Assessing the Competencies and Skills of Academic Librarians in Nigeria for Scholarly Communication

GBAJE, Ezra Shiloba and YANI, Sarah Dauda and ODIGIE, Imoisili Ojeime (2018) Assessing the Competencies and Skills of Academic Librarians in Nigeria for Scholarly Communication. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2018 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Transform Libraries, Transform Societies in Session 163 - Serials and Other Continuing Resources.

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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Assessing the Competencies and Skills of Academic Librarians in Nigeria for Scholarly Communication

The changes in scholarly communication as a result of infusion of information technology in research work over the years imply that additional competencies and skills in scholarly communication are required for librarians to effectively support scholars in scholarly communication. This paper sought to identify the competencies and skills needed by academic librarians in Nigeria particularly in terms of their knowledge, understanding, and abilities in four main categories of the emerging scholarly communication activities, viz, scholarly publishing services, open access repository, copyright and open access, and assessing scholarly resources. This is with a view of making appropriate recommendations to address the needs identified. The study used a quantitative approach to data collection and analysis. A total of 80 academic librarians from the Nigerian Library Association online forum were used as sample population. The study discovered among others, that a high percentage of the academic librarians had knowledge of commercial and open access publishing platforms and open access policies and copyright. On the other hand, a low percentage had knowledge of funder mandate and requirement as well as bibliometric and altmetrics theory and practices. While more than half of the academic librarians in Nigeria had an understanding of current trends, issues in open access and assessment of scholarly resources, a low percentage had an understanding of data curation and management activities. Many academic librarians lack abilities to liaise with publishers on issues relating to archiving policies including embargo period and data management among others. The paper recommends the inclusions of courses in the Nigeria Library Schools curriculum that will build competencies and skills in scholarly communications. Nigerian Library Association and Librarian Registration Council are also encouraged to organize workshops and conferences that will also build competencies and skills in scholarly communication.

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