Information is the foundation upon which all academic activities are built. The quality of teaching, learning and research is a function of the quality of information available to practitioners. While the current information landscape is characterized with information adequacy made possible by the application of ICTs to information handling, the sheer magnitude of available information tending towards overload is itself a challenge in the current technology-driven world we live in. In response to this challenge, academic institutions all over the world came up with what is known as information literacy described as an intellectual framework which enables individuals to identify, locate, access, evaluate, use and communicate information.
Despite the argument that technological advances have facilitated access to information, there is ongoing concern globally that university students are still not becoming information literate – that they cannot retrieve and evaluate the information that will be required for problem solving and decision making in the workplace and in society (Buzzetto-Hollywood,et al., 2018; Ondari-Okemwa, 2016). Specifically in Nigeria, recent developments in higher education also indicate that the quality of the students that gained admission has been changing. Most of these students have an increasingly detailed knowledge of information and communication technologies (ICTs), expectedly use new habits of communication and are eager to learn new forms of education including autonomous online learning. However, they have difficulties when it comes to handling large amount of information even at doctoral level (Ekwelem, Eke & Dim, 2009; Oyedokun, et al., 2019; Pelemo, et al., 2020). . This study, therefore, assessed the information literacy competence of doctoral students in universities in Ogun State, Nigeria.
The study used survey research design. The population of the study was 1, 418 doctoral students from six universities in Ogun State already running doctoral programs out of nine licensed by the National Universities Commission (NUC). The Research Advisor’s table was used to select a sample size of 306. A structured and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. Cronbach’s alpha reliability coefficient for the construct was 0.92. The response rate was 92%. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential (simple and multiple regression) statistics.
Findings revealed that information literacy competence of doctoral students in universities in Ogun State was high (x̅=4.2). The study concluded by recommending that university administrators and the NUC should strengthen the research capacity and productivity of doctoral students through target coursework, workshops, conferences and research collaboration with peers and mentors.