Digitizing the intellectual output of Ghanaian universities

Published date12 December 2019
Date12 December 2019
AuthorPatience Emefa Dzandza
Subject MatterLibrary & information science,Collection building & management
Digitizing the intellectual output of
Ghanaian universities
Patience Emefa Dzandza
Department of Information Studies, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana
Purpose With the emergence of ranking of universities by organizations, one major factor considered in the rankings is the intellectual output of
the universities. For universities to remain part of the global academic competitive society, intellectual output of universities can no longer be stored
on shelves in libraries. Academic libraries have engaged in digitization of the intellectual works of their institutions which is a core mandate of any
academic library. The purpose of this study is to ascertain the state of digitization initiatives among university libraries in Ghana.
Design/methodology/approach A qualitative approach was adopted. Nine top universities in Ghana were selected to participate in this study.
Interviews were conducted with heads of libraries.
Findings The ndings of the study revealed that seven out of the nine libraries studied have embarked on some sort of digitization initiative, and
all libraries studied are using the same digital asset management system (Dspace). Major challenges reported by the participants that are common
to all the libraries studied are lack of adequate and modern equipment, lack of trained personnel and lack of cooperation from faculty members.
Originality/value This study brought fore the initiatives undertaken by academic libraries in Ghana to establish and maintain institutional
repositories (IRs) amidst a number of challenges. It is a major contribution to the literature from West Africa as not much literature on IR is found
from this part of the world.
Keywords Academic libraries, Digitization, Open access, Ghana, Institutional repository, IR
Paper type Research paper
Academic institutionsgenerate information as part of their core
function of conducting research to enhance the knowledge of
the human race to help understand the universe and its content
better. The knowledge as received from research output of
universities is to help make the world a better place. The
information generated from research and other activities of
universities are mostly collected, organized and stored by
libraries for easy retrieval. In the past, most of these research
output and other forms of informationwere stored on shelves of
libraries and sometimes even by the generators of the
information themselves. This meant, a physical contact must
be made with the library or holder of the information to enable
one to use the document of interest. This also meant that it is
possible a number of research output of universitieswere never
used by other scholars or researchers outside the immediate
domain of the generatorsof such information.
The technological wave across the globe from the twentieth
century has brought enormous benet to information
generating and organizing institutions. One of these many
benets is the ability of university libraries to digitize the
intellectual output of their mother institution. This initiative is
part of the open access drive and is mostly referred to as
institutionalrepository (IR).
Purpose of the study
The purpose of this study is to investigate the extent of
digitizationof intellectual output of Ghanaian universities.
The objectives of this studyare to determine:
the state of digitization of the intellectual output in Ghanaian
the categories of intellectual materials which are digitized
in Ghanaian universities;
the process of digitizing the materials in Ghanaian
universities; and
the benets and challenges of digitizing the intellectual
output of Ghanaian universities.
Statement of the problem
IRs are being established by both small and large academic
institutions in every part of the world with the basic aim of making
the scholarly publications and research output of such institutions
globally accessible. Despite this current trend, evidence from the
literature has shown that the large majority of IRs are from the
developed parts of the world (Fralinger and Bull, 2013)and
Dlamini and Snyman (2017) also found out that majority of IRs
from Africa are from South African institutions. In the research of
Dlamini and Snyman (2017) only three IRs were found from
Ghana. Coupled with this, the academic institutions in developing
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald
Insight at: https://www.emerald.com/insight/2514-9326.htm
Collection and Curation
39/3 (2020) 6975
© Emerald Publishing Limited [ISSN 2514-9326]
[DOI 10.1108/CC-05-2019-0012]
Received 1 May 2019
Revised 29 October 2019
Accepted 14 November 2019

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