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Date of this Version

6-12-2021

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Preprint available at AfricArXiv Preprints: https://doi.org/10.14293/111.000/000019.v1

Abstract

This study assessed the professional variables of academic staff in African varsities and their readiness to Utilise Internet-Based Channels for Research Communication in an era of Covid-19. Drawing from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, the study was guided by four null hypotheses. The quantitative research method based on the virtual cross-sectional survey design was adopted. A total of 8,591 academics in African universities were the targeted demographic of this study. However, data were collected from a virtual snowball sample of 1,977 respondents (males, N = 1347; females, N = 630) from 24 African countries. A validated electronic survey, with three major aspects, was employed for data collection. The e-survey was released on the Association of African Universities' Telegram forum, which includes 1,622 participants from diverse African nations and regions. Members of the forum, who are all academics, were invited to complete the survey and publish it on their universities' internet-based forums. Coded data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics such as the Kruskal Wallis Non-parametric test. The non-parametric test was used because the data failed to meet the normality assumptions required to perform a parametric test. Results indicated, amongst others, that there are considerable variances in staff preparedness to use internet-based channels for research communication based on their educational credentials, educational qualification, rank and areas of research interest. According to the survey, academics with a doctoral degree; grade II lecturers; staff with 3 to 6 years of service; and staff in the medical sciences demonstrated a higher propensity of readiness to use internet-based channels for research communication. Based on these findings key theoretical, practical and research implications are discussed.

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