The Gap between Scholarly Practices and the Institutional Practices at Dalhousie University


Zainab Saud R. Abuabdallah

Author Addresses: 

Faculty of Computer Science
Dalhousie University
6050 University Ave.
PO Box 15000
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
B3H 4R2



Dalhousie’s institutional repository “DalSpace” mission is to preserve the university’s scholarly output permanently for curation in digital format. The promise of an institutional repository (IR) lies in the benefit given to authors by the increased exposure of their work and thus increasing their research impact and citations. DalSpace administrators have driven depositing scholarly materials by Dalhousie’s faculty who do not seem to be enthusiastic about the benefits of the IR. This study tries to explain and assess the gap between DalSpace mission and faculty needs and goals to direct the efforts of DalSpace administrators in the most effective way. The study assesses the faculty’s level of awareness of the existence of DalSpace and understanding of the benefits of depositing in it along with the motivations and challenges to deposit. The findings of the study showed that the goals of the authors are consistent with the benefits from the IR. The findings suggests the need to raise the awareness of the IR’s existence and the benefits it brings, to clear confusion with copyright agreements conditions regarding depositing materials in an IR, and consider disciplinary differences. Furthermore, the study shows that the surveyed faculty members are willing to comply with a policy mandating depositing in the IR if the copyright agreement allows it and the conditions for that policy does not interfere with publishing in other channels. 

Tech Report Number: 
Report Date: 
June 25, 2014
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