Study on Information need and Seeking Behavior of the Health Science Students of an Indian Deemed University.

Author:Mishra, Manoj


Medical and allied education which can be accepted as higher education or professional education has an important role in the transformation of an individual and also in the growth and development of the health care society as well as the economic development of the nation as a whole. These factors have a tremendous impact not only on the academic institutions but the library and professional working in the libraries in order to accomplish the aim and objectives of the institutions to provide effective services as per the need of the health science information seekers. The interest of health science students depend upon their moral and professional requirements to seek the information as the libraries are services oriented departments. The exponential growth of knowledge cause abundant of documents in various forms such as print and non-print materials and others that is, electronic information resources. The demand for specialized information by the users has necessitated the library to repackage the information from various sources to suit the user's needs.

Libraries adopt modern technology such as computers, RFID technology, OPAC, machines and other paraphernalia to meet the needs of the users. It is also essential to maintain the speed, accuracy and reliability of these technologies. The professionals should have the knowledge to consider a variety of technical know how in order to guide the users properly.

This is worthy to mention that "Information could be defined in terms of tools, processes or knowledge" [26]. Information is the crucial weapon for building a community or a society, which march forward to strengthen the nation. Seeking of information has various facets. The approach style of different users varries from discipline to discipline. Information is valuable as it has the capacity to affect the user's behavior while taking administrative decisions relating to outputs. The significant information is consequently related to compel and unite the nation [1]. Seeking of information can be affected by different social and economic factors with personal channels and current affairs with health and good living [2, 13, 28] and can be influenced by the ICT application [1, 15]. There are certain themes which imply to understand and positive transform the information seeking habits of mature students [12]. Library is determined to serve the users to share the information and seeking the information need, which pave the way for success [17].

Library resources are to be accessed with the help of expert professionals accurately for better service to the community [28]. There are also various trust areas of health information sources [3] which can be appreciated by the different age groups of information seekers. There should be the ability of the users to find the information apposite which helps in paving the way of success. The information seekers accept information during leisure [13]. Assumptions of the library users have a significant role by meeting their needs within the library settings [18]. The students from health care sector are unknown about the transfer of information literacy. Electronic, print and interpersonal information resources are being used by the students of nursing and the new graduated nurses [4]. The information seeking attitude of the users from health science sector depends on problem based learning and evidence based context [19]. Friends and colleagues [20] are most relevant sources for the users from health sectors to seek information where the law students prefer print texts more than different databases [27].

It can often be difficult to gauge the seeking behavior of the library users and especially impact on health science students, but these measures of effectiveness are important for academic institutions and budget system to consider in allocating limited scientific resources and funding. The users basically depend on the informal sources [17] for seeking knowledge and sharing experience where as the health information seekers are using smart phones and tablets for seeking clinical information and quality health information [6, 7, 16]. The informal sources are responsible for the exchange of information among the users with their personal relations. The library users are more confident with the accuracy in using semantic search compared to the browsing method where the seeking attitude of the users depend upon the valid sources of published and unpublished documents[5, 14]. Information seeking behavior depends upon the document procurement services and knowledge sharing based on the budgeting system of different organizations [6].

It is also very much important to collect relevant information to update knowledge for the health science students to deliver quality and to achieve better in examinations [29]. This is possible, if the users access health information resources sustainably in health institute libraries. The users self efficacy belief is influenced by the four sources of self efficacy information system of Bandura [8]. Information Seeking Behavior depends upon the feedback information and significantly monitoring the inquiry of task information from various sources [9]. Language may be a barrier to seek information for the users who engage themselves abroad and the proportion of the users may not reach to the assumptions of the society or nation [10, 11]. Internet is a primary source of information to seek relevant information in this electronic age [4, 5, 7, 10]. The health science information seekers are to facilitate their approaches in order to revisit the information sources [11]. Information seeking behavior of the students will be more effective with the searching experience and seeking help of the information literacy instructor [12]. Most of the academic libraries are embracing to subscribe electronic journals and planning to reduce the subscription of print journals to meet the assumption of the users [21, 22, 23] as well as it helps to reduce the overload of reprographic service and document delivery service [24,25].

Aims and Objective of the study:

The main objectives of the study are to

  1. find the habits of the health science students in using library resources;

  2. find the information need of the health science students;

  3. find the sources of seeking academic information by the students;

  4. find the satisfaction of students from the identified sources;

  5. find how students rate the general availability and access the library services

Materials and Methods:

This study is under gone on a sample survey. There were 548 samples distributed among the health science undergraduate students of SIKSHA 'O' ANUSANDHAN University for their response. Only 420 (76.64 %) of the distributed samples (Table 1) returned for analysis and the tables and figures are prepared using MS-Excel. There are four health science institutes offer degrees under this university, such as: Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS) and SUM Hospital offering MBBS degree, Institute of Dental Sciences (IDS) offers BDS, SUM Nursing College (SNC) offers B. Sc. Nursing and Post Basic B. Sc. Nursing, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences (SPS) offers B. Pharmacy. The response rate of the MBBS students is more among all the other categories with 95.35 % which is followed by the Pharmacy students, BDS students and Nursing students with 82.76 %, 68.85 % and 47.71 % respectively (Table 1).

About SIKSHA 'O' ANUSANDHAN (SOA) University:

SIKSHA 'O' ANUSANDHAN University is a deemed university situated at Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. This University focuses on Multi Disciplinary aspects of learnings by commitment towards quality teaching and research programmes which laid it's stone in 1996. The evolution in the last 18 years has been the birth of several institutes imparting education in Engineering, Medical, Dental, Nursing, Pharmacy, Management, Hotel Management, Biotechnology and Law. The institutes were grouped under a University structure since 2007. The University is socially inclusive with an open admission process through its National level test 'SAAT' and other national...

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