Institutional repositories (IRs) have become an important element in scholarly communication reform. IRs are seen, by higher education institutions, as an adequate response to the serials crisis and a major academic leap for the open access (OA) movement globally. IRs have become key indicators in world university rankings, and many higher education institutions are adopting IRs for that purpose. However, establishing an IR is a major information technology (IT) project undertaking for any university and requires due diligence for evidence-informed decision regarding implementation.
The University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) library has mooted the establishment of an IR for the university. This study was undertaken to assess the feasibility of doing so by investigating the presence or otherwise of the known critical success factors for IR implementation and the unique case for success at UHAS.
The study approach was qualitative, a case-study design was followed and semi-structured interviews were used to collect the opinions of purposively sampled participants. Data were thematically analysed using QSI International’s NVIVO 11 software package and the results were summarised as a scorecard expressed in percentages for quick understanding. Nine (9) themes emerged from the data, six (6) of which perfectly aligned with the critical success factors (CSFs) generally reported in the literature. These factors included executive support, user acceptance and support, IR policy, IR marketing and promotion, resources and organizational culture. Three (3) of the emergent CSFs (themes) that were unique to UHAS included stakeholder perceptions of IR, researcher motivation and the library as an agent of change.
Other findings include that stakeholders have a preference for mediated archiving over self-archiving. An institutional OA mandate needs to be established before researchers would archive their outputs. The library has low visibility in the institution and there are, in general, low levels of policy awareness and compliance among the key stakeholders of an IR at UHAS. Specific recommendations have been made to address identified challenges so that IR implementation success could be ensured.
In conclusion, the study found that there was absolute support for the IR initiative by both senior management (decision makers) and faculty researchers (content providers). However, the study also established that the current infrastructural resource base of UHAS cannot yet support the implementation of an IR.
Mini-dissertation (M.IT)--University of Pretoria, 2017.