Browsing by Author "Nyahodza, Lena"
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- ItemOpen AccessA critical analysis of the participation of the University of Cape Town community in the advancement of open scholarship: towards a strategy for the promotion of open scholarship(2023) Nyahodza, Lena; Raju, JayaOpen scholarship (OS) plays a significant role in improving access to knowledge as it removes cost barriers and copyright restrictions related to published research. As part of the openness movement, OS, particularly open access (OA), emerged in scholarly communication to bring radical change in scientific publishing through making publicly funded research immediately available to the reader at no cost. The University of Cape Town (UCT) has embraced the openness philosophy through establishing OA and research data management policies and has declared in its mission statement the desire to share its resources, including research to support development on the African continent. The objective of this study was to critically analyse UCT community's participation in the advancement of open scholarship to develop a strategy for the promotion of OS. The study was informed by the transformative worldview and adopted two theories, critical theory and the capability approach (CA) framework. It used a convergent transformative mixed method approach and a case study design to explore the case of OS at UCT. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected using an online questionnaire completed by 207 academics and researchers; interviews with 10 representatives of faculty research committees, with volunteer researchers from faculties and with six key informants; focus group and individual discussions with 30 Masters students, PhD students and post-doctoral fellows; and, through content analysis of 17 documents. Quantitative data were analysed using both Excel and Strata while qualitative data were analysed using NVivo. The study found low uptake across the three open scholarship components (open research, open educational resources and open data) that were covered in this study. There was evidence that UCT academics and researchers view open scholarship as critical in supporting human development and social justice, and that they are motivated by social justice imperatives to engage in open scholarship practices. The study found that while there was the provision of OS infrastructure by UCT, funding for article processing charges (APCs) (albeit inadequate), established OA and open data policies, academic promotion at UCT, however, aligns research impact assessment with traditional bibliometrics indicators such as high impact factor of journals, which influence researchers to embrace a closed publishing culture. Lack of inclusion of open scholarship achievements in promotion criteria and inadequate APCs funding have been identified as major contributing factors in academics and researchers' low participation in OS as a social good. Critical theory was useful for engaging a scholarly communication study within a dominant capitalist society characterised by the commodification of knowledge; and this was evident in this study as the cost barrier has become a hinderance in publishing and in accessing knowledge as some of UCT's knowledge was found behind paywalls. A capability approach framework guided academics and researchers to identify strategies they have adopted to participate in OS and to identify elements they regarded as essential for the development of a strategy to support open scholarship including infrastructure, funding and organisational support. Based on academics and researchers' views of essential elements to support open scholarship and what worked for academics and researchers at UCT, this study proposed a strategy to support OS that could be used as a pilot by universities with similar experiences to those of UCT. The study recommends motivation of researchers to participate more in green OA through the incentivising of green OA practice for universities that have funding challenges to support gold OA. It also recommends prioritisation of accredited African-based diamond and gold OA access journals and collaboration to raise funds to support gold OA. The challenges experienced by UCT academics and researchers may be common among their peers in Africa and other global south regions, and hence the study recommends piloting, with adjustments as required, of the proposed strategy for purposes of advancing open scholarship. This could ground African researchers at the forefront of research production in Africa, as the continent is still grappling with inequalities of apartheid and colonialism and therefore require access to knowledge to support human development.
- ItemOpen AccessCuration for participation: an eight-step guide to curating open scholarly content(2014) Rother, Kyle; Goodier, Sarah; Czerniewicz, Laura; Nyahodza, LenaThis Guide is for anyone who finds themselves curating scholarly and educational content at UCT, even if you don’t know that it is called curation. You may be a postgraduate student tasked to put a professor’s research output online, or you may be a communications officer whose tasks have now extended to curating content. You may be a webmaster who finds that you are asked to upload all kinds of resources. You may be employed parttime, or on an adhoc basis. You probably won’t have a qualification in digital curation or library science. You will probably have little to no experience in this type of work. But you find yourself in this position. So, what needs to be done?
- ItemOpen AccessAn evaluation of electronic services offered to Master's students by the University of the Western Cape academic library as an effort to bridge the digital divide(2016) Nyahodza, Lena; Higgs, RichardAcademic libraries are challenged to meet the demands of patrons as expectations shift towards remote access to library services. In Africa, such challenges are exacerbated by the legacy of the digital divide. In this post-apartheid period South Africa has acknowledged the presence of a multifaceted digital divide, and that the inequalities established in the past have not yet been resolved. Therefore, academic libraries could be of great value in playing emancipatory roles through the provision of technologies and other resources that enable access to information by marginalised communities. The aim of the study is to evaluate the electronic services provided by UWC academic library to Master's Students and determine if efforts made to bridge the digital divide are perceived by users as effective, through investigating use of internet-connected infrastructure, skills development programmes established to promote adequate use of the e-services, and identification of challenges experienced by users as they interact with e-services. The study employed a qualitative research method, grounded in phenomenological design and supported by Critical Theory. Data was collected from two samples drawn using purposive sampling from the target population of Master's students and librarians. Data collection from students was facilitated through an online survey and six librarians were interviewed. Main themes that guided the dialogue during data collection emanated from reviewed literature. The study concludes that UWC library has emerged as a competent agent of democracy, having implemented several projects to support marginalised academic students in accessing information. The library has provided ICTs, bandwidth and skills development programmes to support students. However, the challenges encountered are diverse, and income imbalances among communities still prevail, indicating that projects and programmes established by university libraries to bridge the divide need to be ongoing and sustainable since the phenomenon cannot be exterminated.
- ItemOpen AccessLibrary publishing for an inclusive education(Routledge, 2020) Raju, Reggie; Claassen, Jill; Nyahodza, Lena; Dali, Keren; Caidi, NadiaHigher education, in the main, should be structured such that it addresses the issue of diversity and rejects all forms of hegemony, stereotypes and biases: both as a public and a common good it must provide equal opportunity for as many as possible in the interest of a more rights-based, egalitarian, and cohesive society. However, the cost of scholarly literature has spiralled out of control, making higher education unaffordable. In a post-colonial era, it is imperative that higher education be relevant and decolonised. Unfortunately, the quest for maximizing profits by large publishing houses have not supported the goal of an affordable and decolonised education. Academic libraries are attempting to bridge this divide by providing an open access and social justice driven ‘library as a publisher’ service. This service upholds the principles of inclusivity and diversity. Library publishing provides opportunity for an inclusive, affordable and decolonised higher education.
- ItemOpen AccessPositioning open access in a transformative paradigm(UCT Libraries, 2019) Nyahodza, LenaThis paper positions open access in a transformative worldview, advocating for the democratisation of scholarly communication processes to support equitable dissemination of and access to knowledge. The traditional scholarly communication (publishing) model demands the signing away of copyright, which makes publishers own research and demand subscription fees from readers to access research publications. This alienates knowledge from users as they are required to pay unaffordable fees to be able to access knowledge, which excludes readers from low-income countries, thus compromising their use of knowledge for community development. The exclusion of readers who cannot afford subscriptions indicate some form of capitalism in the form of knowledge commodification; and, open access challenges such dominant experiences by promoting access for all. Therefore, open access plays a democratic role that have great potential to support social justice agenda. All aspects of critical theory reflect in both closed publishing and open access publishing, with closed publishing model alienating readers and open access publishing creating opportunities for transformation and social justice by opening up knowledge for readers that cannot afford journal subscription fees.
- ItemOpen AccessPredatory publishing from the Global South perspective(Radical Open Access Conference, 2018-06-29) Raju, Reggie; Nyahodza, Lena; Claassen, JillThe publication of research outputs, in the main, has a social justice aim that is enacted by the desire of researchers to share their research findings for the betterment of society. There is a strong belief in the necessity of a symbiotic relationship between reader and researcher. This relationship is supported by the view that access to published knowledge is essential for the production of new knowledge, and new research builds on previous knowledge, establishing its validity through collective scrutiny. Traditionally, research has been made public through journals, meeting proceedings, and books produced largely by commercial publishers, and access to this research has had to be bought.
- ItemOpen AccessThe role of Open Data as a social justice entity(2018) Nyahodza, LenaThis conference paper presents the role that open data is playing in creating open maps to rescue girls that are schedules for female gender mutilation (FGM), thus giving hope to a girl child in Tanzania. Literature indicates that there have been reports of young girls losing lives during or becoming disabled after the FGM procedures in many occasions; and the creation of open maps through the use of open data has made it possible to locate girls that need rescue from scheduled procedures. FGM practice aims to ensure premarital virginity and marital fidelity, as FGM is believed to reduce a woman's libido, which is also believed to help women resist extramarital sexual acts. FGM is on its own a social injustice practice that is intended to glorify men at the expense of the health and lives of the girl children. Open data, has therefore, presented an opportunity to save girls from the harmful FGM practice.
- ItemOpen AccessTowards bridging the digital divide in post-apartheid South Africa: a case of a historically disadvantaged university in Cape Town(Stellenbosch University, 2017) Nyahodza, Lena; Higgs, RichardSouth Africa’s historically disadvantaged university libraries are, like others, challenged to meet patrons’ demands through the provision of relevant infrastructure, services and information-related skills to enable users to function in the digital information age. Their historic disadvantage is compounded by two levels of the digital divide: their situation within a developing nation (the ‘global divide’), and contending with a relative paucity in skills and resources within this context (the ‘local divide’, as a legacy of apartheid). This paper reports on a master’s study undertaken to explore whether the electronic services initiated in post-apartheid South Africa by University of the Western Cape (UWC) Library are perceived by primary stakeholders (users and library staff) as effective in bridging the digital divide. The study employed a phenomenological qualitative design, supported by critical theory. Purposive sampling was used to select two sets of samples for data collection: postgraduate students and UWC librarians. Data was collected from forty students through an online questionnaire, and interviews were held with six UWC librarians. Findings suggest that the UWC Library has emerged as a competent agent of democracy: most of the users perceive the e-services being offered as useful and meeting their needs, and the library currently provides ICT infrastructure, internet access and information-related skills programmes to support the university community. However, challenges encountered include slow internet connection, security concerns, shortcomings in information literacy, problems of access and accessibility (including language), and reluctance to engage with unfamiliar technology. While the institution does make an effort to bridge the digital divide, recommended further research, such as evaluating the impact of slow internet speed on research and learning or enhanced interventions in information literacy, could further support more equitable access to information.
- ItemOpen AccessUCT Libraries – social justice through OERs(2019-03-06) Nyahodza, LenaA presentation on the purpose of sharing OREs at the University of Cape Town via the open access institutional repository (OpenUCT) and the impact these OERs may have on human development through self-directed learning.