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PROJECT TOPIC: USE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AMONG ACADEMICS IN NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES

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CHAPTER ONEINTRODUCTION

Background to the StudyKnowledge is a very important resource in any institution or organization, whether it is an academic, research, business and industrial organization. Over the years, academics in institutions of higher learning have generated and communicated knowledge as information to other academics. As noted by Ochu and Egbule (2005) knowledge generation has been of great concern to educational administrators, educationists and scholars in Nigeria for some time now. African countries including Nigeria have been trying to promote effective ways of generating knowledge that would transform their society. The actualization of this noble idea rests on the tertiary institutions‟ capacity to develop ideas and effectively generate and communicate knowledge. According to Bellinger, Castro and Mills (2004) knowledge is appropriate collection of information such that its intent is to be useful. Ochu and Egbule (2005) considered knowledge as the information, understanding and skills that an individual gains through education and experience. However, Ali (2005) viewed knowledge as verifiable and useful information obtained through research, opinions, evidence or facts. Knowledge can be seen as opinion, facts, beliefs or information that we possess through research or review of existing literature and transfer from one party to another.Knowledge is generally categorized into explicit and formal or tacit and informal (Nonaka, 1995, Davenport, 1998, Brooking, 1999). Tacit knowledge is personal or subjective knowledge which exists in the mind of the individual, available to no-one else, elicited from him by questions, or got through his private diaries, letters and notes. Explicit knowledge on the other hand is knowledge or ideas which can be made available to other people for inspection (Brooking, 1999). This means that it can be verbally explained or preferably codified or written down in specific documents. With codification of knowledge it became possible for general knowledge to be simplified and transferred from one party to another. Academics through research and review of existing information generate new knowledge which is discussed, evaluated, and sent to publishers to produce as books or journals. The books produced through this process are purchased by academics themselves or by libraries which process, organize, store and transmit the information from one scholar to another, while journals are subscribed to by libraries and individual scholars.


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