Academic social networking tools usage among Nigerian University academics



There is limited information on use of social media tools in teaching and research among academics in low-and-middle income countries. This study aimed to assess awareness and use of Academic Social Network Tools (ASNTs) among Nigerian academics. A cross-sectional survey of 100 randomly sampled Nigerian academics was carried out. A two-section structured questionnaire which sought information on demographic profile, familiarity and use of ASNTs, and perceptions on usefulness and barriers to integrating ASNTs was used for data collection. Most of the respondents were aware of ResearchGate (97%), (96%), Facebook (94%) and Twitter (94%) as ASNT. The most visited ASNT were Facebook (36%) and Twitter (28%). ASNT were used for sharing of research content to other academics (32%) and for making research profile highly visible globally (24%). Most respondents (76%) perceived ASNT as highly beneficial, but busy work schedules (12%) and problematic internet connections (12%) mostly inhibit their usage. Less than 50% of the academics had moderate to high levels of awareness and use of ASNT, and junior rank and younger academics had significantly higher ASNT awareness and utilization rates. There was significant association between use of ASNT and academic ranks, but none with age, sex and educational level. Nigerian academics utilized ASNTs, especially ResearchGate to share research content to other academics, make academic research profile highly visible globally. These academics have positive perception about ASNTs but it has bias towards their academic ranks.


Social Networking Tools, Universities, Nigeria

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