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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: 14 May 2018

Muhammad Rafiq, Kanwal Ameen and Munazza Jabeen

The purpose of this study is to identify barriers that are hindering digitization initiatives in university libraries of Pakistan.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to identify barriers that are hindering digitization initiatives in university libraries of Pakistan.

Design/methodology/approach

The study opted a mixed-methods research design based on quantitative (QUAN) and qualitative (QUAL) strands by using a survey research method. The subjects of the study were central libraries of the universities (both public and private sector) of Pakistan. A self-administered structured questionnaire was used for QUAN data collection in the QUAN strand. In the QUAL phase, in-depth interviews of purposely selected 25 library experts from different parts of the country were conducted.

Findings

Meta-inferences were drawn from the findings of both QUAN and QUAL strands. Both of the research designs provided the requisite data to answer research questions of the study. The finding revealed the barriers which were hindering the digitization activities in university libraries of Pakistan.

Originality/value

The findings of the study are helpful for funding bodies, university libraries and university administration. The findings are also helpful for other developing countries with similar economic and/or social landscapes.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 36 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 July 2019

Nosheen Fatima Warraich, Kanwal Ameen and Amara Malik

This study aims to highlight the issues and concerns specific to information professionals (IPs) in academic libraries of Pakistan. It identifies the problems that academic…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to highlight the issues and concerns specific to information professionals (IPs) in academic libraries of Pakistan. It identifies the problems that academic libraries face in attracting and hiring competent IPs along with the strategies to be used to recruit and retain them in the dynamic environment of academia. Moreover, it provides a list of required skills that employers would look for while hiring IPs in academic settings.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews of 20 library leaders involved in hiring process were conducted from 16 public and private sector universities.

Findings

Findings identified interpersonal skills as the most desired followed by the subject knowledge and IT orientation while hiring IPs for the present and foreseeable future. Good salary package, conducive work environment with opportunities for learning and continuing professional development and speedy promotion were significant perceived factors to attract and retain the talented professionals in university library settings.

Practical implications

The study would be helpful for policymakers and administrators to hire and retain the IPs capable of developing user-centered services in academic libraries.

Originality/value

Practical suggestions made for hiring, retaining and developing IPs in academic libraries would be beneficial for other developing countries with similar context. It addressed an unexplored area in the context of a developing country and reported original research that will assist policy and decision-makers to hire and retain competent human resources.

Details

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, vol. 68 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9342

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 November 2017

Waqar Ahmed and Kanwal Ameen

The purpose of this paper is to define big data and draw its deep understanding. Moreover, trends of big data research in the field of library and information management are…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to define big data and draw its deep understanding. Moreover, trends of big data research in the field of library and information management are explored. With the purpose to explore the research trends, papers indexed in Thomson Reuters’ ISI Web of Knowledge were analyzed.

Design/methodology/approach

It is a literature-based and scientometric paper. A formal definition is constructed through a review of literature. Moreover, scientometric analysis of papers indexed in Thomson Reuters’ ISI Web of Knowledge has been done to explore the research trends associated with big data in the field of library and information science, using Vosviewer software.

Findings

The findings of the study indicate the reshaped definition of big data. The findings further indicate major research trends associated with big data. The analysis indicated “Risk”, “Industry”, “Market”, “Creditworthiness” and “Big Data Analytics”, the most repeated research trends associated with big data.

Practical implications

The paper sums up the learnings required to be a successful data-literate manager. First, the study defines big data. Second, the study describes current research trends associated with big data. Third, on the basis of the explored trends, data managers and library and information management professionals are guided about the learnings they require to be a successful data manager. Where thousands of data-literate managers are predicted to require in future, the present study is a guide to trends associated with big data.

Originality/value

It is a first study of its type which provides a reshaped definition of big data. It portrays its landscape and associated research trends in the field of information and library management (ILM).

Article
Publication date: 14 May 2018

Muhammad Arif, Kanwal Ameen and Muhammad Rafiq

The delivery of information services in higher education is increasingly relying on Web-based systems. The low adoption and underutilization of information systems have been major…

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Abstract

Purpose

The delivery of information services in higher education is increasingly relying on Web-based systems. The low adoption and underutilization of information systems have been major problems for developing countries such as Pakistan in terms of realizing their full benefits. This study aims to investigate factors affecting student use of Allama Iqbal Open University’s (AIOU) Web-based services by using the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) from the perspective of Pakistani distance education.

Design/methodology/approach

This study has adopted quantitative research design with the UTAUT model as a theoretical framework. A self-completion structured questionnaire-based survey has been administered to 388 master’s level students, selected through systematic sampling from the target population. The response rate was 82 per cent (318). All statistical tests have been performed using IBM SPSS (version 20.0) and Process macro for SPSS.

Findings

Findings of the model’s hypotheses reveal that performance expectancy, effort expectancy and social influence are significant predictors of student behavioural intention to use AIOU Web-based services, whereas actual student use is dependent on facilitating conditions and student behavioural intention to use. The impact of moderating variables with respect to age, gender and experience did not influence the actual use of the Web services. However, the research model significantly measured (62.1 per cent) the actual use of AIOU Web-based services by the students.

Research limitations/implications

This study is delimited to the UTAUT model to investigate the phenomena. Besides this, the context of the study is the voluntary instead of mandatory usage of Web services. A study conducted in mandatory settings, in which students are bound to use Web services, may have different results.

Originality/value

This is the first attempt to apply the UTAUT model to investigate the factors affecting student use of Web-based services from the perspective of distance education and the findings prove strong support for the model.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 36 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Muhammad Arif, Kanwal Ameen and Muhammad Rafiq

Universities across the globe are spending an increasing amount of their budgets to offer web-based services to cater information need especially off-campus students. However, the…

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Abstract

Purpose

Universities across the globe are spending an increasing amount of their budgets to offer web-based services to cater information need especially off-campus students. However, the success of web-based services depends on how well the target users are satisfied with the use of the web services. The purpose of this paper is to assess students’ satisfaction with the use of the Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) web-based services.

Design/methodology/approach

Pilot tested questionnaire-based survey was administered to collect data from a sample of 388; selected through systematic sampling technique from the study’s population consisted of master level students belonged to 11 different academic departments of the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities at the AIOU from all over Pakistan.

Findings

Based on 318 useful questionnaires, response rate 82 percent, the results show that majority of the students were satisfied with the use of at the AIOU web-based services except for online mailing books tracking system, library web OPAC and web radio service. However, t-test analysis shows that no difference was found in the opinion of male and female respondents in terms of their satisfaction with the use of the web services. ANOVA results indicate that there was no significant difference depicted in satisfaction with the use of the web services among the respondents enrolled in different disciplines of the faculty. Similarly, no significant difference was found among different age groups. Moreover, the respondents belonging to all five provinces; Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Baluchistan, Gilgit Baltistan, and Federal Capital territory showed the same level of satisfaction with the use of the services. The results of regression analysis (R2=0.226) denote that both perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use significantly predicted, 22.6 percent, in students’ satisfaction with the use the web services.

Practical implications

The study provides valuable recommendations which may be helpful for web administration of the university to improve AIOU web-based services.

Originality/value

To the best knowledge, this is the first study conducted to investigate the satisfaction with the use of the university web-based services in distance education’s perspective of Pakistan.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 41 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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: 24 February 2021

Kanwal Ameen

The purpose was to address the role of libraries in the worst-case scenario, with specific reference of developing countries like Pakistan.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose was to address the role of libraries in the worst-case scenario, with specific reference of developing countries like Pakistan.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on the author's observations, readings, and personal communications with colleagues

Findings

The paper provides a viewpoint on how a developing country like Pakistan has been dealing with the situation and highlights the opportunities provided by this unusual situation. It highlights that various stakeholders have realized the need to bridge the digital divide in order to meet future challenges.

Practical implications

The paper is limited generally to developing countries and specifically to Pakistan. It establishes the dire need for innovative approaches in library services to meet the seen and unforeseen challenges. If suggestions are considered, then the libraries may be in a better position to serve under challenging circumstances.

Originality/value

This is an original work written to address the worst-case scenario of a developing country.

Details

Library Management, vol. 42 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 November 2017

Sajjad Ahmad, Kanwal Ameen and Midrar Ullah

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the university information professionals (UIPs) preferred modes of soft skills learning and differences in their opinions based on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the university information professionals (UIPs) preferred modes of soft skills learning and differences in their opinions based on gender, designations and experience.

Design/methodology/approach

Quantitative research design using a questionnaire was used for data collection. Data were analyzed through SPSSS version 20.0, using descriptive and inferential statistics. The population of the study included all the UIPs working in the central libraries of the general public sector 33 universities in Pakistan, with nearly a population of 560.

Findings

The major findings showed that “mentoring sessions by experts” was the most preferred mode of soft skills learning followed by “learning from colleagues”. It showed that UIPs preferred to learn soft skills from experts and colleagues. Independent-samples t-test results found that “mentoring session by experts” was more preferred by females than males. A one-way ANOVA results found significant differences of opinion regarding the “mentoring session by experts” method between librarians and assistant librarians (p = 0.044). Results were statistically significant also between more experienced and less experienced regarding “real project/assignment-based method” and “mentoring session by experts”. In addition, for “formal online courses” and “self-training through reading books”, results were statistically significant between experienced groups of 1-5 years and 11-15 years. Overall results indicated that from UIPs’ perspective, soft skills should be taught to them using face-to-face methods.

Originality/value

This is the first study in Pakistan that dealt with the preferred modes of soft skills learning of UIPs by using a large group (N = 372) of respondents.

Article
Publication date: 3 August 2020

Waqar Ahmad Awan and Kanwal Ameen

The job market of library and information professionals has expanded from academic to industrial, special and business libraries. The unique nature of the organizations, their…

Abstract

Purpose

The job market of library and information professionals has expanded from academic to industrial, special and business libraries. The unique nature of the organizations, their data and clientele demand a different set of competencies. The purpose of this study is to explore the competencies of information professionals from the perspectives of business employers – a comparatively new job place for the library and information management professionals.

Design/Methodology/Approach

Exploratory sequential mixed methods approach was used to meet objectives of this study in two phases. In the first phase, qualitative data was extracted from panel discussion. Themes were extracted from this qualitative data. In the second phase, a questionnaire was designed which was based on qualitative themes. The instrument contained the nine-point Likert type scale and was filled by the business and industry human resource managers. The quantitatively gathered data were analysed while using descriptive and inferential statistical techniques in the Statistical Package for Social Sciences SPSS version 22.

Findings

The findings of this study indicate that work coordination, knowledge of intellectual property rights, online searching ability, leadership qualities, trustworthiness and background knowledge of the prospective organizations are the basic competencies required by the business employers.

Practical Implications

This study will guide the students on which qualities they are required to obtain to qualify for jobs of information professionals in the current employment sector. Additionally, it will provide guidelines to the continuous education programme designers, prompting them to include in their trainings the vital qualities of candidates required by the current job market.

Originality Value

This is the maiden study that has explored the competencies of library and information management professionals through exploratory sequential mixed methods.

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