Our understanding of the library context on security challenges on storing research output on the cloud is inadequate and incomplete. Existing research has mostly focused on profit-oriented organizations. To address the limitation within the university environment, the paper unravels the data/information security concerns of cloud storage services within the university libraries. On the score of changes occurring in the libraries, this paper serves to inform users and library managers of the traditional approaches that have not guaranteed the security of research output. The paper is built upon the work of Shaw and the cloud storage security framework, which links aspects of cloud security and helps explain reasons for university libraries moving research output into cloud infrastructure, and how the cloud service is more secured. Specifically, this paper examined the existing storage carriers/media for storing research output and the associated risks with cloud storage services for university libraries. The paper partly fills this gap by a case study examination of two (2) African countries’ (Ghana and Uganda) reports on research output and cloud storage security in university libraries. The paper argues that in storing university research output on the cloud, libraries consider the security of content, the resilience of librarians, determining access levels and enterprise cloud storage platforms. The interview instrument is used to collect qualitative data from librarians and the thematic content analysis is used to analyze the research data. Significantly, results show that copyright law infringement, unauthorized data accessibility, policy issues, insecurity of content, cost and no interoperable cloud standards were major risks associated with cloud storage services. It is expected that university libraries pay more attention to the security/confidentiality of content, the resilience of librarians, determining access levels and enterprise cloud storage platforms to enhance cloud security of research output. The paper contributes to the field of knowledge by developing a framework that supports an approach to understand security in cloud storage. It also enables actors in the library profession to understand the makeup and measures of security issues in cloud storage. By presenting empirical evidence, it is clear that university libraries have migrated research output into cloud infrastructure as an alternative for continued storage, maintenance and access of information.
Part of the book: e-Services