Use of Electronic Databases by Postgraduage Students and Research Scholars at GBPUAT Library, India

Article excerpt

Introduction

In higher education, two major shifts have been identified. First shift shows that the higher education is moving away from a teaching to a learning culture whereas the second shift reveals that the revolution in information technology is changing delivery of education. Academic libraries have taken these two shifts into account while planning their services (Toner 2008, & Bennett 2003). Due to the very slow growth of agricultural universities during the period of 1947-60, the history of agricultural university libraries in India starts with the green revolution, a dream of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, led the foundation of G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology (GBPUAT), Pantnagar, on 17 November 1960. The GBPUAT is a symbol of successful partnership between India and the United States and has now become a leading institution for producing quality human resources, technology and its direct utilization for the agricultural development of the country. Now, India has a total of 46 agricultural universities, and their libraries function in different parts of the country (Rokade, 2005; Rathinasabapathy and Amudhavalli, 2006).

The GBPUAT library has a highly specialized collection of 3,68,119 documents (GBPUAT Library Annual Report, 2004-05) in the field of agriculture, veterinary sciences, animal husbandry, home science, fisheries, basic sciences, humanities, technology & other allied subjects. The library collection as textbooks, monographs, advanced treatises, research publications, reference works, popular works, pictorial works, theses, periodicals, standards, reprints, globes, toposheets, records, films, microfilms, tapes, cards, maps, other graphic works, CD-ROM, full-text e-databases (CD-ROM/online databases) of e-resources, is primarily enhanced to the curricular needs of the university faculties, and to the research and extension activities of the university. All levels of reading material required to serve the needs of the community are acquired.

E-Database

A large, regularly updated file of digitized information (bibliographic records, abstracts, full-text documents, directory entries, images, statistics, etc.) related to a specific subject or field, consisting of records of uniform format organized for ease and speed of search and retrieval and managed with the aid of database management system (DBMS) software. Content is created by the database producer (i.e. Thomson Reuters), which usually publishes a print version (Biological Abstracts) and leases the content to one or more database vendors (EBSCO, OVID, etc.) that provide electronic access to the data after it has been converted to machine-readable form (BIOSIS), usually on CD-ROM or online via the Internet, using proprietary search software.

An electronic database in which the content is revised and/or augmented, usually on a regular basis, to provide current information or to add recently published sources and also designs to provide information about a very specific topic, as opposed to a range of topics, usually for a limited audience. Most journal databases are updated on a regular basis as new issues are published and indexed. Most databases used in libraries are catalogs, periodical indexes, abstracting services, and full-text reference resources leased annually under licensing agreements that limit access to registered borrowers and library staff (ODLIS). There are many, many different types of electronic databases in the world today, including statistical databases, image databases, and others. These databases are becoming very important these days as they are more up-to-date, and can be accessed anywhere, crossing all geographical boundaries. Such electronic databases are very valuable and useful for time-saving while conducting R&D activities.

Objectives, Scope and Limitations

E-databases in agricultural libraries are making a significant growth as a part of library collection. …