E‐information usage among engineering academics in India with special reference to Rajasthan State

Pages496-511
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/07378831111174440
Publication Date06 Sep 2011
AuthorSunil Bhatt,Madan Singh Rana
SubjectInformation & knowledge management,Library & information science
E-information usage among
engineering academics in India
with special reference to
Rajasthan State
Sunil Bhatt
Banasthali University, Rajasthan, India, and
Madan Singh Rana
Central Library, Assam University, Silchar, India
Abstract
Purpose – The main objective of this paper is to analyse and evaluate the use of e-resources by the
engineering academics of Rajasthan state. It aims to consider the various factors of e-resources usage
such as purposes, impact, importance, problems, acceptance, and satisfaction with e-resources.
Design/methodology/approach A survey method of research was applied to ascertain the
present status of use of e-resources. The survey was conducted with the help of a structured
questionnaire followed by interview as and where it was felt necessary. Two formats of questionnaire
were prepared; first, a printed format and second, an electronic format using Google Docs spreadsheet.
The data so collected were analysed and interpreted with the help of MS Excel.
Findings The study finds many aspects of e-resources use among engineering academics of
Rajasthan. It reveals that academic staff were using many types of e-resources. They were also using
the latest sources of information like e-groups, virtual conferences. Using the e-resources, their
academic/professional competency also improved. The teaching methodology also involved the
e-resources uses and the students’ ability was also affected in a positive manner by this methodology.
Some problems were also explored in using e-resources. The majority of users were quite satisfied with
using e-resources.
Originality/value – The study was an attempt to evaluate the use of e-resources by academic staff
of engineering colleges of Rajasthan. Results from the study are encouraging and it is hoped that the
findings will provide meaning and a useful platform for further research as well as usability among
engineering academics will also be improved.
Keywords E-information,E-resources, Engineering academics, India, Academicstaff,
Academic libraries,User studies
Paper type Research paper
Introduction
The term “library” is defined by Encyclopedia Britannica Online as “traditionally,
collection of books used for reading or study, or the building or room in whic h such a
collection is kept”. It adds that “rapid developments in computers, telecommunications
and other technologies have made it possible to store and retrieve information in many
different forms and from any place with a computer and a network connection. The
term digital library and virtual library have begun to be used to refer to the vast
collections of information to which people gain access over the internet, satellite
television or some other type remote electronic connection”.
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
www.emeraldinsight.com/0737-8831.htm
LHT
29,3
496
Received January 2011
Revised March 2011
Accepted May 2011
Library Hi Tech
Vol. 29 No. 3, 2011
pp. 496-511
qEmerald Group Publishing Limited
0737-8831
DOI 10.1108/07378831111174440
Encroachments in technology have changed the way how information is presented
and disseminated. The collection of library is not limited to just print collections that
require the user to visit the library. Collections have gone through many changes from
traditional print formats to the current digital formats. These include microfilms in the
1930s, audio-visual materials in the 1940s-1950s and CD-ROMs in the 1980s. In the
1990s, online electronic resources such as e-journals, e-books, the worldwide web and
the full text databases have emerged as important sources of information. These online
formats allow users who have access to internet connections to search and retrieve
information from anywhere and anytime (Nisonger, 2003). As such, it is now possible
for users to have cheap and effective access to information which was previously not
known or accessible (Pantry, 1997).
The new electronic formats have brought about many changes in the field of library
and information science. First, abstracting and indexing services, such as ERIC and
Chemical Abstracts, which provided access to the print literature, were made available
as online database (Borgman, 1981). Second, the CD-ROM revolution of the 1980s and
early 1990s together with graphical user interfaces, brought about many of the
promises of early technologies to their full implementation, has provided the
environment for extensive end-user searching. Information is now available widely
and cheaply and some of the information is even free (Vidmar and Anderson, 2002).
With the advent of internet, the mode of communication has also been transformed.
This technology caused a significance change to traditional library structures in the
way information is accessed.
Traditionally, library collections were books, manuscripts, journals and other forms
of recorded information. It also included audio-visual items such as audiotapes,
videotapes, CD-ROMs and other forms of media. However, the explosive escalation of
information technology during 1990s has a great impact on the libraries. This was
because of the developments in the way of information can be stored and accessed
through technology. As most of the today’s libraries, especially academic libraries,
offer the facilities to access information resources electronically, user may increasingly
become remote users of libraries. As such, the use of library resources will no longer
require the user to physically visit the library but this does not mean the use of library
material decreased.
Libraries have always been valued for and measured by their collections. However,
library budgets and space constraints have led many libraries to make choice of the
formats for information resources they collect. The electronic publishing of books is
increasing, e-journals are emerging and databases are costly yet provide lots of
information for higher education especially in the field of science and technology.
Electronic information is gaining more and more importance in the academic activities,
especially in the field of engineering and technology with the drastic change in the
pattern of dissemination of knowledge. Therefore, a teacher in the engineering college
plays a vital role in providing up to date information with the latest technologies, he
has to be good user of such information.
The academic scenario, over the years, has undergone a fabulous change assuming
new dimensions influenced by the technology driven applications. Engineering
education is no exception to this. Information technology has influenced the very
nature of engineering institute libraries. They are undergoing significant chan ges
today not only in outlook but also in function, services, methods and techniques for
E-information
usage in India
497

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