The digitization of theses and dissertations at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Nyide, Bongiwe Cleopatra.
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This study investigated the digitization of theses and dissertations at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The main aim of the study was to try to address the issues and challenges encountered in the UKZN project, to help ensure that new digitization projects fulfil the expectations of libraries, students, and other stakeholders such as academics and other institutions. The population of the study was the entire library staff involved in the digitization of theses and dissertation projects at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The sample consisted of library staff who were selected using purposive sampling. The actual number of respondents was 30 respondents, out of a population of 36 staff-members. Out of the 30 respondents nine participated in structured interviews, while the remaining 21 answered the questionnaire. The central theme of the study was to investigate challenges that the University of KwaZulu-Natal encountered, and still encounters, in its digitization of theses and dissertation projects. The researcher used both qualitative and quantitative research methods (mixed method). Structured interviews and questionnaires were used as research instruments. The quantitative data that was collected was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPPS) and the qualitative data, after having been coded, was manually analyzed. Data collected was presented in the form of frequency tables and pie charts. Through this study the researcher hoped to make recommendations on identified issues. The researcher hoped that such recommendations would help provide ways in which future digitization projects could be implemented. The researcher also hoped that this project would increase the librarians’ understanding of the importance of the digitization of theses and dissertations which, in turn, would encourage them to participate in the formulation of digitization strategies and policies. The data collected was divided into seven categories, namely demographic information, background information, strategies and policies, staff training, staff support, technical support and library challenges. Results showed that the University of KwaZulu-Natal library theses and dissertations digitization project did not have guiding digitization strategy and policies. In addition to this here were no clear communication lines. As a result there were unexpected delays to the project which was supposed to last for two years.