Published on July 16, 2009
Open Access and Institutional Repositories in Agricultural Sciences: The Case of Botswana College of Agriculture (BCA) IAALD Africa Chapter Conference, Accra Ghana, 13 - 17 July 2009 Kebede Hundie Wordofa & Poloko Ntokwane-Oseafiana
Introduction Agricultural sector is faced with some major challenges: • increasing production in a situation of dwindling natural resources necessary for production such as water shortages, • declining soil fertility, climate change and rapid decrease of fertile lands due to urbanization and population growth. • Agricultural information spread over different agencies, notably farmers, universities, research institutes, extension services, commercial enterprises, and non-governmental organizations. • poorly documented information and hard to access; and indigenous knowledge on good practices and lessons learned about innovations is generally not captured .
Open Access What is Open Access • Unrestricted access to scholarly information • advocates the principle of making scholarly literature available to the public at no cost removing price barriers such as subscriptions, licensing fees • removes the financial, technical and legal barriers • makes the literature accessible online free of charge • The Budapest Open Access Initiative defines OA as follows: By “open access” to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited (Budapest Open Access Initiative, 2002).
Why Open Access (AO) AO overcome obstacles: “Price Crisis” rising price of journals subscriptions and electronic databases “Permission Crisis” constrained licensing terms and software locks
Why Open Access (AO) … Low cost of publishing on the Internet Ease of accessing information online The average prices of journals and the number of new journals have risen much more faster than the library budgets. Internet Culture - Information should be free Increasing legal restrictions on licensing and use of print and digital resources by corporations (since the 1990s).
Benefits of Open Access • OA benefits authors, researchers, lecturers and students, libraries, universities, publishers, funding agencies, governments and citizens.
Major Vehicles for Disseminating Open Access Literature Preprint Services Open Access Journals Institutional Repositories
Institutional Repositories Definition Crow (2002) defines IRs as “digital collections capturing and preserving the intellectual output of a single or multi-university community.” Crow (2002) further explains that it 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 of the institution, with few if any barriers to access.” defines IRs as “digital. IRs are collections of research output or information generated particularly by academic or research institutions and stored in a digital format that can be preserved and made accessible to end users through the Internet.
Contents of institutional repositories • post-prints • Peer-reviewed articles • Book chapters • Monographs • Conference proceedings • Unpublished papers such as pre-prints • Working papers • Thesis and dissertations, • Reports • Video recordings etc.
Benefits of institutional repositories To individual authors To institutions To researchers
Benefits of IR cont.. • Besides, the benefits of IRs to research institutions in developing countries are numerous. According to Chan, Kirsop and Arunachalam (2005), these benefits are as follows: • Access to international research output • International access to research generated in developing countries • Promotion of institutional research output, providing new contacts and research partnerships for authors • Improved citation and research impact • Provision of usage statistics showing global interest of institutional research • allows improved access to subsidiary data • Facilitating peer review.
Some Tools for Finding OA Literature Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) Launched in May 2003. As of February 2009, there were 3875 journals in the database, of which 216 journals are in the fields of agriculture and food sciences. Users can browse journals by title or subject and search for them by keyword. Institutional Archives Registry - As of 25 April, covers 421 archives Users can browse archives by country, archive type, or software, or search for them by keyword.
Some Tools for Finding OA Literature…. OAIster - A project of the University of Michigan Digital Library Production Service, providing open access to over 20 million records from 1082 contributors as of March 2009 (e.g., preprints, journal articles, dissertations, etc). Google Scholar - Launched in Nov 2004 Indexes the full-text (including the cited references) of articles in fee/subscription based scholarly journals on the Internet as well as open access literature. Many others on the web
Challenges facing institutional repositories • Lack of faculty involvement • Lack of awareness of availability of different mechanism for distributing and accessing research info. • Lack of promotion by institutions on the use of Internet • Copyright issues • Lack of an IR start-up policy process • Content harvesting and digitization
Choosing IR software solutions Factors to consider when choosing IR software are: cost Staffing Support and training Development of system and Hardware requirements Three main IR software solutions: • Open Source Software • Commercial or Proprietary Software • Vendor Hosted System.
Software Advantage Disadvantage Open Source -It is free promotes No support , no training, time collaboration and knowledge consuming in metadata, sharing . systems admin and -No marketing is involved programming skills required, more technical staff , -Flexible and can be tailored to development undirected match individual institutional requirements. -used by institutions with minimal resources Commercial or Proper support and training, Not free, pay for license and proprietary Less technical skills, development directed, input of maintenance customers Vendor of Host no hardware to purchase, Institutions do not have control over it. install and maintain. not as staff intensive in terms of set up, customization, configuration and ongoing administration and maintenance, backups and redundancy are the vendor’s responsibility
Implications of OA for developing countries • Overcoming problems of inability to afford subscriptions to journals • Overcoming inability to integrate national research into global knowledge base • Expanded access to global scientific literature • Access to both published and unpublished literature • Provision of a platform to e-journals • Research more exposed • Easy dissemination of research output.
Numbers and percentages of IRs by continents 20; 2% 58; 4% Africa 77; 6% South America 146; 11% Australasia, Carribean and 628; 48% Central America Asia North America 375; 29% Europe
IR of Botswana College of Agriculture (BCA) Background information was established on 31st May 1991. is a parastatal under the Ministry of Agriculture and an associate institution of the University of Botswana. offers programs at undergraduate and postgraduate levels Has five academic departments, namely; • Animal Science and Production, • Basic Sciences, • Crop Science and Production, • Agricultural Economics Educations and Extension, and • Agricultural Engineering and Land Planning.
Vision and Mission Its vision is to become “a world-class institution in teaching, research and service in agriculture and related fields.” The College’s mission is “to produce high quality graduates, generate suitable technologies and provide advisory services to improve agriculture productivity through innovative teaching, relevant research, and customer-driven service” (Botswana College of Agriculture).
Institutional repository of BCA Established an IR in 2007 with the following objectives: • Provide access to college output • Preserve the scholarly work in digitization format The Development Phases of the BCA IR • Project Proposal • Develop a service definition • identify collection • liaise with teaching staff and administrative staff • Assemble a team • assessment of current staff and skills • Acquire/install software/hardware • research and choose a software • download, install and configure • digitize collection • Setting up different collections • Market the service • Test • Launched officially in • October 2008
Figure 2 The screenshot of the BCA IR homepage.
Figure 5 The screenshot of the college journal in the BCA IR. .
Figure 4 The screenshot of the college volumes of the journal in BCA IR.
Figure 4 The screenshot of table of contents of BCA journal in IR.
Figure 6 The screenshot of the college journal full text in the BCA IR.
Lessons Learned • It needs support from management, IT staff, faculty, librarians, etc to succeed • Do a pilot project to teach staff, test the software, and gain more support through demonstration • Demonstration to relevant people through presentations convinces them to support - “seeing is believing” • Contents harvesting, digitization and creation of metadata is time consuming and huge task • Budget for staff time • Train staff on metadata
Conclusion • Researchers and academicians in developing countries face the impact of financial constraints to access scholarly literature due to the escalating costs of journals and proprietary databases. • Besides, the research output of developing countries does not get a wider audience, hence less impact globally. • Agriculture is the most important sector that supports the majority of population in developing countries. • The sector has its own challenges that need to be overcome through research and development (R&D) that needs adequate, relevant, and timely information. • Much of agricultural research output and indigenous knowledge in developing countries are not well documented and not easily accessible. • Concerned institutions and governments need to do more to make their research output accessible to the public through OA and IRs. • By so doing, institutions will be able to collect, store and disseminate their research work.
Thank You. Questions/Answers & Discussions.
What are institutional repositories? Institutional repositories are digital collections of the outputs created within a university or research
Open Access and digital repositories: the role of the DRIVER project (Sophia Jones)
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