Publisher: Nigerian Library Association, Cross River State Chapter

Access and Usage of Online Databases In Nigerian Universities In Teaching/Research: A Study of Academic Staff In University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria.

Okon Ani, Nkoyo Edem (ph.d)
KEYWORDS: Online databases, Nigerian Universities, Academic Staff, University Library, Information need, User education. Research output.


This paper reports on a survey conducted to explore the extent of access and use of online databases by academic staff in the University of Calabar, Nigeria. Academic staff were used for the study as respondents. Structured questionnaire was designed and used for data collection. Eighty copies of the questionnaire were randomly distributed to the respondents in their offices; 54 copies of these were retrieved and used for data analysis (with 67.5% response rate). The findings of the study indicate that although vast majority (96.3%) of the academic staff are accessing and using relevant online databases in teaching/research, the frequency of usage is rather low, as most ( 48.1 % ) respondents use these databases "occasionally". From the findings of the study, Science Direct (3 8. 8%) is the most accessed and used database by the respondents in their teaching/research, and is followed by EBSCO HOST (11.8%) and A GORA ( 11.8%) respectively. Major factors that impede access and use of online databases by the academic staff in the University of Calabar, Nigeria include: non-subscription of relevant online databases by the university library, cost of access and usage of online databases, lack of access to relevant databases, and lack of/inadequate information (Internet) skills to access and use online databases. The paper concludes that globalization and ICT have immensely helped academic staff in Nigerian universities, University of Calabar in particular to access and use modern information resources - online databases in teaching/research. This has improved educational outcome in Nigeria. The paper makes the following major recommendations that University of Calabar Library, Nigeria should begin to subscribe to relevant online databases in order to satisfy the information needs of academic staff in the emerging electronic information environment. University library should create awareness on availability of the acquired databases, train/retrain librarians, and organize appropriate user education for academic staff on access and usage of online databases for effectiveness and efficiency.

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