Open Science Roadmap: Improving Repository Infrastructure and Data Management in Uganda Universities.

31 Jul 2023 (modified: 01 Aug 2023)InvestinOpen 2023 OI Fund SubmissionEveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Funding Area: Capacity building / Construcción de capacidad
Problem Statement: The enigma of adopting and implementing Open Science persist in Ugandan universities and is compounded by inadequate repository infrastructure and data management practices in university libraries. This has led to a lack of accessibility and visibility of research output, hindering the progress of open science and the dissemination of valuable knowledge and data. The existing repository infrastructure in many Uganda university libraries, particularly the widely used free open source software Dspace platform, is outdated and shall soon struggle to provide a seamless and efficient means of archiving and sharing research outputs. The lack of regular upgrades to the latest version of Dspace results in compatibility issues and decreased functionality, leading to frustration among researchers and hindering the smooth dissemination of their work. Most do not have data management services and therefore do not archive research data in the repositories. Furthermore, a significant portion of institutions and researchers in Uganda lack access to any form of repository infrastructure and data management systems. This lack of access can be attributed to various factors, including financial constraints and limited technical expertise. As a result, many valuable research findings remain unshared, rendering them invisible to the wider academic community and the public.
Proposed Activities: This project is anticipated to run for two years. Year 1 Activities: 1. Assessment and Planning: • Conduct a comprehensive assessment of the current repository infrastructure and data management practices in Uganda university libraries. • Identify universities and institutions without repository infrastructure and data management systems. • Collaborate with stakeholders, including university administrators, librarians, and researchers, to understand their needs and challenges. • Develop a detailed roadmap for upgrading existing Dspace repositories and establishing new ones. 2. Upgrading Dspace Repositories: • Provide technical expertise and support to upgrade existing Dspace repositories to the latest version. • Address compatibility issues, enhance security, and optimize functionality to improve research accessibility and visibility. • Conduct training sessions for librarians and IT staff on repository maintenance and management. 3. Repository Establishment: • Offer training workshops and webinars to institutions without repositories, guiding them through the installation and setup of Dspace repositories. • Provide technical assistance to overcome any installation challenges and ensure successful repository deployment. • Monitor the progress of new repositories and provide ongoing support as needed. 4. Data Management Training: • Design and conduct data management training programs for researchers and library staff. • Cover topics such as data organisation, metadata creation, data documentation, data sharing, and data preservation. • Promote best practices in data management to ensure research data is well-managed and accessible. 5. Awareness and Advocacy: • Organise conferences and workshops to raise awareness about the importance of open science, repository infrastructure, and data management. Year 2 Activities: 6. Monitoring and Evaluation: • Evaluate the impact of the upgraded repositories and data management training on research accessibility and visibility. • Gather feedback from researchers, librarians, and stakeholders to assess the effectiveness of the implemented measures. • Identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments to enhance the outcomes. 7. Capacity Building and Sustainability: • Continue providing advanced training to repository administrators, librarians, and researchers to build their capacity in managing and utilizing the repositories effectively. • Establish a support network where institutions can share experiences, exchange best practices, and seek guidance on repository management.
Openness: The proposed work would be open in several ways: Open Repository Infrastructure: Upgrading Dspace repositories and establishing new ones will promote open access to research outputs. Dspace is an open-source platform, allowing free access to its source code. By utilising this infrastructure, the research community in Uganda can freely access, share, and build upon the knowledge stored in these repositories. Open Data Management Practices: The data management training activities will emphasise open data practices, promoting transparency, reproducibility, and responsible data sharing. Researchers will be encouraged to make their research data openly available, facilitating collaboration and enabling others to validate and build upon their findings. Engaging the Broader Community: The project will actively engage a broader community through seminars and workshops. These events will be open to researchers, students, librarians, policymakers, and other stakeholders. Open participation will ensure that diverse perspectives and ideas contribute to the development and implementation of repository infrastructure and data management practices.
Challenges: Limited Resources: Adequate funding and resources are crucial for successful implementation. Technical Expertise: Upgrading Dspace repositories and implementing data management practices require technical expertise who may be limited. Resistance to Change: Some researchers may be resistant to adopting open science practices, including open access publishing and data sharing. Overcoming traditional mindsets and advocating the benefits of openness may be challenging. Sustainability: Ensuring the long-term sustainability of the repository infrastructure and data management practices beyond the project's duration is essential. Infrastructure Challenges: Inadequate internet connectivity and power outages in some areas of Uganda may hinder seamless access to repositories and data management tools. Lack of Awareness: Many researchers and institutions may have limited awareness of open science principles and the potential benefits of repository infrastructure and data management. Data Privacy and Security: Open access to research data raises concerns about data privacy and security. Ensuring that sensitive data is appropriately handled and protected will be essential to build trust among researchers and participants. Cultural and Institutional Barriers: Institutional and cultural factors may influence data-sharing practices. Some researchers might be concerned about intellectual property issues or fear that sharing data openly could jeopardise future research opportunities.
Neglectedness: Yes, institutions like EIFL and SPIDER fund such activities. We, as university libraries, previously applied for small grants and been awarded some to support our work in developing repositories in Uganda. The grants enabled us run projects to install some repositories and develop Open Access policies.
Success: The success of the proposed work to improve repository infrastructure and data management in Uganda's university libraries can be measured through various indicators, including: Increased Research Visibility: The number of research outputs (e.g., publications, datasets) archived in the upgraded repositories and openly accessible to the public would indicate the success of the initiative in improving research visibility. Enhanced Access: Monitoring the usage statistics of the repositories, such as download and page view counts, can gauge the extent to which researchers and the wider public are accessing and utilising the available research outputs. Community Engagement: The level of engagement and participation in workshops, seminars, and training sessions on repository management and data practices would indicate the success of efforts to build a community around open science. Data Sharing Practices: The percentage of researchers who adopt open data practices by making their research data openly available can serve as an indicator of success in promoting responsible data sharing.
Total Budget: $21,060
Budget File: pdf
Affiliations: Consortium of Uganda University Libraries (CUUL)
LMIE Carveout: Given that Uganda is classified as a Low-Income Economy, yes, the proposed project to improve repository infrastructure and data management in Uganda's university libraries fits within the category of projects relevant to Low and Middle-Income Economies (LMIEs). The project's focus is on enhancing the functionality of tools which support research accessibility and visibility in Uganda, a Low-Income Economy. The repository infrastructure upgrades and data management training will directly benefit researchers, academics, and students within Uganda's academic community. The location of the project community, including users, contributors, and maintainers, is primarily within Uganda. The project will target researchers, librarians, and IT personnel in Uganda's universities.
Team Skills: David Bukenya: Project Lead Has extensive experience in OA and Open Science from involvement in OA /OS projects for the last ten years. Stephanas Galinnya: Project admin, participated in previous OA/OS Project. Michael Mutebi: IT Support Good experience with installation and management of repositories (Dspace) Hassan Sengooba: OA Coordinator, Participation on previous OA Projects. Fred Odongo: IT Support, Vast experience with installation and management of repositories (Dspace). Dr Ruth Nalumaga: CUUL Chair. Bosco Buruga: CUUL M&E Committee Chair. Drake Tamale: CUUL Treasurer, Participation in previous OA project.
How Did You Hear About This Call: Word of mouth (e.g. conversations and emails from IOI staff, friends, colleagues, etc.) / Boca a boca (por ejemplo, conversaciones y correos electrónicos del personal del IOI, amigos, colegas, etc.)
Submission Number: 189