Keywords: Electronic Resources, E-Resources, Academic

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Electronic Resources: Advantages for Academic Library Users in
Digital Era
R. Vijesh
GRD Memorial Library
PSG College of Technology & Polytechnic College
Peelamedu, Coimbatore – 641 004, Tamil Nadu, India
Email: [email protected]
Call for Papers: DL Development
Abstract
We are living in the digital era; the electronic resources (e-resources) have great importance in digital
libraries and amongst the academic library users. Due to the information revolution, digital libraries are
developing all over the world to collect, store and communicate the information through electronic
media. Compared to the different developed countries, there is slow development of digital libraries in
India. The users needs and usage of e-resources are day by day increasing, depends on their academic
need. Therefore electronic resources are very important and very much useful to students, faculty and
researchers, as well as professional librarians, documentationists, information technologists and
communicators. This paper discusses the advantages of electronic resources for academic library users.
The main objective of this paper is academicians should know the importance and advantages of
electronic resources and utilize the maximum electronic resources and given by some suggestions to
increase the electronic resources usage in future.
Keywords: Electronic Resources, E-Resources, Academic, Library Users, Digital Era
1.
Introduction
In digital library the electronic resources are becoming more and more important. The printed resources
are now being digitized, which has given rise in increases of the availability of books and journals in
the electronic format. The electronic books are helpful because of their easy portability and its feature
of incorporating more than one book in a single hand held device. This helps the poorer also to get the
information required free of cost and bridge the digital divide. They need not worry for licensing and
usage of the information. The government has taken various steps to introduce e- Resource facility in
academic institutions for the benefit of research scholars. The AICTE (All India Council for Technical
Education) was issued a mandatory subscription of e-journal packages for all engineering institutions
and highly discounted online databases given for INDEST (Indian National Digital Library in
Engineering Sciences and Technology) consortium members. Because information resources especially
journals are becoming very expensive due to their availability in electronic format. On the other hand
libraries are facing financial crunch which has given rise to the birth of library cooperation / resource
sharing. Due to rapid escalation in the cost of printed as well as electronic resources it is even difficult
for the best universities and research organizations in the world to afford expenses for all resource they
require for their library users. The present work is a completely integrated presentation of library
automation systems, networking and new electronic technologies in modern libraries. It will be highly
useful and valuable for academic library users.
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Electronic Resources in Academic Libraries
E-resources are those resources which include documents in electronic or e-format that can be accessed
via Internet in digital library environment. E-resources are that electronic product that delivers a
collection of data, be it text, image collection, other multimedia products like numerical, graphical
mode for commercially available for library and information centre’s. These may be delivered on CDROM / DVD, over the Internet and so on. Providing access to e-Resources is a service to help academic
library users to find E – databases, E- journals, E-Magazines, E-Books, E-Audio, E-Images, Data, GIS,
Digital Library Projects, Electronic Exhibitions, E-Subject Guide, E-newsletters, E-White papers, Econferences proceedings and Web search tools on a range of topic. Many of the electronic resources are
freely available to anyone over Internet access but some are commercial resources.
2.1. Types of e-resources
The academicians frequently used e-resources types are:
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E-journals
E-books
Full-text (aggregated) databases
Indexing and abstracting databases
Reference databases (biographies, dictionaries, directories, encyclopedias, etc.)
Numeric and statistical databases
E-images
E-audio/visual resources
2.2. Methods of accessing e-resources/Online Databases
The following methods provide access to e-journals, e-books and databases provided by the academic
libraries.
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IP Based Access: Resources access to the specific range of IP (Internet Protocol Address).
Username and Password: Using by username and password to access the resources.
Free Access: Freely available electronic recourse access via the Web.
2.3. E-resources/Online Databases
The academicians commonly accessed online databases/electronic resources are:
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Science Direct
Web of Science
IEEE/IEE/IEL Online
J-Gate
Springer
INSIGHT
Nature
Pro Quest Science
EBSCO Online
ESDU
Euromonitor (GMID)
Wiley Blackwell
Elsevier
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ACM Digital Library
AIP/APS Journals
ASCE Journals Online
ASME Journals Online
ASTM Standards + Digital Library
Capitaline Databases
CRIS INFAC Industrial Information
Emerald Management Xtra
ICE+Thomas Telford
IEC Standards
McGraw- Hill’s
Gale Cengage Learning
RMIT
OSA: Optics Infobase
Wiley InterScience
INSPEC on EI Village
MathSciNet
SciFinder Scholar
SCOPUS
3. Objectives of the Study
The objectives of the study are:
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To create the awareness of the usage of e-resources among the academic work of students,
faculty and research scholars.
To analysis the advantages and importants of electronic resources for academic library users.
Users should get the quality of information retrieved through electronic resources.
To find out the problems faced by the academic library users while accessing e-resources.
To given some suggestions to increase the electronic resources usage and also improve the
electronic library services to academic users.
4. Advantages of Electronic Resources
The several advantages are:
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E - Resources user friendly interface.
24 x 7 (Any Time Information available). Library users don’t have to wait for the library to
open to access them.
E - Resources can be accessed by several users simultaneously.
E - Resources are peer reviewed information sources.
E - Resources are huge information reservoirs.
E - Resources have multidisciplinary approach.
Articles published in electronic journals can be updated and corrected even after publishing.
Electronic journals provide advanced searching facilities.
Electronic journals can provide access to articles in multiples formats and languages.
Electronic journals offset the missing issue problem.
Articles are displayed and printed clearly an easily to read format.
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Articles can be downloaded and printed simultaneously by more than one reader, depending
on access rights and permission.
E - Resources save physical storage space. A single CD ROM can contain many volumes of a
particular journal and thousands of full text articles with graphics.
E - Resources provide quick information, up to date information, easy citations, various search
options and special services like SDI (Selective Dissemination of Information), Alerts etc.,
E-Resources provide access to literally thousands of e-journals, e-books etc., than the library
could possibly subscribe to in paper format.
Some e-resources include publication subscriptions dating back the last 10 years (or more!).
While we do have backdated microfilm for handful of e-journals, e-books newspapers, most
magazines and newspapers are only kept for a period of months.
Users can search e-resources to find articles on a particular subject from many different
publications at the same time without having to search each publication separately.
To users especially useful for finding information not yet available in books, or obtaining upto-date information on current events or issues.
E-Resources provide us with authoritative, accurate, current, objective reference material not
readily available through a search engine like Google.
Users can be accessed from any computer on campus and usually any computer off campus,
any time of the day or night, so there is no need to make a trip to the library
Every journal can be searched quick and easy often through the complete full text of articles
and via online index.
An electronic resource is lot quicker to browse or search, to extract information from, and to
integrate that information into other material and to cross-search or reference between
different publications.
E-Resource will allow the user to approach the publications to analyze its content in new ways
by click of the mouse on search mode.
E-Resources may include international reach, unlimited capabilities, reduced cost,
convenience, search ability and linking.
If a particular volume of the print version of the journals is not complete. Library staff can
download and print all the articles available online or can save it in digital form till the time
hardcopy is supplied by the publishers. Permission in some cases may be necessary.
The e-journals get published or reach the subscribers much before their counterpart. Its also
reaches all its subscribers simultaneously, where as there are many factors, mainly
geographical and procedural, which case delays in case of print journals.
Multiple and remote access makes it available at one’s desk. This is a boon for a huge campus
where there are hundreds of readers with many departments available.
E-Resources interactive rapid turnaround time means articles can be read, commented by the
readers, amended quickly and greater feedback thru the web.
In electronic resources hypertext format should be exploited and links to related articles,
information on other web sites, stable URLs for individual articles and email alerts when latest
issue loaded.
An additional advantage for users using animation, virtual reality and interactive mathematical
charts in web.
Electronic journals do not required more timing for publishing and distributing process,
therefore save the time of the users.
Disadvantages
The few disadvantages are:
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Difficulty in reading computer screens: Electronic journal is the limitations of the computer
monitor, this leads to problem with reading and long reading from screen can cause eyestrain.
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Less permanent: Electronic version of online journal is easy to lose and their reliance on soft
wares and hard wares makes them impermanent.
Higher cost: Retrieve some electronic articles need more cost.
License/ Copyright issues: Issues regarding revision of the licenses and copying and
distributing of resources.
Suggestions
The following some suggestion to increase the electronic resources usage in academic
libraries.
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Need to increase the bandwidth so as to increase the speed of upload/download and without
power cut.
E-Resource access should be open in Saturdays, Sundays and other holidays.
More computer terminals should be installed in the library for easy access to users.
There should be made necessary arrangements for resource sharing (by using Wi-Fi
Technology) with libraries.
Allocate the computers for each and every online database in library, users can access the
electronic resources without any interferer to their respective subjects.
E-Resources users should be taught about advanced search strategies and the use of controlled
vocabulary to make electronic search process much easier.
IP (Internet Protocol address) based access for online databases is very help full to access the
campus wide access and also secure, outsiders cannot able to access the resources.
All the available online databases in library details informed by internal circular, intranet link,
OPAC and institution website to users.
Keep the online databases link in OPAC, users they can easily to connect the online databases
website.
Regarding e-resources related news send to users by phone short message and this is help to
increase the library e-resources services.
All the online databases news should be provided at the college website and it should be
regularly updated.
Information regarding the subscribed online databases and the latest available electronic
resources websites and freely available resources websites also with their addresses should be
displayed on the library and all department notice boards and also computer labs.
Asking the vendors to supply the databases in easy formats.
Many resources are still in print; in future all resources should be available in digital form.
The library should be an IT trained staff in the digital library room for helping the users in case
of difficulty.
Digital resources should be made easy to use and easy to learn to users. The library web page
should provide online guide to digital resources and various search options beyond key words
to digital resources. This is help to users find the desires content at quickly and also increase
the e-resources usage.
The library should also identify the non-users of electronic resources and proper steps should
be taken to convert them into potential users of the resources.
Library users (students, faculty, and researchers) must be given orientation and user awareness
training time to time for maximum utilization of e-resources.
Consortia based digital information services should be strengthened by adding more resources
like, journals, books, databases, theses, reports, union catalogue of all information documents
available in all libraries.
Library and information professionals should be given training for managing the e-resources
and given services to the end users.
Librarian and library staff should familiar in online databases searching techniques.
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Users should know the information about the free access against the print subscription is
usually available either on the journal’s cover page or on their website and some times even in
the publisher’s catalogue. Also there are good numbers of e journals available free of cost.
Users should identify the free access online e-resources provided by some publishers.
Yearly once get back the feedback from library users, this is help to know the users need and
to take decision to improve the usage of e-Resources usage in future.
Conclusion
Access to e- Resources (e-journals and e-books) is very much useful to both libraries and users as
problems of missing issues or delay in receipt of issues can be overcome. Online resources make their
appearance on the net much before the print copies reach the subscribers; therefore users get the
resources at earliest and their time is saved. After implementing AICTE mandatory online subscription
for engineering institutions is way to increasing the online subscription and electronic resources usage.
Based on the analysis of advantages of electronic resources for academicians, Compare with advantages
and disadvantages of e-resources maximum majority is more advantages for academic users and they
regard them as less reliable. The academic library users facing problems while using the electronic
resources maximum overcome by above mentioned suggestions and this is will be helpful to improve
the digital resources usage and services for the benefit of students, faculty and research scholars in
future. Electronic resources do not occupy a great deal of physical storage space, and can be
accessed remotely. Electronic libraries can provide a vehicle for extending collaboration, which is at
the heart of the academy, with the aim of more effective education. The increasing the electronic
resources subscription bring more satisfaction to users about the library services. The library
professionals and information providers should endeavor to give the right resources (e-resources) to the
right user at the right time.
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Sharma, Chelan. 2009, Use and Impact of e-Resources at Guru Gobind Singh
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Halima Saida Edberongbe. 2011, The Use and Impact of Electronic Resources at the
University of Lagos, Library Philosophy and Practice. Available at: http://
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A.T. Francis. 2012, Evaluation of Use of Consortium of e-Resources in Agriculture in
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Projes Roy, Shailendra Kumar, M.P. Satija. 2012, Problems in Searching Online
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