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The Extent of Adoption of e-Publishing by University Presses in Kenya

Abstract : Knowledge creating and dissemination is synonymous with institutions of higher learning. However, many institutions, especially in Africa spurn electronic publishing (e-publishing), failing to join most parts of the world that have embraced it with very positive results. Though connected to internet and the World Wide Web, only a number of universities practice electronic publishing. This paper aims to study the electronic publishing trends in institutions of higher learning and identify the opportunities and challenges faced by academic publishers in Kenya. The objectives of the study are to: identify institutions that practice academic publishing in Kenya; examine the relationship between authors’ knowledge on e-publishing platforms and publishers’ choice of e-platforms; analyze whether an existing work relationship between the publisher and an author influences the format of a publication; examine whether or not there is an association between levels of staff experiences within publishing and e-publishing. This is a research survey that employed a mixed method approach. The sample frame of 49 universities was used. Judgmental sampling was used in selecting key participants under the study. Data were collected by questionnaires and document analysis where simple descriptive statistical analysis was done based on objectives of the study to gauge the relationships between variables. Findings of the survey show that 12.2% of the Kenyan academic publishers are engaged in e-publishing and established presses. 87.8% of universities indirectly engaged in e-publishing with the option of owning a press/DTP unit. Significantly, they had e-repositories on their websites and are likely to start e-publishing in future. Most of them feel that e-publishing has a bright future. Experiences challenge with online reading cultures, online marketing, Digital Rights Management (DRM) and poor internet access; lack of policy framework by publishers and/with authors on e-publishing. These reasons have hampered the introduction of e-publishing in universities’ desktop publishing units (DTP) or presses. The study concludes that there is need to: create more e-publishing awareness among academic institutions; engage staff in training opportunities on e-publishing; create writing workshops and exhibitions to expose authors, staff and other stakeholders to e-publishing technologies to attract electronic adoption.
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Michael Wafula, Joseph Musakali, Joseph Muliaro. The Extent of Adoption of e-Publishing by University Presses in Kenya. ELPUB 2019 23rd edition of the International Conference on Electronic Publishing, Jun 2019, Marseille, France. ⟨10.4000/proceedings.elpub.2019.18⟩. ⟨hal-02142285⟩

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