Challenges facing academic staff in adopting open access outlets for disseminating research findings in selected university libraries in Kenya
Mutwiri, Caroline Muthoni
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Open Access Journals (OAJs) and Institutional Repositories (IRs) are Open Access (OA) outlets that provide a platform for disseminating research findings. Although these outlets have been introduced in universities to increase dissemination, access and impact of staff, academic staff adoption of such outlets in Africa has been slow and their use of these outlets in disseminating their research works has been low. This study sought to establish the challenges academic staff face with regard to OA outlets. It established outlets employed by academic staff in dissemination, their awareness, skills and training, attitude and use of OA outlets. Rogers Diffusion of Innovations theory was used. Descriptive design using survey method was used for this study. The target population was 15,000 academic staff from which a sample of 381 was selected using stratified sampling technique. The study was conducted in 12 private and 7 public universities in Kenya. Questionnaires were used to collect data. A pilot study to assure validity and reliability was conducted, yielding a Cronbach correlation coefficient of 0.76 which was considered acceptable. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to generate data. Descriptive statistics such as percentages and means were used for analysis. The study established that academics preferred traditional publishing outlets for dissemination but they were associated with problems of accessibility, cost and delays in publishing while OA outlets were associated with low quality. General awareness of OAP among academic staff was high (66%) but awareness of specific OA aspects was low. A majority of academic staff were active consumers of OAJs (74.3%) and IR content (75.7%) but not prolific contributors at 20.9% and 27.5% respectively. Only 29% of the academic staff had training in OAJs and IRs. The study concluded that traditional publishing outlets were utilized more than OA outlets and awareness of OAP was low among scholars. The study recommends awareness creation of OA outlets, capacity building in self archiving, institutionalization of OA outlets in Kenyan universities and enhancement of academic - library staff collaborations, among others. The study findings are significant to all stakeholders interested in dissemination of research findings through OA outlets.