Masenya and Ngulube (2019)
|Masenya and Ngulube (2019)|
|Title:||Digital preservation practices in academic libraries in South Africa in the wake of the digital revolution|
|Author(s):||Tiou M. Masenya, Patrick Ngulube|
|Citation:||Masenya, T.M. and Ngulube, P. (2019) Digital preservation practices in academic libraries in South Africa in the wake of the digital revolution. South African Journal of Information Management, 21(1)|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||Data were obtained from a survey of 27 academic institutions in South Africa, returning 22 responses.|
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:|
“Background: The preservation of digital resources in academic institutions in South Africa is an imperative because of the proliferation of digital resources and the realities of the digital revolution. The study focused on digital preservation practices within academic libraries in South Africa. A number of studies were undertaken in the field of preservation in South Africa and they focused on the preservation of cultural heritage, preservation of electronic government and preservation of public digital information. The major gap in the literature reinforces the need to closely examine digital preservation practices in academic libraries in South Africa. There is a need to understand the extent of preservation of digital resources in various contexts in order to guarantee access to them for future generations. This will improve our understanding of the preservation of digital resources in academic libraries in the wake of the digital revolution.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate digital preservation practices in academic libraries in South Africa in order to suggest solutions for effective digital preservation. Method: The survey research method was used for data collection. Twenty-seven academic institutions in South Africa were surveyed. Data were analysed through the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences.
Results: The findings revealed that academic libraries experienced difficulties in preserving and sustaining their digital resources because of the absence of established standards, policies and procedures, inadequate resources, as well as a lack of skills and training. They also had difficulties with limited funding and collaboration efforts, and the threat of technological obsolescence because of the constantly changing software and hardware, poor technology infrastructure and legal issues.
Conclusion: All these challenges have created the need for best practices and solutions to facilitate the long-term preservation of digital resources in the academic libraries. Recommendations were made on the basis of the results.”
Main Results of the Study
81.8% of survey respondents considered inadequate expertise of copyright issues as a major challenge to digitisation. This is considered the highest barrier, second to funding (77.3%), technology infrastructure (77.3%) and lack of human resources (72.7%). This corresponds with an overall low awareness and training on preservation issues (68.2%), including of copyright and intellectual property rights.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
The study calls on policy makers to consider how copyright laws may inhibit digitisation efforts by academic institutions. Managers of such institutions may also be advised to consider additional training and hiring of external expertise.