The use of electronic journals for the dissemination of scholarly information by the University of Natal and the University of Zululand

Margaret N. Mgobozi, Dennis N. Ocholla


The study investigates the use of electronic journals for the dissemination of scholarly information in the Universities of Natal and Zululand. It attempts to determine the level of use of electronic journals by the scholarly communities, and the perceived impact that these journals have on the community. Similarly, the role played by the academic libraries in the provision of these journals was explored. The scholarly community included the academic staff, the library staff and postgraduate students. A survey research method was used to elicit information from the respondents. The population was sampled using the stratified random sampling technique. A sample of 10% was drawn from the population of 1969 postgraduate students. Regarding the academic staff a sample of 20% was drawn from each stratum. The total population for the academic staff was 557. All professional librarians in the two university libraries were identified and included in the study. Data was analysed by means of the SYSTAT Version 7.0 and Microsoft Excel. The findings indicate that the level of electronic journal use by the two universities is low despite their historical differences in resource support. It is recommended that the academic library should provide facilities where users can access electronic journals on their own. The librarians should also market their services and products to library clientele. There is a need for user education, especially in the use of electronic journals. The study provides interesting insights on the theme.

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ISSN 2304-8263 (online); ISSN 0256-8861 (print)
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