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Information-seeking behavior: a study of Panjab University, India.


According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 Wilson Wilson, city (1990 pop. 36,930), seat of Wilson co., E N.C., in a rich agricultural region; inc. 1849. It is a commercial and industrial center with a large tobacco market. Manufactures include textile goods (especially clothing), metal products, and processed foods.  (1999, 2000), information-seeking behavior includes "those activities a person may engage in when identifying their own needs for information, searching for such information in any way, and using or transferring that information." Kakai, et al., (2004) have defined information-seeking behavior as an individual's way and manner of gathering and sourcing for information for personal use, knowledge updating, and development. Information-seeking behavior of students, researchers, and professionals has been the focus of enquiry for decades. Initially, however, user studies were conducted primarily to evaluate library collections. These were followed by studies of the research habits of individuals or groups that would lead to the design of appropriate information systems and services. In mid 1980s, the focus shifted to holistic Holistic
A practice of medicine that focuses on the whole patient, and addresses the social, emotional, and spiritual needs of a patient as well as their physical treatment.

Mentioned in: Aromatherapy, Stress Reduction, Traditional Chinese Medicine
 approaches to information-seeking behavior. According to Line (2000), new studies of information users and their needs are even more necessary in the age of the Internet Internet

Publicly accessible computer network connecting many smaller networks from around the world. It grew out of a U.S. Defense Department program called ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), established in 1969 with connections between computers at the
. Researchers such as Callison (1997), Devadason and Pratap (1997), and Ellis (1993) have explored quantitative and qualitative methodologies for user studies.

Information-seeking behavior differs among user groups. Academic libraries must understand the information needs of faculty and students in order to address those needs. This study explores the information-seeking behavior of undergraduates, postgraduate postgraduate

after first degree graduation, the registerable degree in veterinary science.

postgraduate degree
may be a research degree, e.g. PhD, or a course-work masterate with a vocational bias, or any combination of these.
 students, and researchers in sciences, social sciences, and humanities at the Panjab University, Chandigarh Panjab University is one of the oldest universities in India. The university campus is located in the city of Chandigarh and is spread over an area of 550 acres in sectors 14 and 25 of the city. , India.

The Panjab University Library has a rich collection of 650,000 books and 600 journal subscriptions. Moreover, 4,000 journals are available online through UGC See user-generated content.  Infonet consortium and 300 from Indest consortium. The library has developed a digital library portal. The library is amongst the top ten universities in India India has both private and public universities. India has a large number of universities supported by the Government of India and the state governments. Apart from these there are private universities supported by various bodies and societies also exist.  in journal usage through the Inflibnet consortium. This study examines the kinds of academic information needed by respondents In the context of marketing research, a representative sample drawn from a larger population of people from whom information is collected and used to develop or confirm marketing strategy. , which resources they prefer, whether they are satisfied with the library collections, and the general pattern of information-seeking, with special reference to the influence of course of study. The descriptive survey method was used and data was gathered via questionnaire from 250 users. Respondents were also asked for their opinions and suggestions during an interview. The tables below provide analysis of the data.

1. Specialization A career option pursued by some attorneys that entails the acquisition of detailed knowledge of, and proficiency in, a particular area of law.

As the law in the United States becomes increasingly complex and covers a greater number of subjects, more and more attorneys are
Specialization    Undergraduates   Postgraduates   Researchers

Sciences          40               40              20
Social Sciences   40               40              20
Humanities        20               20              10

Table 1 indicates that a total of 250 questionnaires completed, and consisted of 100 undergraduates, 100 postgraduates, and 50 researchers from sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

2. Time spent per week in the library
Time                 Undergraduates   Postgraduates   Researchers

Less than 5 hours    25%              29%             72%
5-10 hours           48%              56%             14%
10-20 hours          21%              8%              8%
More than 20 hours   6%               7%              2%

Nearly half the undergraduate students and more than half of the postgraduate students spend about 5 to 10 hours per week in the library. Nearly three-quarters of the researchers, however, spend less than 5 hours per week in the library.

3. Undergraduate satisfaction with collection
Type of material     Very good     Good     Fair     poor

Text books           12%           71%      12%      5%
Reference books      48%           34%      16%      2%
Journals             56%           36%       5%      3%
Magazines            71%           24%      12%      3%
Newspapers           76%           24%       0%      0%
Thesis               58%           30%      12%      0%

A majority of undergraduates report a good collection of textbooks in the library, and journals were rated similarly. The collection of reference books, journals, and theses was rated Very Good by nearly half.

4. Postgraduate satisfaction with collection
Type of material     Very good     Good     Fair     poor

Text books           54%           27%      12%      7%
Reference books      24%           51%      16%      9%
Journals             74%           21%      3%       2%
Magazines            64%           28%      5%       3%
Newspapers           69%           27%      3%       1%
Thesis               69%           27%      3%       1%

Unlike undergraduate, only about half the postgraduate students rated the textbook textbook Informatics A treatise on a particular subject. See Bible.  collection Very Good, and only about one quarter rated the reference collection similarly. A majority of postgraduates are satisfied with the journals, magazines, newspapers, and theses.

5. Researcher satisfaction with collection
Type of material     Very good     Good     Fair     poor

Text books           24%           46%      24%      6%
Reference books      36%           58%      6%       5%
Journals             70%           36%      2%       2%
Magazines            70%           28%      2%       0%
Newspapers           72%           14%      1%       2%
Thesis               50%           42%      1%       5%

A majority of researchers are happy with the availability of journals, magazines, and newspapers, but are not satisfied with textbooks or reference books.

6. Assistance from library staff
Services                 Undergraduates   Postgraduates   Researchers

Manual catalogues        94%              99%             100%
OPAC                     99%              97%             100%
Location of documents    86%              89%             76%
Use of reference books   92%              96%             86%
Bibliographies           0%               0%              0%
Newspaper clippings      0%               0%              0%
Circulation              96%              98%             98%
Interlibrary loan        0%               0%              0%

Most respondents are satisfied with the assistance provided by the library staff with searching information in the manual catalogue, OPAC, and reference books. Most also indicated the helpful behavior of staff in locating and checking out materials. On the other hand, no respondent In Equity practice, the party who answers a bill or other proceeding in equity. The party against whom an appeal or motion, an application for a court order, is instituted and who is required to answer in order to protect his or her interests.  was satisfied with help in compiling com·pile  
tr.v. com·piled, com·pil·ing, com·piles
1. To gather into a single book.

2. To put together or compose from materials gathered from several sources:
 bibliographies, newspaper clippings, and interlibrary in·ter·li·brar·y  
Existing or occurring between or involving two or more libraries: an interlibrary loan; an interlibrary network. 
 loan. When asked the reason, respondents said that they were not aware of any such service being provided by the library.

7. Satisfaction with present library services
Satisfaction level   Undergraduates   Postgraduates   Researchers

20%                  4%               5%              7%
50%                  7%               13%             31%
75%                  63%              59%             46%
100%                 26%              23%             16%

A majority of respondents rated the library services at 75 percent of their satisfaction level.

8. Purpose of information-seeking
Purpose             Undergraduates   Postgraduates   Researchers

Reading             68%              52%             44%
Preparing notes     100%             98%             0%
General awareness   50%              56%             72%
Discussions         6%               24%             62%
Research work       0%               84%             100%

Most students seek information to prepare notes for examinations, whereas all the researchers seek information related to their research. Seeking information for discussions and general awareness is favored more by the researchers than other respondents.

9. Time spent per week on information gathering
Time                Undergraduates   Postgraduates   Researchers

0-2 hours           58%              32%             0%
3-5hours            38%              46%             4%
6-8 hours           4%               14%             12%
More than 8 hours   0%               8%              84%

It is clear from the table that the researchers spend more than 8 hours per week on information gathering because it is important for their research. Most students spend less time on information gathering because it is provided in the classroom or available in textbooks.

10. Formal sources of information
Formal sources           Undergraduates   Postgraduates   Researchers

Books                    94%              86%             48%
Journals                 58%              76%             96%
Reference sources        46%              49%             36%
Conference proceedings   36%              42%             76%
Online databases         24%              58%             100%

Students rely more on books than other sources, whereas researchers rely more on journals, conference proceedings, and databases, because they need current information in their research areas.

11. Informal sources of information
Informal sources           Undergraduates   Postgraduates   Researchers

Email                      93%              96%             100%
Discussion with teachers   96%              98%             100%
Deminars                   34%              46%             92%
Discussion with            47%              44%             48%

Email and discussion with teachers is preferred by most respondents, who feel that friends and teachers direct them to various sources of information that may be useful. Teachers even provide them with journal articles and books. Researchers also attend seminars and conferences to acquire information by establishing new contacts or hearing lectures and discussions. It is interesting to note that discussion with librarians This is a list of people who have practised as a librarian and are well-known, either for their contributions to the library profession or primarily in some other field.  as provider of information is not much favored.

12. Method of seeking current information
Method                   Undergraduates   Postgraduates   Researchers

Current issues of        56%              72%             100%
CAS/SDI                  14%              14%             23%
Personal communication   68%              74%             48%
Seminars/ conferences    24%              56%             92%
Internet                 67%              83%             98%

Researchers prefer current issues of journals and the Internet more than students. Although the library provides a current awareness service, it is not fully used. When users were asked about it, most, especially students, were not aware of it.

13. Impact of ICT (1) (Information and Communications Technology) An umbrella term for the information technology field. See IT.

(2) (International Computers and Tabulators) See ICL.

1. (testing) ICT - In Circuit Test.
 on information seeking Information seeking is the process or activity of attempting to obtain information in both human and technological contexts. Information seeking is related to, but yet different from, information retrieval (IR).  
Impact   Undergraduates   Postgraduates   Researchers

Yes      98%              99%             100%
No       2%               1%              0%

Since information is available in different formats as a result the implementation of ICT, users were asked to indicate its impact on their information-seeking behavior. Virtually all users were aware of its impact and found it beneficial.

14. Preference for formats
Format       Undergraduates   Postgraduates   Researchers

Print        14%              16%             8%
Electronic   35%              23%             12%
Both         51%              61%             80%

Users prefer information in both print and electronic form; however, students desire more exposure to electronic sources, and they also expressed a need for training in the use of these resources.


The core of the library profession remains the same, but methods and tools for information delivery continue to grow and change dramatically. Libraries must understand information-seeking behavior of users to re-engineer their services and provide information efficiently. The results of this study reveal users who are are more or less satisfied with library collections and services, but who want training in the use of online information. Although document delivery service is being provided on demand, the researchers pointed out that it would be worthwhile if the library could provide them with indexing, abstracting, and interlibrary loan service as well.


Callison, D. (1997). Evolution of methods to measure student information use. Library and Information Science Research 19 (4): 347-357.

Devadason, F.J., & Pratap, P.L. (1997). Methodology for the identification of information needs and uses of users. IFLA IFLA International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
IFLA International Federation of Landscape Architects
IFLA Instituto Forestal Latinoamericano (Venezuela)
IFLA Israel Free Loan Association
 Journal 23 (1): 41-51.

Ellis, D. (1993). Modeling the information-seeking patterns of academic researchers: A grounded theory approach. Library Quarterly 63: 469-486.

Kakai, J.M., Ikoja-Odongo, R., & Kigongo-Bukenya, I.M.N. (2004). A study of the information seeking behavior of undergraduate students of Makerere University Makerere University is Uganda's largest university. It was first established as a technical school in 1922, and in 1963 it became the University of East Africa, offering courses leading to general degrees of the University of London. , Uganda. World Libraries 14 (1) Available:

Wilson, T.D. (1999). Models in information behavior research. Journal of Documentation 55 (3): 249-270.

Wilson, T.D. (2000). Recent trends in user studies: Action research and qualitative methods. Information Research 5 (3). Available:

Dr. Preeti Mahajan Mahajan is an Indian surname, found among the Vaishya castes (business communities). In India surname Mahajan is used by two communities: - one residing in North of India(mainly on the Amritsar to Jammu belt) and another belonging to North Maharashtra.  

Department of Library & Information Science

Panjab University

Chandigarh, India
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Title Annotation:Panjab University Library
Author:Mahajan, Preeti
Publication:Library Philosophy and Practice
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Mar 1, 2009
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