A faculty in flux on the road to research: their awareness of, and attitudes towards, institutional repositories

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O Keeffe, Colin
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MSc Information and Library Management
Dublin Business School
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This case study dissertation examined a third level institution that has recently begun to promote research among its faculty, notwithstanding the fact that many faculty members are currently independently research-active. This institution is one of two private colleges in Ireland to have launched an institutional repository. At present, the repository is primarily populated with student theses. The study covered three research objectives using a mixed methods approach. The first research objective examined why and how this institution was promoting research. It also examined the barriers that faculty face when conducting research in non-research institutions. The first objective identified numerous advantages that can be realised by this institution by conducting research; these include enhanced lecturer engagement, enhanced college reputation, attracting high achievers and offering a superior product to potential students. The primary barrier to conducting research was identified as a lack of time. The second research objective aimed to capture how aware lecturers were of repositories in general and the case study’s repository in particular. The survey findings revealed a high awareness of both. Finally, the broadest research objective captured lecturers’ attitudes to open access and institutional repositories. These attitudes are what cause lecturers to deposit onto repositories or not. These research objective findings revealed that a substantial majority of faculty believe that academic research should be open access; however, in relation to the other types of output from the institution, respondents expressed reservations about particular content. Respondents concurred with the stated institutional and personal benefits associated with IR contribution and the common concerns highlighted to respondents were mostly rejected. The survey also found that partaking in this research had favourably changed attitudes for a minority of respondents. In closing, the dissertation suggests measures the college can take to resource-effectively produce research and initiatives the Library can implement to increase faculty contributions to the repository.