Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

The Use of Electronic Resources by Postgraduate Students of the University of Cape Coast

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

The Use of Electronic Resources by Postgraduate Students of the University of Cape Coast

Article excerpt

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Developments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have radically taken over every sphere of activity in university libraries. Academic libraries owe it a key duty to keep pace with technological advancement in order to cope with users' continual sophisticated information requirements. Academic libraries in the 21st century may not function properly without the existence of electronic resources. Tyckoson (2011) affirms that libraries and information centres which fail to adopt appropriate information technology in their services may cease to function and perhaps, close down. Essentially, ICTs are the standpoints that provide access to electronic resources (e-resource). Modern teaching, learning and research purposes are promoted by academic libraries in universities through the use of ICT. Academic libraries are central in higher educational systems, assisting in the improvement of learning and dissemination of knowledge to meet the information needs of the universities and their communities through the provision of timely information.

Information resources that can be accessed, retrieved, stored and used through electronic means can be seen as e-resources. Information in electronic format can be accessed via the internet, storage devices such as CD-ROMs, pen drives, and other peripheral devices through the use of computer systems. These resources include information on CD-ROMs, online databases, electronic journals (e-journals), electronic books, (e-books), internet resources, etc. According to Haridasan and Khan (2009), electronic information resources are resources in which information is stored electronically and accessed through electronic systems and networks.

The Anglo American Catalogue Rule Two (AACR2) defines e-resources as materials consisting of data and/or computer programme(s) encoded for reading and manipulation by a computer by the use of a peripheral device directly or remotely connected to the computer or via a network such as the internet (Reitz, 2005). In addition, Deng (2010) listed examples of e-resources as; edatabases, electronic books (e-books), electronic journals (e-journals), electronic magazines (emagazine), electronic newspapers and archives, the rest include e-theses, conference papers, government papers, monographs and research reports in electronic form. E-resources can be used to supplement printed information in university libraries in order to give information seekers the choice to have access to more convenient and reliable information sources to meet their information needs.

In Africa, there has been a considerable growth of information in electronic format in university libraries through the initiative of organizations. Since in the 1990s, the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) negotiate with international publishers on behave of African countries for discount prices on e-resources for subscription by academic institutional libraries. These initiatives have been enhanced through programmes like Access Global Online Research in Agriculture (AGORA), HINARI Access to Research Initiatives, the Essential Electronic Agriculture Library (TEEAL) and Programme for the Enhancement of Research Information (PERI), as well as Online Access to Research on Environment (OARE) (Rosenberg, 2006). These organizations have contributed immensely to the availability of eresources in African universities.

Besides, most academic libraries in Africa continue to populate their web sites/home pages with intellectual works such as postgraduate students' theses/dissertation, journal articles of faculties, inaugural lectures, annual reports, and past questions. These are to promote accessibility of intellectual knowledge in African universities to varied users. Therefore, most universities have made it obligatory that postgraduate students submit their academic work in both print and electronic formats on CD-ROMs. …

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