August 17, 2018

New Research Article: “Canadian and South African Scholars’ Use of Institutional Repositories, ResearchGate, and Academia.edu”

The following article was posted on the Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research earlier today.

Title

Canadian and South African Scholars’ Use of Institutional Repositories, ResearchGate, and Academia.edu

Authors

David Roy Scott
University of Lethbridge

Marinus Swanepoel
University of Lethbridge

Source

Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research
Vol. 13 No. 1 (2018)
doi: 10.21083/partnership.v13i1.4137

Abstract

Since their initial development in the early 2000s, institutional repositories (IRs) have proliferated around the globe. Due to low faculty participation, however, content recruitment has often posed a significant challenge for librarians and others promoting their use. Through the last decade, academic social networks (ASNs), such as ResearchGate and Academia.edu, have become popular among scholars as a means to communicate with each other and share their research. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with sixty scholars at six universities in Canada and South Africa to explore their views and practices pertaining to IRs and ASNs. Interviews were transcribed and coded to elucidate trends and themes in the data. The study found that few participants were active supporters of their local IRs. Lack of awareness, time limitations, and concerns regarding copyright remain some of the main obstacles to increased faculty participation. Conversely, more than half of the interviewees were active users of either ResearchGate or Academia.edu. These users valued ASNs both as a means of sharing their work and as tools facilitating connections with their colleagues internationally. Though IRs need not compete with these networks, proponents of open access repositories should be prepared to explain to faculty why they should consider having their research made accessible in a repository though they may already actively share their work through ResearchGate or Academia.edu. Significantly, both ASNs and IRs were more popular among South African than Canadian researchers. It is hoped that the results of the study will be helpful in informing the understanding and decisions of librarians and others working to develop and promote IRs and green open access more broadly.

Direct to Full Text Article (21 pages; PDF)

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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