Scholarly communication in the age of Google: Exploring academics’ use patterns of e-journals at the University of the Punjab: The Electronic Library: Vol 35, No 1
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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."