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Web‐based online public access catalogues of IIT libraries in India: an evaluative study

Margam Madhusudhan (Department of Library and Information Science, University of Delhi, Delhi, India)
Shalini Aggarwal (Department of Library and Information Science, University of Delhi, Delhi, India)

Program: electronic library and information systems

ISSN: 0033-0337

Article publication date: 27 September 2011




The purpose of the paper is to examine the various features and components of web‐based online public access catalogues (OPACs) of IIT libraries in India with the help of a specially designed evaluation checklist.


The various features of the web‐based OPACs in six IIT libraries (IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay, IIT Madras, IIT Kanpur, IIT Guwahati, and IIT Roorkee) are evaluated. The evaluation approach taken was similar to that of Luong and Liew with minor modifications, comprising 122 dichotomous questions with 174 features and categorized as 11 broad categories.


The study explored different features of web‐based OPACs, of which page layout received the highest average scores with 93.33 percent, followed by the general features category with 90 percent. In contrast, session filters was the weakest category with only 40.47 percent. The results indicated that some web‐based OPACs reached the maximum scores for some categories. The results also indicated that VTLS‐based and LibSys‐based OPACs had the higher score on average (74.7 percent) and the iitKlas‐based OPAC of IITK received the lowest score of 44.2 percent. None were rated excellent. Only 50 percent of the web‐based OPACs studied achieved an above average ranking, of which Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IITM) had the highest total score (131), and the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IITK) had the lowest total score (77). Almost all of the web OPACs studied lacked federated search, adjunct thesaurus help and spell check facilities, which seems to raise many questions regarding the facilities provided in the OPAC 2.0 environment of today and hence needs to be addressed as a priority in the subsequent generations of the web‐based OPACs and their development.

Practical implications

It is hoped that the libraries at the IITs will attend to the lacunae and soon develop fully functional web‐based OPACs with Web 2.0 and 3.0 technologies.


The findings of the study will not only guide study librarians and other newly established institutions but also ILMS vendors, so that they can overcome the limitations faced by users and improve their products as OPAC 2.0. This will also help the in‐house web‐based OPACs of IIT Kanpur and IIT Roorkee to compete with other reputed ILMS‐based OPACs.



Madhusudhan, M. and Aggarwal, S. (2011), "Web‐based online public access catalogues of IIT libraries in India: an evaluative study", Program: electronic library and information systems, Vol. 45 No. 4, pp. 415-438.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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