Adoption of institutional repositories for electronic theses and dissertations projects in Zimbabwe’s public academic libraries

Keywords: Electronic theses and dissertations, Institutional Repositories, Digital Repositories, Zimbabwe


Theses and dissertations (TDs) are an invaluable scholarly literature output of universities’ graduates contributing to the fulfilment of universities’ mandates to impact national development through research. Public universities in Zimbabwe have adopted Open access institutional repositories (IR) to run electronic theses and dissertations (ETD) programs. This study sought to determine the development levels of the ETD collections, establish the software platforms being used and, find out challenges being faced in developing ETD collections in the repositories. The Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology was adopted while a mixed methods approach was employed. From eight universities, data were collected from Library Directors, assistant/IR librarians, IRs, policy documents and OpenDoar through questionnaires, interviews and bibliometric analysis. Qualitative data was analysed thematically while SPSS was adopted to analyse quantitative data. Findings showed slow development of the ETD collections while DSpace is the software of choice across the universities. Faculty cooperation in depositing electronic theses and dissertations is negligent, thus affecting progress of the initiative. Mandating deposit of electronic copies of theses and dissertations would propagate population of the repositories and increase visibility of the research.

Author Biographies

Mass Masona Tapfuma, University of KwaZulu-Natal, School of Social Sciences, Information Studies Department
Postdoctoral Fellow in the Information Studies Department
Ruth Geraldine Hoskins, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Associate Professor and Dean of Teaching and Learning in the College of Humanities at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She received her PhD from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. and teaches in the areas of Information Management and Information Behaviour and Ethics. Her research areas include, school libraries, social media and academic libraries, open access and publishing developments.


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