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Article
Publication date: 27 May 2014

Ming-der Wu and Shih-chuan Chen

The purpose of this study is to examine how graduate students perceive and use Google Scholar. Google Scholar has provided a convenient alternative for finding scholarly…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine how graduate students perceive and use Google Scholar. Google Scholar has provided a convenient alternative for finding scholarly documents since its inception in 2004 and has become a favoured tool for numerous academics. Knowledge of patrons’ usage patterns and attitudes towards Google Scholar will assist librarians in designing appropriate instruction programmes to improve students’ research abilities.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, 32 graduate students from the National Taiwan University were interviewed whose fields of study are the humanities (10), social sciences (11) and science and technology (11).

Findings

Students prefer the usability of Google Scholar over library databases. However, they appreciate the quality of documents retrieved from library databases and regard these databases as crucial tools for finding scholarly documents. Science and technology students favoured Google Scholar more than those who study the humanities and social sciences.

Research limitations/implications

This study only examines the perceptions and behaviour of graduate students. Future studies should include undergraduate students to investigate their use of Google Scholar, thereby obtaining a comprehensive understanding of various patrons of university libraries.

Practical implications

This study shows that graduate students appreciate and use Google Scholar to find scholarly documents, although some students experience difficulties. The findings of this study may assist university libraries in improving their instruction programmes.

Originality/value

The majority of previous studies have focused on coverage, quality and retrieval performance of Google Scholar. However, this study evaluates Google Scholar from a user’s perspective.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 November 2008

Ming‐der Wu and Shih‐chuan Chen

Studies have shown that schoolteachers are familiar with instructional materials on the web and integrate them into classroom teaching. In Taiwan, there are a number of…

Abstract

Purpose

Studies have shown that schoolteachers are familiar with instructional materials on the web and integrate them into classroom teaching. In Taiwan, there are a number of online instructional materials, with the Learning Fueling Station being a leading web site. Using this popular site as an example, this study seeks to investigate how schoolteachers navigate online instructional materials and for what types of instructional materials they are looking.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 30 elementary schoolteachers were interviewed in their offices using computers to connect to the Learning Fueling Station web site, and web pages were visited as needed during the interview. Participants were asked to search for any topic in which they were interested, and the interviewer observed and recorded their search behavior.

Findings

All schoolteachers reported that they use the internet prior to designing their instructional activities. The two main reasons they gave for using the internet were to refer to other teachers' materials and to obtain up‐to‐date information on their subjects, especially in areas related to science and technology and social studies. Source materials (e.g. photographs and video clips) and ready‐to‐use instructional packages were two popular items that the schoolteachers search for online. Participants appreciated Learning Fueling Station's commitment to quality but reported that the quantity of information available on the site was insufficient to meet their needs.

Originality/value

Relatively few studies have dealt with issues concerning teachers' use behavior. The findings of the study could be helpful for those who are responsible for organizing or maintaining instructional materials web sites on the internet. School librarians may have a better understanding of teachers' behavior and work out a more useful library instruction program.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 26 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 November 2012

Ming‐der Wu and Shih‐chuan Chen

This study aims to investigate graduate student perceptions of electronic resources, their search behaviour, and their usage patterns.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate graduate student perceptions of electronic resources, their search behaviour, and their usage patterns.

Design/methodology/approach

Interviews were conducted in a research‐oriented university, and participants included 18 graduate students from three disciplines: humanities, social sciences, and science and technology.

Findings

Graduate students are frequent users of electronic resources, particularly during the thesis‐writing period. Graduate students of science and technology perceive electronic resources to be considerably more important to their research and studies than students of other disciplines do. Few students use the metasearch tool to retrieve heterogeneous electronic resources in the library. Very few students use alert services to obtain updated information.

Originality/value

The findings of the study could help university librarians acquire an enhanced understanding of the usage behaviour of graduate students on electronic resources.

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Article
Publication date: 22 June 2010

Ming‐der Wu and Shih‐chuan Chen

This study aims to answer the following questions about humanities graduate students: what are the characteristics of the documents cited in their theses? Where and how do…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to answer the following questions about humanities graduate students: what are the characteristics of the documents cited in their theses? Where and how do they obtain those citations? Do students use and cite electronic resources? Do students favour electronic resources over paper versions?

Design/methodology/approach

The study's participants were 20 humanities graduate students. Following an analysis of the citations in their theses, list‐checking and follow‐up interviews were conducted.

Findings

The results showed that these humanities graduate students cited considerably more print materials than electronic resources. Most of the documents cited were supplied by the university library. Only a small proportion of the documents were available in electronic format either from the university library or from the internet. The availability ratio of journals was higher than that of books. Students' acceptance of e‐journals was higher than that of e‐books.

Originality/value

The findings of the study could help researchers and librarians gain a better understanding of how humanities graduate students use electronic resources.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 34 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 July 2011

Ming‐der Wu and Shih‐chuan Chen

University libraries are increasing their e‐book collections. The purpose of this study is to investigate graduate students' usage of and attitudes towards e‐books at…

Abstract

Purpose

University libraries are increasing their e‐book collections. The purpose of this study is to investigate graduate students' usage of and attitudes towards e‐books at National Taiwan University.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 20 graduate students from the fields of humanities, social sciences, science and technology, and medicine were interviewed.

Findings

The results indicated that graduate students used e‐books mainly for the purposes of study and research. Monographs were the type of e‐book that students used most often, followed by textbooks and reference tools. While they appreciated the convenience of using e‐books, students mentioned several limitations. They liked the keyword search function of e‐books. Most of the time, graduate students browsed a few paragraphs or pages online and then printed out copies for further reading. They also borrowed the corresponding paper versions of the e‐books from the library. Students preferred that university libraries supply both the electronic and paper versions. In certain aspects, students' use behaviour was found to vary among disciplines.

Originality/value

This study highlights multiple aspects of graduate students' use behaviour with respect to e‐books. The findings could be used to enhance e‐book collection development in university libraries.

Details

Program, vol. 45 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0033-0337

Keywords

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