Date of Award
Master of Science
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
Dr Karen Anderson
Through a survey of academics at Edith Cowan University, Australia, this study explored their usage of and attitudes towards academic electronic journals (EJs). The data provided insights into the way academics were using EJs at the time of the study and their thoughts on how they will use them in the future. The emergence of academics publishing their work in EJs is a fairly recent phenomenon compared to the established tradition of publishing in paper-based journals. Many publishers have also begun to replace paper journals with electronic ones and many librarians have begun incorporating EJs into their resource collections. Librarians need to know their clients' attitudes towards new service delivery mechanisms and/or formats, such as replacing paper-based journals with EJs. The study's findings supported the earlier work of previous authors, indicating that while some academics were adapting EJs into their work practices, there remained a significant number who were strongly opposed to them. The study drew the following conclusions: I. At the time of the survey EJs were not wholly accepted by academics; 2. A group of committed enthusiasts existed who advocate EJs; 3. There was almost an equal number of academics who avidly preferred print journals, and were unlikely to change their preferences for the foreseeable future, perhaps for the rest of their career; 4. Most academics were not submitting articles to EJs, although more were open to doing so in the future; 5. Academics believe that publishing in EJs is given lower respect than publishing in paper-based journals; 6. Academics are troubled about historical access to EJ articles; 7. While academics are not using EJs fully they are normally aware of them; 8. Academics appear to have no time to obtain new skills such as using EJs, although there is a willingness to do so; 9. Academics are not inclined to have personal subscriptions to EJs; and 10. A minor number of academics cited EJs in their research however, a larger number thought their usage of them would increase in the future. Whatever the future of print journals or EJs may be, academic librarians need to continually assess how their clients will be able to gain access to archival information. Short-term access to bundled EJ titles may seem to be a panacea for stagnant or shrinking library budgets unable to keep up with escalating journal costs; however the true cost of abandoning paper journals in favour of EJs needs to be fully considered if the library is unable to maintain the future licensing costs of EJs.
Krikorian, M. (2004). Factors influencing academics' usage of electronic journals. Retrieved from http://ro.ecu.edu.au/theses/786