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Abstract

The Essential Electronic Agricultural Library (TEEAL) and the Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture (AGORA) are key information support programs in learning, teaching, and research. They provide access to relevant scientific evidence, in agriculture and related sciences. While AGORA was introduced in Uganda in 2005, TEEAL was introduced earlier as a “Library in a Box” and later as LAN-TEEAL. With the recent increase in acquisition of TEEAL sets at a number of academic and research institutions in Uganda and with the TEEAL and AGORA campaigns through the training organized under the Information Training and Outreach Center for Africa (ITOCA), it is not clear how TEEAL has impacted on Agricultural research and on the usage of AGORA as an online program in Uganda. The aim of his paper was to explore how TEEAL is used compared to its counterpart, AGORA. The key question to this study relates to respondents’ preference among the two programs and the underlying reasons. An online questionnaire was used to gather responses regarding preference and use of the two programs by students, academics, librarians, IT specialists, and researchers at the various institutions in Uganda. The study was informed by a review of literature from related studies. Findings from 59 respondents indicate that all (100%) the respondents had an idea of TEEAL while for AGORA it was 58 (98.3%) respondents. Of the respondents, 52.5% preferred TEEAL to AGORA because it required no internet access, although the majority believed that AGORA was more important than TEEAL, due to the coverage of more relevant online scientific literature. The most prominent challenges to TEEAL and AGORA were network failures and slow internet, respectively. TEEAL and AGORA were both acknowledged to be very vital resources for academic and research institutions in Uganda. TEEAL mainly had one advantage over AGORA and that is being an offline resource that can be used in institutions with unreliable and inadequate internet. AGORA was also found to have an advantage over TEEAL in that it had a wider content coverage. The most common strategy for improving the use of both programs, as stated by the respondents, was increasing awareness through training and marketing. It was thus recommended that the program hosts utilize the results of this study to improve the utilization of these vital agricultural databases through further training and awareness. It was also recommended that institutions be advised to strengthen their IT infrastructure to support the programs and ensure effective use, for increasing their academic and research output.

How to Cite

Mulumba, O., & Kinengyere, A. A. (2020). The Impact of TEEAL on the usage of AGORA in Academic and Research Institutions in Uganda. International Science Review, 1(2), 12-24. https://doi.org/10.47285/isr.v1i2.41 (Original work published September 2, 2020)

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