The study investigated acquisition, and management of serials publications among Libraries in Abia state libraries in Nigeria. The descriptive survey design was adopted. The population of the study was 411 respondents drawn from seven Abia state libraries in Nigeria. The sample for the study was 411 and total enumeration sampling technique was used because no sampling was done due to the number of postgraduate students involved. Research questions were raised and answered with three hypotheses formulated which were also tested. The instrument used for data collection was the questionnaire and copies of them were collected and analysed using frequency, mean and standard deviation to answer the research questions. Pearson's Product Moment Correlation Coefficient (PPMC) and multiple regression were used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The study found that serials librarians adopted purchase, subscription and patron- driven as methods of serials publications acquisition in Abia state libraries in Nigeria. It was discovered that the tools viable for the visibility of serials publications are: institutional repository, self- archiving, catalogue and periodical stand and postgraduate students’ access periodicals by using subject, title and keywords. The study also revealed that postgraduate students use periodicals by searching, downloading and locating them from multiple sources and retrieve them to meet their information needs. There was a significant relationship between visibility and use of serials publications, there was a significant relationship between accessibility and use of serials publications and a significant relationship among and management of serials publications among Libraries. The study concluded that visibility and accessibility influenced the use of serials publications among Libraries in Abia state libraries in Nigeria. The study’s contribution to knowledge is that acquisition, visibility and accessibility were significant for the use of serials publications in Abia state libraries in Nigeria. The study recommended that: Serials librarians should maintain and sustain the methods of acquisition adopted to enhance usage of serials publications, more attention should be paid in the areas of visibility and accessibility tools; and efforts should be made to augment print and electronic periodicals for use by postgraduate students.

• Background to the Study
The advancement of knowledge in the field of education has influenced and restructured students' tactics in using periodicals in Abia state library. This has put a higher priority on librarians on the successful organisation of increasingly diverse collections to satisfy their users (postgraduate students) as it guarantees active participation in the librarian-user service delivery process. According to Ashikuzzaman (2018), every educational institution requires a library containing various information resources that involve several kinds of serials publications. This is because, a university library is the resource bank of any institution and its goal is to provide effective services for users to enhance their knowledge with up-to-date information which is important for teaching-learning and extra-curricular activities in Abia state.

Periodicals, as defined by Bajracharya (2015), refers to a publication with a distinctive title, which appears at stated or regular intervals, without a prior decision as to when the last issue shall appear. According to Sivadas (2012), periodicals are serials characterised by the regularity of publication and frequency of issues that are generally paid for in advance. Periodicals are the conveyance of current trends in all walks of life. This has made access to their contents more direct, convenient and timely which made postgraduate students cling to them to unravel their greatest source of anxiety and uncertainty. Due to increased activity and as a medium of exchange of scientific information, periodicals have gained great importance in university libraries. They are published scholarly and theoretical research articles that have high impact and are among the most vital sources of information in the library as they carry the latest information in all fields of knowledge. This implies that, collections of serials publications are very important for any academic and research libraries as they are primary sources of information and awareness and are invariably more up-to-date and usually intended for a wider audience. As noted in Kaliammal and Jebakumar's study (2005, as cited in Akporhonor & Azonobi, 2015), among the information resources in university libraries, periodicals collection occupy a predominant role and have an ever-lasting value. Hence, it is not easy to lend out documents from these collections. Therefore, almost all periodical literature must be acquired for the betterment of Abia state community. The importance of serials publications has forced postgraduate students to learn how to access and use a wide variety of resources in the library. Periodicals are vital sources of information and as such are meant to be used, read and studied. This requires that periodicals must be acquired, organised and made visible and accessible in various formats to users especially students.

According to Baburao (2011), the organisation of serials publications demands not only professional knowledge and experience, dedication and adaptability but also a deep insight and acumen to understand the sequence of serials publications and courage to deal with their distinctiveness. Librarians have a professional duty to ensure that periodicals within their collections are maintained in a condition appropriate for their use and their intrinsic value (Shameenda, 2011). This does not mean that all items must be, or should be displayed indefinitely.

Periodicals constitute an important source of information in university libraries in Nigeria. Their usefulness is found in the current information they carry. The information these vital sources carry, educate and entertain the readers and keep them abreast or informed about what happens in the society around them. The creamy or vital

information, which is on a regular basis, makes them one of the most important and crucial sources of information (Abalaka, Yahaya & Okikiri, 2014). Periodicals and serials can be used interchangeably and they consist of print and electronic formats (Njeze, 2012).

At the national or institutional levels, necessary financial resources are not normally available to enable librarians acquire all periodicals to be widely used by students. Librarians must determine policy for the visibility and accessibility of their collections as appropriate to the aims and objectives of their institutions, the needs of users and the value of the individual items (Shameenda, 2011). Therefore, knowledge of the use of serials publications is essential for all librarians who are concerned with the acquisition of serials publications.

Use of serials publications simply means the exploitative/interactive activities performed by a user. Someone who uses something to achieve his/her aim is a user. In the same vein, those who make use of serials publications for scholarly research are periodical users (postgraduate students). Also those who enter the library or surf the library website and find periodicals useful are library users. Barman (2020) defined user “as a person who is actively seeking access to the information available in the library” (p 1). Use of serials publications is not a new ideology in university libraries, but efforts are being made by librarians to acquire periodicals that will translate to qualitative research by users in their various institution. Kanwar Library (2019) avowed that, periodicals acquired should be effectively and ethically obtained at a reasonable and available cost, when needed, to reflect the needs of Abia state curriculum. It is also in this regard that the usefulness of serials publications is very essential for students to communicate with their counterparts at large. Periodicals are used by postgraduate students to conduct research, to pursue individual interests as well as support their claims on concerned issues. The use of resources especially periodicals, according to Magoi (2014), could be a result of information seeking, browsing or discovery of new or existing phenomena. Bamidele, Omeluzor and Amadi (2013) believed that information resources (periodicals) accessed by users, especially postgraduate students, greatly depend on their information needs.

Thus, Zhang (2013) highlighted some of the reasons students select and use periodical sources to include: the quality and characteristics of the content of a source: is the content of a source truthful or correct? Is it easy to understand and is it up-to-date? The characteristics of the source itself; is the source available or easy to access? The trustworthiness of the source; is the source integral in terms of motivation to be truthful? The usability of the source; is the source easy to use? The similarity of the source; is a source similar to the user in terms of interest? The scope of the source; is source information specific or includes many other topics? The user’s emotional reaction to the source; the selection of the source is dependent on the emotional reactions of the user and social norms: whether the use of a source conforms to generally accepted norms.

According to Khan (2014), students cannot conduct research only through books; they consult periodicals for up-to-date knowledge. However, it is convenient for students to consult required periodicals from the library or online because it does not only save their time, but increases the necessity for knowledge sharing. Alade, Iyoro and Amusa (2014) studied library use characteristics of students in Nigeria University of Science and Technology and observed that the respondents never used information resources in the library. In other words, they visited the libraries for other purposes. This may be as a

result of the inaccessibility of library resources. Ntui and Udah (2015) conducted a study on the accessibility and utilisation of library resources and observed that the respondents cannot use quality information resources due to their inability to access them in the library. There are quite a number of factors that could influence postgraduate students’ use of serials publications in the library, some of which are acquisition, visibility and accessibility.

Acquisition, according to Nisha (2011), is the first step in collection development and the major component of acquisition process is acquiring, checking-in, claiming, payment and fund accounting. It involves purchasing, leasing or otherwise obtaining legal and ethical access to information resources. He further noted that, the acquisition of serials publications requires a lot of financial sources. Observably, Sivadas (2012) averred that, "acquisition process comes immediately after the formulation of collection development statements and the adoption of selection procedures". (p. 23) Therefore, acquisition of serials publications demands a more critically informed selection of choices and should be carefully evaluated in terms of their intrinsic values, intellectual level and appropriateness to their users.

Hence, Akinbode and Nwalo (2017) posited that, acquisition entails selection, deselection, and subscription; an organisation which involves processing and display of information resources on racks for users; and maintenance which includes updating, filling the gap, preservation, binding of back issues and repair of damaged information resources. It is also referred to as the process of identifying and verifying the existence of items as needed. Organising such a large number of serials publications requires a definite system that can ensure proper visibility and accessibility to users. This means that in ensuring that the information needs of users are met, there is the need to acquire prominent periodicals undermining the cost involved since acquisition is besiege with some constraints such as budgetary and inadequate space.

Regrettably, Akela (2019) observed that, a significant amount of acquisition budget of a typical university library is spent on subscription to scholarly journals over the years, and the average subscription rate a library pays for such a journal has accrued dramatically. In a study on serials and acquisition problems in Nigerian Abia state libraries by Anunobi, Nwakwuo and Ezejiofor (2010), the acquisition of serials publications is besieged with problems related to cost of serials publications, selection tools, nature of serials publications and subscription decision. Thus, the choice of acquisition of serials publications depends on Abia state policy. In line with Abia state of Bathe (2018), a proportion of the library budget is allocated for the acquisition of serials publications. It involves activities such as the selection of titles, pre-order checking, preparation of final list for order and other activities such as verification of receipt, checking on the materials, claiming and renewal of subscription as well as cancellation of the order.

As averred by Ward (2015), there is an urgent need to establish more holistic and iterative approaches to manage budgetary constraints while ensuring that collections are "responsive" and committed to Abia state's research and curricular requirements and needs which will help in effective collections development. In achieving this, Okpokwasili and Blakes (2014) noted that, librarians should take cognisance of users' active participation in the acquisition process to balance periodicals acquired with Abia state curriculum. To explain this point, it is believed that policies, plans, and strategies are fundamental to progress and collection development of a library, yet, from

budgetary allocation, the problem with acquisition of serials publications lies with the inconsistency in their titles and several methods of acquisition adopted by Abia state library to enhance quality acquisition of serials publications in the library. Most importantly, it is ripe for libraries to adopt a patron-driven acquisition method to make periodicals visible and accessible to postgraduate students for quality research.

Davidson’s study ( 1969, as cited in Dahiru & Temboge, 2011) emphasised on the importance of serials publications collection and stipulated methods on acquisition policy, how to keep periodical records and display them for visibility and accessibility to users. Visibility, as a variable in this research, simply means the degree to which something is seen by a wider audience. Also, it is the manner at which periodicals can draw the attention of users to the library without extra effort. Ma and Romer (2014) defined visibility as the creation of visible traces to periodicals that are either acquired by subscription or donation. As noted by Iram and Hakim (2018), it is a ground-breaking process that allows libraries to bring their resources to the open to enable access and usage. It is a snapshot of the holdings of the periodical section within a geographical spread depending on Abia state library's financial position. The role of librarians appears to be changing steadily in an academic environment as they become more active in quality collaboration and boundary spanner in the face of technological advancement to ensure effective visibility of serials publications to students (Ahmad & Panda, 2016).

According to Bello (2011), “users access information resources through the use of the library catalogue and Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC)” (p. 18). This infers that, access to periodicals could be in the form of search, locate, download, retrieval, and reading periodicals within and outside the library. Therefore, the use of tools such as the Sci-Hub, search engine, catalogue, union catalogues and library Genesis enhances access and helps users to quickly obtain particular periodicals for use. Accessibility and use of serials publications are key factors in the provision of quality services in any type of library. Rao and Reddy (2018) stated that university libraries are always committed to providing access to information resources in supporting research and university curriculum. Nevertheless, studies have revealed that there seems to be a need to improve visibility and accessibility of serials publications in libraries as they have great influence on the use of serials publications because users are unable to find out what has been acquired by their libraries.

Okorie and Akanwa (2018) reported that, despite the emphasis placed on the use of serials publications in university libraries, there is a decline in their usage among postgraduate students. This view correlates with the one by Abubakar and Adetimirin (2017) that postgraduate students' use of serials publications in Nigeria is on the downside. Nutsupkui and Owusu-Ansah (2017) studied how frequent faculty and students used serials in an African university library and observed that both faculty and graduate students were, relatively, aware of the serials (periodical) collection in the library. However, despite this awareness, they used serials, relatively, less frequently. Similarly, Adeleke and Nwalo (2017) in a study, found that students make low use of serials publications in spite of their availability because they (students) are not aware of the various channels through which information can be accessed; they also do not know the sources of this information and therefore cannot locate and retrieve them from their libraries. Chimah, Nwokocha and Ocheruobia (2014) reported that “there is a decline in the usage of serials publications by postgraduate students in university libraries in Nigeria from 65(37.6%) in 2005 to 18(9.3%) in 2012. In 2006, usage dropped to 58(33.7%). However, in 2007, usage increased rapidly to 68(36.8%) but later dropped drastically” (p. 10).

Also, records from some of the serials sections visited, showed a continuous decline in usage from a higher 40(29.5%) in 2015 to a lower 5(6.3%) in 2018. This could be attributed to the poor visibility and inaccessibility of serials publications which might be a result of inadequate tools put in place and the financial status of the library to acquire scholarly publications that will enable usage. This brings to focus, the acquisition, visibility, accessibility, and use of serials publications among postgraduate students in Abia state libraries in Nigeria.

• Statement of the Problem
The use of serials publications among Libraries have become of paramount important for qualitative research and up-to-date knowledge in university libraries. Periodicals are widely recognised information paths to students, academia and researchers. Hence, they are acquired by libraries in satisfying the insatiable needs of their users, especially postgraduate students. In spite of the numerous benefits associated with the use of serials publications, most students restrain themselves from using them due to their inadequate knowledge to navigate the library, use the catalogues (both online public access catalogue) and search the available databases. As a result, periodicals that are the predominant carriers of up-to-date information cannot be utilised with ease and convenience. It is pathetic to note that, despite the huge efforts and resources spent in the acquisition of these periodicals, there are no viable tools put in place for proper visibility and accessibility of these periodicals. The researcher’s preliminary observation and personal experience showed that subject- based periodicals are obscured and inaccessible to students to conduct quality research.

Reviewed literature also showed that university libraries in developing countries are faced with the problem of poor visibility and inaccessibility of intellectual content due to lack of access to subject-based periodicals and numbering problems (Islam, 2015; Christian, 2012; Suja & Zakaria, 2011). This implies that, the use of serials publications among postgraduate students is on the downside. This study, therefore, requires an empirical study to find out the actual factors responsible for the non-usage of serials publications and the extent to which each factor contributes to the problem. Consequently, this study is out to investigate acquisition, visibility, accessibility, and use of serials publications among Libraries in Abia state libraries in Nigeria.

• Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study was to investigate the influence of acquisition, and management of serials publications among Libraries in Abia state libraries in Nigeria. The specific objectives are to:

• ascertain the methods adopted for the acquisition of serials publications in Abia state libraries in Nigeria;

• determine the tools used for the visibility of serials publications in Abia state libraries;

• find out how postgraduate students access periodicals in Abia state libraries;

• investigate the use of serials publications among postgraduate students in Abia state libraries;

• identify the relationship between visibility and use of serials publications in Abia state libraries;

• identify the relationship between accessibility and use of serials publications in Abia state libraries and

• find out the relationship among acquisition, visibility, accessibility, and use of serials publications among the postgraduate students in Abia state libraries.

• Research Questions
The following research questions were answered in this study:

• What methods of acquisition of serials publications are adopted in Abia state libraries in Nigeria?

• What are the tools used for the visibility of serials publications in Abia state libraries?

• How do postgraduate students access periodicals in Abia state libraries?

• How do postgraduate students use periodicals in Abia state libraries?

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