Scholarly communication channels available for social science academics in tertiary institutions in North Central Zone, Nigeria
This study examined scholarly communication channels available for social science academics in tertiary institutions North Central Zone, Nigeria. The study investigated the extent to which the academics use these scholarly communication channels for sharing and dissemination of their research findings. The study formulated four objectives. Population of the study is 382 social science academics in North Central Nigeria. The study used the entire population as the sample size using complete enumerative sampling technique. Descriptive survey was used for the study. A structured questionnaire was used as the instrument for data collection and 382 copies of the questionnaire were administered, and 272 copies were retrieved and found useable, thereby indicating a response rate of 71.2%. Data was analyzed using frequencies, percentage and statistical mean. The study contributed significantly to knowledge in these ways: scholarly communication channels were available for university lecturers in social science for their research reports such as conference proceedings and seminar, thesis and dissertations, African online journal, peer- reviewed journals, JSTOR etc. Social science university lecturers use the scholarly communication channels extensively for dissemination of their empirical findings; most popular scholarly communication channels used by the lecturers were among others peer- reviewed journal; thesis and dissertation; conference proceedings/seminar; institutional repositories; books & chapters; African Journals Online; Google Scholar; Academic Journal; JSTOR; Directory of Open Access Journals; Scholarly Periodicals; EBSCohost; Social Science Research Monograph and Social Science Research Network. Challenges encountered include rising cost of online publishing; lack of successful resolution of negotiations between institutions and online access journal subscription, poor economy and no salary syndrome, and crash in currency value and brain drain in our institutions. The least rated challenge encountered was lack of university management support for scholarly communication channels for use of social science research reporting tools. Recommendations for the study include among others to have a social justice and research initiatives on our campus that scholarly communication channels could connect with; need for societal recognition for authors in social science discipline and to help faculty to deposit their research papers for (new &old) digitizing if necessary; establish an accredited community of authors and readers in social science on our campuses; need for the funders of scholarly communication channels and authors in social science to see greater returns on their research investments in social science and for society not to lose out of the scholarly communication channels if there are not optimal.
Keywords: Academic, Communication, Channels, Usage, Social, Science, Tertiary, Institutions