Online databases and students: Why don't they use them?

Marija Primorac, Sanja Škugor

Abstract


The library at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (FHSS) offers access to several online databases for over 1,400 undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students and almost 200 members of teaching staff. FHSS library enables access to online databases through the Center for online databases (funded by the Croatian Ministry for Science, Education and Sport) and through institutional subscription. In order to facilitate and promote the use of online databases, the library offers training for users in online database use, both in groups and individually.

On one hand, the subscription to online databases are becoming more and more expensive and the library budget is being cut. On the other hand, the students are not using the databases as much as librarians (and teachers) would expect. In order to understand how students perceive and use the online databases and why they are not using these quality resources more, in 2013 a number of studies were undertaken. In this paper authors will present only the results obtained in a quantitative study (survey). The students at the Department of Information Science at FHSS conducted a small study as a part of their research assignment for the Human Information Behavior course. The goal of this research was to answer the following research questions: How do students perceive and use online databases? and What makes the use of online databases difficult for students?

 

Keywords: online databases, information behavior, social science and humanities


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