Health Sciences Librarian and Associate Professor University of Memphis Memphis, Tennessee
Introduction: The Health Sciences Library is housed in the Community Health Building, University of Memphis, and it is considered a new information center (2015).
Objectives: Determine: a) How often faculty search online resources to find research articles b) What are their reasons for using online resources c) Have they used the resources for clinical care d) What are their information needs that motivates them to search online e) From which location did they access online resources. Methods and materials: Survey adapted from De Groote, Shultz and Blecic (2014) and Gahn, Watts, and Quesenberry (2018), included 15 multiple choice questions with space for comments. The IRB approved and declared the research exempt in April 2019. School representatives sent the questionnaire by e-mail to 68 faculty members, and reminders two weeks later.
Results: When asked how frequently participants used various databases most (61%), said they preferred to use Google on a daily basis, CINAHL (29%) and UpToDate (29%), weekly; Medline (46%) monthly. Information needs included: Research/Background literature search (31.4%), Keeping current in my field (24.4%), Instructional Preparation (22%), Patient Care Information (18.6%). They also added: “Answer questions from students or clients”; “Teach graduate students” and, “My own verification/Need to know”. They are frequent users of interlibrary loan services. When asked from which location they access online resources, (65%) preferred the University Libraries Website.
Discussion: Many faculty members expressed that they use familiar resources with easy access. Most respondents (63%) expressed that they have access to the full text articles of the journals they need. Some (37%) respondents mentioned that access varied sometimes they don’t get the articles they need. Most participants use Google, Medline and CINAHL for research purposes with low use of other databases. Among the problems in finding literature, they mentioned: “Library cutbacks to full texts”, “Being able to narrow down a topic” and “Articles not available in PDF”. Some respondents mentioned that they needed resources and services that were already available of which they were unaware.
Conclusions: We interpret some of the access challenges as needs for training and more publicity to resources and services. The outcomes of this research project will contribute to improve our online collection to better meet educational and research needs of the faculty and next steps to develop outreach and marketing.