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Purpose: This research was conducted to achieve three objectives; 1) to investigate the usage and acceptability of e-databases and e-journals among the research scholars in selected universities of Pakistan, 2) to indicate the preferred information resource being used by researchers, and 3) to explore barriers faced by them when consulting these resources for research endeavors.
Methodology: A Quantitative research method was adopted. The population of the study was MS/MPhil & PhD researchers enrolled in the public sector universities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan. A structured questionnaire was distributed randomly by the principal researcher to a sample of 1031 (out of 4282) scholars at these universities. The sample included 397 social science researchers, 246 engineering scientists, 208 applied science researchers and 180 agricultural scientists. The response rate of the respondents was 981 out of 1031 distributed questionnaires with a percentage of 95.2 percent.
Findings: The study reveals that most of the respondents accessed e-databases and e-Journals “2-3 times” a week and widely accepted the “importance” of these resources in research activities. In addition, the respondents were usually preferred to use electronic databases, e-books and e-journals (open access) over printed collection. Though, restrictions on e-resources, slow internet connection, students’ awareness and training were the major obstacles in using e-resources effectively.
Practical implications: The outcomes of this study could enable competent authorities, university librarians and LIS professionals to further explore the tendency of research scholars towards adopting e-resources for learning and research purposes.
Originality: The outcomes of this study are valuable to LIS community as it contributes to the body of existing knowledge on e-resources usage in developing country including Pakistan.
Keywords: E-databases usage, e-journals usage, research scholars, accessibility issues, universities, Pakistan.