Establishing an Institutional Repository A UNISA Case Study…

Establishing an Institutional Repository: A UNISA Case Study :

« The purpose of the paper is to share and learn about the roles of Academic Libraries with reference to the establishment of the Institutional Repository as a mechanism which can benefit scholars to expose their work, putting the institution at the level where-in its research output can
be evaluated and accessed by their peers. The institutional repository provides opportunity for citations, providing an opportunity for the required expose to other web based access tools. It can provide an alternative to the conventional publishing channel. The paper will focus on the practical experience of the UNISA library as a result of the implementation of the Institutional Repository through a pilot project.

UNISA, as an international university with its vision “Towards the African University in the service of humanity” has comprehensive and valuable research output by its academics. The institutional repository is a tool which can benefit scholars to expose their work and putting the
institution at the level where in its research out can be evaluated and accessed by their peers. The
institutional repository provides opportunity for citations, publication which is free, providing an opportunity for the required expose to other web based access tools.

One of UNISA’s strategic objectives is to implement an institutional repository, starting with the pilot project in 2008. This decision has created a positive platform for the library to utilize the
skills available to create a repository for the research output for UNISA. UNISA library has embarked on a pilot project to establish an institutional repository as a vehicle to expose its academic research output in a coherent manner. There are challenges in the process which require further debates on the benefits this platform would bring to both the university and individual academics. There is still a lot of mistrust, resistance and lack of skills from academics. Unless the information is shared, debates and workshops are held on the benefits from putting ones work on the institutional repository, African researchers will continue to aspire to exposure outside Africa. Institutional repositories can provide the platform to electronic journals, with a bigger potential if co-ordinated through the academic institutions to have the African market of
researchers more exposed, thus building our own African research output. The benefit of this is to
disseminate the research of African academics.

An overview of the role the Library plays in creation and establishing the Institutional repository will be provided. Information will be shared with the colleagues who wish to establish an Institutional Repository, while also providing an opportunity to learn how to utilize the tool to benefit researchers who are challenged, in terms of publishing their work. The academic libraries in higher education are willing to assist in establish a platform through the institutional repository, which is available through any internet.

The paper will conclude by highlighting some solutions to ensure that the research work of academics is exposed to the world. It will also provide an alternative to start providing access for potential articles which can get into the “international journals”. It will tell the UNISA library
story. »

URL : http://uir.unisa.ac.za/handle/10500/4297

OERs in Context – Case Study of Innovation…

OERs in Context – Case Study of Innovation and Sustainability of Educational Practices at the University of Mauritius :

« Over the recent years, there has been a growing interest in Open Educational Resources (OER). A similar trend was observed about a decade ago in the concept of Learning Objects, which inevitably faded without really making an impact in real-world educational contexts. A number of repositories were created that contain thousands of learning objects. However, on the consumption side, very little is known in terms of their implementations and impacts on teaching and learning. The same phenomenon is observed with Open Education Educational resources which are by definition learning objects but they are freely available resources available for educators and practitioners to use, reuse, remix and re-contextualise in local contexts. While the use of OER is widespread among educators (similarly to learning objects), however they often happen in discretion, isolation and not really in well-established frameworks (pedagogical, economical and institutional). This paper presents a case study of how OERs have been included in a sustainable and innovative teaching and learning model in three online courses at Diploma, Bachelor and Masters Level. It shows how the inclusion of OERs helped maintain a good quality level, sustain a viable economic model with reduction of tuition fees for learners, increase access and achieve the intended learning outcomes without any negative impact on the learners’ experience. »

URL : http://www.eurodl.org/?p=current&article=419

Weblog publishing behaviour of librarianship and information science…

Weblog publishing behaviour of librarianship and information science students: a case study :

« Introduction. The ‘blogosphere’ is a space with digital information in which social networks form that offer countless application possibilities. In this technology-mediated context, it is feasible to study the performance and approaches of production, diffusion, relationship and use of information from different perspectives.
Method. Quantitative data were obtained through the regular examination of the blogs maintained by students and qualitative data were obtained from reports by the students and self-assessment questionnaires.

Analysis. Simple counts of quantitative data were obtained, without further statistical analysis. The qualitative data were reviewed for insights into the motivations of students. Results. Given a free choice, most students adopted the Blogger platform for their blogs. Most blogs consisted of content reported from elsewhere and were not continued by the students following the end of the exercise.

Conclusions. Students adopted an instrumental approach to the exercise, doing enough to complete the course requirements but not being sufficiently engaged to continue their blogs. Preliminary work based on basic competences is necessary in both collaboration processes and Web 2.0 technology to obtain satisfactory results in the use of Weblogs as teaching and learning tools. »

URL : http://eprints.rclis.org/handle/10760/15433

Science, institutional archives and open access: an overview and a pilot survey on the Italian cancer research institutions

Background

The Open Archive Initiative (OAI) refers to a movement started around the ’90s to guarantee free access to scientific information by removing the barriers to research results, especially those related to the ever increasing journal subscription prices.

This new paradigm has reshaped the scholarly communication system and is closely connected to the build up of institutional repositories (IRs) conceived to the benefit of scientists and research bodies as a means to keep possession of their own literary production.

The IRs are high-value tools which permit authors to gain visibility by enabling rapid access to scientific material (not only publications) thus increasing impact (citation rate) and permitting a multidimensional assessment of research findings. »

Methods

A survey was conducted in March 2010 to mainly explore the managing system in use for archiving the research finding adopted by the Italian Scientific Institutes for Research, Hospitalization and Health Care (IRCCS) of the oncology area within the Italian National Health Service.

They were asked to respond to a questionnaire intended to collect data about institutional archives, metadata formats and posting of full-text documents. The enquire concerned also the perceived role of the institutional repository DSpace ISS, built up by the Istituto Superiore di Sanita (Italian National Institute of Health, ISS), based on a XML scheme for encoding metadata.

Such a repository aims at acting as a unique reference point for the biomedical information produced by the Italian research institutions. An in-depth analysis has also been performed on the collection of information material addressed to patients produced by the institutions surveyed.

Results

The survey respondents were 6 out of 9. The results reveal the use of different practices and standard among the institutions concerning: the type of documentation collected, the software adopted, the use and format of metadata and the conditions of accessibility to the IRs.

Conclusions

The Italian research institutions in the field of oncology are moving the first steps towards the philosophy of OA. The main effort should be the implementation of common procedures also in order to connect scientific publications to researchers curricula.

In this framework, an important effort is represented by the project of ISS aimed to set a common interface able to allow migration of data from partner institutions to the OA compliant repository DSpace ISS.

URL : http://www.jeccr.com/content/29/1/168

The importance of open access in technology transfer for marine ornamental aquaculture: The case of hobbyist-led breeding initiatives

Access to peer-reviewed literature is often restricted to a limited segment of the target audience. Barriers are in place to prevent open access of information. In the applied research science of aquaculture, these barriers have slowed progress and innovation. Here, I present a case study of how the internet and hobbyists are transforming both access and flow of information from closed circles to open dialogue within the field of marine ornamental fish rearing.

This open approach is leading to innovation a rate remarkably faster and at a lower costs than could have been accomplished by traditional methods. Aquaculture societies, aquarium professionals, hobbyists, and scientists pursuing the captive production of species should embrace this movement. Whether production is for profit, conservation, or pure enjoyment, the free flow of information provides exciting new opportunities.

URL : http://www.bioflux.com.ro/docs/2010.3.269-272.pdf