This research was carried out to examine the Adoption of Open Access in Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. Among the objectives were: to identify the level of familiarity of Open Access Initiative among lecturers in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; to know how frequent lecturers in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria deposit their research works in any Institutional Repository. However, what are the challenges encountered in the use and adoption of Open Access Initiative for research and Development in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria? And what are the strategies put in place to encourage the adoption of Open Access Initiatives?; Survey method was adopted for the study while structured questionnaire was the instrument used for data collection targeting one hundred and eighty nine (189) lecturers which was used as sampling size for the study from a population of one thousand nine hundred and five (1095). Data collected were analyzed descriptively. The finding revealed that the level of lecturer’s familiarity with Open Access institutional Repository and open access journal is very high, but their level of usage is low compared to the level of their familiarity with open access initiative. The findings also revealed that the benefit factors (intrinsic, contextual) will motivate lecturers to adopt open than the cost factor (copyright, plagiarism, additional effort expectancy), or extrinsic factors and facilitating conditions. The study concluded that open access initiatives to scholarly communication has not been fully accepted and used by lecturers in A.B.U Zaria. One of the main recommendations made by the study is that the University management should harness the awareness of open access by enlightening the lecturers of its benefit of its adoption through bulleting,conference,workshopsandseminars.



1.1      Background to the Study

Scholarly communication is a means in which scholars exchange ideas with each other as way of fostering the growth of science and technology. According to Dulle, Minish-Majanja and Cloete (2010) it was noted that “the core value of scholarly communication has been sharing of knowledge without price and copyright restrictions. However, the joining and dominance of commercial publishers in journal publication as well as distribution after World War II resulted into limitations to scholarly content access.” The aim of most commercial publishers has been on reaping prices from journal sales rather than facilitating knowledge sharing for further growth of science and technology. Until recently, over 2.5 million of articles published annually appeared in subscription-based journals making it impossible for researchers with financial limitation to gain access to such information (Yiotis, 2005; Moller, 2006; Bjork, Roos and Lauri, 2009). According to Alemu (2009), the exorbitant journal prices imposed by commercial publishers have forced academic institutions and libraries to reduce journal subscriptions. This resulted into access limitations as scientists may not get most of the literature deemed necessary in their scholarly work. Compared to scholars from well-endowed countries, those from the developing countries are severely affected due to the widespread poverty in the latter nations (Bjork, Roos and Lauri, 2009; Habib, 2009).


The enabling Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) as well as the frustrating journal prices have made the scholarly community to devise an alternative scholarly publishing system whose aim is to achieve a wider distribution of scholarly content without price or other copyright restrictions to end users (Bjork, 2004; Yiotis, 2005; Moller, 2006).

This emerging scholarly communication model is known as open access (OA). The Berlin Declaration of Open Access (2003), defines open access as a mode of scholarly communication through which the “author(s) and right holder(s) of scholarly work grant(s) to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit, and display the work publicly in any digital medium for any responsible purpose, subject to proper attribution of authorship”. According to this definition, a complete version of the work and all supplemental materials, including a copy of the permission to use should be deposited in at least one online repository using suitable technical standards to enable open access to such works. This form of scholarly communication is achieved through two main channels: Open Access Journals (OAJ) for electronic refereed journals and Self archiving (Chan and Costa, 2005; Bailey, 2006). Unlike the business publishing model, in open access publishing, the end user is not charged to access scholarly content. Instead, various funding strategies such as direct author fees, institutional membership to sponsor all or part of author fees, funding agency payment of author fees, grants to open access publishers and institutional subsidies are used to cover the costs for publication and distribution of OA content for free access by the end user (Hirwade and Rajyalakshmi, 2006).


Contrary to the business mode of scholarly publishing that increases the information access gap between developed and developing countries, open access provides the visibility and accessibility to research output without restrictions. Despite the promising potential for open access to improve scholarly communication, this mode of publishing is not yet wide spread in developing countries when compared to developed countries (Moller, 2006; Wang and Su, 2006; Directory of Open Access Repositories (DOAR), 2010).

There are two types of open access to scholarly communication, these are: Open access publishing or Open Access journal (Gold road to open access) and Open access archives or institutional repository (Green road to open access).


1.1.1      Open Access Publishing or Open Access Journal (Gold Road to Open Access)



Open access journal also known has Gold road to open access (OA gold) are peer reviewed journals made available free of charge to the public through the internet. Directory of open access journal (DOAJ) maintained that open access uses funding model that does not charge researchers or their institution for access. This means that the end-user is not charged to access journal articles. Various funding strategies, such as direct grant to open access publishers and institutional subsidies are used to cover the cost of publications and distribution of open access content for free access by the end user (Hirwade and Rajalaksmi, 2006). Open access journals will allow scientific research to go beyond the national and professional barriers and provide opportunity for scientific community to improve their citation impact and enhance their readability for further growth and development of science and technology (Sarakadam 2012).

1.1.2     Open Access Archives or Institutional Repositories (Green Road to Open Access)

Open Access Archives or repositories usually referred to as “green road” to open access (OA green) encourages researchers and academicians to make digital copies of their work on publication

freely available to open access archives or repositories which may contain pre-print or post print. In the case of pre-print, the essence is to perform peer-review or to invite comment from colleagues’ before final version of the work is made available for publication (Christian 2008). The post print is that which is made available on line after the work has been published in a peer reviewed based journal and author personal web page. Open access repository has the advantage of responsibility of ownership and some possible management control/encouragement of deposit. According to Ogbomo (2015) institutional repository is defined as a type of digital library established by an institution, populated by the staff, researchers, students and other members of the institution and to be consulted by both members of the university and the outside world. This corroborates with Ezema (2011) who opined that institutional repositories intends to capture original research and other intellectual property generated by an institutions constituent population who are actively involved in a research in many disciplines. Ogbomo (2015) asserted that the main function of an institutional repository is to provide improve access to the full text of research articles and improve retrieval of relevant research. However, it should be noted that research output could include electronics copies of pre-prints as well as post print articles, conference and working papers, committee papers, teaching materials, thesis and dissertation, monographs, multimedia, students’ projects etc. From the discussion, it could be gathered that institutional repository relies on input from members of the institution, the commitment and participation of contributions, users and manages is crucial.


Jain (2012) added that an author’s key role is to submit knowledge in the form of research output in their institutional repositories. Institution role include introducing mandatory policy for submitting research work and formulating other policies for the operational management to institutional repositories. Okojie (2008) acknowledged that communicating scholarly information through open access repository provides the added advantage for faster publishing opportunities and greater visibilities for author and institutions. Universities all over the world have established


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