Library and Information Science Professionals’ Awareness, Competencies, Institutional Support, and Application of AI-Powered Tools in Research Writing in South-South, Nigerian Universities

Nse Emmanuel Akwang *

University Library, Akwa Ibom State University Ikot Akpaden, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.

Posigha Bassil Ebiwolate

University Library, Nigeria Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

This study investigates Library and Information Science professionals’ awareness, competencies, institutional support, and application of AI-powered tools in research writing in South-South Nigerian universities. Four research questions guide the investigation. The study adopted a mixed (two-step) approach, combining both quantitative and qualitative methods in a sequential exploration design. A 55-items researcher-developed structured questionnaire titled: Library and Information Science Professionals’ Awareness, Competences, Institutional Support and Application of AI Powered Tools in Research Writing Questionnaire (LISPACIAAIPTRWQ) with a reliability index of .804 determined using Cronbach’ reliability coefficient and semi-structured interview schedule were used for data collection. The questionnaire was designed using Google Doc platform and administered through major Nigerian Library Association (NLA) WhatsApp groups of the six states in South South zone of Nigeria – Akwa Ibom State, Bayelsa State, Cross River State, Delta State, Edo State and Rivers State. The interview was conducted through private WhatsApp calls to 20 respondents within the study area. A total of 133 targeted participants from twelve university libraries, one federal and one state university per state were involved in the study. The professional librarians considered in this study were those with at least LS/LIS degree and a year of work experience. This group of participants were purposively considered taking into account that they are professionals and expected to conduct cutting-edge research and publish findings in reputable journals for personal and professional growth. The collected data, analyzed descriptively using frequency counts, mean, and standard deviation were used to answer research questions. The interview responses were qualitatively analyzed using the narrative method in order to deeply understand the respondents’ experiences with AI-powered tools and to also reduce the impact of individual bias. The findings revealed a low awareness level and a relatively high level of competencies of LIS professionals towards AI and its applicability to research writing. It also revealed low institutional support and high application index of AI-powered tools to mostly library services but not research writing by LIS professionals. The study recommended that the university administration should encourage more research on AI and formulate a workable policy to guide its applicability, among others.

Keywords: Awareness, competencies, institutional support, AI-powered tools, LIS professionals, research writing


How to Cite

Akwang, Nse Emmanuel, and Posigha Bassil Ebiwolate. 2024. “Library and Information Science Professionals’ Awareness, Competencies, Institutional Support, and Application of AI-Powered Tools in Research Writing in South-South, Nigerian Universities”. Asian Journal of Education and Social Studies 50 (7):451-66. https://doi.org/10.9734/ajess/2024/v50i71476.

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