Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version

Winter 7-1-2020


This article addressed the use and types of social media tools to share scholarly knowledge among students in the Department of Information Studies, University of Zululand. The study was guided by four research objectives: to determine the types of social media tools used to share scholarly knowledge; to understand how social media tools add positively to academic performance; to identify the factors that motivate students to use social media tools for scholarly knowledge sharing; and to find out the barriers to using social media tools for the sharing of scholarly knowledge. The theoretical basis for this study was informed by technology acceptance model (TAM). This study adopted positivism research paradigm to enable quantitative research approach. A total of 35 questionnaires were distributed to second year students in the Department of Information Studies and all the questionnaires were returned. The data was analysed using descriptive statistics with the support of statistical package of social sciences (SPSS). The study found that the availability of social media tools has transformed the lives of students academically and showed that the advent of social media tools provides a good platform for sharing scholarly knowledge. It was found that WhatsApp, Facebook, email, etc. were media tools used to share scholarly knowledge. The study also revealed that a large number of students were using social media tools to share scholarly knowledge. However, the study found that there are barriers that hinder the effective use of social media tools among students. These barriers include lack of trust, lack of money to purchase data bundles when students operate from home, and lack of privacy. One of the recommendations of the study is that the University of Zululand needs to have departmental trainings aimed at making students aware of all social media tools that can be used to share scholarly knowledge.



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