Publication in open access journals at a university of technology in South Africa


Researchers in South Africa publish in journals that have a high impact factor and are accredited by the South African Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) as this will bring financial support to the researcher and the affiliated Institution for continuous publication. Moreover, these researchers do so for possible ranking of their universities and to seek collaboration with international and national researchers. However, publishers make it difficult for researchers to publish because of the Article Processing Charges that increase annually. Therefore, the study's main objective is to propose general benefit guidelines for the use of open access by researchers. The unit of analysis was the university’s Institutional Repository (IR) and Scopus, a database which the university subscribes to. The IR has a collection of research outputs that include peer-reviewed articles, conference proceedings, and datasets. Hence, a quantitative and qualitative research approach was selected, where content analysis was used to collect data whereby research output from 2016 to 2020 was identified from both the IR and Scopus. The study examined, investigated, and explored the hindrances and challenges faced by researchers when publishing in open access journals (OAJ) with specific reference to South Africa. The study drew from a few organised threads of confirmation which make up the current dialogue on OAJ, comprising of peer-reviewed literature, grey literature, and other forms of communication. A manual Systematic Literature Review (SLR) method was applied to collect data from Scopus and the IR. The ethical considerations for conducting the study included permission to use the university’s IR and to collect primary data from academics in the selected university. The results show that publishers are making it difficult for researchers to publish in open access, because of the outrageous publishing costs involved.


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Author Biographies

Mbali Patronella Zulu, Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Faculty Librarian at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. She holds a Masters degree (MTech) in Business and Information System from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Post Graduate Diploma (PGDip) in Library and Information Science from the University of Cape Town and a BA degree from the University of the Western Cape Town. Mbali Zulu is also a self-published author, a children’s book writer who has written a few Zulu and English children’s stories. 
Michael-Twum Darko, Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Head: Centre for Business Innovation and Incubation, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa. His research work and projects had focused on digital transformation of organisations particularly on businesses process innovation and the role of enterprise architecture strategies over the last 16 years and more recently, the implications of the 4th Industrial Revolution. As an NRF C3 rated researcher in South Africa, he viewed the digital transformation processes using disruptive technologies as a discipline that seeks to reinvent business , government and community services using enterprise architecture principles to extract and optimize value in the limited resources for the benefit of society. This concept is informed by literature on business management, information technology and computer science. He has investigated these areas using mostly qualitative and/or mixed methods, guided by social theories. He applied these research interests in Africa businesses, state owned enterprises, municipalities, and provincial governments.


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Research Articles