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  • Name: AWARENESS AND ATTITUDE OF LECTURERS IN UNIVERSITY OF BENIN TOWARDS ESTABLISHMENT OF INSTITUTIONAL REPOSITORIES (IRS)
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ABSTRACT

Institutional Repositories (IR) have been considered one of the method of disseminating and preserving methods for scholarly research publication. The success of IR is dependent on the awareness and attitude of lecturers. The study investigated the awareness and attitude of lecturers in University of Benin towards the establishment of Institutional Repositories (IRs). Descriptive survey research design was used. From a population of 1889 lecturers, a sample of 189 was drawn using accidental sampling technique. These samples represent 10% of the Lecturers in the University of Benin. Questionnaire was the instrument used for data collection. Data was analyzed using mean statistic, bar chart and pie chart. Findings reveal that majority of the Lecturers in University of Benin are aware that their institution does not have Institutional Repository (IRs). And they do not use Institutional Repository (IR) in their institution. The results also shows that, the Lecturers agreed that; Depositing their work in their institutional Repository is acceptable, IR will increase the citation impact to my work, IR will enhance the visibility of my university local content, Lecturers have a happy attitude when their works are accepted and uploaded in IR and said they will be happier is  IRs are established in University of Benin. However, Lack of awareness of open access IR among researchers, inadequate power supply, Lack of technical know-how, were the challenges facing the establishment of IR in the university, 157 lectures agreed to this. This study recommended that universities should encourage promotional activities geared towards creating awareness of IR which will in turn enhance positive attitude towards IR establishment in universities.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page …………………………………….…………………………………………..ii

Certification………………………………………………………………………………iii

Declaration …………………………………………………..……………………..……iv

Dedication………………………………………………………………………………..v

Acknowledgments…………………………………….………..………………………..vi

Abstract……………………………………………………..………………………….vii

Table of Contents.……………………………………………..………………………..viii

List of Tables ………………………………………..………………………………….xi

CHAPTER ONE

  Introduction

1.1       Background of the Study ………………………………………………………….1

1.2       Statement of Problem …………………………………………………………….7

1.3       Objectives of the Study …………………………………………………….………8

1.4       Research Questions ……………………………………………………..…………8

1.5       Scope of the Study ………………………………………………..……………….9

1.6       Significance of the Study……………………………………………………………..9

1.8       Operational Definition of Terms …………………………………………………..10

CHAPTER TWO

Literature Review

2.1 Introduction …………………………………………….…………..…………………………………………11

2.2 Concept of Institutional Repositories………………………………………………….11

2.3 Historical Development of Institutional Repositories…………………………………13

2.4   History, Development and State of IRs in Nigeria………………..………………….16

2.5   Lecturer’s Awareness of IRs……………………………………….….…….………..16

2.6   Lectures’ Attitudes Towards the Establishment of IRs……………………….……….20

2.7   Lectures’ Willingness Towards Depositing their Research Output in IRs…………….24

2.8   Benefits of IRs……………………………………………….……………………………29

2.9   Challenges Associated with the Development of IR…………………………………….37

CHAPTER THREE

Research Methodology

3.1       Introduction …………………………………….….……………………………………….38

3.2       Research Design ……………………………………..…………………………………….40

3.3       Study Population ……………………..……………………………………………40

3.4       Sampling and Sampling Technique ……………………..…………………………41

3.5       Research Instrument …………………………………….………………………….41

3.6       Validation of Instrument ……………………………………………………………42

3.7       Procedure of Data Collection…………………………………………………………42

3.8       Data Analysis………………………………………………..………………………42

CHAPTER FOUR

Presentation of Results

4.1       Introduction ………………………………………….………………………………43

4.2       Data Analysis ………………………………………………………………………..44

4.3       Analysis of Data on the Research Questions…………………………………….……48

4.4       Discussion of Findings ………………………………………………………………54

CHAPTER FIVE

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1       Summary of Findings……………………………………………..………………58

5.2       Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………..59

5.3       Recommendation ………………………………………………………………….60

5.4       Contribution of the Study to Knowledge …………………………………………60

5.5       Suggestions for Further Research ……………………………………………..….61

REFERENCE …………………………………………………………………………….62

APPENDIX I…..…………………………………………………………………………..70

APPENDIX II…..………………….……………………………………………………….71

APPENDIX III……………………………………………………………………………..74


 

CHAPTER ONE

Introduction

  • Background of the Study

Institutional Repositories (IRs) are now becoming a component of the technical infrastructure in research intensive institutions and a favoured option for providing open access to research output. The responsibility of each academic institution is to preserve, organize and distribute the intellectual output of their faculty to the entire world. University libraries have an increasingly important role to play in supporting open access publishing and dissemination of research outputs. In particular, many libraries are playing a leading role in establishing and managing Institutional Repositories (IRs).

Christian (2012) noted that for centuries, institutional libraries and scholarly publishing were the conventional model adopted in disseminating and preserving knowledge in academic and research institutions. Whereas institutional libraries housed research outputs in the form of periodicals, journals articles, textbooks and monographs, thus playing greater role in terms of preservation than dissemination, scholarly publishing played a much greater role on terms of dissemination through scholarly journals (Altbach, 2012). Over the past several decades, the economy market and technological foundations that sustains this symbiotic publisher-library market relationship has begun to shift (Bacon, 2005). This shift has resulted in what Benkler (2010) called the “networked information economy” free access which is gradually displacing the “industrial information economy” (restricted access) that typified information production from about the second half of the nineteenth century and throughout the twentieth century. According to Lockyer, Fry, Bruce, Oppenheim and Houghton (2012) ways in which scientific and scholarly knowledge is created and disseminated are undergoing radical change in the light of new digital technologies, though the extent and place of this change is not uniform across disciplines.

According to Christian (2012) the emergence of Open Access Initiatives as well as information and communication technologies provides a veritable medium to address the problem of poor visibility of academic research information emanating from developing countries like Nigeria. The shift from the conventional print publication to the use of digital sources and internet media have provided academic and research institutions in Nigeria with an opportunity to make their grey literature and research output accessible to the outside world. However, it may be surprising to observe that academic and research institution in the country are yet to take advantage of the benefits provided by open access institutional repositories.

The open access movement emerged in response to increasing legal and economic barriers by commercial scholarly publishers which made access to research output and information difficult especially to people in developing countries of the world. Thus the movement seeks to promote free and open access to research output devoid of any permission barriers and unnecessary legal restraints. The open access movement therefore seeks to use the internet – a product of the ‘networked information economy’ to provide free access to research and scholarly output to people irrespective of their physical or geographical location, or their social and economic means. (Cetto, 2001)

An institutional repository (IR) aims at bundling the research output of an institution (E.g. A University or a research center) and makes it available to the public. In the majority of these cases these document servers are run by the libraries belonging to the institution. With regard to this form of self-archiving, the lack of willingness on behalf of scientists to upload their work on these servers is the major problem. Studying nine important IRs worldwide, Xia and Sun (2007) report that the archiving of the articles is mainly done by librarians or administrative staff – hence, the self-archiving rate of authors is rather small.

.          According to Christian (2012), the state of research and publishing in local academic journals in Nigeria has been on the rise in recent times. Unfortunately, these publications widely accessible has been to list the journals in the African Journal Online database. Regrettably, the database is not openly accessible and hence only details limited to the abstract of the research is openly accessible. Notwithstanding, this statistic on the database help us to understand the state of research publishing in Nigeria as compared to other countries. The lack of access to information resource around the world is a matter of concern and issue that a growing number of initiatives seek to remedy. One of such initiatives is the open access movement. The aim of IR is to  increase visibility, preservation and storage of all types of instructional output, including unpublished literature, support for learning and teaching, standardization of institutional records, ability to keep track of and analyze research performance, breaking down of publishers cost and permission barriers, help universities to share their knowledge and expertise (Christian, 2012).

Are proposed as one of the major strategies for achieving open access. Essentially, IR collects and provides free access to research output of a given institution. The main function of IR is to provide improved access to the full text of research articles and improve retrieval of relevant research (Christian, 2012). The definitions of Institutional repository vary to great deal in the extent to which artifacts are to be stored. They range from every digital material created by institution (Lynch 2010).

Harnad, (2003) noted that institutional repository is a digital archive of the intellectual product created by the faculty, research staff, and students of an institution and accessible to end users both within and outside the institution, with few if any barrier to access. Lynch (2003) sees it as “a set of services that a university offers to the members of its community for the management and dissemination of digital materials created by the institution and its community”. Hence the role of an institutional repository is basically to collect, preserved and disseminates the host institution’s research outputs. The research outputs could include electronic copies of pre-prints as well as post-print articles, conference and working papers, committee papers, teaching materials, thesis and dissertations, monographs, multimedia, student projects etc. Although institutional repositories are usually associated with universities and research institutes, they could also apply to governmental, non-governmental and corporate organizations that generate intellectual output that could be digitized and disseminated.

Chan and Costa (2005) noted that institutional repositories administered by universities or research institutes for members of their community, are the fastest growing form of open access archives. Institutional repository has emerged to revolutionize the methods of preservation as well as communication of research outputs in academic and research institutions. Arising from the definitions, it could be seen that an Institutional repository is institution-based, contains scholarly publications, organizes and provide free access. Hence, it may be defined as a type of digital library established by an institution, populated by the staffs, researchers, students and other members of the institution and to be consulted by both members of the university and the outside world. Barky (2010) noted that IRs includes e-prints or other types of digital works by authors in a single academic department or school or the whole institution.

Awareness is a pre-requisite to subsequent usage of IR unless an individual uses it unknowing. Christian (2012) identified lack of awareness as one of the issues which adversely militate against the development of IR in Nigeria. He indicated that lack of awareness of IRs among academic and researchers is high in the country’s academic and research institutions.  Christian further noted that more than 74% of the respondents surveyed during the course of his research are completely unfamiliar with IR. This implies that knowledge of IR is very low among major stakeholders in the development region like Nigeria. Alemeyehu (2010) indicated that regardless of lecturers age and status, 31 out of 45 respondents have said that they didn’t have any pre-knowledge of the IR. Moreover, the level of awareness according to their academic status has also been found to be below in the academic status of assistant and associate professor and research fellow. Therefore, awareness of IR among lecturers seems to be one major issue to the development of IR for research in developing countries. It is only when awareness is tackle in an empirical study that usage may be enhanced.

Another variable that may influence establishment and usage is attitude. Attitudes are “inclination and feelings, prejudices or bias, preconceived notion, fear and conviction about any specific topic (Taiwo, 2014). Allport (2010) stated that an attitude “is a mental and neutral state of readiness organized through experiences exerting a directive of dynamic influence upon individuals’ response to all objects or situation with which it is associated.” Attitude according to Lahey (2011) is a belief that predisposes us to act and feel in certain ways. Crider, Goethias, Kavanaugh, and solomo (2002) agreed that attitudes are positive or negative evaluation of people, objects, ideas or events. Attitudes are made up of emotional reaction (affective) thoughts, belief (cognitive) and actions (behavioral).

A person attitude towards an issue or object can be judged from his behavior in situation involving that object or issue. When a person has a positive attitude, the expected outcome is a pleasant feeling or result and vice versa. It’s may also be inferred from his agreement or disagreement with statement expressing beliefs, or feeling about objects. It is clear from the foregoing that the development of positive attitude among lecturers toward the establishment of IR will ensure effective implementation of IRs in universities in the study area faculty in which lecturers are located and their academic status may influence the establishment of IRs. According to Kim (2010) faculty (lecturers) disciplines, professional rank and gender may be motivating or impeding factors affecting their contribution to IR. Apart from awareness, attitude of lecturers, faculty and academic status of the lecturers, there are other factors that may influence the establishment of IR these include lecturers’ willingness to deposit research articles in an IR, benefit of IRs, well as challenges associated with the development of IRs. The success of an IR depend on the willingness of the researcher to deposit their research output in an IR can lead to its establishment in universities. Alemayehu (2010) found that 26 out of 27 researchers who did have an awareness of IR were interested to contribute content to repository.

Several studies have also shown that many lecturers are not aware of the benefits of depositing or using an IR. Thus, there is low collaboration between the IRs and the researchers (lecturers).   This low collaboration between the IRs and researchers should be meditated in many ways such as presenting the success stories about the achievements of IRs to them. Furthermore, Westell (2010) pointed out that work still needs to be done to successfully integrating repository into the research culture of lecturers while Beer (2009); Harnad, Brody, Vallieres, Carr, Hitchocock, Gingras, Oppenhein, Hajjem, and Hilf (2008)), suggested that the only way to gurantee 100% self-archiving is with an institution mandate. There are generally technical challenges and cost of installing IR. Software and this may influence IR establishment in universities. Technological challenges may serve as factors that limit the establishment and development of IR. Startman (2012) noted that IRs makes it possible to collect content in one location, capture and provide open access of a university, as well as preserve content that may be otherwise unavailable or out of publication. Thus it is essential to explore lecturers’ willingness, their benefit and challenges of IRs to determine if an IR will be worthwhile to the library as well as the institution. It is therefore important to understand what might motivate or deter the establishment of IR in universities.

Brief History of University of Benin

The University of Benin was founded in 1970 as an institute of technology and was accorded the status of a full-fledged university by National Universities Commission (NUC) on 1st of July 1971. On 1st April, 1975 the university at the request of the state Government was taken over by the Federal Government following NUC directives.

1.2   Statement of Problem

In recent years there has been increasing concern with the existing model of scholarly communication. The rise of publication cost, subscription rates of online journal and the bulk production of scholarly output in digital format are becoming big problems and challenges to libraries in rendering services to their users. With this fact, the emerging technologies have on the other hand brought several methods to the libraries and academic institutions for disseminating their research output, one of which is open access.  Hence libraries have started adopting open access technologies by taking institutional repository as an alternative solution to introduce free access to scholarly research results, as well as for the dissemination and preservation of digital documents as a response to the current digital age.

Nigerian university generally and federal universities particular, function as a focal point for academic research in Nigeria. In view of the foregoing realities of poor state of institutional repositories in Nigeria, this study seeks to investigate the  awareness and attitude of lectures in University of Benin towards  establishment of institutional repositories.

1.3   Objectives of study

The general objective of the study is to find out  of awareness and attitude of lectures in University of Benin towards the establishment of institutional repositories(IRs). The specific objectives are to;

  • Find out lecturers awareness of IRs in University of Benin.
  • Find out the attitude of the lecturers towards the establishment of IRs in University of Benin.
  • Find out the willingness of lecturer towards depositing their research output in IR.
  • Ascertain what lecturers perceive as the benefits of IR in University of Benin.
  • Identify general challenges of IR establishment in University of Benin

1.4   Research Questions

The following research questions will guide the study;

  • Are lecturers aware of IR in University of Benin?
  • What is the attitude of the lecturers towards the establishment of IRs in University of Benin?
  • What is the willingness of lecturer towards depositing their research output in IRs in University of Benin?
  • What do lecturers perceive as the benefits of IR in University of Benin.?
  • What are challenges of IR establishment in University of Benin?

1.5   Scope of study

This study covered all lectures in University of Benin, Edo state. The scope of this study is University of Benin. Issues on awareness, attitudes and establishment of IRs, perceived benefit and challenges associated with the development of IR were also discussed in this study.

1.6   Significance of the study

Findings from this study of awareness and attitude of lectures in University of Benin towards the establishment of institutional repositories would be significant to the university management, university librarians, lecturers and researchers in the following ways. The university management will benefit from the study. This will enable the management to take decisions on the establishment of IR in University of Benin, after the establishment of IR in the university, it will give visibility/ accessibility to the research output of lecturers in the university.

The university librarian will benefit from the study. This will assist the university librarian in advocating for the establishment of IR in University of Benin. In the long run, it will assist the university library to elevate the problem of increasingly journal subscription costs and permission crisis and by so doing, provide what their readers need. This will in turn enable librarians to implement IR as one of their methods to disseminate and preserve digital information resources. Lecturers are another set of persons to benefit from the study. The establishment of the IR will enable the lecturers to deposit copies of their publications in an IR which will attract faster publication time than publishing in research journals. The depositing of the publications of lecturers will enable their client to consult their works thereby increasing the visibility of the work and for citation advantage.

Finally, researchers and other scholars interested in electronic publication usage will find it useful for their study. This is because it will boost the global visibility and utility of their research and also introduce a novel research culture focused on making international standard and values.

1.8   Operational definition of terms

Awareness: this is the ability to perceive, to feel or to be conscious of events, objects, thoughts, emotions or sensory patterns.

Institutional Repositories: this has been defined as “a digital archive of the intellectual product created by the faculty, research staff and students of an institution, with few if any barriers to access.

Lecturers: a member of the faculty of a college or university usually having qualified status with rank or tenure who lectures in a university.

Publishing: this is the process of production and dissemination of literature, music, or information. It is also activity of making information available to the general public.

Visibility: the ability to see or be seen.

Technological innovation: the technological innovation system is a concept developed within the scientific field of innovation studies with serves to explain the nature and rate of technological change.

 

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