ERIC Number: ED333892
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar-25
Reference Count: N/A
A Study of the Use of CD-ROM Computer Systems and Print Indexes at the University of Georgia Main Library.
Compton, Lawrence E.
This study investigated the use patterns of four CD-ROM systems--Newsbank Electronic Index, SilverPlatter's ERIC and PsycLIT, and Dissertation Abstracts Ondisc--and their print index counterparts in the University of Georgia (UGA) Main Library, which houses collections and provides library services for the humanities, the social sciences, and business. Questionnaires were developed for users of each of the CD-ROM and print indexes, and users were solicited at the point-of-use at randomly selected times over a 6-month period. Of the 200 questionnaires distributed, 169 (92.9%) were usable for the research sample. Of these, 157 were students and 12 were faculty or staff. The results of the survey suggest that there are users searching CD-ROM systems who have not previously used their print counterparts; one third were not aware of their existence. In addition, fewer than 20% of the CD-ROM users had ever used the end-user online search service or had a search performed by a librarian. CD-ROM users search these sources more often than the print users search the print indexes. Term papers and class assignments were the most common purposes for both groups. CD-ROM users search the print index less often than print users search the CD-ROMs. Most CD-ROM users reported that they preferred searching the CD-ROM systems because it is faster than using print indexes. Ease of use, inclusion of many years, and the ability to print results online were also given as reasons for using CD-ROM. The most cited reason for using print was that the CD-ROM was in use. Most of the users were graduate students and older and more likely to be female than the general UGA student population. Most users knew that both formats may yield citations to sources not held by the UGA libraries. Most users felt they were usually successful with their searches, and the great majority rated the guides, user's manuals, and help screens as adequate. Recommendations to the Reference Department and for further research conclude the report. Copies of the questionnaires and a letter of explanation to users are appended. (28 references) (BBM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Printed Materials; University of Georgia