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- Volume 81, Issue 1, 2015
South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science - Volume 81, Issue 1, 2015
Volume 81, Issue 1, 2015
Source: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 81, pp 1 –7 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.7553/81-1-1528More Less
This article discusses a preliminary study into the uptake and usage of collective statistics in South Africa with valuable lessons for other African countries and the developing world. It presents the results of a survey conducted among twenty-three South African universities that are members of The Committee of Higher Education Libraries of South Africa (CHELSA), the sponsor of the shared platform for the storage and sharing of library statistics. The purpose of the study was to investigate the extent to which the community of users understands the uses of collected statistics and how it interprets them, as well as how far these interpretations are being used for internal and external management purposes and for advocacy at institutional level. The results of the survey show that there is consensus amongst academic libraries in South Africa that statistics should be collected and made available nationally for various purposes. The survey also shows that the majority of university libraries in the country have started using the shared statistics database platform and that there is room for further development.
Author Jaya RajuSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 81 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.7553/81-1-1More Less
SAJLIS prides itself on the fact that, by the time it goes to 'press' at the end of each semester (the journal releases issues twice a year), it has accounted for all manuscript submissions received in the six months preceding publication of an issue. During the first semester of 2015, SAJLIS received twenty-five manuscripts of which six met the journal's quality standards for publication and the remainder (76%) were either rejected or authors were asked to revise and re-submit for review. The journal, published in a completely online and open access format, continues to have its double-blind peer review process managed via Open Journal Systems (OJS).
Social media and research : an assessment of the coverage of South African universities in ResearchGate, Web of Science and the Webometrics Ranking of World UniversitiesAuthor Omwoyo B. OnyanchaSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 81, pp 8 –20 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.7553/81-1-1540More Less
The emergence of social media, including social networking technologies, has had a profound impact on almost all human activities. Social media's application in research is the most recent occurrence, as the technologies have gained prominence among researchers who regard social media as an avenue for not only strengthening their own networks, but also sharing their research. This article focuses on one of the social networking services for researchers, namely ResearchGate (RG), to assess the research visibility and impact of universities in South Africa. It also examines the correlation between the universities' ResearchGate-based metrics and Web of Science (WoS) citation statistics on the one hand, and the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities' (WRWU) ranking on the other. Results reveal that researchers in the top-ranking South African universities have quickly moved to embrace social media; there is a high correlation between RG and WoS in terms of their coverage of papers produced by universities in South Africa; there is also a high correlation between RG and WoS in terms of impact; and ranking of universities in RG, WoS and WRWU is similarly highly correlated. Further discussions, conclusions and recommendations are provided in the paper.
The use of the intranet of the Durban University of Technology Library as a knowledge management toolSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 81, pp 21 –27 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.7553/81-1-1516More Less
This paper reports an investigation of the use of the Durban University of Technology (DUT) Library intranet as a knowledge management (KM) tool. The general objectives of the investigation were to establish what KM practices are used in the library of DUT; establish if and how the staff of this academic library employ the intranet as a tool for KM; identify the characteristics of a KM tool that could assist the management of the library; assess DUT Library's intranet (Microsoft SharePoint) against the characteristics of a KM tool. The specific objective was to ascertain the extent to which it is being used for KM and to develop an understanding of the factors that contribute or could contribute to the adoption of it for KM. The target population for this study was DUT professional library staff. The study employed a qualitative approach in its research design. Data were collected from the staff by means of a self-administered questionnaire, a focus group interview with a sample of key informants, and by consulting usage statistics of the SharePoint application.
Evaluating user education programmes for postgraduate students in the School of Management, Information Technology and Governance at the University of KwaZulu-NatalSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 81, pp 28 –40 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.7553/81-1-175More Less
Notwithstanding the wealth of information available in the knowledge economy, many academic library users still lack essential knowledge and skills to locate materials. This deficiency might be attributed to the fact that the information environment is complex and is changing quickly. The main purpose of a university library is two-fold. It involves providing information sources relevant for learning, teaching and research. It also involves empowering users by furnishing them with knowledge and skills that will assist them to be independent and lifelong users. The library is regarded as the core of any educational institution, particularly a university. The study described in this paper was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of user education programmes for postgraduate students in the School of Management, Information Technology and Governance at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus. The study used both quantitative and qualitative research approaches, employing questionnaires for postgraduate students and interviews for subject librarians and academic coordinators. These data collection tools were presented sequentially, with questionnaires for students followed by interviews with library and academic coordinators. The findings revealed that, although there are pockets of good practice in user education, there is a need to reconsider the content, the mode, the scope, presentation strategies and overall relevance and suitability of user education programmes in line with user needs. There is also a need to consider issues of appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency of instructional methods and pedagogical matters.
Comparative assessment of information and knowledge sharing among academics in selected universities in Nigeria and South AfricaSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 81, pp 41 –52 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.7553/81-1-1544More Less
This study investigated information and knowledge sharing among academics in selected universities in Nigeria and South Africa. The study employed quantitative and qualitative research methods. The combined techniques of purposive and probability random sampling were used to select universities and respondents respectively. The questionnaire was administered to a total of 382 respondents comprising only academic staff in both countries. A response rate of 81.41% (311 academics) was achieved. The respondents were drawn from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Federal University of Technology Minna (FUT) and Umaru Musa Yar'adua University (UMYU) in Nigeria, and the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Durban University of Technology (DUT) and the University of Zululand (UZ) in South Africa. The sample of universities comprised a mixture of established, comprehensive and technology-based universities. The majority of the surveyed academics from the selected universities in both countries were male, from the Humanities, and with masterâ??s degrees as their highest qualifications. The majority of academics also had eleven to twenty years of experience in academia. All of the surveyed academics were familiar with information and knowledge sharing and participated in knowledge sharing in different ways. The majority of the respondents in the sample from both countries used computers, information and data storage devices, mobile phones and internet facilities for information and knowledge sharing but the use of old and new technologies varied across the countries with South African academics using more new technologies for information and knowledge sharing. The study notes that the Nigerian respondents revealed significant challenges to information and knowledge sharing in their universities, such as a lack of electricity; inadequate print and electronic information resources; poor research management and support; poor conference, seminar and workshop attendance and communication; and poor attitudes towards sharing among the academics. Not all the sampled universities from across countries shared the same challenges. The study recommends the provision of adequate ICT resources and improved research management, research support, and awareness.
Towards functional school libraries : supporting library assistants in under-resourced schools through a university-community-school partnershipSource: South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science 81, pp 53 –62 (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.7553/81-1-1553More Less
This article reports on an ongoing study on building a collaborative support model for library assistants in a group of schools in the Western Cape township of Khayelitsha through a university-community-school partnership. The Cascading Support Model was conceptualised as a community of practice between the University of Cape Town's Schools Improvement Initiative, UCT's Library and Information Studies Centre, The Bookery and a group of schools in Khayelitsha. Given the complexity of challenges facing schools in impoverished communities, this collaborative model is presented as a strategy to support library assistants in creating functional school libraries. Using a qualitative, interpretive approach, the study employs an ethnographic research method to describe the collaborative support model offered through the community of practice. The results show that universities are well positioned through their partnership with community organisations and schools to help create models of support through which expertise can be harnessed and disseminated. As a support strategy for library assistants, the Cascading Support Model represents a shift from conventional mentoring models towards a wider community of practice.