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Use of electronic information resources by arts undergraduates during the preparation of final year dissertations: a study at University of Peradeniya

Author:

Sunil Premarathne

University of Peradeniya, LK
About Sunil
Senior Assistant Librarian
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Abstract

Electronic Information Resources (EIR) perform an important role in the reference resources provided by the academic libraries. Readers are increasingly encouraged to use electronic resources for their research purposes. It is evident that most of the undergraduates consider the library as an important place during their course of study, especially during the preparation of final year dissertations. Therefore, the main objective of the study was to examine the usage of EIR by final year undergraduates during the time of preparation of their dissertation. The study used the survey research design with the application of purposive sampling method. The total population of the final year special degree in Arts students of the Faculty of Arts was 619 in 2014/2015 academic year. A total of 49 final year students of the special degree in Arts who visited the Main Library voluntarily participated in this survey within a period of one month from 01/03/2015 to 31/03/2015. Descriptive statistical methods were used to analyze the data. The study findings indicated that the students used Internet search engines rather than specialized data bases and full-text resources to search information. Nearly 88% of the respondents had never used the library web page to search EIR. Nearly 10% were familiar with electronic resources available in the library. The main problems associated with non-use of EIR are: lack of skills in information searching and very limited training opportunities and limited facilities in accessing the Internet. According to the findings the reasons for lower usage of electronic resources by undergraduates are the lack of basic skills / knowledge in IT and English language barrier. In order to exploit the full potential of electronic information, university library and the faculty should play active roles by organizing awareness programmes, promoting EIR use among students and develop infrastructure facilities in the Main Library to enhance usage of EIR. Introducing information literacy skills course for students’ curricula is recommended to get maximum benefits of EIR Use.
How to Cite: Premarathne, S., (2017). Use of electronic information resources by arts undergraduates during the preparation of final year dissertations: a study at University of Peradeniya. Journal of the University Librarians Association of Sri Lanka. 20(2), pp.59–69. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jula.v20i2.7901
Published on 24 Jul 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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