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Article
Publication date: 21 February 2024

Azra Rafique, Kanwal Ameen and Alia Arshad

This study aims to explore the evidence-based usage patterns of higher education commission (HEC) subscribed e-journal databases in the university digital library used by the…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the evidence-based usage patterns of higher education commission (HEC) subscribed e-journal databases in the university digital library used by the scholarly community and the academics’ online searching behaviour at a higher education institution in Pakistan.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used an explanatory sequential mixed methods approach. Raw transaction log data were collected for quantitative analysis, and the interview technique was used for qualitative data collection and thematic analysis.

Findings

Log analysis revealed that HEC subscribed databases were used significantly, and among those, scholarly databases covering various subjects were more frequently used than subject-specific society-based databases. Furthermore, the users frequently accessed the needed e-journal articles through search engines like Google and Google Scholar, considering them sources of free material instead of the HEC subscribed databases.

Practical implications

It provides practical implications for examining the evidence-based use patterns of e-journal databases. It suggests the need for improving the access management of HEC databases, keeping in view the usage statistics and the demands of the scholars. The study may also help create market venues for the publishers of scholarly databases by offering attractive and economical packages for researchers of various disciplines in developing and underdeveloped countries. The study results also guide the information professionals to arrange orientation and information literacy programs to improve the searching behaviour of their less frequent users and enhance the utilization of these subscribed databases.

Originality/value

The study is part of a PhD project and, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, is the first such work in the context of a developing country like Pakistan.

Details

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9342

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 March 2021

Azra Rafique, Kanwal Ameen and Alia Arshad

The purpose of this study is to examine the evidence-based use patterns of Higher Education Commission (HEC) subscribed e-books databases by the academic community at institutions…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the evidence-based use patterns of Higher Education Commission (HEC) subscribed e-books databases by the academic community at institutions of higher education in Pakistan. The study also investigates the differences in usage based on points of access, scholarly disciplines and gender of users.

Design/methodology/approach

A transaction log analysis (TLA) method was used to explore the use patterns of HEC e-books databases at the University of the Punjab, utilizing the SAWMILL analytical software and MS Excel.

Findings

The results of the study showed that the use of e-books was at a growing stage at the university. Male boarding students of the university were more active users of e-books as compared to their female counterparts. The Central Library of the University of the Punjab, the Department of Zoology and the Institute of Communication Studies were the most frequently used access points for the e-book users, and the Faculties of Sciences, Life Sciences, Economics and Management Sciences had the most active e-book readers. Furthermore, it was found that the HEC e-books databases were only being used during the four months of summer vacations at the university.

Research limitations/implications

The study provides only descriptive use frequencies rather than a deep log analysis of e-books usage.

Practical implications

This research provides important practical implications for examining the evidence-based use patterns of e-books databases' users at the higher educational level. The research suggests that HEC should maintain subscriptions of the most required e-books databases and that the information professionals should conduct orientations and information literacy programs to enhance the utilization of these subscribed databases among female boarder students and those faculties where they were being used less frequently.

Originality/value

The study is the second part of the first phase of a Ph.D. project. This is the first large scale study conducted in a developing country which reports the close to actual, approximate use patterns of e-books based on raw transaction logs of local cache servers at the higher academic level.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 41 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 February 2017

Alia Arshad and Kanwal Ameen

The purpose of this study is to investigate the use patterns of scholarly e-journals by academics for teaching, research and keeping themselves up-to-date. The study also looks at…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate the use patterns of scholarly e-journals by academics for teaching, research and keeping themselves up-to-date. The study also looks at differences in the use patterns across 12 disciplines.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was conducted to explore academics’ use patterns of scholarly e-journals in 12 disciplines. The University of the Punjab was used for the sample population. Self-administered questionnaires were distributed to all regular and contractual academics of Lahore campuses of the University. After follow up, 457 questionnaires were received with a response rate of 54 per cent. Descriptive statistics and non-parametric statistics were used to analyse data.

Findings

The results showed that the academics made more frequent use of e-journals, online reference sources and discussion with colleagues for scholarly activities. E-journals were used predominantly for research-related activities rather than for teaching and instruction. Academics obtained e-journal articles primarily from open access sources, i.e. general search engines and Google Scholar as compared to subscribed and other sources of e-journal articles. Disciplinary differences were also found in academics’ use patterns of e-journals. However, academics showed just satisfactory skills regarding use of advanced searching techniques and evaluation of the quality of e-journals.

Practical implications

Findings will be helpful for information professionals to review their policies and practices in relation to e-journal services for academic community. The needs for e-literacy skills to use e-journals will also be identified and findings will be significant for information professionals in arranging information literacy instruction programmes for targeted disciplines.

Originality/value

Most of e-journals use studies focused on specific disciplines – Sciences, Life Sciences, Engineering and Technology and Social Sciences. This research study is valuable that investigated use patterns of e-journals across 12 different disciplines at the University of the Punjab.

Article
Publication date: 2 September 2019

Azra Rafique, Kanwal Ameen and Alia Arshad

This study aims to explore the evidence-based patterns of e-journal usage, such as the most used and least used databases, at a public-sector university in Pakistan, by analysing…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the evidence-based patterns of e-journal usage, such as the most used and least used databases, at a public-sector university in Pakistan, by analysing scientists’ usage of databases over time.

Design/methodology/approach

Through transaction log analysis, the frequencies of page views, sessions, session duration and size of the used data were calculated through SAWMILL software and entered into MS Excel.

Findings

The results revealed that the broad databases of science and engineering were being used more by users as compared to the narrower e-journal databases. Furthermore, the users were mostly accessing the e-journal databases from the university’s central library and its various academic departments. Early morning hours, working days and start of the academic year were found to be the most active timings of e-journal database utilisation.

Practical implications

The results of the study will help the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan and information professionals in better access management of databases.

Originality/value

This study was conducted to check the feasibility of a PhD project’s first phase and presents the frequencies of HEC e-journal databases’ usage by using transaction log analysis method. The results will be used in preparing interview guide and sample selection for interview. Other Central Asian studies used COUNTER reports provided by publishers for log analysis instead of using raw log data.

Details

The Electronic Library , vol. 37 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 June 2023

Farwa Taqi, Syeda Hina Batool and Alia Arshad

This study aims to explore differences in the usability of the Google Drive application based on demographic characteristics, computer skills and use frequency of Google Drive…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore differences in the usability of the Google Drive application based on demographic characteristics, computer skills and use frequency of Google Drive among public library users of Lahore.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a quantitative approach and survey-based research method to achieve the study's objectives. The cloud usability model (user perspective) has been used as a theoretical lens to guide the study objectives. It comprises five dimensions of usability – capable, personal, reliable, valuable and secure.

Findings

The findings of the study revealed that the usability of Google Drive varied statistically significantly on the basis of depending on the respondents gender, age, academic qualification, computer skills and Google Drive use frequency.

Practical implications

It is a valuable study since it and adds knowledge to existing literature and has implications for practice.

Originality/value

The findings might be helpful for cloud support teams including Google Drive as they can notice the demographic and other differences among users' perceived usability of Google Drive and can enhance certain features of usability which leads attributes to increase its usage among users.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 October 2022

Faiqa Mansoor, Kanwal Ameen and Alia Arshad

The role of academic libraries in dissemination of information and facilitating research of academic community is well-established world over. However, a significant role of…

Abstract

Purpose

The role of academic libraries in dissemination of information and facilitating research of academic community is well-established world over. However, a significant role of libraries in ensuring fair use of information to promote an ethical research culture at the higher education institutes is also flourishing. This study aims to explore the perceived causes of unethical use of literature by university scholars and deterrents to plagiarism in universities of Pakistan.

Design/methodology/approach

The design of the study was qualitative, and interviews were conducted on nine university library heads in Pakistan who were officially administrating anti-plagiarism (Turnitin) software service at their universities and were providing “similarity index certification” of PhD and MPhil research work through the software. They were purposively selected for the interviews because of their direct interaction with the researchers and faculty on matters of information searching as well as its ethical use. The study is based on PhD thesis work of the first author.

Findings

The findings of the study depicted that conceptual unawareness of plagiarism, lack of information skills, socio-cultural factors and weak policies were the prime reasons for unethical research practices among graduate scholars. Participants were positive that a role of university library in combating plagiarism through provision of anti-plagiarism software and guidance could prove more beneficial for both the researchers and libraries.

Originality/value

Multiple studies have been conducted, in and out of south Asian region, to gather the views of the students and faculty on the matters of academic misconduct. However, no study was found presenting the views of the other stakeholders in promotion of academic integrity. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is first of its kind in South Asian context and provided observation-based views of a group of university library heads who are also administrating anti-plagiarism service in their universities on the causes and deterrents to plagiarism.

Details

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, vol. 73 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9342

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 May 2022

Ayesha Mushtaq and Alia Arshad

The study aimed to investigate public library users' most frequent and least frequent activities in the library and demographic differences in the use of public libraries. The…

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Abstract

Purpose

The study aimed to investigate public library users' most frequent and least frequent activities in the library and demographic differences in the use of public libraries. The study also explored library users' perceived importance of library resources, services and the value of the library as a place.

Design/methodology/approach

Quantitative research design and survey research method were used to achieve the objectives of the study. A multistage sampling technique was employed to approach the targeted population. At the first stage, ten functional libraries of Lahore were selected purposively. The targeted population was users of the ten public libraries of the Punjab, Lahore. At the second stage, convenience sampling was used to collect data from public library users. The instrument of the research study was the questionnaire and it was developed with the help of the literature and administrated personally. The questionnaire was distributed to 384 public library users of the Lahore district and 301 questionnaires were returned out of 384.

Findings

The results of the study showed that library users frequently visited the library for reading personal books and examination preparation; however, they never or rarely used e-databases, photocopy and printer services, computer stations, the internet, library catalog and socialization with friends. Significant differences were found among public library users in their public library use on the basis of gender, age, designation and academic qualification. The library collection played a very important role in developing the community's reading habits, supporting academic achievements and self-grooming.

Practical implications

The results of the study suggest that public librarians can expand library reading halls space and provide a comfortable reading environment for the users. Library community programs are helpful in lifelong learning; therefore, the library should organize community programs (i.e. storytelling sessions, workshops and interactive sessions) for their users. Public libraries can strengthen their services by considering demographic differences in public library use.

Originality/value

The study is valuable as it will examine the public libraries' use, demographic differences in use and users' perceived importance of library resources, service and place in Pakistani context. Very few studies investigated gender differences in public library; however, this study's findings will contribute to knowledge by examining various demographic differences in library use.

Details

Library Management, vol. 43 no. 8-9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 October 2018

Alia Arshad and Kanwal Ameen

The purpose of this study is to investigate the academic scientists’ scholarly use of information sources, the disciplinary differences in their use and the barriers encountered…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate the academic scientists’ scholarly use of information sources, the disciplinary differences in their use and the barriers encountered, particularly while using journals.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative research design based on the survey method was used to achieve the objectives of this study. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to all the academic staff of three disciplines – science, life sciences and pharmacy. Together, they constituted 24 departments of the University of the Punjab. This oldest and largest public sector university was selected as a sample.

Findings

The findings showed that e-journals, e-reports and online reference sources were frequently used. The disciplinary differences were found with regard to the use of e-journals and e-books. Users of e-journals lacked skills of advanced searching and were not able to determine the quality of e-journals. Respondents faced certain barriers in usage such as payment of e-journal articles not available through the Library, slow internet speed and lack of information literacy instructions program.

Originality/value

Previous researchers conducted studies that were focused mostly on the academic scientists’ perceptions and the extent of electronic information sources’ use. Researchers in Pakistan mostly examined students and research scholars’ use of electronic information sources and very few studies were conducted to investigate academic scientists’ scholarly information seeking behavior. This study is valuable, as it investigated the scholarly use of information sources by academic scientists and particularly disciplinary differences in their use, digital literacy skills and the barriers encountered while using e-journals.

Details

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, vol. 67 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 April 2024

Amara Malik, Talat Islam, Khalid Mahmood and Alia Arshad

Social media have been playing a critical role in seeking and sharing health related information and consequently shaping individuals’ health behaviors. This study investigates…

Abstract

Purpose

Social media have been playing a critical role in seeking and sharing health related information and consequently shaping individuals’ health behaviors. This study investigates how information seeking about Covid-19 vaccine on social media is related to vaccine receiving intentions. The study furthers explores the association of trust in social media and uncertainty about Covid-19 with information seeking and the moderating role of prior social media experience on this association.

Design/methodology/approach

We developed a questionnaire and collected data from 525 educated social media users through “Google Forms.” Further, we applied ordinary least squares (OLS) regress to test the study hypothesis.

Findings

We noted that trust in social media and uncertainty about Covid-19 vaccine positively influenced information seeking which further positively affected vaccine receiving intentions. However, the moderating effect of prior social media experience was not only noted as weak but also found negatively affecting the associations of trust in social media and uncertainty about Covid-19 vaccine with information seeking.

Research limitations/implications

The findings provide insights into understanding of public perceptions regarding Covid-19 vaccine in the cultural contexts of a developing country. Further, it informs about the public patterns of seeking information related to health issues on social media, an understanding which may likely benefit policymakers, health care providers and researchers to understand the antecedents and behavioral outcomes of seeking information through social media during health crisis. The study also elucidates the leveraging power of social media to motivate the public to accept the Covid-19 vaccines.

Originality/value

The study uniquely combines the antecedents and behavioral outcomes of information seeking through social media in the particular context of Covid-19. It further extends the literature by introducing the conditional role of prior social media experience.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 May 2014

Alia Arshad and Farzana Shafique

The purpose of the study is to determine the most preferred catalogue format – card catalogue or online public access catalogue (OPAC) for searching library material in Oriental…

1601

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to determine the most preferred catalogue format – card catalogue or online public access catalogue (OPAC) for searching library material in Oriental languages, i.e. Urdu, Arabic, Persian, Punjabi, Hindi, Sanskrit, Sindhi and Pashto of the Central Library, University of the Punjab, Lahore. It also explores the users’ searching behaviour for finding the library material in Oriental languages.

Design/methodology/approach

A purposive sample of 100 respondents was chosen for this study. The questionnaire contained both close- and open-ended questions. SPSS (version 11.5) was used for quantitative analysis of data. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used for reaching conclusions. The qualitative data analysis software “X-Sight” was used for analysing the qualitative data.

Findings

The study highlights the importance of both types of catalogue. Many of the findings of the study related to the card catalogue and OPAC are surprising when compared to their general perceptions. It is important to note that the users perceived the card catalogue as more effective for searching the library material in Oriental languages. However, they also face many problems while using both types of catalogues.

Originality/value

It is the first study of its type in Pakistan that explored the users’ perceptions and behaviour of searching Oriental language material from the card catalogue and OPAC. The findings of the study are valuable for library management, not only at the Central Library of Punjab University but also for other libraries. These findings can help in making both card catalogue and OPAC more effective and user-centred. It will also assist them to improve weaknesses of both types of catalogues.

Implications of the study

This study compares the users’ preferences for card catalogue and/or OPAC when searching Oriental language material. There are very few studies available on this subject and most of them are dated.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

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