Communications of the IIMA


Social network tools (SNTs) constitute part of the revolution the internet has brought about in the transfer and dissemination of information. These tools allow users to carry out a number of activities, such building online profiles and sharing vital information. The study ascertained the use of SNTs by agriculture researchers in tertiary and research institutes in south-west Nigeria. A multistage sampling procedure was used in sampling 210 respondents. Data were obtained through the use a structured questionnaire that was pre-tested with a Cronbach-alpha internal consistency of 0.84 for SNTs utilization scale. Results were analyzed using frequency counts, percentages, chi square, Pearson product moment correlation and one-way analysis of variance. Results indicated the mean age of respondents was 37 years; 61.4% were male and 42.3% had master’s degree. Findings also indicated that 97.5% and 78.6% of the respondents were aware of Facebook and Twitter as SNTs, with 26.7% indicating the Facebook was used on a daily basis, while 5.7% used Twitter daily. Reading magazines/newspaper for latest events ( ̅=2.80) and uploading pictures of events, such as birthdays, ( ̅=2.49) are the social activities SNTs are often used for by the researchers. Furthermore, most respondents were of the perception that using SNTs can enhance consultation with other colleagues both locally and internationally through discussion groups ( ̅=4.29) and that it can enhance access to research publications ( ̅=4.15). There were significant associations between researchers marital status (χ 2=2.930, df=2, p<0.05), years of experience on the job (χ 2=2.165, df=2, p<0.05) and the use of SNTs. However, there was no significant difference in the use of SNTs by researchers (F=0.20, p>0.05) across the sampled institutions. It was concluded that respondents have a low utilization of SNTs. It was recommended that awareness of SNTs should be intensified through trainings, seminars and workshops. Also, information and communication technologies that can enhance the use of SNTs should be adequately provided.