Research Article

Online Safety and Academic Scholarship: Exploring Researchers’ Concerns from Ghana

Authors: ,


INTRODUCTION This paper investigates factors, including fears of cybercrime, that may affect researchers’ willingness to share research in institutional repositories in Ghana. METHODS Qualitative research was conducted to understand more about the experiences of Ghanaian researchers when sharing research in institutional repositories. Interviews were conducted with 25 participants, documents related to policy and infrastructure in Ghana were examined, and observations were held in meetings of information technology committees. FINDINGS The findings indicate that researchers are specifically concerned about three areas when sharing research online: fraud, plagiarism, and identity theft. DISCUSSION This paper adds to research that examines barriers toward using institutional repositories, and highlights the lack of basic preventative strategies in Ghana—such as training, security, and infrastructure that are commonplace in developed countries. CONCLUSION This study draws on findings from Bossaller and Atiso (2015) that identified fears of cybercrime as one of the major barriers to sharing research online for Ghanaian researchers. While several other studies have found that fear of identity theft or plagiarism are barriers toward sharing work in the institutional repository, this is the first study that looks specifically at the experiences researchers have had with cybercrime to understand this barrier more fully.

Keywords: institutional repository, Ghana, cybercrime

How to Cite: Atiso, K. & Kammer, J. (2019) “Online Safety and Academic Scholarship: Exploring Researchers’ Concerns from Ghana”, Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. 7(1). doi: