Institutional Digital Repository and the Challenges of Global Visibility in Nigeria

Institutional Digital Repository and the Challenges of Global Visibility in Nigeria

Shaibu A. Sadiku (Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Nigeria), Mohammed M. Kpakiko (Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Nigeria) and Aliyu G. Tsafe (Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3093-0.ch018
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This chapter focuses on the issues around building and sustaining an institutional digital repository and its corresponding challenges to global visibility in Nigeria. The chapter argues that building and sustaining an institutional digital repository project requires the state-of-the-art technological infrastructure, skilled manpower, and strong financial backing including ICT skilled user community.
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Nigerian Universities have been making efforts on how to manage the journal articles, conference papers, reports, theses and dissertation, teaching materials, artworks, research notes, and research data they produce. Technology has made it easy to create, store and access these materials in digital form. While there is potential for instantaneous access, many materials are not usually made accessible to many users and they remain marooned in the authors’ computers. According to The Open Citation Project (2004) about 80-85% of digital intellectual output of Nigerian Universities is never made accessible to the public. In a similar view, Warren (2013) states that the escalating costs of online databases limit the subscription and thus becoming more unrealistic and challenging for academic libraries to subscribe to all, or even most of the online academic journals.

The rationale behind the institutional digital repository is to collect, organise, store and disseminate the output of the educational and archival materials in the institutions. Institutional digital repositories are becoming a new method of academic, scholarly communication and dissemination that are considered as an ideal vehicle for making the working of an institution more visible. Sastry and Reddy (2010) reports that institutional digital repositories are collections that have been captured and preserved digitally as an intellectual output of a single or multi-university community. The general idea is to store, manage, and preserve an institution’s born-digital and digitized assets, making them freely available via the Internet. Institutional digital repositories of any institution include a wide range of content for its users. The focus of each institutional digital repository is different in terms of content development, and therefore what content it will store largely depends upon the policy decisions made by each institution or repository administrator.

Academic libraries are one of the major stakeholders in the deployment and content recruitment of institutional digital repositories as they are becoming involved in managing electronic scholarly products and participating in the evolving scholarly communication process. Academic libraries are being funded by government, international donors and other agencies to digitise valuable parts of their special collections, especially theses and dissertations, both to preserve the original and make the content readily accessible. As institutional digital repositories are flourishing to preserve the scholarly output and to make it openly accessible, more and more academic libraries are in favour of providing open access to the university research output, maintained either institutionally or on a subject basis.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Institutional Digital Repository: An open, interoperable, cumulative, perpetual collection of intellectual output that are produced by the members of the academic community.

Local Contents: A community’s locally generated, owned and adapted knowledge and experience that is relevant to the community’s situation.

Open Access Movement: The practice of depositing articles in an institutional repository.

Open Archival Information System: An archive, consisting of an organization of people and systems, that has accepted the responsibility to preserve information and make it available for a Designated Community.

Institutional Digital Repository Software: Used to manage information resources and to ensure proper organization, accessibility, storage and preservation.

Application Programming Interface: A set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications.

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