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Abstract

This study examined the concepts and aspects of digitization; digital preservation; digital resources; and access to, use of, and challenges posed by electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) in university libraries in six geopolitical zones of Nigeria. It adopted a documentary research approach to highlight a critical examination of the various aspects of digitization (to provide electronic information services) as practiced by various university libraries and some library schools in Nigeria. Print theses and dissertations (T/Ds) are digitized by document scanning or direct text input (alphanumeric characters) into computer systems. Digital resources include e-books, e-journals, ETDs, and other forms of documents in electronic formats. ETDs are preserved through digitization, archiving, and creation of websites and databases as well as through floating institutional digital repositories (IDRs). ETD access is facilitated by tools such as automated library catalogs and classification schemes, online public access catalog, indexes, abstracts, bibliographies, and mobile devices such as smartphones and personal computers. ETDs are capable of meeting research and publication needs of teaching, information service delivery, and knowledge sharing. Challenges to digital preservation, access, and use of ETDs include inadequate information and communications technology (ICT) facilities, low ICT proficiency, and erratic power supply. Thus, this study recommended that management teams of universities in Nigeria commit adequate funding to procure ICT facilities, thus providing automatic standby generating plants and increasing incentives for library and digital preservation staff. Collaboration among stakeholders such as university libraries and the National Library of Nigeria should be encouraged to create a national union catalog of T/Ds in Nigerian universities and thus enable a platform for a national database. Access to IDRs will further strengthen worldwide university networking. This study will thus add value to the existing studies on ICT application in university libraries and e-resources in university libraries in Nigeria.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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