Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

A Comparative Analysis of the Impact of Electronic Information Resources Use towards Research Productivity of Academic Staff in Nigerian Universities

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

A Comparative Analysis of the Impact of Electronic Information Resources Use towards Research Productivity of Academic Staff in Nigerian Universities

Article excerpt

Introduction

The university is an institution of higher learning that provides facilities for teaching/learning, research, community service/application and is authorized to grant academic degrees; specifically, one made up of an undergraduate division which confers bachelor's degrees and a graduate division which comprises a graduate school and professional schools each of which may confer master's degrees and doctorates (Webster, 2010). However, it is important to understand that universities are not set up simply as degree mills to produce students in learning centers, but primarily to do research, and disseminate outcomes and propagate innovation through the society (Ibidapo-Obe 2012). Thus, the university is dedicated to providing academic, staff, and students with an environment and infrastructure that help them develop potentials for scholarship, creative work, professional realization, and services that culminate in its objectives of building a total man, by impacting knowledge, skills and capacity to identify problems in the society and proffer solutions to them (Obayan, Awonuga, & Ekeayanwu, 2012). To achieve the enormous objectives of the university therefore, different category of staff are recruited and retained to discharge required assignments. Basically, the entire staff make-up in the university system can be categorized into four major groups which include: administrative, Lab-technologists/attendants, security and academic staff--who form the crux of this study.

Academic staff are solely responsible for activities such as teaching and research, teaching and scholarship or research and innovation which represent their career pathways (Kulno, 2016). Academic staff are adept scholars thus very knowledgeable in their subject areas, has personality attributes that promote rapport with students, they are organized, deliver well prepared lectures, humane, give out handouts and extra reading materials, fair and actively engage students in the learning process (Kamla, 2011). Madu (2012) asserted that academic staff are evaluated for promotion every three and four years for both junior and senior levels based on their research productivity (output) especially in the form of publications made in referred works and patents. In this way, academic staff generate knowledge and information classified and packaged into different mediums for onward dissemination.

Information resources occupy a prominent place in promoting academic staff research activities. As such, a university library must not only be well equipped with relevant resources but see to its responsibility of ensuring that the use of such information sources are maximized to the benefit of its patrons. This will be attained by providing not just printed resources but having a stake in the provision of the electronic version commonly referred to as Electronic Information Resources (EIRs). As the name suggests, they are resources in electronic format that can only be accessed with the use of a computer/network technology while some must be accessed through the internet. Owolabi, Ajiboye, Lawal and Okpeh (2012) observed that EIRs have increasingly become an invaluable asset in education, research, teaching and learning. They noted that EIRs have transformed the conduct of research and teaching in universities by allowing Academic staff opportunity for accessing a wide range of accurate and timely information on various subjects. EIRs are highly important teaching and research tools, which complement print-based resources and enhance the learning and research processes in any academic institution (Iroaganachi, 2016; Dadzie, 2005). They comprise digital learning objects selected and organized to facilitate their discovery, access, and use (National Information Standards Organisation, 2008).

EIRs are those resources that were either digitized or created electronically (born digitally) and can only be accessed with the aid of electronic systems and networks (Haridasan and Khan, (2009). …

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