Mousaion - Volume 33, Issue 3, 2015
Volumes & issues
Volume 33, Issue 3, 2015
Disseminating and using information on climate change and variability : a case study of farmers in Maluga and Chibela villages in central TanzaniaSource: Mousaion 33, pp 1 –24 (2015)More Less
This study formed part of a broader PhD research which investigated how access to, and use of, information enhances farmers' adaptation to climate change variability in the agricultural sector in semi-arid Central Tanzania. The research was carried out in two villages using Rogers' (2003) Diffusion of Innovations (DOI) theory and model to assess the dissemination of this information and its use by farmers. The predominantly qualitative study employed a post-positivist paradigm and some elements of a quantitative approach for the data collection and analysis. The principal data collection methods were interviews and focus group discussions. The study population comprised farmers, agricultural extension officers and the Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (CCAA) project manager. The qualitative data was subjected to content analysis, whereas the quantitative data was analysed to generate mostly descriptive statistics. Thekey findings showed that researchers, extension officers and village leaders disseminate information on climate change and variability to farmers, and that radio and mobile phones were the most relied upon sources in disseminatingthis information. Despite the benefits, however, the results showed that farmers felt there were several barriers to dissemination and use. To mitigate the adverse effects of climate change and variability on farming, the study recommends the repackaging of current and accurate information on climate change and variability, farmer education and training, and collaboration between researchers, meteorology experts, extension officers and farmers. Moreover, a clear policy framework for disseminating information related to climate change and variability is required.
Green open access in Kenya : a review of the content, policies and usage of institutional repositoriesSource: Mousaion 33, pp 25 –54 (2015)More Less
There is scant research-based evidence on the development and adoption of open access (OA) and institutional repositories (IRs) in Africa, and in Kenya in particular. This article reports on a study that attempted to fill that gap and provide feedback on the various OA projects and advocacy work currently underway in universities and research institutions in Kenya and in other developing countries. The article presents the findings of a descriptive study that set out to evaluate the current state of IRs in Kenya. Webometric approaches and interviews with IR managers were used to collect the data for the study. The findings showed that Kenya has made some progress in adopting OA with a total of 12 IRs currently listed in the Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR) and five mandatory self-archiving policies listed in the Registry of Open Access Repositories Mandatory Archiving Policies (ROARMAP). Most of the IRs are owned by universities where theses and dissertations constitute the majority of the content type followed by journal articles. The results on the usage and impact of materials deposited in Kenyan IRs indicated that the most viewed publications in the repositories also received citations in Google Scholar, thereby signifying their impact and importance. The results also showed that there was a considerable interest in Swahili language publications among users of the repositories in Kenya.
Decolonising indigenous intellectual and cultural rights in heritage institutions : a survey of policy and protocol in South AfricaSource: Mousaion 33, pp 55 –72 (2015)More Less
This article analyses the protection of indigenous knowledge (IK) in South Africa, exploring if and how the rights of indigenous peoples are insulated from pillage by existing policy and protocol frameworks in cultural heritage institutions. The article examines how policy and protocol in these institutions, the socio-economic realities within indigenous communities and legislative bottlenecks bear on the digitisation enterprise in the country. The study used the Delphi method to collect and analyse data. The major finding of the study was that, in an attempt to safeguard indigenous intellectual and cultural rights, some cultural heritage institutions are seeking to bridge the gap between Western legal requirements and indigenous intellectual rights by the inclusion of specific policy measures which take on board indigenous interests and concerns. The major themes that emerged from the study have cultural, legislative and structural underpinnings. These themes outline the fundamental characteristics of the policies and protocols of digitisation initiatives in the country. The study recommends that heritage institutions in South Africa should recognise their influence as sociocultural agents and actively submit 'decolonising' recommendations for statutory development. It also urges these institutions to continue building consultation networks with various indigenous stakeholders in order to improve best practice.
Safeguarding South Africa's Portuguese community-based organisational records : the question of custodyAuthor Tony RodriguesSource: Mousaion 33, pp 73 –94 (2015)More Less
This research article made an effort to uncover the attitudes of South African Portuguese community-based organisations in Gauteng, South Africa, towards the custody of their potential archival records and where these organisations would prefer to house any archival records they may hold. The literature reviewed revealed that community records often present community organisations that hold these records with a dilemma regarding who might take custody of their potential records if they do decide to participate in an archival collecting effort of their community. The literature also showed that archival custody options come in different forms, ranging from traditional approaches to custody of physical and legal transfer of ownership to a mainstream archive, to alternative methods often referred to as the post-custodial and stewardship approaches. Utilising an interpretive qualitative research design, similarly the empirical findings from the interviews held with the Portuguese organisations in Gauteng also revealed that these organisations' preferences towards custody were not uniform. The results showed that any proposed archival collecting effort of the Portuguese community will have to take all their divergent views into consideration if an archival collecting strategy that facilitates the contribution of the records from all their organisations is to be achieved. It also became evident that each organisation's preference towards the custody of their records is often contentious and therefore needs to be respected if these community records are to be preserved in the long term.
Digitising university libraries in Ghana : how technology is facilitating to digital content and service content and servicesSource: Mousaion 33, pp 95 –114 (2015)More Less
The study investigated the extent to which technological advances are affecting the development of digital libraries in universities in Ghana. Using the case study approach, interviews were conducted with university librarians and information technology (IT) officers of three public universities in Ghana. In all, six staff members (i.e., two representatives each from the three libraries at the University of Ghana (UG), the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), and the University of Cape Coast (UCC)) were interviewed. Their views on the available information communications technology (ICT) infrastructure which would enable access to digital content and services, such as online databases, institutional repositories, online public access catalogues (OPACs) and World Wide Web (www) resources, were obtained. The findings revealed that all three universities have the basic ICT infrastructure to enable users to access digital content. However, there was restricted access to the OPAC; lack of visibility of the library website; and inadequate use of Web 2.0 tools in some of the libraries. Therefore, the study recommends the hiring of more multi-skilled librarians who would provide the necessary support for digital resources and services.
The role of information literacy in socio-economic development : a survey of tertiary institution students in Bulawayo, ZimbabweSource: Mousaion 33, pp 115 –128 (2015)More Less
Information literacy (IL) advances the living standards of people by enabling them to make informed decisions which translate into socio-economic development. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of IL in socio-economic development among students in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The objectives were to: find out how students obtain IL skills; examine the importance of IL to students; examine the relationship between IL and information communication technologies (ICTs); examine the relationship that exists between IL and socio-economic development; and find out the challenges faced by students in obtaining IL. A survey was conducted among 191 students in Bulawayo. The data was collected using questionnaires and interviews. The findings revealed that most students acquire IL through lectures and this enables them to make informed decisions related to socio-economic development. The study recommends that authorities in tertiary institutions should ensure that there are sufficient ICTs available to enable IL acquisition for all students.
Relooking access and reference services offered by the national archives of Zimbabwe's research and public archives sectionSource: Mousaion 33, pp 129 –144 (2015)More Less
National archival institutions world-wide are legally mandated to make archival materials in their custody available to researchers through the provision of access and reference services. Often, the access and reference services offered by some archival institutions, such as the National Archives of Zimbabwe (NAZ) are insufficient to meet increasing user needs and demands as well as changes in technology. Employing a qualitative research approach and a survey research design, where the data was collected using interviews and document reviews, the study examined the access and reference services offered by NAZ. The study revealed that NAZ was largely using outdated access and reference services, while some reference archivists lacked knowledge of archival collections and access skills. Thus, the study recommends that NAZ should update its staff skills, and revamp its access and reference services to bring them in line with the latest trends in technology and changing user needs and demands.
Source: Mousaion 33, pp 145 –166 (2015)More Less
Parliamentary libraries can play a significant role in the information behaviour of parliamentarians. With the exception of the Library of National Parliament, also known as the Library and Information Unit, in Cape Town, South Africa, the other nine South African parliamentary libraries are relatively new institutions that mostly resulted from the democratic processes that took place in the country in 1994. The Library of National Parliament services the National Assembly, while the other nine parliamentary libraries service the provincial legislatures. Initial status reports compiled in 2004 and 2007 indicated limited and very traditional services and sources in many of the parliamentary libraries. Five years later, an attempt was made to establish if improvements and innovations had been implemented in the parliamentary libraries to serve parliamentarians optimally. A quantitative survey was carried out among all ten parliamentary libraries using a questionnaire. The major findings were that although most of the libraries were offering the same kind of services, very few innovative services had been introduced. A steady increase in online journals, newspapers and databases was observed, thereby indicating a shift towards incorporating digital content and making information available online. A few of the libraries had introduced technology to their services by way of a library portal, Facebook presence, or by using a library blog. Recommendations include: establishing a consortium among the parliamentary libraries to enable information sharing; extending services to a wider clientele; and establishing a platform through the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) where issues and challenges can be discussed.