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Developing an Institutional Repository at the Copperbelt University Augustine Mwamba, Systems Librarian Copperbelt University, Zambia

Abstract Academic and research institutions have realized that it is quite essential that they bring out their academic, professional, cultural and research output to the world for use. This is a method through which institutions need to facilitate access to their institutional knowledge and establish their visibility to the world. An institutional repository is therefore a conduit through which this objective is achieved. The Copperbelt University has indeed taken up the challenge to establish a platform that would reflect its research activities. This write-up shares the experience that CBU Library has gone through in the process of establishing CBU institutional repository (CBUSpace). Keywords: Copperbelt University; Digital content; DSpace digital software; Free open source software; Institutional repository; Open access

Background The Copperbelt University has a mandate to provide quality education and offer requisite facilities for research activities that are required to enhance the quality of university education. Following this mandate, CBU defined its mission of teaching, research, service and excellence. This could only be achieved by creating a favorable environment for high-quality education and training, creating a place to which access is possible primarily on the basis of intellectual merit. In addition, it aims at creating a place of learning founded on the quality and knowledge and creating a community fully engaged in research, creating and disseminating knowledge in the advancement of science, and participating in the development of technological innovations (CBU Calendar, 2007). In order to achieve this mission the university has to create an institutional knowledge base that would assist students, lecturers, researchers and indeed any category of information users that need access to the knowledge developed in the institution. Establishing an institutional repository at the Copperbelt University would significantly mitigate the nurturing of the locally created knowledge through capturing, organizing, processing and disseminating such resources. The University Library has assumed this responsibility and has already made an undertaking to establish a CBU Institutional Repository. This Library service is in progress and all the logistical requirements are already in place. What is still pending is a process of communicating and taking on board all stakeholders and identifying key players in the implementation of the system. The University Senate, a major stakeholder, has accented to the establishment of the facility. Consequently, the Library has acquired requisite software and hardware. In addition, the Library has identified dSpace digital software for use in the implementation of the IR. The Institutional Repository (ResearchSpace) is intended to be an open access institutional repository whose purpose is to showcase and preserve the research outputs of members of the Copperbelt University. Page | 1


The concept of Institutional Repository: Simply stated, a digital institutional repository is a mechanism for managing and storing digital content. In the context of a higher education institution, this can be defined as “a set of services that a university offers to the members of its community for the management and dissemination of digital materials created by the institution and its community members (UPSpace manual.) It is most essentially an organizational commitment to the stewardship of these digital materials, including long-term preservation, where appropriate, as well as organization and access or distribution.” (Lynch, 2003). A digital repository may include a wide range of content for a variety of purposes and users. Typically, content can include research outputs such as journal articles or research data, e-theses, e-learning objects and teaching materials, and administrative data. Some repositories only take in particular items (such as theses or journal papers), whilst others seek to gather any credible scholarly work produced by the institution, limited only by each author's retained rights from publishers. The real strength of the IR is in its ability to collect, preserve, and projects the scholarly output of the University and makes it available to the university community and beyond. According to David Shulenberger, a university-wide research distribution strategy would represent an institutional “shift from a passive role in research distribution to an active one.” He further argues that institutional repositories and research distribution strategies are tightly intertwined. “The effort,” he says, “to develop policy and strategies will undoubtedly cause greater appreciation of the value of university research within the university community and enhanced distribution will increase research value externally.” Benefits that can be derived from the use of an IR would include an improvement in community outreach and engagement; increasing institutional visibility; enhancing the quality of teaching and research and facilitating institutional advancement in research recognition. These benefits support the institutional mission statement (Lynch, 2003). By offering faculty and students the opportunity to reflect upon past research, find current research, and facilitate new research, the repository can significantly enhance the scholarship produced at the institution. As a current, comprehensive collection of scholarly production, an IR would be in a position to facilitate the process of browsing, searching, and reviewing the output of the institution. Significantly, IRs have the potential to greatly support institutional advancement efforts by making it easier for toplevel administrators to review and find research for fundraising purposes. In addition, increased transparency into the institution’s scholarly production can help the institution prove to funding agencies that their funding is being used wisely. Management of Institutional Repository The Copperbelt University Library has acquired and installed the IR equipment and software for digitizing hard copy documents. It is recommended that newly produced information resources be submitted to the repository management in digital format so that such resources are directly submitted to the repository. Who will be involved/ Work flows For a start, the Library staff will start working on digitizing materials that are already available in the Library. Subsequently, faculties would be requested to select representatives who would be responsible for document submission for each dSpace community. Documents to be digitized would include; theses Page | 2


and dissertations, past examination papers and articles produced by university staff. The following is the suggested CBU Institutional Repository Team: CBU Institutional Repository Team (CBU ResearchSpace) Roles & responsibilities CBU IR Coordinators: Mr. Godfrey Mbewe CBU IR Administrators: Godfrey Mbewe Augustine Mwamba Boyd Nkhoma Charles Banda Collection Administrator/ Metadata Administrators Christine Mundea Pamela Mutale Virginia Hamwela Matuka Chipembele Alexius Muunga Digitization Staff: Herman Sendoi Patrick Mateyo Dominic Mwansa Harriet Nsanje DSpace System Manager Abel Mukuka Web Manager Ben Mazyopa Computer Centre staff are included on the team as they will play a significant role in the management and servicing the repository. They will be attending to technical functions of the servers and maintaining the web page for the IR. Representatives from Schools and Directorates will be required to be involved in the process of submitting items to the repository. Offices of the Deans and Directorates will be requested to identify staff who would be repository submitters. Library Collection Administrators would be mediators in the work flow. They will be attending to the integrity of the items submitted and editing metadata Preferred software platform There are numerous digital repository platforms such as Arno, CDSware, dSpace, ePrints, Fedora, MyCore, I-Tor, etc. that can be used to implement an institutional repository. Due to the limitation of time in the implementation process, Copperbelt University only reviewed the platforms from the point of easy of availability and post implementation community support. Following this assessment, dSpace was selected as the software platform to be implemented. Page | 3


This proposal addresses the strength of dSpace in the following areas for establishing a Digital Repository at the Copperbelt University: On the understanding that dSpace is a platform that allows capturing items in any format – in text, video, audio, and data and distributing them over the web. It indexes submitted items, so that users can easily search and retrieve them. It preserves digital work over a long period. DSpace also provides a way to manage research materials and publications in a professionally maintained repository to give them greater visibility and accessibility over time. Three main roles of DSpace have been recognized: 1. Facilitating the capture and ingest of materials, including metadata about the materials 2. Facilitating easy access to the materials, both by listing and searching 3. Facilitating the long term preservation of the materials Benefits of using DSpace Numerous benefits and challenges could be identified with any given system. Some of the benefits that could be derived from using dSpace include: ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒

Submission of items at source by authors themselves Getting research results out quickly, to a worldwide audience Reaching a worldwide audience through exposure to search engines such as Google Archiving and distributing material that could be currently put on a personal website Showcasing institutional research Keeping track of own publications/bibliography

Contents of the CBU Institutional Repository Apparently, Copperbelt University Library did not conduct a survey in order to map the target community’s requirement in the implementation process of an IR. Despite this shortcoming, the Library IR Development Team has decided to capture digital content that would include scholarly papers, postgraduate student and staff theses and dissertations. The IR Development Team, in consultations with Schools and Directorates, would subsequently decide upon the final content. The IR Team will also work with the University legal office on the aspects of copyright and representatives from the Board of Graduate Studies to establish a voluntary deposit service for e-theses. Overview of current deposit activity, Advocacy and promotion of IR at CBU IR promotion has not yet been done. All stakeholders need to be well informed about the IR and provide them guidance on how the system would be operating. The constituted team will take the responsibility to advertise the service beyond the project phase and run promotional campaigns targeting Schools and Directorate using the Boards of Studies. However, there is little faculty engagement at the moment. IR Developmental phases From the organizational point of view, the CBU IR service has gone through the initial establishment stages of acceptance as a service to be introduced. This service has received institutional support through Senate and supported on the institutional strategic plan. DSpace has been adopted as the software platform to be used in the IR. For hardcopy information resources conversion to digital format, two book scanners have been acquired through the support of NUFFIC Zambia project. Page | 4


DSpace platform has been installed on one of the Computer Centre servers and the two scanners have been assembled and are ready for use. At the moment, Mr. Augustine Mwamba (Systems Librarian) and Mr. Charles Banda (Cybrarian) are actively involved in the organization of the service. The NUFFIC project promoters need to gain access to the CBU dSpace site from Holland so that they are able to guide the design and development of the service. So far, CBU IT department has not yet facilitated this access.

Institutional Repository Project Implementation Timeline 2010-2011 Activity/ Task

Start Date

End Date

Responsibility

Training of IR Administrators

21/06/2010

23/06/2010

Computer Centre

Installation of dSpace on local server

25/07/2010

25/07/2010

Computer Centre

Configuring and customization of dSpace

25/07/2010

25/07/2010

Computer Centre

Assigning rights to dSpace Administrators

26/07/2010

26/07/2010

Computer Centre

Assembling & Installing ATIZ BookDrive Mini Book scanner

25/11/2010

03/12/2010

dSpace Administrators

Run test scanning for IR (Installation stage)

26/11/2010

26/11/2010

dSpace Administrators

Structuring dSpace for data input

29/11/2010

30/11/2010

dSpace Administrators

Identifying collections for digitization

10/01/2011

10/01/2011

Library staff

Constituting an IR Administrative Team

10/01/2011

14/01/2011

Librarian

Assigning rights to resource submitters

11/01/2011

11/01/2011

dSpace Administrators

Training of Library staff (Digitization process)

04/02/2011

04/02/2011

dSpace Administrators

Training of Library staff (IR Workflow managers)

11/03/2011

11/03/2011

dSpace Administrators

Training of Library staff (Digitization process, All staff) Testing the system Policy guideline on e-copyrights

18/03/2011 21/03/2011 22/03/2011

18/03/2011 25/03/2011 23/03/2011

dSpace Administrators

Informing Schools/ Directorate & Central Admin. about IR

28/03/2011

31/03/2011

Librarian

Teaching resource submitters, the dSpace workflow

11/04/2011

22/04/2011

dSpace Administrators

Populating the IR using available resource softcopies

28/03/2011

Ongoing

Library staff

Retrospective digitization of collections

28/03/2011

Ongoing

Library staff

Commissioning of the IR

29/04/2011

29/04/2011

Librarian

Librarian

Training Different levels of training will be provided to different groups within the library. A detailed training program will be made available at a later stage. All Library Staff Basic understanding and use of DSpace

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DSpace Administrators, Coordinators & Representatives of focus areas In-depth DSpace Training Cataloguing Staff DSpace Metadata, Dublin Core

Conclusion

Establishing a digital repository at the Copperbelt University has been a longstanding project. The idea has been revitalized by the support received from the NUFFIC Zambia project. Under the project, CBU has managed to acquire digitalization equipment, dSpace software and training for IR administrators and IT staff. Other stakeholders would be provided with the information and necessary training in operating the system as the system is tested and ready for use.

References

Barton, M. R. & Waters, M.M. 2005. Creating an Institutional Repository: LEADIRS Workbook. MIT Libraries. Copperbelt University. Public Relations Office. 2009. Copperbelt University calendar, 2007 – 2009. Ndola: Mission Press. Lynch, Clifford A. 2003. Institutional repositories: essential infrastructure for scholarship in the digital age. ARL, 226. http://www.arl.org/newsltr/226/ir.html University of Pretoria. 2008. UPSpace manual.

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Developing an Institutional Repository at the Copperbelt University