Not a knee-jerk reaction: openness - a UX imperative

RAJU, Reggie (2016) Not a knee-jerk reaction: openness - a UX imperative. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2016 – Columbus, OH – Connections. Collaboration. Community in Session 136 - Social Science Libraries with Asia and Oceania.

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Language: English (Original)
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Not a knee-jerk reaction: openness - a UX imperative

The assertions made by Nwagwu and Ahmed in 2009 that Africa generates less than one percent of the world’s knowledge production still holds true today. In fact, Africa is a confirmed net consumer of the world’s knowledge production (Raju, Raju and Claassen 2015). In the current digital age characterized by a glut of information, Africa is in a paradoxical state challenged by a dearth of information due to severely constrained access to information as a result of poor infrastructure and exorbitant subscription costs. Scholarly research addressing African challenges and by African scholars published in international journals are inaccessible to Africans thus pushing Africa further down the road of ‘information deprivation’. Using the definition by Walker (2010) that “user experience seeks to create products that people will want to use” and Hassenzahl’s (2008) claim that UX is the inclusion of all aspects of the user’s experience in interacting with the service, the authors explore in this paper openness as an imperative for African development and empowerment through unhindered financial access to scholarly content. Academic librarianship is in transition and the move away from being a supporter of the teaching and learning and, research processes towards being a collaborator in these processes demands a new suite of services to fulfil the needs of the teaching and learning and, research communities. The delivery of openness services significantly contributes to regional, national and continental development. This paper will engage in discussion on two areas of the openness movement namely, open access to scholarly content and to open educational resources.

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