Fasae J. K., Larnyoh, W., Esew M., Alanyo, B., and Holmner M. (2017). Institutional repositories and heritage materials in selected institutions within three African countries. Library Philosophy and Practice (E-Journal).
This study investigates how institutional repositories are making hidden or lost cultural digital heritage accessible in academic libraries in selected countries within Africa. The design of the study is a descriptive design. The research makes use of a structured questionnaire prepared using Google forms and sent through e-mail to 40 members of academic staff in selected academic libraries in three African countries namely; Nigeria, Ghana and Uganda. In all, 35 responses were received, generating a 87.5% response rate. Data collected was analyzed using an Excel Spreadsheet. The findings reveal that 25(78.1%) indicated that they have only theses/dissertations as their institutional repository, while 22(68.8%) showed they have research articles and manuscripts in their institutional repository respectively. Nearly all the respondents (95.7%) use their institutional repositories for research purposes, 87% use it to contribute/deposit materials into the repository for others to use. The study also discovered that about 85% benefit from using digitized heritage materials. Inadequate funds, unstable power supply, poor internet connectivity, and poor marketing of an institutional repository among others are the major challenges faced in the implementation and uses of IRs. It was therefore recommended that the management of the institutions should ensure that enough funds are allocated for the implementation of IRs. Further recommendations include the establishment of effective advocacy measures that will create awareness both within and outside the academic environment on implementation and uses of an institutional repository in academic institutions in Africa.