Shortcomings in Library and Information Sciences (LIS) PhD Projects: Analyses of Examined Theses and Supervised for the Period 2008-2016 at Select Universities in Eastern, Western and Southern Africa

Authors

  • Stephen Mudogo Mutula School of Social Sciences University of KwaZulu Natal, Pietermaritzburg Campus
  • Rebecca Mgunda Majinge School of Social Sciences University of KwaZulu Natal, Pietermaritzburg Campus

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.25159/0027-2639/1886

Keywords:

doctoral studies, library science research, PhD thesis, postgraduate supervision, scholarly publishing

Abstract

This article presents the experiential perspectives of the authors on the shortcomings in LIS PhD theses submitted for examination or supervised in 15 purposively selected universities in Kenya, Uganda, Botswana, Ghana, and South Africa. In all, 36 theses were examined and/ or supervised for the period 2008–2016. The shortcomings discussed here were isolated in the conception of the research topic, introduction (background to the study), review of literature, selection and use of theory, presentation and discussion of the results, as well as in the technical presentation of the theses. The authors conclude that the shortcomings identified in the LIS PhD projects may be attributed to a number of factors including, but not limited to inadequate preparedness on the parts of supervisors and the candidates, and limited support given to PhD candidates. The authors recommend rethinking the mode of offering the LIS PhD programmes from being exclusively research-oriented to a hybrid model of course work and research. The issues raised in this article have implications for PhD supervision capacity building, postgraduate support and mentorship.

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Author Biographies

Stephen Mudogo Mutula, School of Social Sciences University of KwaZulu Natal, Pietermaritzburg Campus

Prof Mutula is the Dean and Head School of Social Sciences at the University of KwaZulu Natal. He Researches in the areas of ICT4D, information poverty/digital divide, e-government, information ethics, information society, social media and knowledge management. He is C2 rated researcher by National Research Foundation (NRF). Prof Mutula won several International Scholarly excellence awards for his contribution to scholarship

Rebecca Mgunda Majinge, School of Social Sciences University of KwaZulu Natal, Pietermaritzburg Campus

Rebecca M. Majinge is a librarian at the Institute of Finance Management, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She has worked in library for 30 years. She holds a PhD from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg Campus, South Africa. Meanwhile she is doing Postdoctoral at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg Campus. Her research interest is library services provision for people living with disabilities. 

 

Published

2017-11-06

How to Cite

Mutula, S. M. and Majinge, R. M. (2017) “Shortcomings in Library and Information Sciences (LIS) PhD Projects: Analyses of Examined Theses and Supervised for the Period 2008-2016 at Select Universities in Eastern, Western and Southern Africa”, Mousaion: South African Journal of Information Studies, 35(1), pp. 114-129. doi: 10.25159/0027-2639/1886.

Issue

Section

Articles
Received 2016-11-08
Accepted 2017-07-11
Published 2017-11-06