A survey of sustainable curation in research repositories of higher education institutions in Southern Africa

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 17
  • Abstract:

    The status and the prestige of higher education institutions depend on the quality, visibility and accessibility of their research. Globally, research indicates that valuable research output originates from both public and private higher education institutions, but the results of scholarship are often not archived and curated sustainably. Poor scholarship curation and lack of research visibility deter higher education institutions from taking their rightful place in higher education and higher education research communities. This article reports on investigations into digital scholarship curation trends in a purposefully selected target group of private and public higher education institutions in Southern Africa. Empirical research was triangulated with webometric analysis to derive solutions and best practices to ensure sustainable scholarship curation in institutional repositories. In all, 16 institutions were selected for the study. All the selected 16 institutions were subjected to webometric analysis but only 10 of the institutions completed the questionnaire. The study reveals a number of gaps affecting the effectiveness of institutional repositories in higher education institutions in Southern Africa. These gaps include true understanding of the nature and the importance of interoperability in open access. Also, collaboration within the higher education institutions, as well as external networks, is lacking. There is lack of awareness and knowledge regarding scholarship curation, and the value that web visibility holds for the entire institutions. The study recommends that institutions should include both social and technical aspects of scholarship curation.