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The study investigated the influence of availability of core cited journals (local print, foreign print and electronic journals) in Library and Information Science (LIS) theses on their utilization by postgraduate researchers in university libraries in South-East Zone of Nigeria. Five research questions and two null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The study adopted the ex-post facto research design. A total of 706 masters and doctoral theses in LIS discipline constituted the population. Complete census was used to select all 83 doctoral dissertations while the 270 masters’ theses were chosen through systematic sampling. This gives a total sample of 353 (50%). A customized research instrument titled: "Checklist on Provision and Utilization of Core Cited Journals in LIS Theses" (CPUCCJLIST) was used for data collection. The instrument had a reliability index of .85 determined using Cronbach Alpha Reliability Testing Technique. Data generated from the field were analyzed using simple percentages, bar chart, mean and standard deviation to answer the research questions while the hypotheses were tested at .05 level of significance using t-test and analysis of variance (ANOVA). The findings show that the availability of core cited journals (local print, foreign print and electronic) in LIS theses have a significant influence on their utilization in university libraries in South-East Zone of Nigeria. Consequent upon the findings, it was concluded that the availability of local print journals, foreign print journals and electronic journals are significant determinant of utilization. It was recommended, among others, that university management should publicize the core journals in their collection and make adequate budgetary provision for the acquisition of recent and relevant journals in LIS to support postgraduate studies in the discipline.
Keywords: Journal usage, Core-cited Journals, LIS Theses, South-East - Nigeria