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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Thembani Malapela and Karin de Jager

The purpose of this paper is to explore issues around access and use of subscription electronic journals by African researchers and seeks to bring to the fore the issues academics…

3164

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore issues around access and use of subscription electronic journals by African researchers and seeks to bring to the fore the issues academics and researchers face in accessing electronic databases.

Design/methodology/approach

Donor-funded electronic resources have greatly improved access to essential scientific scholarly information by researchers in developing countries. Yet in Sub-Saharan Africa, researchers and libraries still complain about lack of access to scientific information, and libraries are reported to be struggling to maintain up-to-date scientific information resources. An online survey of academics at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zimbabwe was carried out.

Findings

Results indicated that academics rely on approaches other than library facilities to locate electronic information. Google was the most common approach used in locating subscription electronic journals. Furthermore, there was a need for increased awareness of subscription and donated resources. Programmes such as Research4Life, journal schemes by Education Information for Libraries and the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications have made an impact on academics’ access to electronic journals. The study established that there was no direct link between access to electronic journals and increased publications.

Originality/value

Work of this kind has not been done in Africa before. The exploration of the complexities inherent in providing access to electronic journals in a developing country presents an opportunity for both librarians and developmental partners to reflect on the challenges as well as the opportunities that exist in current electronic journal access schemes.

Details

Performance Measurement and Metrics, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-8047

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Karin de Jager, Mary Nassimbeni, William Daniels and Alexander D’Angelo

The purpose of this paper is to explore how an innovation in the University Management Information System was leveraged to incorporate library data by an initially sceptical…

1002

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how an innovation in the University Management Information System was leveraged to incorporate library data by an initially sceptical strategic management team. The rationale was to extract evidence of correlations between library use and student achievement. This kind of information is of particular interest to the institution, which is at present dealing with crises popularly summarised in the slogan “#FeesMustFall” among students who suffer from the effects of poverty and exclusion in higher education. Comment is offered on some of the relationships between student library behaviour before, during and after the nationwide disruptions that destabilised universities and threatened their survival at the end of 2016, just before the final examination period.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were extracted from the data warehouse from the comparative demographic perspectives of students’ degrees of disadvantage in an effort to uncover any hitherto hidden patterns of library use.

Findings

The use of the library as expressed by footfall and loans was mapped against students’ pass rates and their collective GPA, indicating that increased library use correlates positively with better academic performance. Some of the initial correlations between student library behaviour before, during and after the nationwide disruptions that destabilised universities and threatened their survival at the end of 2016 just before the final examination period are explored. The effects that library closures (under threat of damage) at a critical time in the academic year might have had on library use and on student performance are interrogated.

Practical implications

Students on financial aid, which was used as an indicator of disadvantage, come from schools and environments where access to information technology and libraries is very limited, so that library habits are either poorly established or not at all. At the University of Cape Town (UCT), considerable support is in place for students to encourage the development of library habits. An analysis of available data indicates that students who have acquired library habits regardless of unfavourable financial circumstances do not exhibit behaviour and academic outcomes markedly different from that of their more privileged peers.

Originality/value

Combining library data with data from the university data warehouse is a new approach in South Africa. It is an approach that is of value both to the library and the institution at large and has brought meaningful insights into the role the academic library might be seen to play in promoting student academic achievement.

Details

Performance Measurement and Metrics, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-8047

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2002

Karin de Jager

One of the most important products of the academic endeavour is students’ success in their courses of study. However, despite various attempts over the years, it has seldom been…

1812

Abstract

One of the most important products of the academic endeavour is students’ success in their courses of study. However, despite various attempts over the years, it has seldom been possible to demonstrate conclusively that undergraduate library use significantly contributes to student success. Four studies which document improvement in academic performance as outcome measures of library services are discussed. Research conducted at the University of Cape Town is reported, from which it emerges that students of the humanities who do well in their exams, tend to borrow more books from the library than poor students.

Details

Performance Measurement and Metrics, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-8047

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2000

Mary Nassimbeni and Karin de Jager

Contributes to the Global Information Virtual Conference by examining training needs in the higher education sector which will be engendered by the information revolution in the…

661

Abstract

Contributes to the Global Information Virtual Conference by examining training needs in the higher education sector which will be engendered by the information revolution in the developing world. Focuses on the situation in South Africa, and considers a number of social processes that are driving developments in higher education.

Details

Library Management, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 July 2010

William Daniels, Colin Darch and Karin de Jager

The purpose of this paper is to explore the use made of the Research Commons during its first year of operation in an attempt to establish whether it actually provides a genuinely…

4115

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the use made of the Research Commons during its first year of operation in an attempt to establish whether it actually provides a genuinely new and different service from the point of view of the end‐users, and whether a facility such as this could indeed be presumed to support research and enhance research output at the university.

Design/methodology/approach

Using Lippincott's assessment grid, an attempt was made to assess activities in the Research Commons according to the dimensions of extensiveness, efficiency, effectiveness, service quality and usefulness. Methodology was mixed, with quantitative and qualitative components that logged the extent and nature of the use of the various facilities in the Research Commons and sought to establish from stakeholder perceptions whether the services on offer are regarded as substantially different from those in the undergraduate Knowledge Commons and whether they are indeed seen to be supporting research activities.

Findings

It was found that a combination of numerical and qualitative measurements has yielded sufficient evidence for the drawing of preliminary conclusions. The evidence gathered demonstrates that the Research Commons, designed primarily as a site for the creation of new knowledge in the form of original writing by researchers at postgraduate and academic level, is indeed an advance on the well‐established “library commons” concept, and that its creation represents an instance of “parallel invention” – the “new creature” that the title refers to.

Originality/value

This paper provides a multifaceted perspective on the activities taking place in a new library facility and should provide librarians and researchers with evidence‐based insight into how meaningful research support may be provided to young researchers from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds as part of an academic library service in a middle income country.

Details

Performance Measurement and Metrics, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-8047

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 June 2002

Karin de Jager

236

Abstract

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 58 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 December 2003

242

Abstract

Details

Performance Measurement and Metrics, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-8047

Article
Publication date: 9 November 2015

Karin de Jager

The purpose of this paper is to explore from a number of points of view the perceptions of mainly undergraduate students at the University of Cape Town (UCT) about the value they…

1111

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore from a number of points of view the perceptions of mainly undergraduate students at the University of Cape Town (UCT) about the value they derive from visiting the physical library.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from different investigations were assembled to derive a composite view of undergraduates’ perceptions of the value of the library. LibQUAL+® data reflecting the “Library as Place” dimension of the survey which was completed in 2014 were scrutinized; data from two surveys conducted in the information commons and the 24/7 venue of the main library at UCT were compiled and data from gate counts during the past three years showed different aspects of undergraduates’ opinions and behaviour.

Findings

The combination of data from difference sources provided convincing evidence that undergraduate students value the library as a physical space and that they believe their working in the library enables them to get better marks for their university work.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper lies in the combination of different data sets to focus on one particular issue, the value of the physical library.

Details

Performance Measurement and Metrics, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-8047

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2004

Karin de Jager

States that in 2001 the University of Cape Town (UCT) Libraries opened a new and integrated learning centre based on the “information commons” concept fairly common in the USA…

Abstract

States that in 2001 the University of Cape Town (UCT) Libraries opened a new and integrated learning centre based on the “information commons” concept fairly common in the USA today and first encountered at the Leavey Library of the University of Southern California. Discusses the results of a series of interviews with student assistants working in the Knowledge Commons, in an attempt to provide an evaluation of the impact of this resource on teaching and learning at UCT. Concludes that the study has confirmed the importance of most of the unique features of the information commons as discussed in the literature.

Details

VINE, vol. 34 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-5728

Keywords

Content available

Abstract

Details

Library Review, vol. 53 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Keywords

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