Citation Analysis of Dissertations and Theses Submitted to the Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, Federal University of Technology Akure, Nigeria

By Fasae, Joseph Kehinde | Library Philosophy and Practice, May 2012 | Go to article overview

Citation Analysis of Dissertations and Theses Submitted to the Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, Federal University of Technology Akure, Nigeria


Fasae, Joseph Kehinde, Library Philosophy and Practice


Introduction

Agricultural Economics and Extension programme is an aspect of social science courses in the field of agriculture which prepares and trains individual as an expert or specialist that manage agricultural business using economic principles. In the course of achieving this aim for master's and doctoral students in an institution of higher learning, dissertations and theses are submitted in support of candidature for an academic degree or professional qualification presenting the author's research and findings (Wikipedia, 2011). There is no clear distinction between thesis and dissertation. Some institutions use thesis for master's and dissertation for doctoral while others use it vice-visa depending on the policy of individual higher institution. While in Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), dissertation is use for master's and thesis for Ph.D. Interestingly, authors make use of information materials available in the library to prepare these theses and dissertations. These information materials according to Dulle, Lwehabura, Matovelo and Mulimila (2004) include books, research reports, theses, conference proceedings and scientific journals, among others.

In identifying the impact of the information materials on dissertation and thesis submitted, citation can be used. Citation is an analytical tool for examining reference citation in bibliometric studies (Tunon and Brydes, 2005). Citation analysis is also a branch of information science in which the researcher studies the way article in scholarly field are accessed and referenced (Meho, 2007). Theses and dissertations reflect the scholarly communication process (Sudhier and Kumar, 2010). While, in Aina (2006) opinion, citation analysis helps to determine position of authors and can help to identify useful journal. Johnson (2000) noted that citation studies reveal much about scholarly communication and can guide collection development in academic libraries. In academics, a lot of citation analysis had been recorded in engineering, library and information science, health, chemistry and other discipline while few exist in agricultural economics and extension. In this regard, the Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension (AEE), Federal University of Technology Akure is not left out.

The Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) came into being in 1981. This was as a result of the Federal government decision to establish a university of technology in each of the states of the federation that has no federal university in Nigeria as at that time. FUTA runs programmes that cut across; diploma, pre-degree, undergraduate and postgraduate studies. It has six Schools (Faculties) while AEE is among the first five (5) Schools established. It was formerly named Farm Management and Extension Education before it was changed to Agricultural Economics and Extension in 1993. The department that started with two (2) academic and one (1) non- academic staff had produced several graduate and postgraduate students.

The main objective of its programmes is to train graduate and postgraduate students in the field of Agricultural Economics and Extension with emphasis on the application of economic principles to the management of agricultural business. The programme is fully accredited by the Nigerian University Commission (NUC). It is good to note that the number of students seeking for admission into master's and doctoral (M and D) programme in the university (FUTA) has increased. As such, requires a corresponding growth in the holdings of the University Libraries, School of Agricultural and Agricultural Technology (SAAT) Library and AEE Library. In achieving this, some questions like; what types of information materials do M and D students often used? How recent are the materials? Which journals are the most frequently cited, among others come to mind. It is against this background that this study examines the theses and dissertations of postgraduate students submitted between 2004 - 2009 at the Department of AEE, FUTA using citation analysis. …

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