Open Access Week

October 24 - 30, 2022 | Everywhere

DSpace Open Access repository development in Africa: Kenya, Malawi

PART TWO: Kenya, Malawi
This is the second of a five-part series that looks at Open Access repository development in twelve African countries in celebration of Open Access Week Oct. 24-30, 2011. The first part (Botswana, Ethiopia and Ghana) may be found here:

The series is co-authored by Iryna Kuchma, Open Access Programme manager, EIFL ( and EIFL-OA country coordinators: Netsanet Animut, Addis Ababa University and Chair of the Consortium of Ethiopian Academic and Research Libraries, Charles Banda, Copperbelt University, Zambia, Aissa Mitha Issak, Universidade Pedagógica, Mozambique, Gloria Kadyamatimba, Chinhoyi University of Technology Library, Zimbabwe, Richard B. Lamptey, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana, Fredrick Kiwuwa Lugya, Makerere University Library, Uganda, Reason Baathuli Nfila, University of Botswana Library, Rosemary Otando, University Nairobi, Kenya, Kondwani Wella, Kamuzu College of Nursing, University of Malawi and Carol Minton Morris, DuraSpace.


Laying the groundwork for more Open Access institutional repositories

In 2009, INASP funded two Kenya Libraries and Information Services Consortium (KLISC) members to attend an OA workshop in South Africa, and later a one week attachment at the University of Pretoria, after which they began rigorous training in OA institutional repositories (IRs) to sensitize KLISC members. OA workshops and conferences have been conducted with KLISC members through the support of EIFL and INASP. About 35 of 75 KLISC member institutions participated in these workshops and conferences. About 30 of those who participated established, or are in the process of establishing institutional repositories.
KLISC recently conducted a study to assess the extent to which institutional repositories (IR) have been established to capture local content among member institutions, the role of KLISC in supporting the establishment, and the challenges and intervention measures required. Of the 35 questionnaires distributed to respondents, 26 returned completed questionnaires, an impressive response rate of 74%, an indication of significant interest in developing IRs. The results indicated that 17 (65%) institutions have embraced or are in the process of establishing IRs in their institutions, while 9 (35%) have not established IRs. The respondents were asked to indicate the kind of content deposited in their IRs and response shows high preference for theses and dissertations. 
The respondents were asked to indicate the type of software used, and 15 (57%) indicted that they were using DSpace, followed closely by Greenstone with 10 (38%), and others with 1 (5%). Having conducted several workshops in DSpace and Greenstone in 2009 and 2010, it was not surprising that these two types of software were preferred. This is an indication that training is an important factor in influencing choice.
Respondents were asked to indicate their progress in the implementation of IR. It was found out that majority of the respondents are in the process of customization and submission and only 5 (19%) are on intranet and 3 (10%) are live on the web, hence there is a need for technical support to complete the installation process.
Open Access DSpace repositories at Strathmore University ( support the University OA policy adopted in February 2011. The Strathmore University Harvard-style OA mandate shows commitment towards disseminating the fruits of University research and scholarship as widely as possible. Each University member grants to the Vice Chancellor and Academic council of Strathmore University permission to make available his/her scholarly articles and to exercise the copyright in those articles. Each Faculty member will provide an e-copy of the final version of the article at no charge to the appropriate representative of the Vice Chancellor’s Office in an appropriate format (such as PDF) specified by the Vice Chancellor’s Office no later than the date of its publication. The Vice Chancellor’s Office may make the article available to the public in an OA IR.
International Research Institute (ILRI) aims to make as many of research products as possible open through OA IR Mahider. In December 2010 the Management Committee adopted a proposal for the institute to use an ‘open’ license for its published outputs. The aim is to encourage maximum uptake and re-use of ILRI’s research. Under this proposal, ILRI retains copyright over each output. It also explicitly encourages wide non-commercial re-use of each output, subject to full attribution of ILRI and the author(s), and use of an equally open license for any derivative output (Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License). By default, this license applies to the following categories of outputs: ILRI published reports and publications (print and digital); ILRI photographs; ILRI Powerpoints; ILRI posters and ILRI video and films. (From ILRI news
Institutions with OA IRs still on development stage include: JKUAT (policy issues), Egerton University (policy issues), St. Paul university (customization, policy issues), University of Eastern Africa, Baraton (customization) and Daystar (policy issues).
Institutions that have implemented IRs but are still on Local Area Network are as follows: University of Nairobi (108 items); Kenyatta University (Past Papers); College of Insurance, KMFRI (Advanced stage – 400 items), Kabarak (Advanced stage – 3000 items), Agha Khan University (80 Items), Marist International (55 items), Moi University (Advanced stage), KCA (103 items), ICIPE (21 Items), Inoorero, KEMRI and KEMU.
The respondents were asked to give their opinion on how much the high level management in their institution understands the importance of IR. Majority of 11 (42%) felt the management know little, 7 (27%) indicted fairly well. Of the remaining, 2 (8%) declined to answer, and 6 (23%) indicated very well. Among those indicated very well, 4 (70%) were from private universities and research institutions. The result generally indicates that top-level management understands little about the importance of IR.
The results confirmed that there is a lot KLISC can do to support the IR projects. This may involve sharing costs in purchasing relevant equipment for member institutions. There is also need to facilitate sensitization for authors, researchers and the high level management of institutions.
This overview was contributed by Rosemary M. Otando. ETD2011: “Building Institutional Repositories in KLISC Member Institutions in Kenya: Current Status and Emerging challenges”


Towards a a national digital repository of research

Open Access activities are carried out by Malawi Library and Information Consortium (MALICO).
Upcoming Open Access institutional repositories: Chancellor College, Malawi College of Medicine, Kamuzu College of Nursing. In April 2011 EIFL funded an ongoing institutional Awareness Campaign for Kamuzu College of Nursing Library, University of Malawi, Research Repository implemented by Kamuzu College of Nursing Library, University of Malawi, in partnership with the National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST). Kamuzu College of Nursing Library is building an open access repository for research in nursing, midwifery and reproductive health.
Through its Mobilising Knowledge for Development (MK4D) Programme, the Institute of Development Studies (IDS, UK) collaborates with the National Library Service of Malawi (NLS) to support the establishment of a National Digital Repository of Research for Malawi. The repository will be housed at NLS and jointly managed by NLS, the Malawi Library and Information Consortium (MALICO) and the National Commission of Science and Technology (NCST). Support for training workshops will be provided separately by the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP). The main aim of the project is to set up a national digital repository of research from Malawi, collecting research outputs from Malawian institutions and building their capacities in global knowledge sharing. It is envisaged that the increased accessibility and visibility of Malawian research outputs will increase their impact on policy and bring more transparency to research institutions. A second aim is to link to, learn from and utilize the related work, ensuring close collaboration, identifying opportunities for further collaboration and avoiding duplication of effort.

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