An Assessment of Selected E-resources: Cab Abstracts and Cabi Compendia at the University of Nairobi
Africa‟s agricultural productivity is lower compared to other continents in part due to a shortfall in the number of people with the necessary agricultural productivity skills. Universities, form an essential pipeline for development of experts in agricultural production. Today, electronic information resources (e-resources) are at the heart of knowledge management and research has shown that proper utilization of e-resources positively impacts scholarly work. E-resource availability has been a major problem especially in African universities, but several initiatives have increased availability. These include collaboration between Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) and Regional Forum for capacity building in agriculture (RUFORUM); which has given 32 RUFORUM member universities access to CAB Abstracts and CABI Compendia. However, availability of e-resources does not automatically lead to proper utilization. This study sought to determine awareness, usage and impacts of CAB Abstracts and CABI Compendia among librarians, lecturers and students at the University of Nairobi; with a view to advice on how to increase e-resource utilization at the university. Questionnaires were administered and personal interviews conducted on librarians and users. Results showed that only 24% of users were aware of both resources. There was also limited use of these resources attributable to low awareness and 88.5% of the users had not been trained on these resources. Poor access to computers connected to the internet was rated as the top problem in accessing and using e-resources by 65.8% of users. Overall, it was evident that these e-resources were not being optimally used. The users who had used the e-resources reported saving time and improvement in quality of their research. In order to realize these and other benefits attributed to e-resources; systematic awareness creation campaigns and regular trainings on available e-resources were among recommendations that were made from this research.
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