Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Impact of the Internet on Research Effort of Academics at Abia State University, Uturu, (ABSU)

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Impact of the Internet on Research Effort of Academics at Abia State University, Uturu, (ABSU)

Article excerpt

Introduction

The exponential growth of mobile computing and wireless networks and protocols have tremendously contributed to the stay of educational institutions at the forefront of the changing and challenging global village of this 21st century. It is based on this consciousness that Unagha (2006) has observed that "the Internet empowers people by giving their economic and intellectual life meaning". The Internet is indeed the unavoidable means of civic improvement if it is advantageously and conspicuously placed in the service of public education. The Internet has unarguably become an essential information processing tool, moreso that everybody is becoming aware of its imperatives and process, (Onwubiko, 2004). For as long as this 21st century information age is concerned, every individual, organization, government or nation that wants to be reckoned with in stated goals and standard achievement cannot do without the Internet. The academic is not here, relegated to the background.

Anyanwu, Amaeshi, and Oparaku (2006), are of the view that "for research to be reliable, it must be based on reliable information. Scholars need quick and easy access to this information. In this context, the Internet has been useful to higher education institutions in the developed nations of the world. Academics in the developing counties should therefore explore this avenue." The Internet has become an invaluable tool for teaching, learning, and research. The accruing benefits are so enormous that there is no sphere of life without the Internet application. This is obvious for higher education institutions in the advanced countries, Unagha (2006) corroborates.

This points to the fact that the world of information has tremendously changed and at the same time demands that Nigerian academics should change with it. Nigerian academics therefore, need to prove and publicize the fact that they are living, studying, and proactive academics who could bring the weight and wealth of their research or scholarly effort to bear positively on the society. There is no iota of doubt that the Internet technology when gainfully applied to this effort would provide the avenue for the achievement of this desire, thus proving their mettle in the field of academics and show that they are academics who have adapted to the new information environment.

It has been variously acknowledged that the Internet, today, is the apex of information and communication technology, offering limitless access to all kinds of information and records, facilitating information generation for educational research and global sharing of ideas. The Internet has reduced the world to a global village, linking cultures and peoples and creating new vistas of knowledge in favour of academics, (Mwatawala, 2005; Sawyer and Williams, 2003). These writers have instructively observed that the use of the Internet by academics in developing countries is not without its problems. In most cases, computer laboratories that are Internet compliant are not provided within the campus, coupled with the skill required, high cost for personal purchase and link-ups, maintenance and power problem.

In view of the foregoing, it is therefore the intent of this paper to present an empirical study on the impact of the Internet on research effort of academics at the Abia State University, Uturu. Solutions, based on the findings of the study would be proffered to the identified problems.

Literature Review and Concept Clarification

Though the Internet has been variously conceptualized, Ozoamaka (2001) writes; "the Internet is a global network of computers communicating and sharing the maze of information available in its database. ... It is that monumental force which is bringing the vast population of the earth's inhabitants into a small global village resulting in the shrinking of the earth into a smaller sphere." By way of illustration, we can imagine a room filled with many spiders, each spinning its own web. …

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