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Reasons for the use and non‐use of electronic journals and databases A domain analytic study in four scholarly disciplines

Reasons for the use and non‐use of electronic journals and databases A domain analytic study in... Previous research has shown that there are major differences in the search methods used in different disciplines, and that the use of electronic journals and databases likewise varies according to domain. Previous studies have not, however, explored whether, or how, this variation is possibly related to factors such as domain size, the degree of scatter in a domain or domain‐specific relevance criteria. The aim of this paper is to contribute to the development of a domain analytic approach for explaining the use and non‐use of e‐journals and databases. We identify and define factors to account for disciplinary differences in e‐journal use, outline hypotheses to be tested more rigorously in future research, and test them initially on a limited data set. The empirical data was gathered as a part of a wider qualitative study exploring scholars’ use of networked resources in four different disciplines: nursing science, literature/cultural studies, history and ecological environmental science. The findings suggest that e‐journals and databases are likely to be used most heavily in fields in which directed searching is the dominant search method and topical relevance the primary relevance type, and less in fields in which browsing and chaining are the dominant search methods and paradigmatic relevance the primary relevance type. The findings also support the Bates hypothesis that domain size has an important impact on the search methods used. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Documentation Emerald Publishing

Reasons for the use and non‐use of electronic journals and databases A domain analytic study in four scholarly disciplines

Journal of Documentation , Volume 59 (6): 19 – Dec 1, 2003

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References (75)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 MCB UP Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0022-0418
DOI
10.1108/00220410310506312
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Previous research has shown that there are major differences in the search methods used in different disciplines, and that the use of electronic journals and databases likewise varies according to domain. Previous studies have not, however, explored whether, or how, this variation is possibly related to factors such as domain size, the degree of scatter in a domain or domain‐specific relevance criteria. The aim of this paper is to contribute to the development of a domain analytic approach for explaining the use and non‐use of e‐journals and databases. We identify and define factors to account for disciplinary differences in e‐journal use, outline hypotheses to be tested more rigorously in future research, and test them initially on a limited data set. The empirical data was gathered as a part of a wider qualitative study exploring scholars’ use of networked resources in four different disciplines: nursing science, literature/cultural studies, history and ecological environmental science. The findings suggest that e‐journals and databases are likely to be used most heavily in fields in which directed searching is the dominant search method and topical relevance the primary relevance type, and less in fields in which browsing and chaining are the dominant search methods and paradigmatic relevance the primary relevance type. The findings also support the Bates hypothesis that domain size has an important impact on the search methods used.

Journal

Journal of DocumentationEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 1, 2003

Keywords: Information retrieval; Research; Electronic journals; Searching

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