In this age of information and communication technology (ICT), the use of the Internet has become the norm. Developing countries like Nigeria are not exempted from this trend. The craving for the Internet stems from its central role in ICT with access to free online journals, magazines, and other information resources anytime and from anywhere for academic and research purposes (Kode and Kode, 2003).
Nigerian university undergraduates are required to carry out research projects in their final year in the university. Project writing is a major pre-requisite for the award of degrees in tertiary institutions in Nigeria. Every student considers project writing important to his or her academic success. Research project writing involves a student or group of students carrying out a study on a topic of interest. When the project is completed, it is evaluated by the quality of the work submitted within the stipulated time (Fatoki, 2004). It is used to indicate the student's ability to select, research, and draw logical conclusions from findings. The quality of the research project is to a large extent dependent on the quality, quantity, and recency of resources consulted and cited (Mbofung, 2003). The use of the Internet (if maximized) plays a major role in helping undergraduate researchers' access large number of materials from different parts of the globe.
In view of the above, this study evaluates the use of the Internet for research by undergraduate final year students of Covenant University.
A Brief History of Covenant University
Covenant University is a private Christian Institution situated in Canaanland, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria. It was founded on October 21, 2002 by World Mission Agency, an arm of the Living Faith Church Worldwide.
The University has three colleges: Business and Social sciences, Human Development, and Science and Technology. As a cutting edge ICT-driven university, there is 24-hour Internet connectivity on campus. The university library, also known as the Centre for Learning Resources (CLR), has a media centre with forty computers connected to the Internet and escapist reading space provided with wireless Internet connectivity for use by undergraduate research students.
Objectives of the Study
* To determine the extent of accessibility and utilization of the Internet by final year students of Covenant University
* To identify the most frequently-used search engine by final year students
* To ascertain the impact of the Internet on the research work of final year students of Covenant University
According to Ani (2005), the Internet is a network of linked computers which are located at different points all over the world that provides easy communication between persons and organizations no matter where they are located. The Internet is used mostly in obtaining information. Nwafor and Ezejiofor (2004) quoting Sadler (1995) observe that the Internet is not a single network of computers but a network of nets, a large network that connects many smaller networks to one another. The major functional advantage of the Internet stems from its willingness to share information with others so that everyone might benefit. Shitta (2002) posits that the Internet is a communication super highway that links, hooks and focuses the entire world into a global village, where people of all races can easily get in touch, see, or speak to one another and exchange information from one point of the globe to another. It is the largest network in the world that allows computer users to communicate and access electronic databases with ease. Daramola (2004) maintains that an observable trend in...