Cyber ethics adherence and the use of electronic information resources by undergraduates in public universities in Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria

Raphael Ebiefung (Department of Library, Archival and Information Studies, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria)
Airen Adetimirin (Department of Library, Archival and Information Studies, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria)

Digital Library Perspectives

ISSN: 2059-5816

Publication date: 25 January 2021

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the adherence to cyber ethics by undergraduates in public universities in Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria when using electronic information resources (EIRs).

Design/methodology/approach

Descriptive survey research design was used for this study. A total of 7,771 undergraduates of University of Uyo (UNIUYO) and Akwa Ibom State University (AKSU), Nigeria constitute the study population. The sampling technique used for the study is the multistage technique. A sampling fraction of 5% was used to arrive at a sample size of 389.

Findings

This study revealed that in UNIUYO, more than four-fifths of the undergraduates – 55 (84.6%) in science, 55 (82.1%) in engineering and 61 (81.3%) in education – noted that they used the internet on a daily basis, and in AKSU, almost all the respondents in science (50, 90.9%) and about four-fifths in engineering (45, 80.4%) observed that they also used the internet on a daily basis for academic work. Adherence to cyber ethics guidelines was high at UNIUYO in education (44.2) and science (43.0) and at AKSU in engineering (42.9) and science (44.7).

Practical implications

The use of EIRs in universities has brought enormous changes, especially on how information are accessed and used by undergraduates. As EIRs have become important component in university libraries and continuously used by undergraduates for academic work, there is the possibility that frequent accessibility and utilization could increase the chances of unethical usage. This study is therefore significant in taming the tide of abuse and misuse of e-information resources in universities.

Originality/value

The correlation between adherence to ethics guidelines and the use of EIRs was positively significant at both UNIUYO (r = 0.139*; df = 206; p < 0.05) and AKSU (r = 0.136*; df = 168; p < 0.05). A high level of adherence to cyber ethics by the undergraduates can be encouraged and maintained through the formulation of cyber ethics policy in the universities by academic librarians.

Keywords

Citation

Ebiefung, R. and Adetimirin, A. (2021), "Cyber ethics adherence and the use of electronic information resources by undergraduates in public universities in Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria", Digital Library Perspectives, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/DLP-08-2020-0080

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Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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