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ADOPTION OF OPEN ACCESS FOR TEACHING AND RESEARCH BY LECTURERS IN NIGERIA
This research was carried out to examine the Adoption of Open Access in Nigeria. Among the objectives were: to identify the level of familiarity of Open Access Initiative among lecturers in Nigeria university ; to know how frequent lecturers in Nigerian University,. However, what are the challenges encountered in the use and adoption of Open Access Initiative for research and Development? And what are the strategies put in place to encourage the adoption of Open Access Initiatives?; Survey method was adopted for the study while structured questionnaire was the instrument used for data collection targeting one hundred and eighty nine (189) lecturers which was used as sampling size for the study from a population of one thousand nine hundred and five (1095). Data collected were analyzed descriptively. The finding revealed that the level of lecturer’s familiarity with Open Access institutional Repository and open access journal is very high, but their level of usage is low compared to the level of their familiarity with open access initiative. The findings also revealed that the benefit factors (intrinsic, contextual) will motivate lecturers to adopt open than the cost factor (copyright, plagiarism, additional effort expectancy), or extrinsic factors and facilitating conditions. The study concluded that open access initiatives to scholarly communication has not been fully accepted and used by lecturers in Nigeria. One of the main recommendations made by the study is that the University management should harness the awareness of open access by enlightening the lecturers of its benefit of its adoption through bulleting,conference,workshopsandseminars.
1.1 Background to the Study
Scholarly communication is a means in which scholars exchange ideas with each other as way of fostering the growth of science and technology. According to Dulle, Minish-Majanja and Cloete (2010) it was noted that “the core value of scholarly communication has been sharing of knowledge without price and copyright restrictions. However, the joining and dominance of commercial publishers in journal publication as well as distribution after World War II resulted into limitations to scholarly content access.” The aim of most commercial publishers has been on reaping prices from journal sales rather than facilitating knowledge sharing for further growth of science and technology. Until recently, over 2.5 million of articles published annually appeared in subscription-based journals making it impossible for researchers with financial limitation to gain access to such information (Yiotis, 2005; Moller, 2006; Bjork, Roos and Lauri, 2009). According to Alemu (2009), the exorbitant journal prices imposed by commercial publishers have forced academic institutions and libraries to reduce journal subscriptions. This resulted into access limitations as scientists may not get most of the literature deemed necessary in their scholarly work. Compared to scholars from well-endowed countries, those from the developing countries are severely affected due to the widespread poverty in the latter nations (Bjork, Roos and Lauri, 2009; Habib, 2009).
The enabling Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) as well as the frustrating journal prices have made the scholarly community to devise an alternative scholarly publishing system whose aim is to achieve a wider distribution of scholarly content without price or other copyright restrictions to end users (Bjork, 2004; Yiotis, 2005; Moller, 2006).
This emerging scholarly communication model is known as open access (OA). The Berlin Declaration of Open Access (2003), defines open access as a mode of scholarly communication through which the “author(s) and right holder(s) of scholarly work grant(s) to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit, and display the work publicly in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship”. According to this definition, a complete version of the work and all supplemental materials, including a copy of the permission to use should be deposited in at least one online repository using suitable technical standards to enable open access to such works. This form of scholarly communication is achieved through two main channels: Open Access Journals (OAJ) for electronic refereed journals and Self archiving (Chan and Costa, 2005; Bailey, 2006). Unlike the business publishing model, in open access publishing, the end user is not charged to access scholarly content. Instead, various funding strategies such as direct author fees, institutional membership to sponsor all or part of author fees, funding agency payment of author fees, grants to open access publishers and institutional subsidies are used to cover the costs for publication and distribution of OA content for free access by the end user (Hirwade and Rajyalakshmi, 2006).
Contrary to the business mode of scholarly publishing that increases the information access gap between developed and developing countries, open access provides the visibility and accessibility to research output without restrictions. Despite the promising potential for open access to improve scholarly communication, this mode of publishing is not yet wide spread in developing countries when compared to developed countries (Moller, 2006; Wang and Su, 2006; Directory of Open Access Repositories (DOAR), 2010).
There are two types of open access to scholarly communication, these are: Open access publishing or Open Access journal (Gold road to open access) and Open access archives or institutional repository (Green road to open access).
1.1.1 Open Access Publishing or Open Access Journal (Gold Road to Open Access)
Open access journal also known has Gold road to open access (OA gold) are peer reviewed journals made available free of charge to the public through the internet. Directory of open access journal (DOAJ) maintained that open access uses funding model that does not charge researchers or their institution for access. This means that the end-user is not charged to access journal articles. Various funding strategies, such as direct grant to open access publishers and institutional subsidies are used to cover the cost of publications and distribution of open access content for free access by the end user (Hirwade and Rajalaksmi, 2006). Open access journals will allow scientific research to go beyond the national and professional barriers and provide opportunity for scientific community to improve their citation impact and enhance their readability for further growth and development of science and technology (Sarakadam 2012).
1.1.2 Open Access Archives or Institutional Repositories (Green Road to Open Access)
Open Access Archives or repositories usually referred to as “green road” to open access (OA green) encourages researchers and academicians to make digital copies of their work on publication freely available to open access archives or repositories which may contain pre-print or post print. In the case of pre-print, the essence is to perform peer-review or to invite comment from colleagues’ before final version of the work is made available for publication (Christian 2008). The post print is that which is made available on line after the work has been published in a peer reviewed based journal and author personal web page. Open access repository has the advantage of responsibility of ownership and some possible management control/encouragement of deposit. According to Ogbomo (2015) institutional repository is defined as a type of digital library established by an institution, populated by the staff, researchers, students and other members of the institution and to be consulted by both members of the university and the outside world. This corroborates with Ezema (2011) who opined that institutional repositories intends to capture original research and other intellectual property generated by an institutions constituent population who are actively involved in a research in many disciplines. Ogbomo (2015) asserted that the main function of an institutional repository is to provide improve access to the full text of research articles and improve retrieval of relevant research. However, it should be noted that research output could include electronics copies of pre-prints as well as post print articles, conference and working papers, committee papers, teaching materials, thesis and dissertation, monographs, multimedia, students’ projects etc. From the discussion, it could be gathered that institutional repository relies on input from members of the institution, the commitment and participation of contributions, users and manages is crucial.
Jain (2012) added that an author’s key role is to submit knowledge in the form of research output in their institutional repositories. Institution role include introducing mandatory policy for submitting research work and formulating other policies for the operational management to institutional repositories. Okojie (2008) acknowledged that communicating scholarly information through open access repository provides the added advantage for faster publishing opportunities and greater visibilities for author and institutions. Universities all over the world have established institutional repositories to publish materials born within the institution. These institutional repositories not only act as a repository to published materials but are much more valuable as an access to digital content of local materials (Kaur & Ping, 2009). This means that institutional repository is a means to improve university prestige among its peers and contribute to research globally. Ezema (2011) affirmed that institutional repository have been found to play important role in the preservation and dissemination of institutional research outputs which will in turn become constituent part of global research outputs. Christian (2008) opinioned that the aim of institutional repository is to increase visibility, preservation and storage of all types of institutional output, including unpublished literature, support for learning and teaching, standardization of institutional records, ability to keep track and analyze research performance, breaking down of publisher’s cost and permission barriers, help universities share their knowledge and expertise. Thus it is worthwhile to explore the benefit of open access initiatives and encourage lecturers to adopt open access initiatives for teaching and research.
1.1.3 Development of OAI in Nigeria
According to United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO, 2012), the first international workshop in Nigeria on Open Access initiatives was organized in 2008 by Department of Library and Information Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in collaboration with Elfl.net. In attendance were policy makers, ICT experts from universities and research institutes, scholars and researchers, Editors in Chief of Peer review scientific and scholarly journals, university and systems librarians from various institutions met and discuss the importance of Open Access Initiatives to academia's and society at large.
The strategies for formulating appropriate policy for implementing and sustaining Open Access institutional repositories, copyright issues and Open content license strategies for the promotion and marketing of institutional repositories were also discussed. A follow up workshop was organized in 2009 by Department of Library and Information Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in collaboration with electronic Information for Library Network (EIFL) and Nigeria Universities Library Consortium (NULIB). As a result of the workshop two institutions (Universities of Jos and Ahmadu Bello University) have deployed their institution repositories.
1.1.4 Benefit of Open Access
Scholars publish their research in peer-reviewed journals not for financial but for professional gain. Publishing potentially exposes one's ideas to a wider audience and can yield impact and professional recognition. Therefore the benefits of open access to academics (lecturers) are numerous.
Open access increases citation to publish scholarly work, increased impact of researchers works articles can be accessed online free of charge, (Okoye and Ejikeme 2010). Increased citation of published scholarly work, open access articles are immediately recognized and cited by peers than non- open access articles published in the same journal. Open access is likely to benefit authors by accelerating, dissemination and uptake research findings (scholarly community institute 2011). If more people can find an article, there is more opportunity for it to be cited in later works (Smiths 2011). Open access to data may increase confidence in result reported in an article and therefore lead more subsequent authors to be willing to rely on that article in their own work thereby increasing impact of researchers work.
Researchers are extremely interested in increasing the impact of their individually scholarly work, therefore the focus on learning practical tips to increase web visibility of their publications, thereby hoping to increase the impact of their own scholarship by reaching more readers on the internet (Mullen 2008). Studies indicate that across variety of disciplines, open access articles have a greater research impact than articles that are not freely available. Researchers gain from the increase usage and impact of their work.
It helps research to be carried out more efficiently by reducing duplication and blind alley research by enabling researcher to find what they need more quickly and without cost and by helping researcher develop and diffuse the use of open standards. It makes possible better peer review and other methods of upholding academic vigor because researchers can easily see and judge the work of their peers, and can access data for re-analysis and independent confirmation of findings. It also encourages collaborative endeavors’ by making research visible to new communities including the general populace.
Open Access describes material that are freely accessible on line and easily discoverable in an internet serving the mission of higher education (Scholarly Community Institute 2012). According to BOAI (2002) there are numerous ways in which materials can be made readily accessible with this initiative, that self-archiving is making articles freely available in digital form on the internet by authors, this could be achieved through author’s personal websites, disciplinary repositories (research-specific) and institutional repositories. Brody (2006) asserts that open access will enable service to gather and link to any open access material, potentially allowing all cited papers to be linked to and be immediately accessible to the users following the link.
Open Access reduces cost of publication, unlike the business publishing model, the end user is not charged to access journal articles, instead various finding strategies such as direct author fees, institutional membership to sponsor all or part of author fees, funding agency payment of author fees, grants to open access publisher and institutional subsidies are used to cover the cost of publication and distribution of open access content for free access by end users (Hirwade and
1.1.5 Implication of Open Access for Teaching and Research
Teaching and research are the fundamental parts of any university. Lecturers are the fore runners of any institution because they teach and engage in research in one way or the other. Open Access will help academics to have access to current and relevant materials for their teaching and research. By getting access to current research work, researchers will not only re-invent the work but will build upon what others have done. While teaching, they can print and distribute open access articles that will enhance their teaching. With open access researchers can read and build on the findings of others without restriction. Even the best research is ineffectual if others aren‟t able to read and built on it. Academics create, share and allow their teaching resources not only to be used but able to be amended, improved and transformed (Ayangwe 2011).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Open Access is an initiative that can improve access and provide global visibility for research work conducted by researchers and scholars. This research work may be in form of conference proceedings, publishing a book, book chapter, thesis and dissertations. Open Access enables a more socially responsible and equitable way of disseminating scholarly communications.
Scholarly research in Nigeria began before independence era and since then has been growing (Ezema, 2011). The universities and the higher institutions are in one way or the other engaged in research to facilitate speedy development. Traditionally, researchers have their works communicated through peer reviewed scholarly journals, usually managed and controlled by commercial publishers, majority of these publishers charge for and therefore limit access to journal (Dulle &Minishi Manjaja 2009) citing Alemu 2009,Mollar 2006.
In the overall this has affected not only the quality of research but also the total output of scholarly communication, which has adversely hindered the main essence of research. However, researches generated over the years are buried in different libraries in Africa with very few scholars and students accessing them either for teaching or research. Efforts have been made on the raising of awareness of open access over years, either through workshop, conferences and publications. Igwe (2012) was of opinion that in Nigeria, the state of awareness and adoption of open access is still at the infancy. He further opined that open access model of scholarly communication is yet to be fully adopted by researcher and other stakeholders in Nigeria.
The adoption of open access initiatives has been controversial issue where most scholars have disagreed that majority of academics are yet to adopt this. This is in conjunction with Christian (2008) who argued that academic and research institutions in Nigeria are completely unaware and unfamiliar with the open access Initiative let alone its adoption. Suber (2004) cautioned that the widespread of ignorance among researchers about copyright issues may restrict adoption of open access. It is based on this background that this research work is based on Adoption of Open Access for Teaching and Research Lecturers in Ahmadu Bello Universities Zaria.
1.3 Research Questions
The study was guided by the following research questions:
- How familiar are lecturers in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria with Open Access Institutional Repositories and Open Access Journals?
- How frequent do lecturers in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria deposit their research work inT any Institutional Repository?
- How frequent do lecturers in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria publish in any Open Access Journal?
- What are the factors that affect researcher’s adoption of Open Access in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria?
- What are the challenges encountered in the use and adoption of Open Access for Teaching and Research in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria?
- What are the strategies put in place to encourage the adoption of Open Access for Teaching and Research in Ahmadu Bello university, Zaria?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The objectives to the study are as follows:
- To determine the familiarity of Open Access by lecturers in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
- To know how frequent lecturers in Ahmadu Bello University Zaria deposit their research work in any Institutional Repository.
- To determine the frequency to which lecturers in Ahmadu Bello University Zaria publish in any Open Access Journals.
- To determine the factors that facilitates researcher’s adoption of Open Access in Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.
- To establish the major challenges encountered in the use and adoption of Open Access initiatives by lecturers in Ahmadu Bello University Zaria for Teaching and Research.
- To determine the strategies put in place to encourage the adoption of Open Access for Teaching and Research in Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.
1.5 Significance of the Study
Open access has been recognized as an important platform that will help authors worldwide audience better than that of traditional based on journals, thereby increasing research impact. With this in mind, the finding of this study will help authors identify the impediment and make appropriate recommendation to the challenges that hinder the adoption of open access in Ahmadu Bello University. The adoption of open access has the potential of not only enabling their work to be very correct in their research area but also improve the visibility of their work. Therefore the adoption of open access initiative and use of institutional repository will enable other researchers to consult other scholarly works which will in turn increase the visibility and professional gain of the university.
The work will also enable the university management to benefit as this will make the management to encourage authors to adopt open access initiatives for research and development in Ahmadu Bello University. The management will also know the steps to take in formulating concrete policies of open access usage. The more visible the scholarly work of the researcher the more recognition the institution will gain.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This research work is limited to lecturers in Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. This because the researcher could not use all the lecturers in A.B.U, Zaria due to limited time and funds needed for the success of this research.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
The following are the operational definition of terms to the study
- a. ICT: A technology used to transmit diverse data and communication types and formats..
- b. Internet: A global system of interconnected computer networks used to share information dissemination worldwide irrespective of geographical location. It is a networks that consists of millions of private, public, academic, business and government networks that are linked together by a broad array of electronics, wireless and optical networking technologies. It allows multiple users to access information remotely.
- c. Open Access: Digital online, free of charge and free of most copyright and licensing restriction.
- d. Open Access Initiatives: The practice of providing unrestricted access to information dissemination through the internet, for either un-reviewed or peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles.
- e. Repository: A real or virtual acidity for the deposits of academic publication such as academic journal articles.