Postgraduate Dissertation

An Assessment of the Research Behaviours of Academic Staff in Nigerian Universities


It is incontrovertible that research plays a central role in the growth and development of any nation. It also serves as a medium through which academic staff and experts across disciplines share new knowledge, ideas, and innovations. That explains why institutions of higher learning place a high premium on scholarly publications as a precondition for tenure appointments and promotion of their academic staff, from time to time. However, there seems to be poor incentives for researchers in Humanities, Management and Social Sciences; compared to their counterparts in the fields of Science, Technology and Medicine. This study, therefore, assessed the current research behaviours of academic staff in public and private universities in Nigeria, with a focus on three universities in Kwara State, such as University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Ilorin (Federal), Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete (State), and Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin (Private). The study used primary and secondary data collection methods to achieve its objectives. Specifically, it employed structured questionnaires to generate data from 328 respondents out of a population sample of 330. The study also used in-depth interviews to gather data from seven (7) purposively selected lecturers. Data from the mixed methods were analysed descriptively and thematically. Similarly, journals, books, and Google Scholar, among other online resources, were used for the secondary data collection. Anchored on Vroom, Maslow, and Herzberg’s Two-Factor theories, the study found that career progression and contribution to knowledge were key motivations for scholarly publishing among the target population. It also found that despite the pressure to publish, a vast majority of the respondents (280, representing 85.4%) had never fallen prey to predatory journals. The study equally discovered that above 80% of the respondents had never received research grants from either their universities or government, while many local peer-reviewed journals lacked Open Access and online visibility. Therefore, the study recommends that Nigerian universities, in collaboration with industry and funding organisations, should provide adequate incentives for academic staff to conduct research and publish in high-impact journals. It also recommends, among other things, that professional associations, departments, faculties, and university presses in Nigeria should make concerted efforts to improve the online visibility of their journals through indexing and Open Access publishing.

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Suleiman, Yusuf Bolakale


Rights Holders: Suleiman, Yusuf Bolakale

Oxford Brookes departments

Oxford International Centre for Publishing

Degree programme

MA Publishing Media



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