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Impact of internet search engines on OPAC users: a study of Punjabi University, Patiala (India)

Shiv Kumar (Department of Library and Information Science, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India)

Program: electronic library and information systems

ISSN: 0033-0337

Article publication date: 10 February 2012



The aim of this paper is to study the impact of internet search engine usage with special reference to OPAC searches in the Punjabi University Library, Patiala, Punjab (India).


The primary data were collected from 352 users comprising faculty, research scholars and postgraduate students of the university. A questionnaire was designed as the data collection tool to obtain information on the impact of the web on OPAC. The data thus collected were analysed with the help of the SPSS (version 14.0) statistical package to present the findings in percentage and ranking formats.


The study revealed that the information‐searching behaviour of academicians was changing significantly in the web environment. A large number of users explored the web to garner relevant information for academic purposes. The majority were influenced by search engines because they also used OPAC, like the search engines. It is also clear from the study that internet search engines not only affected OPAC users in developed countries, but also impacted upon the less developed countries like India. Thus, it is more a battle of survival and sustainability for the OPAC vis‐à‐vis its close contemporary the web‐search engine.


This is a pioneering work in India studying the impact of web searching on OPAC users. Keeping in perspective the approach of twenty‐first century users, the present research suggests recommendations for designing a user friendly OPAC that entails simplistic search strategies for university libraries of India and other developing countries.



Kumar, S. (2012), "Impact of internet search engines on OPAC users: a study of Punjabi University, Patiala (India)", Program: electronic library and information systems, Vol. 46 No. 1, pp. 56-70.



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