An Examination of Institutional Policy on Copyright and Access to Research Resources in Uganda

Document Type



Education and research are the cornerstones of Africa's socioeconomic and political development. Yet several barriers stand in the way of Africa's education and research institutions in realizing their full potential. This paper examines copyright as a barrier in the access and use of electronic resources in Africa's education and research contexts. This paper addresses this policy question by examining the extent to which the draft policy on research and intellectual property rights management of Makerere University advances access to resources and the open sharing of knowledge. Based on the critical analysis of Makerere's policy, this paper notes that openness should trump other institutional interests in the copyright system. The position taken in the paper is that institutional policies should advance open sharing of information and knowledge (internal or external to the institution). Short-term legal remedies are proposed based on various Creative Commons' licenses that are designed to advance openness within existing national copyright statutes. Long-term remedies suggested involve reforming national and international laws and instruments to advance openness including protecting existing provisions for education and research. Protection of education and research activities can be attained by not simply availing the existing exceptions and limitations but also precluding statutory exceptions and limitations from being overridden by contractual licenses. The proposed short and long-term remedies are expected to be addressed by institutional policies to facilitate in the access and use of e-resources (and other research and educational resources).

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

APA Citation

Kawooya, D. (2008). An examination of institutional policy on copyright and access to research resources in Uganda. The International Information and Library Review, 40, 226-235.