Date of this Version
Purpose: This study investigated the information-seeking behavior (ISB) of the research students in terms of information needs, sources, resources, barriers to information seeking, significance of the libraries towards the quality of research and factors motivating the use of libraries at the University of Peshawar.
Design/Methodology/approach: This study used a quantitative approach, adopting a survey questionnaire method for data collection. The population of this study was composed of the Master, M.Phil. and PhD research students in the faculties of Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences and Management Information Sciences at the University of Peshawar. The sample size was 300 research students selected conveniently. The study response rate was 85% and data were analyzed through SPSS (20 version).
Key findings: The findings revealed that research students sought information to satisfy their information needs related to the identification and selection of the research problem, access to the current information, writing of the research proposal, article and theses. To fulfill their information needs, these researches indicated the use of different sources and resources. Regarding the sources, most of the research students preferred the research-related workshops and taking help from other researchers to fulfill their information needs. Furthermore, research students used the internet and online research databases to satisfy information needs. They also utilized research and information services provided by their libraries to retrieve the needed information. While seeking the needed information, research students have reported different barriers designating poor internet connectivity, ICT facilities and unavailability of study rooms in libraries as the major barriers. Reliable information sources and e-databases were the significant motivating factors for using/visiting library.
Limitations of the study: This study has two major limitations; 1) as the sample was conveniently recruited, thus there is a possibility of sample bias and; 2) likewise this study was undertaken at the University of Peshawar, thus generalization of findings is limited to the study context.
Practical implication(s): the findings might motivate librarians towards the restructuring of information literacy programs to enhance the current ISB of the research students. It may inform the authorities about the barriers faced by the research students in information seeking and thus stimulate them towards the up-gradation of Internet and ICT facilities in the university.
Contribution to the knowledge: This study addressed the gap in the literature on ISB in the context University of Peshawar. It revealed factors that impede and/or augment researchers’ use of libraries. The insights may include the formulation of a stable information literacy program at the University of Peshawar to support research-based learning.