Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Knowledge and Use of Electronic Information Resources by Medical Students at Al-Jouf University in Saudi Arabia
Electronic resources are becoming an integral part of the modern education system, especially in higher education settings. Due to the need of medical professionals for high quality, authoritative, relevant, accurate and timely information, students studying in healthcare institutions need to know the various e-resources and the best suitable way to track and access them in order to support their learning and evidence-based medical practice. The present study has tried to assess and compare the awareness and usability level of medical students of two different colleges at Al-Jouf University in using the subscribed electronic resources. The main purpose was to determine students' knowledge and use of e-databases, and to identify the areas in which further training and research needed. A questionnaire, supplemented by an unstructured interview was used to collect data from 300 randomly selected undergraduate medical students. The study found that the awareness and utilization level of students related to available e-databases varied significantly especially when comparing individual colleges and databases. The overall knowledge and use of e-databases by medical students was much higher than the dental students and those who were aware of the existence of e-resources found using e-books' databases more than those containing journal publications and EBM. The overall low response from dental students and lack of e-resources useful to them, are very much evident from the study. The study also found that those dissatisfied with the subscribed e-resources tend to use general search engines and databases of other university in order to meet their information needs. The paper concludes that the medical students lack the necessary information literacy skills needed to meet their academic and research requirements. It is recommended that the medical librarians and faculty should come together and intensify their efforts through proper information literacy programs in order to educate students how to use these resources effectively.