Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


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The study aimed to examine the attitude of students towards organizing and safekeeping their digital documents. It also investigated students’ personal digital information archiving and organizing practices from engineering and information technology disciplines.

Design / Methodology / Approach

The design of the study was quantitative and the survey method was used to achieve the objectives of the study. The survey instrument was the questionnaire and distributed to students of the Institute of Engineering and Technology and Punjab University College of Information Technology of the University of the Punjab personally and with the help of information professionals. The questionnaire was distributed to 225 students of both institutes and 202 questionnaires were received back with a response rate of 90 %.


The results of the study showed that the majority of the students considered that it is important to take care of their digital documents. The majority of the students also made effort to organize their digital data on their personal computer through folder organization. Most of the students accessed their digitally stored data according to their future needs. Most of the students mentioned that they transferred only their most important documents from one device to another. The majority of the students saved their data on personal computers to find them again. Many respondents used some tools i.e. Dropbox to save their data. Many students did not keep online information; however, they accessed it through the Internet according to their need particularly information related to entertainment. Findings of the study regarding respondents' organizing strategies show that the majority of the students organized their digital data into folders.


Previous researchers investigated students PIM practices generally and sometimes focusing on specific PIM activities – keeping, organizing, and re-finding both paper-based and digital information. However, no study examined engineering and information technology students’ personal digital information archiving and organizing practices.

Practical Implications

The study concludes that engineering and information technology students were employing a variety of methods for keeping their digital data safe. This finding implies that students did not have one place for keeping all digital information. Rather, their information items were being managed across different tools and locations. Most of the students were using personal information management tools i.e. Dropbox to save their data. However, the majority of the students were still not using PIM tools. It implies that there is a need to conduct workshops by librarians related to the PIM management systems and tools for effective digital information keeping, organizing, and finding.