Evaluating the impact of digital library database resources on the productivity of academic research

Muhammad Rafi (Nanjing University, Nanjing, China)
Zheng JianMing (Nanjing University, Nanjing, China)
Khurshid Ahmad (Nanjing University, Nanjing, China)

Information Discovery and Delivery

ISSN: 2398-6247

Publication date: 1 March 2019



Digital library database resources have a significant impact on stimulating the research culture in higher education. The use of digital databases makes it possible to understand intellectual growth, research productivity, planning and identification of user information needs. Evaluating the effectiveness of user database resource utilization and research, the purpose of this study is to assist management in developing an excellent academic policy.


This study establishes a quantitative method to analyze the productivity of academic research using digital databases. The secondary data extracted from the databases of 52 universities provided by Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the literature published on the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) Web of Science. The statistical technique simple linear regression was used to analyze the data for understanding the impact of independent variables the “digital databases” on the dependent variable “research productivity”.


The result of the coefficient of multiple determination, R-squared, R2 0.679, indicated 67 per cent impact of the predictor on the outcome variable. However, the standardized coefficient Beta 0.824 revealed 82 per cent impact of the individual predictor on the outcome variable. Overall, the result of linear regression showed a significant effect of independent variables on the dependent variable. Besides, the result of correlation and the strength of association between the database resources and the academic publication was significant (p < 0.005).

Practical implications

This research work is a supportive tool for managing gaps and promoting the development of necessary measures to develop strategies and solutions to create a better academic environment. The ultimate use of standard database resources can foster higher academic research to develop innovative ideas and improve researchers’ cognitive abilities.


From Pakistan’s point of view, this study is the first one that gives insight into the intellectual growth of young researchers in higher education. The study provides first-hand information on the use of database resources and their significant impact on the productivity of academic research.



Rafi, M., JianMing, Z. and Ahmad, K. (2019), "Evaluating the impact of digital library database resources on the productivity of academic research", Information Discovery and Delivery, Vol. 47 No. 1, pp. 42-52. https://doi.org/10.1108/IDD-07-2018-0025

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