This study aims to identify and analyse the challenges faced in the bibliographic control of theses and dissertations in Kenya.
The study used descriptive survey method and targeted four universities in Kenya and two initiatives whose objective is compilation of a database of theses and dissertations. The total number of respondents was 17 out of a target of 21.
The study found delays in the libraries getting their designated copies; ineffective coordination between the different university departments in the deposition process; deposition of soft copies is still a grey area in the universities surveyed; libraries have embedded records of theses and dissertations in their Online Public Access Catalogues (OPACs); delays in capturing theses and dissertations in the libraries’ OPACs; and lack of consistency and uniformity in the bibliographic records.
Many universities have joined the electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) movement and now require graduating students to deposit an electronic copy of their research thesis or dissertation. Currently, universities in Kenya either already have institutional repositories (IRs) or they are at an advanced stage of implementation. There is need for further research on the status adoption of ETDs; the status of IRs; treatment of theses and dissertations (TDs) in Kenya; challenges and prospects of subject analysis of TDs; cost-effective metadata creation for TDs; issues in metadata creation and standardization for TDs; and automated metadata creation.
Without a comprehensive source of all TDs submitted in universities in Kenya, TDs will be inaccessible and therefore underutilised. There will also be the risk of duplication of research and plagiarism because it will be difficult to ascertain the authenticity and integrity of TDs submitted in the various universities.
This is the only research in Kenya that has analysed the status of bibliographic control of theses and dissertations. The study will enable university administrators to put in place appropriate policies for improved bibliographic control of theses and dissertations. The study may be used to inform policy frameworks as universities begin to build their institutional repositories. The findings shed light on the treatment of TDs and challenges of cataloguing them.
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