INFORMATION RESOURCES UTILIZATION FOR RESEARCH BY SCIENTISTS IN AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH INSTITUTES (ARI) IN NIGERIA
The purpose of this study is to determine the information resources utilization for research by scientists in Agricultural Research Institutes in Nigeria. This is imperative because despite the establishment of 18 Agricultural Research Institutes by the Federal Government in various parts of the country with the major objective of solving Nigeria’s agricultural problems through research, agriculture in Nigeria remains backward. Five research questions and three null hypotheses guided the study. The descriptive survey research method was used for the study. The population of the study is 1002 and this consisted of all the agricultural scientists with a first degree and above in all Agricultural Research Institutes in Nigeria. A total of 200 (20%) out of 1002 agricultural scientists were sampled for the study using certified proportionate random sampling method. The questionnaire tagged Information Resources Utilization for Research by Agricultural Scientists Questionnaire (IRURASQ) was developed and used to collect data for the study. The questionnaire was validated by three experts from university of Nigeria, Nsukka and Federal University of Technology, Minna. The overall reliability of the instrument was 0.94 which is very close to 1 and indicated that the instrument was reliable. In addition to that, an observation checklist was used to determine the types of information resources available in the libraries studied. The questionnaire was administered using trained research assistants after the researcher personally visited each research institute. The questionnaire was given to the research assistarnts hand to hand. Data were analyzed using real limits of nominal values ranging from 0.50 to 4.00 while the hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance using t-test. Major findings of the study showed that all (100%) of the libraries have eleven types of information resources in their stock mostly in print format while other types of information resources varied from library to library, available information resources were highly utilized for research, and the scientists were very satisfied with the level of information resources provided. However, lack of adequate infrastructural facilities such as electricity, inadequate funding of research libraries, lack of adequate information resources, and the fact that available information resources were mostly outdated constituted factors militating against utilization of information resources for research. It was discovered that gender did not reflect any significant difference in scientists’ utilization of information resources for research, in their level of satisfaction in the use of information resources, and in their strategies for enhancing the provision and utilization of information resources. Based on the findings, it was strongly recommended that the Federal Government should improve the funding to all Agricultural Research Institutes in Nigeria with a directive that at least twenty percent (20%) of allocations to them be spent on agricultural research libraries’ development; acquisition of relevant, current, and adequate information resources in all formats; employment of experienced and qualified librarians to provide library and information services; and establishment of a consortium of libraries in the Agricultural Research Institutes to facilitate sharing of information among libraries and scientists.