PROVISION OF DIGITAL REFERENCE INFORMATION RESOURCES FOR EFFECTIVE RESEARCH OF POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS IN UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES IN SOUTH SOUTH NIGERIA
This study investigated the provision of digital reference information resources for effective research of postgraduate students in university libraries in South-South, Nigeria. Four research questions and one null hypothesis guided the study. A descriptive survey research design was employed in studying 3411 postgraduate students from three universities in South-South, Nigeria. The sample size of345 postgraduate students was selected for the study using the purposive sampling technique. Digital Reference information Resources Provision Questionnaire (DRIRPQ) was used to collect data. Data from the research questions were analysed with descriptive statistics of mean and standard deviation. The null hypothesis was tested at 0.5 level of significance. The findings reveal that websites, e-databases, e-journals, e-books, and mobile resources were the digital information resources provided in the libraries. Postgraduate students these digital information resources to find research topics, obtain general information, access journal articles, and search for current literature. The challenges affecting the provision of digital reference information resources were paucity of funds, erratic power supply, lack of ICT skilled library staff, and poor Internet connectivity. Strategies to enhance the provision of digital reference information resources were provision of adequate funds, provision of steady power supply, engaging ICT skilled library staff, and provision of robust Internet access. The study recommends that improved funding should be channeled to the acquisition of current digital reference resources in the libraries.