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Information Studies
Year : 2011, Volume : 17, Issue : 2
First page : ( 65) Last page : ( 87)
Print ISSN : 0971-6726. Online ISSN : 0976-1934.

Impact of internet on scholarly communications: a survey of aerospace scientists and engineers in Bangalore

Guruprasad R1Scientist, Nikam Khaiser2Chairperson and Research Guide, Marimuthu P3Asst. Professor, Mudkavi Vidyadhar Y4Head

1KTMD, National Aerospace Laboratories (CSIR); Bangalore. E-mail: gprasad@nal.res.in

2DOS, LIS, University of Mysore. E-mail: khaiser.Nikam@gmail.com

3Dept. of Biostatistics, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore; E-mail: marimuthu@nimhans.kar.nic.in

4CTFD, National Aerospace Laboratories (CSIR), Bangalore. E-mail: vm@ctfd.cmmacs.ernet.in

Abstract

The coming of the Internet has transformed the way scientific communication among the scientists and engineers in general across the world and more specifically amongst the aerospace scientists and engineers. The Net has changed the way scientists look for information, the various means by which they get their required information from the Internet and most importantly how much they depend on the Internet for their scientific pursuit. In this information age, it is practically impossible for a scientist or engineer to carry out his/her research work without using network and Internet technologies. They use these electronic tools for accessing electronic information resources in the form of e-journals related to their field of specialization right at their desktops through their organization's networking facilities. We highlight the role of the Net in spreading scholarly scientific communication. The major findings of this survey study from a total of 583 questionnaires distributed to selected Indian aerospace organizations in Bangalore reveals that: (a) The most popular place of use of the Internet amongst the aerospace scientists and engineers is ‘Right at their Desktop’, followed by ‘Access from their Homes’. Access from ‘Cyber Café’, ‘The Organization's Library’, ‘Access from other Departments’ and ‘Access from another Library’ occupy lesser priorities. (b) The overall average monthly usage of the Internet gets a mean value of 84.19 which implies that on an average the selected aerospace organizations are familiar and have had exposure to the Net for at least 7.01 years. (c) The main purpose of using the Internet amongst this ‘niche’ aerospace engineering community happens to be for ‘Sending and receiving e-mails’, followed by ‘Collecting general information’ and ‘Accessing e-Resources (e-Journals, e-Books and e-Databases)’, and ‘Download software for scientific research’. (d) The main motivation factors to use the Net amongst this community are ‘To update self-knowledge in the area of research’ followed by ‘User-friendly search engines’ and ‘Easy access to resources’. (e) The most frequently used search engines are ‘Google’, followed by ‘Yahoo’ and ‘Alta Vista’. (f) The most popular scientific web sites accessed and used are ‘Google Scholar’, followed by ‘Google Book’ and ‘SCIRUS’. (g) The biggest bottleneck faced by these scientists and engineers while accessing the Net are ‘Very poor Internet connectivity (low speed)’ followed by ‘Getting irrelevant information’ and ‘Internet charges are high’.

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Keywords

Internet, Scholarly Communication, Aerospace Engineers and Scientists, e-Journals, Search Engines, Scientific Web Sites, Bottlenecks in Internet Access.

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