Use of electronic information resources among doctoral students in the social sciences: a comparative study of University of Kwazulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa and Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Nigeria
Eyaufe, Omamomo Obaguono.
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The study was a descriptive study which investigated the use of electronic information resources (EIRs) by social science doctoral students of University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa and Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Nigeria. The study sought to compare the extent of EIRs use; most preferred EIRs, effect of EIRs on research work, factors that influence EIRs use and EIRs use competencies of social science doctoral students in UKZN, South Africa and OAU, Nigeria. The study was underpinned by the latest version of the technology acceptance model (TAM 3). The study was also underpinned by the post-positivism research paradigm. The study population comprised of all social science doctoral students in UKZN and OAU with the exception of students in their first year. Library staff who are in charge of EIRs in UKZN and OAU libraries were also included in the study. A census of the population was used for the study. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected through questionnaire and semi-structured interview. A pre-test of research instruments was conducted to ensure reliability and validity also advice and suggestions of the thesis supervisor were also sought. Data generated through survey questionnaire and semi-structured interviews were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and thematic content analysis respectively. The study revealed that EIRs use was low among social science doctoral students of UKZN and OAU, with OAU students’ use being lower. The results revealed that the internet is the most preferred EIRs by social science doctoral students from OAU and UKZN, while the least preferred EIRs is CD-ROM Databases. The result revealed that UKZN doctoral students have benefitted more from EIRs access and use. The results reveal that respondents indicated access to current and up-to-date information, availability of computer, awareness of the resource, saves time and quick, limited computer use skill and easy retrieval as the major factors that influence their use of EIRs. The study also revealed the need for policy for EIRs to guide EIRs collection, acquisition and services in both institutions libraries. The study revealed the need for EIRs use support which was found to be none existence at OAU library and low at UKZN library to increase EIRs use. Among other things the study recommends the implementation of EIRs policy by the OAU and UKZN libraries’ management to enhance EIRs services to library users. The study also recommends that support and outreach programs such as awareness campaign, training sessions at faculty level, sensitization programs and library use orientation be put in place in OAU library and beefed up in UKZN library to showcase the library’s EIRs and services.