This study aims to analyse the basic status of application of social networking sites (SNSs) in Chinese university libraries and explore the relationship between microblog and the output of scientific research achievements in universities. This study suggests methods for improving the efficiency of SNS use in university libraries and promotes scientific research achievements and social services in universities.
Online survey and statistical analysis were conducted to collect the number and types of SNSs used by 112 libraries in Chinese universities under the “211 project”. This study used microblog as an example and analysed the distribution of SNS use in different types of university libraries. Correlation analysis and multiple regression analysis were used to analyse the factors related to microblogs, such as number of followings, followers, posts and published articles.
SNSs changed the information utilization behaviour of users. Survey results show that an increasing number of university libraries are using SNSs. These sites are mainly microblogs and WeChat. The proportion of the number of SNSs applied by comprehensive universities and science and technology universities was higher than that of other types of universities. Results of multiple regression analysis using microblogs showed that the number of followers has a significantly positive effect on the number of published articles of the university.
This study has three main limitations. First, data collection is incomplete, which easily causes the error of analysis results. Second, the overall status of SNS use in libraries is lacking in accurate understanding, which indicates limitations in terms of the analysis and conclusion. Finally, the research scope was narrow and only studied the situation of libraries using microblogs. Future research should focus on the data collection and sorting, make comparative studies of different periods of data, conduct cultural studies on the user usage perspective and conduct research on the application of different social network platforms in libraries.
The use of SNSs has brought new challenges and opportunities to university libraries because of rapid development of the internet and the scale of expansion microblogs. Moreover, microblogs have become an important platform of university libraries for self-promotion and marketing. This study proposes methods and measures for promoting the SNS popularity of university libraries, enhancing their content and increasing the role of SNSs in their interaction.
Statistical analysis was conducted to analyse the status of SNS use in university libraries and the data of SNS use in different types of universities. Effective measures were offered to address the issues found in the study. The results confirmed that the number of followers has a significantly positive effect on the number of published articles of the university, which could improve the enthusiasm of university libraries in using SNS, enhance the efficiency of information service and strengthen the use awareness of the teachers and students.
Liu, L., Zhang, L. and Ye, P. (2018), "Research on the application of SNS in university libraries: A case study of microblogs in Chinese “211 project” universities", The Electronic Library, Vol. 36 No. 2, pp. 369-386. https://doi.org/10.1108/EL-05-2016-0120Download as .RIS
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