The case of OpenUCT: Increasing access to UCT's research and teaching outputs



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University of Cape Town. OpenUCT

University of Cape Town

OpenUCT's ePoster submission to the 5th African Conference for Digital Scholarship and Curation (ADSC5), held in Durban (26 -- 28 June 2013). That the research and teaching output of universities is largely hidden is well documented. Ironically the rise of open access policies in the global north (see for many policies requiring this) means that there is a danger of academic outputs from the global south become even more invisible and marginalised. Through the OpenUCT Initiative we worked with 16 local academics from a broad range of faculties and departments to improve their online visibility. They are unlikely to be typical of all academics as they were a self-selecting sample, all interested in and to varying extents with an existing online presence. This poster reports on our investigation into their online visibility and the extent to which their outputs were available openly. These academics were searched for on Google Scholar by name and the findings showed that of the average 7.69 relevant outputs per academic in the top ten results, only 2.94 were openly available (i.e. did not require a subscription to access the full text). It also reports on a sub set of the group who explicitly set out to improve the online visibility of their work, and the results of those efforts. In conclusion, drawing on this small study, this poster will discuss some lessons learnt regarding of the curation of academic outputs and the challenges of sharing and promoting content in the online space.