Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

Date of this Version

2019

Citation

Abiolu, Oluremi A. (2019). Engineers, their information needs and information sources used: A Nigerian perspective. Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal)

Abstract

This study explored the information needs and sources used by engineers in Nigeria with a questionnaire randomly administered to 120 respondents using a survey research approach. The quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics. There were more male (89.7%) than female engineers, the higher greater percentage (45.2%) being between 41 and 50 years, and many (40.5%) had PhD degrees, with most being senior lecturers. The main areas of specialisation were materials and metallurgy, electrical and electronic engineering and agricultural engineering. Their primary areas of information needs were research (79.8%), current developments (61.9%) and new designs (47.6%). The most popular information sources used at least once a month were formal sources, including ‘books’ and journals (print and electronic), software, technical report papers, theses and dissertations; and informal sources such as face-to-face and email discussions, social networking, conference and seminar attendance. The main methods of accessing the sources include contacts with colleagues and personal procurement of useful sources. Barriers to meeting information needs were irregular power supply, insufficient funding and inadequate resources (laboratories, workshops, facilities, and libraries). Some findings suggested that sufficient funds, well-equipped and functional engineering workshops, laboratories, libraries and other facilities be provided by the parent organisations, and that the Nigerian government should ensure a regular power supply. These provisions will enable engineers to make meaningful contribution to national development in an environment supported with current, accessible and relevant information.

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