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Knowledge and use of self-archiving options among academic librarians working in universities in Africa

Ebikabowei Emmanuel Baro (The University Library, Federal University, Otuoke, Nigeria)
Eriye Chris Tralagba (The University Library, Evagel University, Akaeze, Abakaliki, Nigeria)
Ebiere Joyce Ebiagbe (Bayelsa State College of Health Technology, Ogbia, Nigeria)

Information and Learning Sciences

ISSN: 2398-5348

Article publication date: 14 May 2018

Issue publication date: 14 May 2018




The purpose of the study is to investigate the extent to which academic librarians in African universities know and use self-archiving options to make their papers visible globally.


An online survey was designed using SurveyMonkey software to collect data from 455 academic librarians working in 52 universities in Africa.


The study revealed that the academic librarians in Africa are aware of ResearchGate, institutional repository, personal website/server, kudos and Mendeley and they actually upload papers to self-archiving platforms such as institutional repository, ResearchGate, and personal websites/servers. Factors such as increased exposure of one’s previously published work, provides exposure for works not previously published (e.g. seminar papers), broadens the dissemination of academic research generally and increases one’s institutions’ visibility were among the options the academic librarians rated as very important factors that motivate them to submit their scholarly output to the self-archiving options. It was also found that majority of the academic librarians in Africa checked the publishers’ website for copyright policy compliance before submitting their papers to the platform.

Practical implications

The study called for academic librarians in developing countries to voluntarily sign-up to register with self-archiving options such as ResearchGate, kudos,, and others to enable them self-archive their published papers for access globally by students, researchers, etc.


The findings of this study will add to the body of knowledge by bringing to light the extent of awareness and use of self-archiving options by academic librarians in universities in Africa.



Baro, E.E., Tralagba, E.C. and Ebiagbe, E.J. (2018), "Knowledge and use of self-archiving options among academic librarians working in universities in Africa", Information and Learning Sciences, Vol. 119 No. 3/4, pp. 145-160.



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