Many Indian PhD Students Lack Motivation and Skills to Use Academic Journal Articles, Their Libraries Lack Resources and Standards
A Review of:
Saxena, S. (2018). Factors impacting the usage of academic journal articles by PhD students in India. Information Discovery and Delivery, 46(4), 204-213. https://doi.org/10.1108/IDD-09-2017-0069
Objective – To investigate the factors influencing the use of academic journals by PhD students in India.
Design – Grounded analysis.
Setting – Five universities in India.
Subjects – 147 PhD students.
Methods – Subjects were selected using a mix of convenience and purposeful sampling. Email was then used to send the questions, receive the responses, and seek clarification as required. This process was conducted between September 2016 and January 2017.
Main results – Completed responses were received from 134 students, resulting in a response rate of approximately 91%. The researcher identified five factors influencing academic journal usage: institutional, task complexity, relevance and application, information quality, and technical. There was “marked” dissatisfaction with library facilities and access to academic resources, with one respondent stating that their library “does not subscribe to a single electronic journal” (p. 209). Other identified issues include students’ insufficient awareness of what is available, limited motivation to “undertake serious research work” (p. 210) and inadequate skill levels to use available resources effectively.
Conclusion – Universities should provide the required resources (both human and infrastructure) to ensure their academic libraries meet quality standards. To do so requires appropriate funding. Additionally, researchers should be encouraged to use their library’s resources in the context of improving their scholarly contribution.
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