Research Articles (UNL)

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    Research data management practices at the University of Namibia: moving towards adoption
    (International journal of digital curation (IJDC), 2022) Samupwa, Astrida Njala; Kahn, Michelle
    The management of research data in academic institutions is increasing across most disciplines. In Namibia, the requirement to manage research data, making it available for the purposes of sharing, preservation and to support research findings, has not yet been mandated. At the University of Namibia (UNAM) there is no institutional research datamanagement (RDM) culture, yet RDM may nevertheless be practiced among itsresearchers. The extent to which these practices have been adopted is, however, not known.This study investigated the extent of RDM adoption by researchers at UNAM. It identifiescurrent or potential challenges in managing research data, and proposes solutions to someof these challenges that could aid the university as it attempts to encourage the adoption ofRDM practices. The investigation used Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovations (DOI) theory, witha focus on the innovation-decision process, as a means to establish where UNAM researchers are in the process of adopting RDM practices. The population under study were the UNAM faculty members who conduct research as part of their academic duties.Questionnaires were used to gather quantitative data. The study found that someresearchers practice RDM to some extent out of their own free will, but there are manychallenges that hinder these practices. Overall, though, there is a lack of interest in RDMas the knowledge of the concept among researchers is relatively low. The study found thatmost researchers were at the knowledge stage of the innovation-decision process andrecommended, among other things, that the university puts effort into creating RDMawareness and encouraging data sharing, and that it moves forward with infrastructure andpolicy development so that RDM can be fully adopted by the researchers of the institution
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    The social information needs of people with albinism: A case study of Khomas region, Namibia.
    (Sage, 2022) Ngula, Anna
    This paper focuses on the social information needs of people with albinism (PWA) in Khomas region, Namibia, and the sources of information used PWA to meet their information needs. The study applies Moore’s model of social information needs and Wilson’s model of information behaviour to investigate and understand the information needs and sources used by PWA to find information. The study was carried out using a qualitative case design within interpretivism paradigm and semi-structured face-to-face interviews were used to collect data from participants. Sixteen participants took part in the study, eight were males, and eight were female participants. Among these participants, two were children with albinism. The following information was identified as being crucial to PWA namely: skin- and eye-related information, information on what is albinism and its causes, disability grants, educational information, and emotional and psychological support. Additionally, the study established that PWA use formal, informal, and human sources of information to find information.
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    The power of information and coping with albinism
    (IFLA Journal, 2022) Ngula, Anna Kaukowe
    This article aims to ascertain the purposes for which the author needed information when her children with albinism were born, as well as explore the mechanisms she used to find information and the challenges she experienced when searching for information. An autoethnography method is used to share her lived experience of albinism, and the data has been collected through the author’s personal memory by recalling events that happened when she gave birth to her daughter in 2013 and her son in 2016. Information played a crucial role in helping the author to understand albinism better and to deal with her predicament. As a librarian and the mother of children with albinism, the author explored different mechanisms to find information. The Internet was the main source of information, as well as organisations such as Support in Namibia of Albinism Sufferers Requiring Assistance and the Namibia Albino Association Trust, which deal with the plight of people with albinism in the country.
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    Preservation of audio-visual records at the National Archives of Namibia
    (2017) Lukileni, Ndahambelela; Mnjama, Nathan
    The study investigated the preservation strategies of audio-visual (AV) records at the National Archives of Namibia (NAN). Data for the study was collected through questionnaires, interviews, observation and a review of documentary sources. The study also found that the legal deposit for AV records has been ineffective because officials responsible for transferring AV records to the National Archives were not aware of the requirement of the Archives and the Namibia Film Commission Acts to transfer records immediately. The study found out that there is no awareness on depositing AV records from the accountable institution, the National Archives of Namibia NAN. The study also found out that the Namibia Film Commission Act, No. 6 of 2000 has not been implemented at all, as there are no audio-visual records from the National Film Commission deposited at the National Archives.The findings also established that there is no single trained AV archivist at NAN, which critically hinders the collection, preservation of records. The study found out that the current legislative arrangements are not relevant to the contemporary needs of audio-visual records preservation and it needs revision. The recommendations arising from the study are that there is a need to amend the Archives Act, No. 12 of 1992, to accommodate the current trends and international standards; develop a national policy and guidelines on audio-visual records; The study recommends for the implementation of training for AV archivists in Namibia; recruitment of staff with expertise in preserving audio-visual archives held at the National Archives
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    Building an academic library collection in a developing country
    (2018) Pfohl, Irmela
    The University of Namibia was established in 1992 and started as a one-campus institution with fewer than 2,500 students to a university with twelve (12) campuses and nine (9) centers and more than 25,000 students. This study examines the profiles of the UNAM Library collections and the historical dynamics that have impacted it. New programs, schools, and campuses were introduced at a rapid pace and the library could only attempt to keep track with all new developments surrounding it. The role of collection assessment, collection development policy, and e-books were investigated within this scenario.
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    Content and use of colonial archives: An under-researched issue
    (Springer, 2014) Namhila, Ellen N.
    Namibians often find themselves in situations of litigation where they need person-related records to defend their rights and privileges. Such personrelated records include birth, adoption, marriage, or divorce or deceased estates. It has been observed that the institution where such records should be expected, the National Archives of Namibia often cannot retrieve person-related records of persons previously classified as non-whites under colonial and apartheid laws. Many native Namibians end up losing property or have problems claiming their constitutional rights due to lack of evidence. The purpose of this paper was to explore whether the existing archival literature can guide National Archives of new and emerging African nations on how to handle challenges brought about by gaps in inherited colonial archives. Using a literature survey to explore the state of what is written on the content and usage of colonial archives in post-colonial era, this article argues that the content and use of colonial archives in Africa do not feature prominently in the literature of archival science. Although there has been a rising interest on the subject during the last decade, none of this emerging literature has systematically studied archives in depth with a view on what these archives contain for the non-academic user, what they neglect and what they lack altogether in serving the needs of all citizens in post-colonial states. It recommends that archival scholars as well as archival institutions increase research into this neglected area. Raising awareness may produce academic discourse to help archivists in newly decolonised countries to competently support users whose inquiries currently cannot be answered by the inherited colonial archives collections.