🔔TETFund Investing in Thesis Digitalisation to end plagiarism in Universities

Begins Digitalization Of Libraries to also Checkmate Plagiarism

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund)  has begun a process to digitize theses and projects in the nation’s higher education institutions to ensure seamless access to research outputs and end the ‘evil’ of plagiarism. 

Executive Secretary of TETFund, Professor Suleiman Bogoro,  made this known at a workshop on thesis digitization project for beneficiary institutions on Wednesday in Abuja. 

He said : “We want to dematerialise and electronic theses and projects by starting with thesis at PhD and master’s levels across our beneficiary institutions and we hope we extend it to the private institutions.

” The idea is simple, the world has gone digital. We cannot continue to operate analogue. We know that a number of materials from theses at postgraduate level and even undergraduate have literally disappeared. 

” Where there are fire incidents, physical papers are burnt and the theses gone. But if we are able to dematerialise them and they are stored in different forms in different repositories, it will be easier to access and the  protection of the materials is guaranteed….. 

“It will also assist us in checking plagiarism. That is a major benefit for digitalisation. We want  to avoid and discourage, and indeed stop plagiarism by researchers at any level.”

While saying the decision of TETFund to  fund digitalization of thesis would also shore up ranking of universities and other tertiary institutions in the country, Bogoro expressed serious concern on the issue of plagiarism in higher institutions . 

“If you want to reproduce the outcome of a particular work and you want to claim it. You know that it is unacceptable and a criminal act, even though you are a professor, you can lose your title as a professor, if it is confirmed you plagiarized,” the TETFund boss posited. 

Speaking further, Bogoro said the workshop was to bring together  Librarians, Directors of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Desk Officers to address key issues on collective academic research output by bringing ICT and digitization to bear. 

“With the unprecedented backing of our President, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR and commitment of our Honourable Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu’s, as well as synergy with partners, such as the National Universities Commission (NUC), National Council for Colleges of Education (NCCE) and National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), the paradigm shift agenda of the Fund has resulted in the elevation of R&D and innovation to the top of the national discourse, but this discourse must be followed with concrete action. 

“Today, we have commenced the first of several physical sensitization events on the digitization of thesis for beneficiary institutions with a view towards seeding our very own National Research Repository, containing academic scholarly works produced by our own students, staff, and eventually the entire academic community at large,” the TETFund boss said. 

Bogoro, who  expressed delight at the prospects of the project, said “digitizing our academic research output will lead to increased access and innovation, consequently accelerating the journey between research and commercial application; and this effort is critical to secure the contributions of our fledgling research base to productivity, growth, and social benefits.”

In a presentation, the Director of Education Support Service of TETFund, Mustapha Gotala, said the digitisation project would reposition Nigerian tertiary education institutions for better performance. 

Represented by his deputy, Kolapo Popoola, Gotala said the funding for thesis digitisation would be sourced from TETFund’s intervention in library development for each of the beneficiary institutions as contained in their allocation letters.

In a similar developments , the
Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund(TETFund) Prof Suleiman Bogoro has revealed that the proposed digitalization of libraries in the nation’s tertiary institutions will help checkmate plagiarism in the sector.
Bogoro who was speaking while answering questions from newsmen during a One-day Workshop on Proposed Digitisation of Libraries in the Nation’s Tertiary Institutions, stated that digitalization of the libraries will not only discourage but stop plagiarism by researchers at any level.

TETFund boss lamented that important materials and thesis have been lost due to incidences of fire outbreak adding that with the dematerialization of these materials, such lost will be prevented.
“We want to dematerialize and electronise thesis and projects, starting with the thesis at PHDs and Masters levels across our beneficiary institutions. We hope to extend it to private institutions.
“The world has gone digital. We cannot continue to operate analogue we know that a number of materials from thesis post-graduate and even undergraduates have literary disappeared where there are fire incidences; once the physical papers are burnt, the thesis are gone but if we are able to dematerialize them, and they are stored in various forms at different repository and centers, it is easier to access and protection of the material is guaranteed.
“The other important aspect of the decision to fund the digitalization of thesis is we need people to be able to access outcome and inputs of research and that is possible if you can just press the soft bottom and you access them within seconds or minutes,” he said.
Bogoro noted that the digitalization will no doubt increase the global presence of Nigerians tertiary institutions and at the same time improve their global ranking.
“The digitalization is one of those things that assist the rating of universities. They are looking at how many of your paper work are electronic. Accessing research outcome, establishing repository that is easy to access is important. They want to see your presence or visibility of your operations either as a faculty member or university, polytechnic or college of education. That visibility can only come if you had documented them and people are able to access them,” he said.