Emerging patterns and trends in utilizing electronic resources in a higher education environment

Hepu Deng (School of Business IT, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Publication date: 30 March 2010

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present an investigation of the extent to which electronic resources are utilized in higher education in Australia. It seeks to explore the pattern and trend of accessing and using electronic resources in a university library for helping university libraries manage their resources better. This leads to the identification of the underlying motivation for such emerging patterns and trends in the use of electronic resources in the university library. It also aims to identify the critical factors for the effective and efficient use of electronic resources.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was conducted to investigate the use of electronic resources in a university library and for identifying the emerging pattern and trend in accessing and using electronic resources. A comprehensive review of the relevant literature was carried out on the utilization of electronic resources, which led to the development of an online survey instrument with respect to the user profile, the frequency of use, the purpose of use, the reasons for use, and the critical factors for the effective and efficient use of electronic resources in a university library.

Findings

The study reveals that the usage of electronic resources is common in a university environment with the rapid advance of information and communication technologies. It shows that the use of electronic resources is very much dependent on the user and the purposes of using electronic resources. The awareness and the quality of the available electronic resources are the two important factors for the effective and efficient use of electronic resources. The findings shed light on the use of electronic resources and help university libraries to understand better the perception and experience of users in using electronic resources, leading to more effective and efficient use of electronic resources.

Research limitations/implications

The online survey was conducted in one university with a student population of about 57,000. It is a purposeful survey in which 305 valid responses to the survey were obtained. The survey was distributed through the university weekly news bulletin. As a result, the response rate to this survey is hard to determine owing to the insufficient information on the size of the real population in the survey. This is due to the fact that not everyone in a university will pay attention to every news item in the weekly bulletin.

Originality/value

The paper provides, for the first time, empirical data for understanding the perception and experience of users on the use of electronic resources in a university environment. It identifies the critical factors for the effective and efficient use of electronic resources. Such findings are of practical significance for the continuous development of electronic resources in a higher education environment.

Keywords

Citation

Deng, H. (2010), "Emerging patterns and trends in utilizing electronic resources in a higher education environment", New Library World, Vol. 111 No. 3/4, pp. 87-103. https://doi.org/10.1108/03074801011027600

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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