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Date of this Version

2021

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The Pre-print version of this paper can be found on https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/q5gfk

Abstract

An assessment of the extent of the use of electronic platforms by African academic staff in universities to disseminate research was done in this study. The study is informed by the growing importance of online repositories and preprint servers in the scientific communication of scholarly output, especially in an era where the use of metrics for research appraisals and funding decisions is commonly practised. The quantitative research method was adopted, based on the descriptive survey research design. The snowball sampling technique was used for data collection. Data were collected from 1,977 respondents, distributed across 24 African countries, through the use of an electronic survey. There was a high rate of willingness among universities’ academic staff in Africa, to adopt various online platforms for research dissemination; ResearchGate is currently utilized the most for research dissemination, but Google Scholar is the platform respondents are more willing to adopt for research dissemination; the rate at which academic staff research output can be found online as a ratio of their total publication is 64.04% and in the ratio of 2.00:3.12; poor access to Internet facilities at home and workplaces are the major challenges academic staff face in the utilization of digital platforms for RD. It was recommended, amongst others that academic staff in universities should endeavour to explore and utilize at least ten of the online platforms mentioned in this study, to enable them disseminate their scholarly works to a wider audience and for increased visibility

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