OAR@UM: Academics’ perspective of open access and institutional repositories, University of Malta : a case study

Abstract:  This research explores factors affecting academics’ willingness towards self-archiving in their University’s IR. Academics are the main contributors of Institutional Repositories (IRs). Whatsoever, voluntary contributions from their end lacks, which is a problem faced by Universities globally. Since the situation at the University of Malta (UM) is of no exception to such hindrance to its IR (OAR@UM) content and potential, this study specifically tackled UM academics. Both positive and negative drivers towards self-archiving in OAR@UM were investigated in terms of perceptions, awareness, practice and knowledge. Apart from the IR, OA publishing in general was also considered. Also, from the reviewed literature a gap was identified. Thus, this study attempted to fill such gap by extending its scope to also explore the academics’ willingness towards engaging in knowledge sharing activities along with, related preferences such as, venue and material type. This study adopted the Willingness Indicator Model, a new research model based upon the Theory of Planned Behaviour and that was specifically developed by this researcher for the purpose of this study. A quantitative research design using online questionnaire survey was employed albeit questions that derive both quantitative and qualitative information were incorporated. Findings transpired that despite low contribution, overall, participants did positively perceive OAR@UM to be a high quality venue, acknowledged access benefits, recognised that it benefits the UM and regarded it as the majorly preferred self-archiving venue. They also overall acknowledged that it benefits the UM. Among others, the major inspiring factors towards depositing respectively were the prospect of increased professional visibility and altruism in terms of benefiting other researchers. On the other hand, among others, major inhibiting factors respectively were, not finding the time, self-archiving being unusual practice within discipline, and copyright concerns. High awareness about the availability of OA and OAR@UM showed. Nonetheless, a lack of OA and self-archiving concept knowledge along with, knowledge related to OAR@UM in relation to concept and related services emerged. To this effect, low OAR@UM contributors resulted. As concluded, this particularly occurred as a consequence of negative perceptions, unrecognised benefits and concerns which most were unfounded ones and that thus, could simply cease through the acquisition of appropriate concept related knowledge that of course could only be derived through appropriate education, promotion and communication.

OAR@UM: Academics’ perspective of open access and institutional repositories, University of Malta : a case study

Abstract:  This research explores factors affecting academics’ willingness towards self-archiving in their University’s IR. Academics are the main contributors of Institutional Repositories (IRs). Whatsoever, voluntary contributions from their end lacks, which is a problem faced by Universities globally. Since the situation at the University of Malta (UM) is of no exception to such hindrance to its IR (OAR@UM) content and potential, this study specifically tackled UM academics. Both positive and negative drivers towards self-archiving in OAR@UM were investigated in terms of perceptions, awareness, practice and knowledge. Apart from the IR, OA publishing in general was also considered. Also, from the reviewed literature a gap was identified. Thus, this study attempted to fill such gap by extending its scope to also explore the academics’ willingness towards engaging in knowledge sharing activities along with, related preferences such as, venue and material type. This study adopted the Willingness Indicator Model, a new research model based upon the Theory of Planned Behaviour and that was specifically developed by this researcher for the purpose of this study. A quantitative research design using online questionnaire survey was employed albeit questions that derive both quantitative and qualitative information were incorporated. Findings transpired that despite low contribution, overall, participants did positively perceive OAR@UM to be a high quality venue, acknowledged access benefits, recognised that it benefits the UM and regarded it as the majorly preferred self-archiving venue. They also overall acknowledged that it benefits the UM. Among others, the major inspiring factors towards depositing respectively were the prospect of increased professional visibility and altruism in terms of benefiting other researchers. On the other hand, among others, major inhibiting factors respectively were, not finding the time, self-archiving being unusual practice within discipline, and copyright concerns. High awareness about the availability of OA and OAR@UM showed. Nonetheless, a lack of OA and self-archiving concept knowledge along with, knowledge related to OAR@UM in relation to concept and related services emerged. To this effect, low OAR@UM contributors resulted. As concluded, this particularly occurred as a consequence of negative perceptions, unrecognised benefits and concerns which most were unfounded ones and that thus, could simply cease through the acquisition of appropriate concept related knowledge that of course could only be derived through appropriate education, promotion and communication.

Malta Open Access policy report finalised

“The development of Malta’s National Open Access Policy has been entrusted to the Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST), a governmental body that falls under the Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services and Digital Economy within the Ministry for Finance and Financial Services.

With support from the European Horizon 2020 Policy Support Facility, the MCST started developing Malta’s tailor-made Open Access policy during a meeting in Brussels in July 2019. This was followed by two visits to Malta in October and December 2019 by representatives of the European Commission and its appointed independent experts. During their first visit, the delegates held individual meetings with national stakeholders, while in the second visit, a workshop for the stakeholders was arranged.

The final report with the recommendations on the national Open Access policy was recently launched at an online video conference organised by the MCST and streamed live on the council’s social media access. A recording of the full live stream may be found at www.facebook.com/MaltaCouncilforScienceandTechonology/videos/25844896151292

The final report can be accessed via the MCST website below.

https://mcst.gov.mt/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/OPEN-ACCESS-MALTA-REPORT.pdf …”