The use of academic databases by postgraduate students.

Uwimana, I., Weideman, M.

Poster in Proceedings of The 12th World Wide Web conference (ZAW3-10). 21-23 September. Durban, South Africa.

Uwimana, I., Weideman, M. & Richards, M. 2010. The use of academic databases by postgraduate students. Poster in Proceedings of The 12th World Wide Web conference (ZAW3-10). 21-23 September. Durban, South Africa. Online:http://web-visibility.co.za/website-visibility-digital-library-seo/

ABSTRACT
The objective of this research project is to identify and measure the problems postgraduate students in the Western Cape university system experience with academic database availability and usage. The literature has shown that academic databases in higher education are used both as a tool for researchers to communicate and share project data, as well as a reference resource. Databases are currently still one of the largest contributors of information to researchers’ repositories. Although more and more students are doing their research on electronic databases, they can be both difficult to use and access, and the information found on the database can have both useful and useless information co-existing. This could leave the junior researcher to battle to both find and then separate relevant from irrelevant information. The research instrument that will be utilised in this research is the questionnaire. A questionnaire is a data gathering form with a set of questions designed to generate the data necessary for accomplishing the objectives of the research project. The research will focus on postgraduate students who are registered at the four universities in the Western Cape, namely: CPUT, UCT, US and UWC. Furthermore, only postgraduate students and academic databases are considered. In conclusion, the outcome of this study will assist in highlighting the plight of postgraduate students failing to access academic databases. It is expected that a major finding will be that many postgraduate students are not making full use of academic databases. Results should also challenge the government and corporate world to fund academics so that the information they obtain from research will benefit the government, corporate world and the community at large.
REFERENCES
  1. Castles, J. 2004. Persistence and the adult learner: Factors affecting persistence in Open University students. Active Learning in Higher Education, 5(2):166−179.
  2. Chang, A, & Davis, D. 2010. Transformation of Access Services in the New Era. Journal of Access Services, 7(2).
  3. Nair, P.A.P., Pillay, J. 2004. Exploring the validity of the continuous assessment strategy in higher education institutions. South African Journal of Higher Education, 18(2):302−312.
Full text of Conference Poster No 0130: The use of academic databases by postgraduate students.

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