Introducing a Thesis

“Influential Factors in Accessing Oral History Sources at Iranian Oral History Centers”

Iran Oral History Website
Translated by: Zahra Hosseinian


"Influential Factors in Accessing Oral History Resources at Iranian Oral History Centers" is the title of a thesis which was compiled by Sara Taheri, a student of Educational Sciences and Psychology Faculty of Al-Zahra University, with the guidance of Dr. Zoya Abam and the advice of Dr. Saeed Rezaei Sharifabadi in September 2017, in order a Bachelor’s degree would be conferred to her.

The research was compiled in five chapters, the first of which summarized the thesis. In this chapter, the issue of research and its importance and necessity was stated after introduction. Then, the purpose and questions of the research were presented and at the end, the conceptual and operational definitions of the words were stated. The second chapter includes the theoretical foundations of research in which the backgrounds of research in the country and abroad was reviewed. The third chapter deals with the topics related to the research method, the statistical population and the sample under study, the method and process of data collection, and then the limitations and difficulties of the research were explained. In the fourth chapter, the results and findings of the research were presented and the researcher answered all the research questions. Finally, the fifth chapter deals with the discussion, analysis and conclusion of the research findings, and the optimal access model as well as suggestions were presented based on the research findings.

In the first chapter, the researcher raised the issue of lack of a fixed access policy in oral history centers to provide services to researchers, after stating the characteristics of archival centers as well as oral history. Access is affected by various factors and components and the purpose of this study was to identify these factors and also progressive and motivating elements to improve access to oral history centers and to include these factors in a comprehensive model.

In the following, after stating the necessity of this research, the researcher declared that the main purpose of this research was to identify the factors influencing access to oral history sources in the oral history centers of the country. She also mentioned goals such as determining the optimal opportunities in accessing oral history sources, determining the desired consequences in accessing oral history sources, and determining the optimal model for accessing oral history information sources in Iran as the secondary purposes of her research.

Then, the following questions were raised for achieving the goals of the research:

1. What are the factors affecting access to oral history data sources in Iran?

2. What are the optimal opportunities to access oral history sources?

3. What are the desired outcomes in accessing oral history sources?

4- What is the optimal model of access to oral history sources in the centers of oral history of the country?

The second chapter consists of two parts: theoretical foundations and research background. The theoretical foundations includes topics related to archiving, oral history, and access, which were presented in three sections. At the end of this section, a general summary and inference from the theoretical foundations was made. In the background section, the findings and results of related researches to the subject of the present research inside and outside the country were reviewed.

The third chapter of this dissertation is devoted to the discussion of the approach and method used in the research. According to the researcher, one of the innovative aspects of this research is its approach and method. In this chapter, first the type, method, and approach of research were stated and the generalities related to qualitative approach, grounded theory approach, and data analysis method in qualitative research were discussed; then sampling method, data collection method, and data analysis were explained. At the end of the chapter, the difficulties and limitations of the research were mentioned.

In the fourth chapter, the findings of qualitative analysis of research data were presented. The findings in this qualitative study were categories dedicated to concepts related to interview questions. Interview questions were also designed based on research questions. After transcribing the interviews, the researcher analyzed the content, and in the process of data analysis, using the coding technique described in Chapter 3, extracted many categories to answer each question. In this chapter, the categories obtained in the open coding stage were presented in the form of 13 tables, which were composed of the category, sub-category, and concepts.

In the central coding stage, the categories obtained in the open coding stage join in new ways to create a main category and sub-categories, which was done by using a "paradigm model". The final stage is selective coding in which the researcher presented her theory.

Finally, the fifth chapter is dedicated to discussing the results obtained from data analysis. Findings of the present study show that access policies in oral history centers depend on what factors. By identifying these factors, appropriate ways to make oral history available could be suggested, while easy access for researchers would be provided. Also, after coding, the results of the interviews analysis were studied by a paradigm model, and the optimal model of access to oral history resources was formed.

Regarding the model presented in this study, the factors influencing access are primarily policy-related issues. Technical factors are another effective factor in accessing oral history sources. On the other hand, according to the interviewees, the internet facilitates access by providing remotely access, which is not done in the Iranian oral history centers and most services are in person.

On the other hand, lack of budget and inadequate allocation of financial resources in organizations, and lack of budget management in prioritizing the oral history section in organizational budgeting on the one hand and lack of economic approach of managers of oral history centers in absorbing and spending budget are factors which make oral history centers face economic challenges. Also, as the oral history is infant in Iran, culture building at the organizational and national level is a necessity, and it can be said that expertise manpower is one of the important and influential factors in oral archives.

Furthermore, according to the research findings, the issue of management in oral history centers is even more important than the budget and economic affairs. Material and intellectual property can also be a challenge in accessing oral history centers, which require thinking and problem solving. On the other hand, it can be emphasized that services in the oral history centers require special attention and planning, because desired access depends on providing the right services. Creating an integrated access network and culture building in free access to information can also provide desirable access opportunities. Finally, improving the level of control and supervision by defining access levels lead to recognizing clients’ needs and promoting cultural and scientific community.

Those interested in studying this research in full can refer to the following address:

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