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Examining Online Academic Information Seeking and Access Behaviours of Postgraduate Students in a Ghanaian University: A Case Study

Benedicta Krampah Akoto Bitherman and Mavis Doreen Amofah

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Bitherman, B.K.A. and Amofah, M.D., 2021. Examining Online Academic Information Seeking and Access Behaviours of Postgraduate Students in a Ghanaian University: A Case Study. United International Journal for Research & Technology (UIJRT), 2(7), pp.234-244.

Abstract

This study examined the online academic information seeking and access behaviours of postgraduate students in a Ghanaian public university with the aim of establishing the various factors that influence such behaviours as well as their perceptions of the systems through which they access the information. 143 students enrolled in postgraduate programmes at the university during the 2018-19 academic year participated in the study. A quantitative research approach featuring a descriptive case study strategy was adopted. Data were collected with the aid of a survey questionnaire, designed using a modified version of Wilson’s (1999) Model in Information Behaviour Research framework, and administered online. Response data were analysed using descriptive statistics. The study established that students were generally aware of the existence of electronic library resources and also had the requisite abilities and skills to access and use the resources. This notwithstanding, majority of the students hardly accessed and used the resources on a regular basis. The study discusses the factors underpinning these behaviours within the context of contributing towards the evolution of best-practice frameworks for deploying digital academic information for easy access and use by students in the developing world.

Keywords: Electronic Libraries, Digital platforms, Journal databases, Postgraduate students, Online Information seeking behaviours, Ghana.

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