in university teaching is reported to be rather low overall at the bachelor and master level and moderate at the doctoral level. Respondents expressed an urgent need to strengthen the teaching of data-related competences at all three levels. …”

The Impact of OER Initiatives on Faculty Selection of Classroom Materials

“The adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER) is on the rise, driven in part by increasing awareness of OER. But while faculty and institutions have shown increasing awareness and acceptance of OER, many remain unfamiliar with what they are, or how to utilize them. • Faculty who are aware of one or more OER initiatives are much more likely to be adopters of OER. This holds true for both faculty teaching introductory-level courses and the general population of faculty. • When implemented at the institutional level, OER initiatives result in a measurable rise in the number of faculty who are aware of OER. • Faculty who are aware of OER are much more likely to adopt OER as required course materials; those who have yet to adopt OER are much more likely to do so in the future. • The impact of awareness of OER initiatives on adoption remains consistent across types of institutions (two- and four-year), the level of course being taught, and across regional compacts in the U.S….”

The Chilling Effect of Copyright Permissions on Academic Research: The Case of Communication Researchers | infojustice

Abstract:  Communications researchers in the U.S., who routinely analyze copyrighted material, both qualitatively and quantitatively, face challenges from strict copyright. The doctrine of fair use permits some unpermissioned use of copyrighted works. Survey research shows that researchers routinely need access to copyrighted material; that they are often unsure or confused, even unknowing, about fair use; and that this lack of knowledge and/or familiarity leads to both failure to execute and failure to initiate, or “imagination foregone.” Creating a best practices code has improved knowledge but more institutional change is needed for knowledge to inform action.