The study investigated Awareness and Utilisation of Institutional Digital Repository by Postgraduate Students of the Faculty of Science, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. The study achieved the following objectives;To find out the extent of awareness of the Institutional Digital Repository, to identify the factors motivating the Utilisation of the Institutional Digital Repository, to find out the extent at which the Institutional Digital Repository is being utilised by the Postgraduate Students and to identify the challenges of Utilisation of the Institutional Digital Repository by the Postgraduate Students The study adopted a quantitative method for data gathering. Questionnaire was the only instrument used for the study, targeted 73 respondents selected through stratified proportional random sampling technique from a population of 1451 Postgraduate Students from nine (9) Departments of the Faculty of Science Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. Among the 73 copies of questionnaire administered 67 (91.9%) were returned duly completed by respondents. Similarly, 53 (79.1%) of the 67 respondents were males and 14 (20.9%) were females. Data from the survey was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics of SPSS. Frequency distribution tables and percentages were used for the descriptive statistic while two (2) simple t-tests were used for the inferential statistic to test null hypothesis 1 and 2. The two hypotheses were tested all at  0.05 and 65 degree of freedom. The study discovered that, the Awareness of Institutional Digital Repository by Postgraduate Students of the Faculty of Science Ahmadu Bello University Zaria was very low so also the utilisation of the institutional digital repository, free access to the IDR was the major motivator of utilisation of IDR in A.B.U. Zaria by Postgraduate Students of the Faculty of Science that were opportuned to be aware of the IDR.Finally the study established that for Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and Kashim Ibrahim Library to attain the set goal, a maximum utilisation of Institutional Digital Repository by increased awareness campaign on the importance and the reason why the IDR was established should be provided to the entire university community.



1.1 Background to the Study

Academic Libraries especially those situated in Universities continue to expand their use of Institutional Digital Repositories (IDRs). Awareness of Institutional Digital Repositories and its benefits for the Institution, Faculty and Students have grown over the past several years. These Repositories are regarded as useful and effective tools for increasing visibility of the research and academic outputs of Higher Education Institutions. Research on the visibility of researches through Institutional Digital Repositories has shown dramatic and positive increase. It has been discussed that the increase demand in research disseminated by an Institution increases the academic standard and perceived rigor of such Institution. Michael, (2009) conducted a study at the Hong Kong Institute of Education to determine if the Institutional Digital Repository increases the visibility of the research at the Institution. He stated in his findings that, making available of academic research through IDRs can have an immediate impact on making research more visible. And, a very important note is also that this occurred with little or no intentional marketing of the new Repository.

The benefits of IDR are immense; as a result, many universities have implemented it. Crow, (2002) and Prosser, (2003) viewed IDR as appropriate model that perform the four functions of scholarly communication: ‗registration‘, ‗awareness‘ ‗certification‘ and ‗archiving‘. Johnson, (2002) comparing IDR and the traditional scholarly model submits that traditional model limits readership, obscures institutional origin, costs much but IDR model implies no monopoly, increase of output and awareness which is the essence of scholarly communication.

However, global trends have shown that as laudable as IDR is, one of the major challenges to the realization of its full potentials is content recruitment. Previous studies have persistently reported low submission of scholarly works by faculty members who are the major authors of scholarly works(Ware, 2004; Nicholas, Rowlands, Watkinson, Brown, and Jamali,2012).

Meanwhile, in Nigeria, as observed by Umar, Musa and Aliyu, (2014)  that the idea of Institutional Digital Repositories (IDRs) is a current theme in tertiary institutions that have seen it as a necessity for making available their Institutional resources, thereby increasing their visibility and better performance in the ongoing web ranking of world Universities. In the last three years, Nigerian Universities have, more or less, competed among themselves to have higher ranking in the web metrics ranking of world Universities. This has been a healthy competition because more and more of the Institutions have been devising creative means of increasing their digital contents in the public domain, resulting in more Nigerian content on the Internet, and particularly, more openness and sharebility of Institutional resources (Akintunde and Anjo,


Institutional Digital Repository (IDR)

Institutional Digital Repositories are digital collections of research outputs created within a University or Research Institution. Whilst the purposes of Repositories may vary (for example, some universities have teaching/learning Repositories for educational materials), in most cases they are established to provide Open Access to the Institution‘s research output. Crow, (2006) assert that, an Institutional Digital Repository is an online locus for collecting, preserving, and disseminating in digital form the intellectual output of an Institution, particularly a Research Institution. An Institutional Digital Repository is a Digital Archive of the intellectual product created by the Faculty, Research Staff, and Students of an Institution and accessible to end-users both within and outside of the Institution with few if any barriers to access. It will also house experimental and observational data captured by members of the Institution that support their scholarly activities (Lynch, 2003).

Development of Institutional Digital Repositories has largely taken place in Universities. Institutional Digital Repositories provide services to Faculty, Researchers, and Administrators who want to archive researchable, historic, and creative materials in the open access. The Open Access and Open Archives movement paved the way to the need for changes in scholarly communication to remove barriers to access, and the increasing awareness that Universities and Research Institutions are losing valuable digital and print materials which as a result have begun driving the establishment of Institutional Digital Repositories, (Drake, 2004). While the main purposes of Institutional Digital Repositories are to bring together and preserve the intellectual output of a Laboratory, Department, University, or other entity. The incentives and commitments to change the process of scholarly communication have also begun serving as strong motivators. Computers have been ubiquitous on campuses since the late 1980s. Students and Faculty are comfortable with the power of online communication. Faculty Teachers and Researchers want to archive their own materials and have them available on personal or Institutional Web sites, these articles, along with the development of the Internet and more powerful search engines have enabled people to think in practical terms about the establishment of central facilities for storing, archiving, preserving, and making scholarly and artistic materials available. But one should remember, Repositories may be limited to one field, a Department, Institution, or a consortium of several Institutions. Collaboration through a consortium reduces costs for each member through resource sharing while expanding access to digital content.

For Universities, IDRs are marketing tools communicating capabilities and quality by showcasing Faculty and Student researches, public service projects, and other activities and collections. IDRs in Universities may include preprints and post prints of journal articles, technical reports, white papers, research data, theses, dissertations, work in progress, important print and image collections, teaching and learning materials, and materials documenting the history of the Institution.

Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Library DigitalRepository

The Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria University Library Complex popularly known as Kashim Ibrahim Library (KIL) is one of the biggest libraries in the country in terms of land mass, collection and staff strength. Need to shift along with the current trends of making information resources easily available and accessible to patrons via the online system prompted the Ahmadu Bello University library to design, establish, develop and manage its digital information resources of enduring value to students, lecturers, and researchers Abdulkadir and

Mohammed (2014). This resulted the management of Kashim Ibrahim library established a Digitisation unit in 2005 in the main library (KIL) with the responsibility of digitising the title pages and abstracts of all the theses and dissertations submitted to the University for the Award of higher degrees.

The review of the Kashim Ibrahim library‘s policy and the creation of ICT division, paved a way for the University Librarian in 2009 to set up a committee with the responsibility of designing, developing and installing a Digital Repository in Kashim Ibrahim library. The committee was mandated to complete and submit its report with two months. The committee successfully came up with the basic requirements for the project and strategies for implementation, maintenance and sustenance within the two months period given to it, (Mohammed, 2012). The library hosted the digital repository in 2010 with the purchase of a server and other facilities for digitisation. The Dspace management software was installed on the server using the Windows platform as recommended by the committee and digital repository took up in 2010.

Ever since then, the IDR provides access to the research outputs of the institution and the interface is available in English language. The IDR content size as at February 2016 was 5919 items and as said earlier the repository is uses Dspace version 1.8.2 digitisation software. The repository content covers subject areas ranging from Agriculture, Food and Veterinary, Ecology and Environment, Health and Medicine, Fine and Performing Arts, History and Archaeology, Physiology and Religion, Education, Law and Politics as well as Library and Information science. The types of digital content are conference papers, electronic theses and dissertations as were as School of Postgraduate Studies‘ collections

Utilisation of Institutional Digital Repositories (IDRs)

Utilisation of IDRs in both disseminating and accessing scholarly information has attracted the attention of many scholars in recent years. Utilisation of IDR is concerned with the use of variety of Services and digital contents available for teaching, learning and research activities. Such digital contents include e-journals, e-thesis and dissertations (ETDs), conference papers and proceedings, Seminars/Symposia, lecture notes and course materials, non-peerreviewed articles published in a journal, Articles awaiting Peer-review, Photos/Images/Slide Collections and Video/Audio Materials etc. Many researches showed that IDRs are being utilized for different purposes. Connell (2011) was of the view that IDR is used for research and self-publishing of own-research works. According to open access scholarly information sourcebook AOASIS (2009) opined that, IDRs have a number of uses within the institution. The main purposes to which IDRs are been utilized includes; providing access to research outputs, showcasing the institutional outputs, preservation of products of institution‘s research programme, research monitoring and assessment as well as monitoring of research outputs by the funders.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

While there have been more researches in recent years about IDRs, the focus has predominantly been on issues related to motivating individuals (Scholars) to input the content of their researches into IDRs. Yet to become a successful innovation, IDRs must also be identified as potentially valuable information sources and then used by information seekers. Revell (2009) gives a simple equation to demonstrate how IDR will become successful as: ―Input of documents

  • Access/Use of documents = Successful Institutional Repository‖. One of the responsibilities of Academic Library reference team is to make the Academic Staff and Students in their University become aware of any available information resource or service and help them to find and utilise the information or service. The launch of Scholarly Journals and Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) was therefore an important breakthrough in terms of scholarly communication improvement, (Dulle, 2010). This breakthrough paved the way for the emergence of Institutional Digital Repositories for researches conducted in Tertiary Institutions especially Universities.

However, despite the numerous advantages and opportunities offered by the IDRs, preliminary investigations conducted by the researcher indicated a dramatic non-use of Institutional Digital Repositories by the Postgraduate Students of Ahmadu Bello University

(ABU) Zaria. This finding is surprising and worrisome in the sense that it can affect negatively the research efforts and productivity of Students vis-à-vis reduce the quality of their research generally. This investigation was corroborated by the statistics generated by the ICT unit of

Kashim Ibrahim Library (2014). It was discovered that 7827 views were recorded from May to

November 2014 as generated from by ICT unit of Kashim Ibrahim Library. This statistic means that 1118 views were recorded proportionately every month and 40 views every day. Looking at the above statistic, it is clear that, the utilization of the repository was very low. This is a serious problem on Library management and the entire Institution in general because it cost a lot to set up this Repository by the Institution. This scenario therefore calls for a research of this nature to unravel the actual causes of this ugly trend and proffer solutions to them. However, one could speculate whether these anomalies could be that Postgraduates Students are not aware or not willing to utilise the new technology (IDR) which leads to the low level of utilization of this Repository? Thus, the need for a study to investigate the Awareness and Utilisation of IDRs by Postgraduate Students in Ahmadu Bello University Zaria is indeed of utmost important. It was on this basis that, this research was set out to investigate the level of Awareness and Utilisation of Institutional Digital Repository by the Postgraduate Students of the Faculty of Science Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.

1.3 Research Questions

This research worksought answers to the following research questions:

1:                   To what extent do the Postgraduate Students of the Faculty of Science Ahmadu Bello

University Zaria are aware of the Institutional Digital Repository?

2:                         What factors facilitate the utilisation of the Institutional Digital Repository by the

Postgraduate Students of the Faculty under study?

3:                               To what extent do the Postgraduate Students of the Faculty of Science utilised

Institutional Digital Repositoryunder study?

4:                           What are the challenges associated with the utilisation of the Institutional Digital

Repository by the Postgraduate Students of the Faculty under study?

1.4         Objectives of the Study

This research tried to achieve the following objectives:

  1. To find out the extent of awareness of the Institutional Digital Repository by the

Postgraduate Students of the Faculty of Science Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.

  1. To identify the factors facilitating the Utilisation of the Institutional Digital Repository by the Postgraduate Students of the Faculty of Science Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.
  2. To find out the extent at which the Institutional Digital Repository is being utilised by the

Postgraduate Students of the Faculty of Science Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.

  1. To identify the challenges of Utilisation of the Institutional Digital Repository by the

Postgraduate Students of the Faculty of Science Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.

1.5         Hypotheses

The research tested the following null hypotheses:

HO1 There is no significant difference between gender and awareness of the Institutional Digital Repository, by the Postgraduate Students in the Faculty of Science

HO2 There is no significant difference between gender and the utilisation of the Institutional Digital Repository.



1.6 Significance of the Study



AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY, ZARIA, NIGERIA would raise the level of Awareness of

Institutional Digital Repository initiative among not only Postgraduate Students of the Faculty of Science but the entire University Community. It would also raise the level of Utilisation of Institutional Digital Repositories that is on open access domain among Postgraduate Students and the general Academia of the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.

It is hoped that, the findings of this study would revealed to the University management, the extent to which postgraduate students are aware of the Institutional Digital Repository in A.B.U Zaria which is very paramount in making any decision by the management in budget provision to either increase or otherwise the fund in maintenance of the repository. Furthermore, it is hoped that, this study would assist the management of Kashim Ibrahim Library (KIL) Ahmadu Bello University Zaria to know the extent of Awareness and Utilisation of their IDR and help the Library to design a new strategy for change programme of their information resources and services and how best to maintain or improve the way services rendered to the general University Community.

The study would also serve as an information resource for researchers in the field of

Library, Archival and Information sciences especially scholars that have interest in study of Information Utilization, Institutional Digital Repositories and Digital Archiving.



1.7 Scope of the Study

This study covered Awareness and Utilisation of Institutional Digital Repositories by the

Postgraduate Students of the Faculty of Science in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Postgraduate Students of other Faculties as well as Undergraduate Students were excluded in this research. The statistics of A.B.U. Zaria IDR utilization collected by the researcher in 2014 showed that Postgraduate Students of the faculty of science were found to be least in utilisation of the repository. This stood as the reason for limiting this research to only investigate the Awareness and Utilisation of Institutional Digital Repository by Postgraduate Students of the

Faculty of Science Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

1.8 Limitation of the Study

The study investigated the level of Awareness and Utilization of Institutional Digital Repository by the Postgraduate Students of the Faculty of Science in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. It was one of the limitations of this study that some of the respondents did not know the concept of institutional digital repository as such they had to call the researcher and asked him to explain the concept for them to be able to understand what they were asked to respond on. To overcome this problem, the researcher had trained the research assistants very well about the concept and answers to possible questions that the researcher anticipated to be arisen from the part of the respondents. Another limitation to this study was the issue of literature on studies conducted in Nigerian situation which was found to be scanty, to overcome this, the researcher tried to use all the relevant ones at his disposal and fill the gap with literature of studies conducted in other countries that were found relevant.




1.9 Definition of Terms

In this research, the following concepts are defined as follows:

Awareness: This refers to the ability to perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of the existence of institutions digital repositories.

Electronic Theses and Dissertations: Theses refer to digital copies of Postgraduate Students degree research projects put on the institutions digital repositories.

Faculty of Science:This refers to the old faculty of science which comprised the two newly established faculty of life science and faculty of physical science.

Institution: An organization, establishment, foundation, society, or the like, devoted to the promotion of a particular cause or program, especially one of a public, educational, or charitable character. It also means establishment of higher learning where people‘s minds are trained for clear thinking, independent thinking, analysis and for problem solving at higher level.

Institutional Digital Repository:  Institutional Digital Repository here refers to database created to manage, preserve, and maintain the digital assets, intellectual output, and histories of institutions.  

Postgraduate Students: These are University Students studying different courses at

Postgraduate Diploma, Masters and PhD levels.

Utilisation: To make use of something in an effective and efficient way






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