The National Universities Commission (NUC) has urged Nigerian universities to access the N796.2million EBSCOHost e-content through the Nigerian Research and Education Network (NgREN) for free till the end of the year.
NUC’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Julius Okojie, in a statement in Abuja explained that such access would enhance the online connection of universities and improve their global ranking.
Prof. Okojie added that NgREN was established to provide extensive infrastructural backbone to interconnect all Research and Education Institutions in Nigeria and link them with other Research and Education Networks (RENs) worldwide
He said: “NgREN has secured access to EBSCOHost e-content-including e-books, journals, and academic magazines, which will be available for free to all Nigerian Universities until December 31, 2016.
“These resources valued at about $4 million would, in fact, grow the number of available resources in the nation’s university libraries and as a result, heighten research activities amongst institutions in the Nigerian University System (NUS).
“By accessing the EBSCOHost e-content, Nigerian Universities stand a better chance of enhancing their position in international university rankings just as in the accreditation of programmes, where library holdings form a major component of the assessment”.
The NUC Executive Secretary added: “Universities in Nigeria are hereby encouraged to utilise these resources, which are available on the NgREN at no cost until the end of 2016,’’ he said.
EBSCO is a multinational company and provider of research databases, e-journals, e-books and provider of academic e-libraries to schools and corporations.
Okojie said that plans were underway to ensure that Universities on NgREN continued to access EBSCO and other e-content beyond the expiration of the current service, saying that the South African organisation was one of the foremost leaders in the provision of quality research content, powerful search technologies and intuitive delivery platforms.
In his words: “The platform also offers premium content in databases, e-books, journals, magazines as well as very versatile discovery tool for searching across all library resources”.
Acknowledging that NgREN has made significant progress in reducing the cost of bandwidth for subscriber institutions since its formal launch in July 2014, Prof. Okojie added that the cost of subscription had reduced from an initial $1,260 megabits per seconds (mbps) to $160 mbps and to a present cost estimate of $50 per mbps.