Open access institutional repositories: A requirement for academic libraries in the 21st century. A case study of four African universities
The paper highlights the importance and expectation of a global access to information, open access institutional repositories as a requirement for academic and research libraries. The paper further investigated the challenges faced by four African universities in implementing their open access repositories. A literature review method was adopted by way of questionnaire and observation using ProQuest/Serial solutions summons which was a web scale discovery tool that indexes a wide variety of databases. Population of study comprises of four selected African universities; Ahmadu Bello University(ABU), Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria; Kwame Nkrumah University of science and Technology, Ghana; Durban University of Technology (DUT) South Africa; Uganda Christian University (UCU), Uganda. The data collected were analysed using Stellenbosch’s best practices guide, “SUNScholar/practical guidelines for starting an institutional repository (IR)” (Gibson). Findings revealed that; KNUST have both institutional policy and open access policy that currently in draft form and no embargo on open access policy. DUTIR implemented their policy in 2009 without embargo on open access. ABU and UCU have drafted their policy but yet to be implemented. Only 2 KNUST space has documented a formal long term preservation policy as part of their IR policy. Based on research findings, the researchers are not willing to devote time to ensure that their research work is archived, while institutions seem unwilling to commit financially to ensure the sustainability of their repositories. It was recommended that libraries should take proactive steps to make their repositories more successful.
Open Access, Institutional Repository, Self-Archiving, Open Access Policy, Institutional Repository Infrastructure