A snapshot of information use patterns of academics in British universities

Emerald Group Publishing
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Online Information Review, 2006, 30 (4), pp. 229 - 242
Issue Date:
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Abstract: Purpose This paper aims to study information behaviour of academics in the digital age. Compares information behaviour of British university academics in three disciplines computer and information sciences, business/management, and English literature. Design/methodology/approach Discusses information behaviour of academics in the digital age. Findings English academics make higher use of printed information resources, such as text and reference books, than academics of any other discipline included in this study; they generally tended to be the least frequent users of electronic resources such as full-text databases, indexing and abstracting databases, search engines, and internet sites. CIS academics generally tended to make greatest use of electronic-based information resources, and the least use of print-based information resources, and business/management academics fell somewhere in between these two disciplines. CIS academics were generally the most enthusiastic about the benefits of electronic resources, whereas English academics were the least enthusiastic about them. Nearly a quarter of English academics disagreed to some extent that electronic information was easier to use than printed resources, which might go some way to explain their lower use of electronic materials, and higher use of printed materials. Research limitations/implications Results of the quantitative study should have been supported and substantiated by quantitative analyses. Similar studies involving users from many more disciplines could show better discipline-wise differences in user behaviour.
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