n Mousaion - The adoption of open access scholarly communication in Tanzanian public universities : some influencing factors




Open access is a means for free availability of scholarly content via the internet. It is an emerging opportunity for wider and unlimited access to scholarly literature. Scholarly communication, through open access journals and self-arching, are the two main approaches of open access publishing. However, this mode of scholarly communication is not widely utilised in developing countries such as Tanzania. This article discusses the factors that influence the adoption of open access for scholarly communication in Tanzanian public universities, based on a study conducted in 2008 using a survey questionnaire. A sample of 544 researchers, selected through stratified random sampling from a population of 1 088 researchers and 69 policymakers at six public universities in Tanzania, provided their views. It was evident from the findings that researchers' internet usage skills and self-efficacy, social influence, performance expectancy, effort expectancy, and the respondents' general perceptions about open access were the positive factors likely to facilitate open access adoption. The current poor research conditions and researchers' low internet self-efficacy (such as inadequate information search skills) were cited as the main hindrances for researchers to use open access outlets to access scholarly content. It is therefore recommended that university policies on scholarly communication should be revised to incorporate the use of open access publishing. Furthermore, universities should accelerate the establishment of institutional repositories, advocacy campaigns and training directed at researchers, policymakers, readers and information managers of scholarly content, and the improvement of internet speed through subscription to more bandwidth, so as to meet the demand from the scholarly community.


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