Factors influencing the adoption of open…

Factors influencing the adoption of open access scholarly communication in Tanzanian public universities :
Open access – a means for free availability of scholarly content via the Internet – is an emerging opportunity for wider and unlimited access to scholarly literature. Scholarly communication, through open access journals and self-arching, are the two main approaches of open access publishing. However, this mode of scholarly communication is not widely utilised in developing countries such as Tanzania. This paper discusses the factors that influence the adoption of open access for scholarly communication in Tanzanian public universities based on a study conducted from 2007 to 2010. A survey questionnaire targeted 544 researchers selected through stratified random sampling from a population of 1088
university researchers at six public universities in Tanzania. In addition, 69 policy makers from the six universities were interviewed. It was evident from the findings that the majority of both the policy makers and researchers were aware of open access. However, most of the researchers accessed free online content more (62%) than they disseminated their scholarly content (20%) through open access. Researchers’ Internet usage skills and self-efficacy, social influence, performance expectancy, effort expectancy, and the respondents’ general perceptions about open access were identified as the positive factors likely to facilitate open access adoption in Tanzanian public universities. The current poor research conditions and researchers’ low Internet self-efficacy such as inadequate information search skills were cited as the main hindrances for researchers to use open access outlets to access scholarly content. Additionally, inadequate online publishing skills, and the slow Internet connectivity are the
main issues that deterred researchers to disseminate the research findings through open access outlets. The paper recommends that institutional policies on scholarly communication should be revised to incorporate the use of open access publishing. Furthermore, universities should accelerate the establishment of institutional repositories, advocacy campaigns and training directed to researchers, policy makers, readers and information managers of scholarly content, and the improvement of Internet speed at universities through subscription to more bandwidth so as to meet the demand from the scholarly community.

URL : http://www.ifla.org/files/hq/papers/ifla76/138-dulle-en.pdf


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