This study seeks to examine the postgraduate students of two universities (Tarbiat Moallem and Tarbiat Modares) in Tehran to discover how they use online databases and general search engines.
This study was carried out focusing on postgraduate students' use of online databases provided by information providers (IPs). A sample population was selected among some postgraduate students, as patrons of central libraries of two universities in Tehran. The study was performed by means of a questionnaire given to the participants. Initially, on the basis of a sample pre‐test multi‐choice questionnaire, four information providers were selected as information hosts that were well known to the sampled students. Afterwards, the main questionnaire was developed and distributed among participants. Both participating libraries had a separate e‐databases hall for postgraduate students, so, when coming to use the online computers to search the databases, students were asked to fill out the questionnaires according to their experiences on using online resources. The study was implemented during October to December 2006 and the sample population were those postgraduate students who used the central libraries' e‐resources in campus during the period.
The results show that 63.4 per cent of respondents use online databases, followed by search engines (24.3 per cent), and print materials (11.3 per cent). Participants ranked Google as the most favourable search engine. In a comparison to using databases versus search engines, 58.4 per cent of respondents stated that they use online databases for seeking scientific information, while 33.6 per cent use search engines.
The originality of this study lies in the fact that it reveals postgraduate students' evaluation of four online IPs that are well known to most of the students in this study.
Riahinia, N. and Zandian, F. (2008), "Evaluation of information providers and popular search engines on the base of postgraduate students' perspectives", The Electronic Library, Vol. 26 No. 4, pp. 594-604. https://doi.org/10.1108/02640470810893819Download as .RIS
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