Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


A survey of eighteen Nigerian agricultural research institute libraries and the researchers using these libraries was undertaken to determine the effectiveness of the document delivery system in use. The original hypothesis--that fifty percent of demands for scientific documents made by agricultural research scientists in Nigeria are not satisfied--was found to be untenable. Survey data showed that in a majority of libraries, research scientists suppressed some of their demands. These suppressed demands frequently involved publications not stocked in the libraries. The high satisfaction ratios recorded by three quarters of the libraries did not reflect the true availability situation and was therefore not valid for purposes of testing the hypothesis.;Two initial assumptions were then converted into null hypotheses: that no relationship exists between the rank or qualification of the reference staff and (1) the location which materials were obtained to satisfy demands made by scientists or (2) the type of questions asked by research scientists. Tests of these hypotheses showed a strong relationship between professionalism and location of materials as well as type of questions. It appears therefore that the deployment of non-professional reference personnel in research libraries is one of the key barriers to the availability of publications to research scientists in Nigeria.;Barriers to the availability of scientific publications to research scientists were identified. They include financial and infrastructural barriers such as inadequate funding, stringent foreign exchange regulations, poor communication systems and inadequate photocopying and translation facilities. However, in spite of these common barriers, the survey data indicated a marked difference among the libraries in the availability levels of publications to researchers. This difference was associated with the presence or absence of a professional reference librarian at the libraries.



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