Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

Date of this Version

4-2-2014

Abstract

The use of information technology for scholarly publication is now commonplace all over the world. Academic communities in Africa are part of this transformation. The purpose of this study was to investigate academics’ use of scholarly electronic journal articles at Mzuzu University and assess the factors influencing their behaviour. Data collection instruments used for the study were the use of a questionnaire to the academics, interview with Deans of Faculties and follow up e-survey to some academics at Mzuzu University. The findings revealed that most academics had general knowledge of the electronic journals and this did not vary with education. There was no significant difference between gender and searching skills. It was evident that majority of academics prefer local publications and the use of electronic journal articles was for teaching and research. However, there were some barriers including teaching responsibilities; a lack of ICT and telecommunications; unreliable power supply; access to journals was restricted to campus and a lack of local content. Therefore, the study recommends that teaching and learning techniques such as improved use of teaching methods should be employed in order to create some time for other academic work including research and publication which contribute to the knowledge economy and the socio-economic development of Africa in particular Malawi. The study also suggest that provision of reliable power supply and development of local repositories are likely to play a vital role in providing access to local content and encouraging publication of local materials.

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