Open access initiatives in Kenya: The role of the librarian
Musangi, Penninah S.
MetadataShow full item record
Open access has brought a revolution in scientific publishing. It has brought about a new business model which allows everyone to read scientific publications free of charge. Open access has been touted as an answer to the high cost of subscriptions for scientific journals amidst reducing budgets. Historically, librarians play a key role to collect, store and disseminate scientific outputs. Nowadays librarians are central in disseminating research outputs by creating and managing institutional repositories. The technological transformations in publishing have put the librarians in the limelight in terms of professional knowledge and skills in the new scholarly communication systems. This calls for rethinking of the place of the librarian by universities as research and scientific publishing are central to any institution of higher learning. The objectives of the study were to examine the level of open access awareness among librarians, establish the existing open access initiatives in universities in Kenya, investigate the role played by librarians in supporting open access initiatives and determine the challenges faced by librarians in open access publishing. Data was collected from librarians in Kenya using a questionnaire and analyzed thematically guided by the objectives. It was found that librarians in Kenya are involved in creating awareness about open access, establishing institutional repositories, uploading content, and creating metadata, among others. However, it was also found that there are various challenges which continue to bedevil the uptake of open access. Some of these include lack of familiarity with the technical standards related to open archiving as well as a negative attitude by teaching faculty and doubts about the quality of open access content. The study recommends to libraries to establish open access advocacy programs; sign open access petitions and mandates; as well develop and implement open access policies.
- Library