Factors impacting the usage of academic journal articles by PhD students in India

Publication Date19 Nov 2018
AuthorStuti Saxena
SubjectLibrary & information science,Library & information services,Lending,Document delivery,Collection building & management,Stock revision,Consortia
Factors impacting the usage of academic
journal articles by PhD students in India
Stuti Saxena
Central University of Haryana, Mahendragarh, India
Purpose This paper aims to underline the factors impacting the usage of academic journal articles by PhD students in Indian universities.
Design/methodology/approach Following a detailed literature review, the paper bases itself on a grounded theory and provides insights drawn
from structured interviews conducted via email with 134 PhD students who were based in public and private universities in India.
Findings The paper underlines that there are ve factors (institutional; task complexity; relevance and application; informa tion quality; and
technical) that are responsible for impacting the usage of academic journal articles by PhD students in their scholarly work. Such factors are linked
with resource constraints faced by universities, lack of motivation on the part of teachers and students, non-availab ility of an electronic library, etc.
Originality/value The present study is a major contribution to the extant literature on the usage of academic journal articl es for pursuing
scholarly activities.
Keywords India, University libraries, Electronic journals, Journals, Universities, Research
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
Access to information on diverse themes pertaining to specic
disciplines is facilitated by enriched libraries (Brandt, 1992;
Hamade and Al-Yousef, 2010). Apart from libraries, Web
resources are also considered as viable media for furthering
information searchand analysis. Academic community may tap
many resources (for instance, search engines, e-print servers,
websites, full-text databases, electronic journals and print
resources) for pursuing their scholarly activities. Furthermore,
electronic journals are preferred by the academic community
on account of their easy accessibility and ready availability in
terms of downloading them directly from the internet. Also,
information search behaviors among PhD students show that
electronic journals and print journals are being preferred for
conducting robust research. However, in some cases, students
do not have either an access to such academic resources or an
exposure to these academicrepositories (Bergart, 2002).
Literature is amply available on information-seeking
behaviors of users (researchers, students and faculty) across
diverse contexts (Cathro et al., 2017;Dukic and Striskovic,
2015;Fidzani, 1998;Leduc and dOpale, 2015;Majid and
Tan, 2002;Masrek and Gaskin, 2016;Nujoud, Shaw and
Courtney, 2016;Perpetua, 2005). It may be noted, however,
that a large proportion of literature on the subject remains
contextualized in the West (Barrett,2005;Borrego et al., 2007;
Boukacem-Zeghmouri and Schopfel, 2008;Cooper, 2001;
Lafferty, 2006;Nicholas and Huntington, 2006;Olle and
Borrego, 2010;Rogani, 2007;Walsh, 2008). It is apparent that
the development of the West is markedly different from other
contexts. Implicitly, factors inuencing the usage of research
journals in the developed countries would be at variance with
the ones relevant for the developing contexts where the
educational infrastructuralconcerns are different from those of
the former contexts. In fact, there are negligible studies that
have been contextualized in the developing countries (Ahmed,
2013;Atakan et al.,2008;Mirza and Mahmood, 2012;Okello-
Obura, 2010). In this respect, the present study seeks to
contribute to the existing literature by addressing the research
RQ1. What are the factors impacting the usage of academic
journals among the doctoralstudents in India?
The present study progresses with a thorough review of the
extant literature on the subject and, thereafter, provides
insights gained from interaction with 134 PhD students
pursuing their doctoral program in Indian universities.
Specically, the ndings show that ve factors impact the usage
of academic journals among PhD students, namely, institutional;
task complexity; relevance and application; information quality;
and technical.
This paper is structured as follows: Section 2 provides an
overview of related literature and identies major research
question guiding the study; Section 3 provides details
regarding the research methodology adopted for addressing
our research objective; Section 4 discusses the ndings of
the study; Section 5 concludes the study and Sections 6 and
7 outline the study limitations, further research pointers and
practitioner implications.
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on
Emerald Insight at: www.emeraldinsight.com/2398-6247.htm
Information Discovery and Delivery
46/4 (2018) 204213
© Emerald Publishing Limited [ISSN 2398-6247]
[DOI 10.1108/IDD-09-2017-0069]
Received 16 September 2017
Revised 16 November 2017
31 January 2018
30 September 2018
Accepted 30 September 2018

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