Institutional Repositories in Swaziland: An Exploratory Study
The purpose of this paper is to assess the current status of institutional repositories (IRs) in Swaziland’s academic institutions. The factors under discussion are the number of IRs in Swaziland, their usage, the level of awareness of these IRs, and the challenges that prevent the implementation of IRs in Swaziland’s academic institutions. A webometric approach, interviews and semi-structured questionnaires completed by IR managers or librarians working for the Swaziland’s academic institutions were used to collect data for this study. Responses were received from 11 respondents. The findings indicated that there is one IR in Swaziland that is accessible to the institution’s community via the intranet. This IR was, at the time when this study took place, not registered in any of the international registries of repositories, such as the Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR) and the Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR). Currently, this IR faces problems of insufficient content, a low level of IR awareness, limited knowledge of effective and appropriate IR advocacy strategies and limited knowledge of effective IR implementation and management strategies. Based on the findings and information gained from a literature review of IRs, the paper recommends strategies to academic institutions in Swaziland that may enable them to increase their number of IRs, the awareness level of IRs and consequently the use of IRs. The findings and recommendations may also benefit other African countries in similar situations.