eResearch, a term used in the international academic community since the early 2000s
facilitates scholarly collaborative and interactive research by providing access to shared
data, institutional repositories, research tools and services through the internet. eResearch
initiatives are globally allowing researchers to collaborate using ICT.
This paper will report on a study which sought to establish eResearch activities in Obafemi
Awolowo University, Nigeria, identify the challenges faced by researchers in carrying out
eResearch in their various work environments and propose a guideline for effective library
support of such projects.16 participants were interviewed for this empirical study. These
participants were drawn from 6 Departments cutting across four of the 13 University
Faculties. The researcher used purposive and snowballing sample techniques. Interviews
were transcribed and responses of all the respondents analysed based on the research
questions. Eight collaborative eResearch projects were identified during the course of this
study. The participants indicated that these projects took place within the University
Community but across country boundaries. It is worth noting that the researchers that
participated in this study engage in quality collaborations both within Africa and also beyond.
Most of the researchers gained their skills and practices through personal development while
on the job, therefore, there is a need to advocate the inclusion of eResearch methodology in
It is of concern that the researchers have not been able to appreciate the roles that the
library can play in supporting their online research activities. To change this view, the library
must proactively survey the various online research projects going on in the University and
provide the necessary support. Thus, this paper will share some of the insights gained and
recommend a number of initiatives a library could put in place to embed within eResearch
projects – all in the interest of more effective research.
Mini Dissertation (MIT)--University of Pretoria, 2016.