STRATEGIES FOR PREVENTING COMMUNAL CLASHES USING LIBRARY AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICES IN SOUTH EAST NIGERIA

 

Introduction

Academic libraries are struggling with diminishing funds for acquisition of library materials. The price of books continues to rise, which has forced many  libraries to cut back on purchasing. Academic libraries are faced with the problems of meeting the information needs of researchers in different fields of study. This ugly trend affects learning and research in our academic institutions, and leaves researchers with few resources. Online resources can help alleviate these problems; however, there is a limit to the quantity and quality of information that one can easily access. Some electronic materials require subscription fees that may not be within the reach of the users.

Librarians must have a clear understanding of information needs and information resources used by researchers. One way to do this is by analysing theses to discover what materials are cited most by researchers. This will enable librarians to provide these materials and encourage learning and research. This can be done through citation analysis. The result of the analysis will help librarians base the acquisition of library materials on facts not on opinion. Citation analysis is a tool for measuring library collection use. It has been applied in the evaluation of journal collections, for deciding whether to acquire, continue, or discontinue the subscription (Smith 1981). Citation analysis is an aspect of bibliometrics, which studies the references used in documents.

Citation analysis involves counting how many times a paper or researcher is cited, assuming that influential scientists and important works are cited more often than others. Citation analysis was developed in information science as a tool to identify core setsof articles, authors, or journals in particular fields
(http://sherlock.ischool.berkeley.edu/asis96/node4.html) The study was carried out to find out what journals were most cited, the major subject areas covered in the research, and the extent to which different library and information science resources were cited by postgraduate students in the Department of Library and Information Science. Citation analysis can be used to determine information sources used by doctoral students in their research projects (Kuruppu and Moore, 2008). Researchers need access to many different kinds and formats of information, including books, journals, etc.

The type of information sources used and their currency are necessary for both research and for national development. The poor economic situation and devaluation of the currency make it difficult to acquire the much needed resources to keep our resources up to date. The Internet has contributed to the provision and spread of information, information are accessed irrespective of time and location. Majority of the information we access are current and up-todate. Publishing in the Internet is quite easy. It is much faster and easier than with print publication. These are all recent innovations that have come in to easy the problem of accessibility of information materials, all it involves is to sit down at a computer and navigate from one information source to another by the click of the mouse. Information is power and there is need for it to be always current and up to date. This can be achieved through the libraries performing their functions in the provision of information. The understanding of the information sources used by postgraduate students will help the library to acquire regular and current journals and other information sources needed by these researchers.

Acquisition of needed information resources leads to availability of required current information and will help students to conduct effective research and sound comprehensive work. It is based on this background that postgraduate theses submitted in the department of library and information science University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), from 1997 to 2007 were studied. UNN is the first federal university to start a postgraduate programme in library and information science in south eastern Nigeria. It is also the first indigenous university in Nigeria. It started its postgraduate programme in 1997, since then it has graduated many students from both the masters and doctorate degrees programmes. Objec tives of the S tudy The broad purpose of the study is to examine the references used by postgraduate researchers to identify the materials that are mostly needed in their research work while specifically the study was designed to: Analyze the extent of different library and information science resources cited by postgraduate students in the Department of
Library and Information Science. Ascertain the number of Internet resources cited.

Find the average number of citations per project. Determine which library and information science journals are cited most Discover the major subject areas

S c ope of the S tudy

The study covered a period of eleven years, from 1997-2007. This was chosen because it was when the Department of Library and Information Science began postgraduate studies. The years covered help ensure a sufficient number of works that have been assessed by external examiner.

 

STRATEGIES FOR PREVENTING COMMUNAL CLASHES USING LIBRARY AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICES IN SOUTH EAST NIGERIA

Literature Review

Citation analysis is an unobtrusive research method that identifies core lists of journals and monographs in a subject discipline (Kuruppu and Moore, 2008). The usefulness of a discipline is measured by the amount and quality of research completed in the discipline (Onyancha 2007). Lancaster (1991) stated that “research productivity and impact is measured through an analysis of the number of publications produced and the quality of the sources in which the published materials appears.” This implies that sources of citation are important in determining the quality of a work. Journals are accorded importance because they contain firsthand information. Sam (2008) reports that a majority of the items cited were journals (44.5%), while books accounted for 32.5%.

Gooden (2000) revealed the same findings. Kuruuppu and Moore (2008) examined the information sources used by doctoral students in agriculture and biological sciences, and found that journals had 24,072 out of 29,894 citations (80.5%). Okafor and Ukwoma (2007) discovered that journals are more frequently used than other resources. Tuńón and Brydges (2005) reported that of the 69.6 references, 47.7 citations (68.7%) on average were from
periodicals. Nkiko and Adetoro (2007) discovered that out  of the 14,655 citations generated from 557 projects with an average citation of 26.3% per project, monographs had 53.3%, journals 25.1%, online resources 7.7%, followed by others and grey literature with 2.7%. LaBonte (2008) discovered that out of 4,023 citations analyzed from 643 journals, 318 journals (49.5%) had one citation, and one journal (Applied Physics Letters) had 267. The mean number of citations per bibliography was 28.77, of which 90.2% was journals, 3.4 % conference proceedings, and 6.4% other formats such as books, patents, and personal communication. Omekwu and Popoola (1991) and Ogunleye (1996) found that monographs are cited more than journals. Megnigbeto in Nikiko
and Adetoro (2008) studied citation of dissertations of library and information science undergraduate students and discovered that the number of citations to online resources was very low. Tuńón and Brydges (2005) had the same findings.

The subject area of research is also an important consideration. Some studies cover different types of library service. Sam (2008) discovered that  academic libraries were the subject area covered most. Aina(1999) discovered that the most frequently covered area was professional education, with 12.3%, followed by information technology at 8.5%. Methodology Citation analysis is the research method used in this study. As Aina (2002) describes, references cited are systematically analysed to discover what journals are cited by researchers in a discipline.

 

STRATEGIES FOR PREVENTING COMMUNAL CLASHES USING LIBRARY AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICES IN SOUTH EAST NIGERIA

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