Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Internet Use by Researchers: A Study of Panjab University, Chandigarh

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Internet Use by Researchers: A Study of Panjab University, Chandigarh

Article excerpt

Introduction

The convergence of information and communication technologies as embodied in the Internet has transformed the present day society into a knowledge society. Earlier, information and knowledge were passed by word of mouth or through manuscripts, and communication was a slow process. Today it is passed from one individual to an infinite number of other users through a number of media and formats which makes rapid and widespread dissemination of information possible. New technologies bring us an unparalleled flood of information. Along with word processing, the Internet is considered to be the most valuable of the many computer technologies available to the society today.

Panjab University, Chandigarh

The Punjab University Chandigarh (Established in 1882 at Lahore) has been incorporated for imparting education in Arts, Letters, Science and the learned professions, and for advancement of learning and original research. It has 55 teaching and research departments on the main campus located at Chandigarh, 122 affiliated colleges spread over Punjab and Chandigarh. It has a long tradition of teaching and research in science and technology, humanities, social sciences, performing arts and sports. It has been accorded a five star status by the NAAC, which was set up by the University Grants Commission. By virtue of its age, experience, achievements, and philosophy, Panjab University is a university of national character and stature, in so far as it has drawn both its faculty and students from all over the country. Aided by the well-equipped laboratories, specialized reference libraries, and sophisticated equipment, faculty and students are engaged in research in several frontline areas. They a're also engaged in national and international collaboration in research.

The university has adapted to this age of information technology. Panjab University has been identified as a Level-III National High Performance Computing Centre under the ICOSER project of TIFAC, Department of Science and Technology. It is among the seven such centres being setup around the country and is the only one in northern India. The University is interconnected with the help of an ATM network with a fibre optic backbone cable allowing data rates of 155 Mbps. Central switches and servers provide high speed computing as well as Internet and email facilities. Departmental switches in each of these buildings provide users access to Central Computing and the Internet. The university library also offers an Internet connection to allow students to search for resources easily. It is the first digital library in the region. The library has been recognized as one of the six national centres for data-informationdistribution in the UGC's INFLIBNET programme.

Internet Use by Researchers at the University

The aim of the present survey was to study the use of the Internet by the researchers at Panjab University, Chandigarh in all the three

fields of knowledge--sciences, social sciences and humanities, so as to determine its impact on their academic routine. For this purpose, 200 questionnaires were distributed, 80 to researchers in sciences, 80 to researchers in social sciences, and 40 to researchers in humanities. This was in proportion to the total number of researchers working in these fields. The results of the survey indicate:

1. The researchers in Sciences are more positive about the use of Internet and its impact on their educational experience. All of them (100%) have a positive attitude toward the Internet and feel comfortable gaining information through it for academic and personal purposes. About 70% of researchers in social sciences and 20% of the researchers in humanities also agree with them on the importance of Internet's information resources.

2. 80% of the researchers in sciences use the Internet facility provided in their respective departments, whereas only 20% go to cybercafes to have an access of Internet. …

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