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1.4. Aims and Objectives

Links to: Ideas; My Dissertation; Abstract; Table of contents; Lists; References; Bibliography; Appendices; Interviews; Coding; Memos; Notes; Categories; Chapter One; Chapter Two; Chapter Three; Chapter Four; Chapter Five; Chapter Six

Rather than offering a macroscopic view of OA, this study proposes to investigate the micro-level of open scholarly communication through IRs, by exploring the depositing processes at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. Applying a constructivist grounded theory methodology, it aims to identify themes encountered by researchers in publishing their works through OpenAiR that affect their attitudes and behaviours of publishing and to translate these through synthesised coded data into a conceptual analysis of the status quo, serving as a tool for attempting to enhance green OA practices through OpenAIR.

The multi-faceted investigations will explore (exemplified in a sample in Appendix A):

  • The participants’ perceptions of the scholarly communications through the IR as a part of their professional responsibilities;
  • The way in which publishing implications are affecting their behaviours toward the mandated activity at RGU (e.g. decision to publish, legislation, technical/social and administrative aspects of depositing);
  • The intrinsic/extrinsic factors of (de)motivation affecting their archiving practices;
  • The participants’ assessment of their individual role as OA publishers in the holistic OA system of advancing scientific developments;
  • The participants’ perceptions of possible improvements to the RGU system of open publishing which would affect their behaviours positively. 

From Appendix A:

A.1. List of the eleven schools at Robert Gordon University

  • Aberdeen Business School
  • School of Applied Social Studies
  • School of Computing Science and Digital Media
  • School of Creative and Cultural Business
  • School of Engineering
  • Gray's School of Art
  • School of Health Sciences
  • The Law School
  • School of Nursing and Midwifery
  • School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences
  • The Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment

A.2. Breakdown of Planned Strategy for Interviewing

  • Contact details to be prepared at the end of May for the list above ;
  • One pilot interview is planned to observe the participant’s assessment of the experience and to obtain suggestions of possible additional angles;
  • The participants will be researchers from each of the eleven schools at RGU, selected on the basis of their past contributions to OpenAIR, as proof of their first-hand experience that fits the research topic;
  • Interviews with researchers who participate less in the deposition exercise will also be sought, through referrals from interviewees and meetings arranged by email contact;
  • One interview per school will be planned, with possibility for a follow-up interview during the summer;
  • Interviewing will continue for as long as necessary, adapting to the participants’ availability, until saturation is achieved.

A.3. Sample of Planned Questions for Initial Sampling Interviewing
1. About perceptions of the scholarly communications:

  • Please describe the trajectory of an eligible article from the first time you plan its depositing until it actually happens.
  • How do your emotions about your work on this article change along these planning and actionable stages, including the deposition point?
  • What is your work pattern, from your work/life balance perspective, when you are writing such an article amidst other work commitments?
  • Please tell me what makes you feel a) good and b) negative about the progression toward self-archiving.

2. About publishing implications:

  • Please give me the bird's-eye view of the aspects you need to control during the lifetime of an article destined to be deposited.
  • For you, which of those aspects are the easiest / most difficult to deal with?
  • How do they affect your feelings and ultimately your actions toward depositing?
  • What does the act of depositing mean to you personally?

3. About (de)motivating factors:

  • Apart from it being mandatory, what is it that motivates you to practice green OA publishing through the repository?
  • Do you ever feel aggravated about it and, if yes, what makes you feel that way?
  • If you were to mentor a first-time author keen on OA, but candid otherwise, what would you warn him/her of?

4. About own position in the holistic picture of green OA:

  • How do you feel about the act of sharing your knowledge with the wide world?
  • What do you think of the beneficiaries of your work – the readers?
  • What do you think of the beneficiary of your action – the university?
  • Is there any other way that you feel about yourself in the grand scheme of green OA through OpenAIR?

NB: Questions are provisional and will be asked selectively during interviews.

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