Periodical usage in the University of Zambia Library: A citation analysis of School of Education Masters' Dissertations 2000-2010
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Background: The need to account for the strength of a library´s collection calls for librarians to measure the value of the library services to its users by means of knowing how the targeted library patrons benefit from using a given library facility. The general objective of this study was to establish the library’s active collection towards the production of dissertations in the faculty of education. As well as ascertain the extent to which periodicals were supporting education masters´ students in their research.Methodology: One of the methods that can help librarians understand libraries´ collection utilization is through tracing what users cite in their publications. This study analyzed four thousand seven hundred and twenty two (4,722) bibliographic references generated from eighty five (85) education masters´ dissertations conferred at the University of Zambia between the academic years 2000 – 2010. Findings: The key finding was that monographs were the most cited format of publications followed by periodicals. The immediate implication of this finding is that the content of dissertations relying on monographs as opposed to periodicals articles could be leaning towards less currency because monographs tend to contain information that is not as current as that which is found in journals. Also based on the type of journals seemingly being more cited, could assist the University of Zambia Library to focus its acquisition of journals to those that appear most relevant to the needs of education students, thereby justifying the Library’s contribution to the core business (teaching and research) of the University of Zambia.Conclusion :Based on the findings it is concluded that, although periodicals usage was confirmed in the education dissertations, periodicals were not popular information resources amongst masters’ students in the education discipline at the University of Zambia during the period under review. Key words: Citation analysis, Information seeking behaviour, Library use, User studies, Education dissertation, Periodicals, University of Zambia.
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