Open access is a burning issue in web-based education and research that makes provision for resources that is digital, online, free of charge and free of most licensing restrictions. However, the free accessibility provided to these resources has led to the speculations that undergraduates might tend to violate the copyright protection of these resources. Hence, the study aimed to examine the relationship between the use of open access resources and copyright violation amongst undergraduates in two universities in Ibadan, Oyo state.
The study adopted the descriptive survey design with a study population from two universities in Ibadan, Oyo state (Lead city and University of Ibadan) which gave the total population of 1,636 students, the simple random sampling technique, and a sampling fraction of 15% were then used to select a sample size of 282. The questionnaire was the research instrument used for data collection and data was analysed using frequency distribution and percentages together with correlation analysis run on SPSS.
Findings revealed that the purposes of use of open access resources by undergraduates in Lead City University and the University of Ibadan were general research (98.1%) and (97.7%) respectively, and open access journals (79.8%), textbooks and books (80.4%) were also mostly utilised by undergraduates in Lead city and University of Ibadan. The findings also revealed that Copy and paste (92.3%), incorrect citing (86.8%) are the main forms of copyright violation known to undergraduates in Lead city and the University of Ibadan also incorrect citing (92.2%) and copy and paste (93.5%) were mostly the forms of copyright violation engaged in by undergraduates in Lead city and the University of Ibadan. Respondents from the two universities also stated that laziness on the part of the student (98.1%) and confusion between plagiarism and paraphrasing (95.7%) were the major factors that promote copyright violation. The study also revealed a positive significant relationship between use of open access resources and Copyright violation by undergraduates (r = .133*, N = 265, P < .05).
In conclusion, undergraduates will continue to make use of open access resources because of their freely accessible nature, and this would result in the violation of the copyright laws of those resources. Therefore, the study recommends that university management should invest in copyright violation detection software tools (such as ‘Turnitin’) to reduce the rate of copyright violation of open access resources by undergraduates and that stronger legislation and law enforcement by the Nigerian government and various university stakeholders to reward creativity and originality of scholars should be implemented.