Usage of Electronic Resources among Ophthalmologists.

Author:Thanuskodi, S.


The prominence of electronic and online resources in this information era is a fact that is inevitable. Electronic and digital formats of information are interspersed in our day to day routines personally, academically and professionally. John Shaw Billings, a great surgeon and librarian once famously mentioned, "The learning of the doctor which goes on after he has his degree is, after all, the most important part of his education." The above quote insists about the importance of continuing medical education to be a virtuoso medical professional. For continuous learning, digital resources play a vital supportive role to adopt. As it supports and enhances the output of the better patient care in the society, it is fruitful to do research on the same.

The role of ophthalmologists in this society is unavoidable for eye and vision care of patients. Earlier the information which they sought to support their patient care and medical practices depended solely upon the print versions, but after the technological evolution the multifarious digital formats were also available. Even in the present scenario, some of the medical professionals prefer printed versions of resources, now the condition is changing as they need not come physically to the library premises to find the print formats, but can stay at their clinic table and access online resources through networks at any time. The eclectic availability of e-resources has changed what users actually read and use. The users, particularly doctors now tend to use only what is easily accessible during their constrained time. Serendipity of getting authenticated and reliable resources is still an issue in the usage electronic and online resources. Hence, the necessity of analyses on the usage of e-resources among ophthalmologists spontaneously rises to predict the supportive elements in their clinical practices. In this chapter, the various facets involved and combined in the present research have been presented and elucidated.

Review of Literature

Meera Newmon and Vandana Sengar (2016) has studied on digital library and e-resources uses and problems in engineering colleges of Rajasthan. This study aimed to know the availability, awareness of e-resources for engineering students and problems while using e-resources. They found through the study that available e-resources is almost sufficient, but the infrastructure to use these facilities is not adequate. The study also resulted that the practical use of e-resources is not up to the worth in comparison to the investments made.

Bhat NA and Ganaie SA (2016) has conducted a survey study on use of e-resources by the users of Dr.Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry. For this study purpose questionnaire were distributed and data collected. The result found that the users are preferred both print and e-resources, in e-resources access they preferred online access only. They concluded the study that the library should procure reputed e-books and e-theses collections and launch an awareness campaign to promote their use.

Kumar G Kiran and Kumbar Mallinath (2012) also conducted a study to evaluate the use of electronic resources among the faculties in five autonomous engineering colleges at Bangalore. Purpose of the study is to evaluate the needs, benefits, and preference of web browsers, search engines, file formats, problem faced, and search patterns as the key parameters. For this purpose, a structured questionnaire is used for data collection besides personal interview and observation to add clarity. The study is limited to the faculty of the Autonomous Engineering Colleges affiliated to Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) in Bengaluru Region of Karnataka State, India. It highlights some problems, constraints and forward suggestions for better use of electronic resources. The study assesses the faculty awareness and use of electronic resources in their academic and research needs.

Fleming-May, R.A and Grogg, J.E (2010) has studied about improving understanding of electronic resources usage beyond logons and downloads. Logons and downloads offer a glimpse into user behaviour, but they present only part of the picture. To create a fuller understanding, initiatives such as Project MESUR and the Eigen factor, as well as user-oriented models and ROI studies, have emerged. This study thro light on the factor that the understanding the electronic resources and their usage. Maintaining electronic resources in digital repository and its effectiveness in the usage are discussed in this study.

Kaur B and Verma R (2009) has discussed in their case study on the use of electronic resources in Thapar University. They were attempted to study the issues like use of electronic information resources, its impact on the collection of print and electronic journals its awareness among the users, and the places where the users are accessing these resources. For this study purpose, a survey was conducted in the academic year 2006-07 at the Thapar University, Patiala. A total number of 504 users from the undergraduate, postgraduate, research scholar and faculty members were selected and their response was obtained with the help of questionnaire. The findings show that users from all these categories were using eresources; the awareness about e-resources encourages users to use such resources to the maximum; and the users are using computer centre and hostels more for accessing the information. Besides, the printed material is being quickly replaced by the electronic resources.

Kelley KB and Orr GJ (2003) analysed in their survey study about trends in distant students' use of electronic resources in the University of Maryland University College (UMUC), Maryland. For this study purpose, Information and Library Services (ILS) at UMUC conducted a needs assessment survey to examine trends in student use of library resources, services, and instruction in order to understand how student usage patterns, needs, and preferences have changed as well as stayed the same. One important element of the survey was to obtain in-depth information on student usage patterns for electronic resources and services. The findings of the survey followed national trends and demonstrated that nontraditional, predominantly part-time students' usage patterns have changed and now favour the use of electronic resources (the Internet, in particular) and also mirror trends observed in traditional student behaviour toward libraries and library resources in many important respects

Yannis K Valtis et al. (2016) has discussed about an EBM programme providing free access to an online clinical resources to health workers in resource-limited settings. This study aimed to analyse UpToDate, a leading evidence based clinical resource and the cost barrier to access the same. The authors suggested to enhance the evidence based clinical resource access include removal of cost barriers as well as technological barriers, such as internet connectivity.

Wong, C. K. et al. (2012) has conducted a study on Chinese older adults' internet use for health information. The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) was applied to examine the prediction of perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, and attitudes toward Internet use on behavioural intention to search for health information online. Ninety-eight Chinese older adults were recruited from an academic institute for older people and community centres. Frequency of Internet use and physical and psychological health were also assessed. Results showed that perceived ease of use and attitudes significantly predicted behavioural intention of internet use.

Moretti, F. A et al. (2012) has conducted a study on access to health information on the internet and related with public health issue. This study aims to progress in the understanding of the user profile and of search trends for health information on the internet. For this purpose, analyses were performed based on 1,828 individuals who completed an electronic questionnaire available on a very popular health website. At the same time, through the "elite survey" method, 20 specialists were interviewed, aiming at assessing quality control strategies regarding health information disseminated online. The study brings out the result that a predominance of 90% female users who research information for themselves, who consider the internet one of their main sources of health information (86%), and who spend from 5 to 35 hours online every week (62%) was verified. High reliability is assigned to information from specialists (76%), and low reliability to television, radio, or blogs (14%). This study was concluded that the internet is proving to be a major source of health information for the population, and that website certification is a strategy to be contemplated to improve the quality of information and to promote public health.

Giglio, A. D. et al. (2012) has analysed the quality of internet information available to patients on websites in Portuguese in their paper. Diabetes mellitus (DM), systemic arterial hypertension (SAH), and acute myocardial infarction (AMI) are the most prevalent in Brazil, thus, information on these pathologies is extremely searched for on the internet. For this reason, this study attempted to evaluate the quality of information available in Portuguese on the Web regarding these disorders. For this purpose, the Discern Questionnaire (DQ) and Health on the Net (HON) were used as tools in order to evaluate the quality of information. At the end of the study brings the results that when evaluating the information content available, 45%, 95%, and 85% of pages had the definition of DM, SAH, and AMI, respectively. They concluded with the derived data that the available information in Portuguese on the internet regarding the three pathologies selected (DM, SAH...

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