Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


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Research skills have become so imperative that it is not only needed to write technical research documents like dissertations and theses, but it is also needed after postgraduate studies for research productivity as well as for research and development. Information resources are highly needed when conducting research, which is an indication that the ability to use information resources like search engines could influence research skills. This study examines the use of search engines by postgraduate students in selected library schools in South-West, Nigeria. A descriptive survey research design of the correlational type was adopted for this study. The population comprises 311 postgraduate students in four (4) selected library schools in South-West, Nigeria. The library schools selected are library schools in University of Ibadan, Lead City University, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, and Tai Solarin University of Education, Ogun State. The total enumeration method was used while data was collected with the aid of a questionnaire. Descriptive and inferential methods were used in presenting the data. Results showed that the level of research skills of most postgraduate students sampled is high (overall mean = 100.2). Google is the most commonly used general search engine (99%), while Google Scholar is the most commonly used academic search engine (95%). The highest purpose for which search engines are used by the respondents is for basic reference information (x = 3.51). The frequency of use of the general search engine (Google) is high (x = 4.64), while that of the academic search engine (Google Scholar) is low (x̄ = 2.84). There is a significant relationship between search engine use and the research skills of the respondents (r =.617, df = 303, p<0.05). Utilization of search engines is an important predictor of the research skills possessed by postgraduate students in library schools. Thus, library educators need to keep putting together all the necessary resources that will help maintain the research skills of their students and also help increase the frequency of academic search engine use.