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Title: Availability and Use of Online Information Resources by University Research Students
Keywords: Social sciences
Sociology & anthropology
Issue Date: 2016
Abstract: With the emergence of internet, online information resources are also emerged and these resources are getting popularity among internet users particular academicians, researchers and students. These online information resources also create positive impacts on research culture in Pakistan. HEC provided different types of online information resources having peer-reviewed quality journals databases and electronic books from international renowned publishers. Consequently the research culture in Pakistan enhanced. A good ratio of enrolment in higher degree research programs can be observes in different university of Pakistan. These research students are the future of Pakistan and it is very necessary to explore their information needs and requirements. This study aims to investigate the availability and use of online information resources by university research students of public and private sector universities of Pakistan, studying in different disciplines. To meet this aim, study analyzed the types of online information resources; explore the availability and importance level of OIRs, access patterns, access strategies, usability of different type of OIRs, frequency, advantages and barriers to access and use of online information resources. Keeping in view the objectives of the study, quantitative research method was adopted and questionnaire were designed to collect the data from the respondents. The subject of the study was the MS / M.Phil and PhD research students of 30 public and private sector universities / degree awarding institutes of Lahore – Pakistan, recognized by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. Overall sample size of the population was 570 research students, studying in different discipline in public and private sector universities of Lahore. In this survey 12 public (40%) and 18 private (60%) universities were participated. In 570 research students, 275 (59.3%) belongs to public sector universities and 188 (40.6%) enrolled in private sector universities. In overall sample size, 242 (52.26%) was male and 221 (47.73%) was the female research students, which is balanced response with respect of gender ratio. The data was numerical and presented nominal, ordinal, interval and ration scale of measurement. The finding of the study revealed that research students have access different types of online information resources includes HEC ebrary and journals / magazines databases but this access is vary to research students of public and private sector universities. Research students of public sector universities enjoying more information resources than the students of private sector universities. Other than HEC resources, electronic books, journals / magazines articles, are also used by research students with good frequency. Research students particular MS and M.Phil students also consult social networking sites like blogs, wikis etc to fulfill their information and knowledge needs. This study also explored that overall research students are not satisfied with the current availability status of online information resources. They required more resources with better access option for the course and research work. Institute and library is the venue where research students use OIRs, regularly, limited universities are offering VPN access to their research students which results underutilization of HEC resources by research students. Among overall usage ranking, social networking sites sued most by research students. MS / M.Phil students preferred to access OIRs with objectives for reading abstracts but PhD students access OIRs with objectives to access full text of article whose were retrieved from a database. General purpose search engines like yahoo and Google is the most common access patterns among research students of humanities, social sciences and science and technology. Data also revealed that personal contacts, e.g. supervisors, teachers, mentors, friends and colleagues, specific databases and specific institutional websites are the most common access patters of research students of different discipline. Fast access, access to wise range of information, updated information and multiple choices of formats are the major advantages of access and use of online information resources. Power failure (load shedding), slow internet connection, non-connectivity and lack of computer facility in institute and library are the major hurdles to access and use of online informant resources. In the light of these conclusions concrete recommendations were made.
Appears in Collections:PhD Thesis of All Public / Private Sector Universities / DAIs.

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