Application of Information and Communication Technologies for Documentation and Dissemination of Scholarly Output among Inter University Council for East Africa Member Institutions
Kaane, Sophia I
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African and other developing countries face problems of making their scholarly output widely visible and accessible. This is partly attributed to the fact that most scholarly output from this part of the world is documented in low circulating journals and grey literature in print format. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have been acknowledged to have the potential to reduce that problem. A study was conducted to examine the extent of ICT application by Inter University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) member institutions in documenting and disseminating scholarly output. The research involved 28 (10 private and 18 public) institutions selected from among 67 IUCEA member institutions from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda during the 2009/2010 academic year. A combination of approaches including face-to-face interviews, self-administered questionnaires, and analysis of institutional web-sites were used for data gathering. Sixty-one respondents (14 deputy vice chancellors/vice rectors, 22 directors of research and 24 directors/heads of institutional libraries) participated in the study. Content analysis was adopted for analysing data from open ended questions whereas data from structured questions was analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) V16 software. It was established that most institutions in the region were still documenting and disseminating their scholarly output using conventional methods with little exploitation of ICTs. The study recommends the need for the IUCEA and its member institutions to spearhead effective exploitation of ICT developments to facilitate the documentation and dissemination of scholarly output among researchers in the East Africa region and beyond.