Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version

Winter 1-16-2013


A study was conducted on the Web search behaviour of postgraduates at Sokoine University of Agriculture. Specifically, the study sought to understand the search characteristics of postgraduates, reasons for using the Web, usage of various web features, web search skills and problems faced while using the Web. The study population comprised of all postgraduates pursuing masters and doctoral programmes at SUA. Data were collected using self-administered questionnaire that were distributed randomly and they were analyzed using SPSS. The findings indicate that most postgraduates were experienced Web users and they accessed the Internet mostly through their own modems. Most students relied on Web resources for their research, class assignments, and communications, and they had positive attitudes towards these resources. Many students were using search engines such as Google and Yahoo as well as social media tools mostly Facebook and Wikis. The findings also indicate that majority of students were using simple search while advanced search features were rarely used. The use of e-journal databases among postgraduates at SUA was very low. Slow Internet connectivity and restrictions in downloading e-resources were regarded serious constraints in using the Web resources. It is recommended that libraries and their parent should promote e-resources and integrate information literacy into their curricular. Libraries should address contextual and technical issues in order to promote usage levels. Libraries should also look into the possibility of integrating e-resources into OPACs for greater visibility and to enable users search several databases simultaneously.