Utilisation of open access institutional repositories in Zimbabwe’s public universities

Author : Mass Masona Tapfuma

Despite the establishment of institutional repositories (IRS) in Zimbabwe’s public universities, content for these repositories remains untangible. The purpose of this study was to explore the utilisation of IRs in the universities.

The Unified Theory of Acceptance and Usage of Technology (UTAUT) model was used to understand individuals behaviours’ towards acceptance of technologies. The pragmatist paradigm guided the study employing the mixed methods research (MMR) approach combining quantitative and qualitative approaches.

Triangulation was used to obtain a deeper understanding of the research problem. Eight public universities were surveyed including all levels of academics, research directors, library directors and IR/faculty librarians. A census, stratified and systematic sampling techniques were adopted to constitute the sample of the study.

A survey was carried out aided by questionnaires and interviews. Document analysis (policies and so forth) and bibliometric analysis were also employed including attending a Zimbabwe University Libraries Consortium (ZULC) workshop.

The findings of the study revealed a high awareness of OA/IRs by the academic community but content deposits were very low despite the existence of research and OA/IR policies (in some of the universities) which mandated deposit of research funded by the universities. A national repository was also established by the Research Council of Zimbabwe to link all repositories in the country while ZULC was lobbying for the development of a national OA policy. T

he study concluded that Zimbabwe’s university libraries faced numerous challenges in marketing and promoting of repositories, therefore, the concept of IRs remains in the infancy stage. It was recommended that: the libraries should intensify OA/IR education efforts; incentivise scholars/academics and library staff; resolve IPR issues and strengthen deposit mandates.

The study would contribute to practice in the establishment, running, management and promotion of repositories and policy makers will be informed and guided in the development and implementation of OA policies and regulatory frameworks leading to the establishment of the requisite infrastructure for OA/IR establishment in all academic institutions in the country, the national repository and the national content harvesting systems. Further research to probe the causes of low deposit rates and why scholars prefer depositing elsewhere is recommended.

URL : http://hdl.handle.net/10413/14893

Research Data Management in Research Institutions in Zimbabwe

Authors : Josiline Chigwada, Blessing Chiparausha, Justice Kasiroori

The research was aimed at evaluating how research data are being managed in research institutions in Zimbabwe. The study also sought to assess the challenges that are faced in research data management by research institutions in Zimbabwe.

Twenty five institutions of higher learning and other organisations that deal with research were selected using purposive sampling to participate in the study.

An online questionnaire on SurveyMonkey was sent to the selected participants and telephone interviews were done to follow up on participants who failed to respond on time. Data that were collected using interviews were entered manually into SurveyMonkey for easy analysis.

It was found out that proper research data management is not being done. Researchers were managing their own research data. Most of the research data were in textual and spreadsheet format. Graphical, audio, video, database, structured text formats and software applications research data were also available.

Lack of guidelines on good practice, inadequate human resources, technological obsolescence, insecure infrastructure, use of different vocabulary between librarians and researchers, inadequate financial resources, absence of research data management policies and lack of support by institutional authorities and researchers negatively impacted on research data management.

Authors recommend the establishment of research data repositories and use of existing research data repositories that are registered with the Registry of Research Data Repositories to ensure that research data standards are adhered to when doing research.

URL : Research Data Management in Research Institutions in Zimbabwe

DOI : http://doi.org/10.5334/dsj-2017-031