Availability of Necessary Electronic Infrastructure to Support Open Access Initiative to Literature in Academic Libraries in Delta State, Nigeria

Availability of Necessary Electronic Infrastructure to Support Open Access Initiative to Literature in Academic Libraries in Delta State, Nigeria

Joseph Chukwusa (Delta State University Library, Abraka, Delta State, Nigeria)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/ijdls.2014010101
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Abstract

Rationale for the study is to ascertain the state of necessary electronic infrastructure that are available in academic libraries in Delta State, Nigeria which would be used to support Open Access to Literature Initiative. The research method adopted for the study was the descriptive survey design. The instrument for data collection was the questionnaire. The population consisted of 66 Librarians (those working in dedicated IT units in the libraries). No sample was used because the population was small. The study revealed that a majority of the respondents are aware of the essential electronic infrastructure which will enable them benefit maximally from Open Access to Literature Initiative(OALI); and e-infrastructure facilities are available but in a poor state among others. The scheme is laudable considering the fact that libraries would be assisted in their collection development activities. This implies that funding bodies of libraries have much to do in term of making provision for the sustenance of OAI through adequate funding.
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Introduction

The convergence of computers and technology (Internet) has popularized electronic access to information (Ochogwu, 2012). The business of information profession is how to guarantee access to information. In spite of the numerous potentials that electronic infrastructures offers opined (Ojedokun, 2007) Nigeria appear unable to adequately utilize these technologies for enhancing sustainable development fostered by access to global information network. IFLA and the Berlin Declaration on Open Access have been advocating the propagation of free access to information published literature over the Internet. The main purpose of this study is to identify necessary electronic infrastructure available which will be used to support Open Access to literature initiative. Specifically, the objectives are:

  • 1.

    To find out the nature of electronic infrastructure.

  • 2.

    To identify electronic infrastructure available which are necessary to support Open Access Initiative to Literature in the academic libraries.

  • 3.

    Investigate the state (conditions) of the electronic infrastructure in the libraries.

Background

The concept of access connotes two forms: access at a cost and access at no cost (Ochogwu, 2012). Open access as contained in the Berlin Declaration (2003) is a comprehensive source of human knowledge and cultural heritage that has been approved by the scientific community. According to Global Network on Global Public Goods (GPGNet) (2005) open access is free availability on the Internet, permitting users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the 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 salient points common to these definitions are that “open access concerns scholarly subject to copyright (not in the public domain) and is made available free of charge by depositing it in a long-term reliable, standards – compliant online repository with a licence permitting unrestricted access and utilization only to proper attribution of authorship and ethical norms” (Balkin, 2006).

Electronic infrastructure (EI) was described by Research Councils UK (2010) as encompassing large-scale high-performance computing resources, advanced storage systems, grid infrastructure, tools for electronic access, high-speed networks and essential support services. Electronic infrastructure is essential to enhance research quality and efficiency within all scientific disciplines. EI as used in this context includes computers Internet and telecommunication, and essential support services such as programmers, and analysts. It is an area of national responsibility and national solutions are being established for its various components. It is necessary to upgrade EI on an ongoing basis to keep pace with technological development, the generation of increasingly larger amounts of data and the need for faster data processing (Rowland, 2012).

Delta State is an oil producing state of Nigeria situated in the region known as the Niger Delta, South-South geopolitical zone. The state comprises mainly Urhobo, Isoko, Anioma, Ijaw and Itsekiri ethnic groups. The state has ten academic institutions among which are:

  • Delta State University, Abraka.

  • Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun

  • College of Education, Agbor

  • College of Education, Warri

  • Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro

  • Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku

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