Issues and challenges in researchers’ adoption of open access and institutional repositories: a contextual study of a university repository

Information Research
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Information Research: an international electronic journal, 2017, 22 (4)
Issue Date:
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This paper presents the issues and challenges faced by a university library in encouraging academics and researchers to adopt open access, specifically with respect to depositing publications in the institutional repository Interviews were conducted with academics and researchers about their awareness of open access and their use of the university repository. An action research approach was used to address issues on a continual basis, and redesign the repository based on the findings. The interview data were analysed using thematic content analysis, and the repository data were analysed using heuristic evaluation Results show that researchers lack awareness of open access and its value, and that there is also confusion about publishers’ copyright policies and researcher reputation. The lack of visibility and usability of the library-managed institutional repository was found to be an issue, as well as the need for subject repositories. The results informed a redesign of the repository and informed the library’s strategies to promote scholarly communication literacy. Whilst librarians have been advocates of open access, researchers’ understanding of it is still limited; they have other pressures in regard to their publishing outputs, which also limits their adoption of open access practices.
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