Adoption of open access initiatives in dissemination of scholarly research by academic staff at selected universities in Kenya
Literature has revealed that open access journals and institutional repositories provide an outlet used for dissemination of scholarly research. Although the introduction of these outlets in universities has led to increased access and dissemination of research findings, the usage of these outlets is yet to be realized. The aim of this study was to investigate the adoption of open access initiatives in dissemination of research findings by academic staff in selected universities in Kenya. The objectives of this study were; to establish the types of outlets accessed by academic staff, find out the extent to which academic staff were aware of open access, to determine the level of usage of OA outlets by academic staff in accessing and disseminating their research work and to find out the attitude of academic staff towards open access initiatives. The study utilized the theory of Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). Descriptive research design was used for this study. In total 301 academic staff from both University of Nairobi and Africa Nazarene University were selected using simple random sampling methods. Stratified sampling was used to stratify the academic staff according to their academic status and simple random sampling was used to get samples from each of the strata. Questionnaires, document and desk review were used to collect data and information. A Pilot study was conducted at Catholic University of Eastern Africa to assure validity and reliability. Analysis of data was through Microsoft excel and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and was presented in form of tables of frequencies and percentages, and charts. Descriptive statistics such as percentages and means were used for analysis. Findings from this study revealed that the attitude of academic staff towards OA was positive signifying acceptance of this mode of scholarly communication. However, traditional outlets were still the preferred mode of scholarly communication by academic staff and that open access publishing was low. The study recommends institutionalization of open access publishing in Universities in Kenya and training on open access issues to improve access and dissemination of scholarly research. This research will be useful to academic institutions, education and policy administrators and libraries in Kenya so as to improve the usage of open access outlets among academic staff.