EnglishICT and Information

Impact of e-resources and services on higher education and research

E- Resources and it’s Services in Library:

E- Resources and services are resources in which information is stored electronically and which are accessible through electronic systems and networks. E- Resources and services is a very broad term that includes a variety of different publishing models, including OPACs, CD-ROMs, online database, e-journals, e-books, internet resource, print—on—demand (POD), e-mail publishing, wireless publishing, electronic link and web publishing etc. In this context the term means “any electronic product that delivers collection of data be it in text, numerical, “6 graphical, or time based, as a commercially available resource.

An electronic resource consists of materials that are computer – controlled, including materials that required the use of a peripheral (e.g. a CD-ROM player) attached to a computer; the items may or not be used in the interactive mode. There are two types of e-resources: data (information in the form of numbers, letters, graphics, images, and sound, or a combination thereof) and programs (Instructions or routines for performing certain tasks including the processing of data and programs (e.g. online services, interactive multimedia).

Electronic Resources are becoming very important these days as they are more up-to-date, and can be accessed anywhere, crossing all geographical boundaries. Such resources add value while conducting R&D activities. The types of e- resources and services that are available in libraries are:

❖ Electronic Journals

❖ Scholarly databases

❖ Electronic books

❖ OPAC (On-line public Access Catalogue)


❖ E-mail and Bulletin Board

❖ Hybrid digital collections

❖ Internet gateways and search engines

Role of e-resources and services in dissemination of knowledge.

The role of e- resources and services are disseminating knowledge with a certain aim. They excel in furnishing information of current value and interest to the user community. Today resources are considered as the most important components in information communication process. A strong e-book/ e-journal base satisfies the requirements of maximum number of users. Efficiency in the management of the e- resources and services unit is of paramount importance without which utmost levels of benefits cannot be achieved. It is thus, desirable that the e- resources and services unit should be streamlined and managed more efficiently to improve the levels of benefits accruing from journals and research papers.

Advantages of Electronic Resources.

Electronic Resources offer a number of advantages not only to libraries but also to users, authors, editors, publishers, and archivists. The advantages are:

❖ Low cost of production compared to print documents.

❖ Cost of publication and distribution is less than the print versions.

❖ Saves enormous time by providing easy and instantaneous access without wasting time for processing, printing, binding and delivery.

❖ Eliminates printing, binding and postage costs.

❖ Allow interactive facility.

❖ Facilitate easy duplication into new media and distribution.

❖ Integration of different media ( Image, Sound, Video etc .

❖ Saves library storage space.

❖ Provide hyper links to related additional resources.

❖ Have potential to conserve fragile / precious original materials.

❖ Allow remote access from any where at any time.

❖ Enable simultaneous access to large number of users.

❖ Facilitate access to physically challenged persons.

❖ Are eco-friendly.

❖ The data can be easily manipulated at regular intervals and can be kept always up-to-date in electronic media.

❖ The electronic resources indifferent to environment hazards and if handled with care will show great durability which can not be achieved on paper based print media.

❖ To provide current awareness service to all users; faculty, research scholars and PG students.

❖ To access and retrieve relevant articles, a good number of search engines are available.

❖ Multiple access and through local networks become easy.


Disadvantages of Electronic Resources:

The University and College libraries face enormous challenges and opportunities. The amount of information that libraries need to acquire continuously increase and the existing resources are insufficient.
There are many disadvantages as mentioned below:

❖ All e-resource devices require power.

❖ Require high cost for technology infrastructure.

❖ Need special equipment to access

❖ Lack of compatibility among different publishers.

❖ Hardware and software compatibility problem

❖ Copyright violation problem

❖ Current e-book format may not be readable by future e-book devices.

❖ Book reading devices are more expensive than most paper books.

❖ Lack of awareness on IT skills for usage of e-resource.

❖ Technological barriers.

❖ The initial cost is very high. As a result many publishers are forced to calculate the expected benefits before embracing on a publication product (economical barriers).

❖ Use of products according to the convenience of the user is not possible. It has certain technological restrictions.

❖ Lack of uniform standards in the retrieval of software products from different publishers creates problems in their usage.

❖ Since reading of ICT based resources and services requires skills, the users have to acquire certain skill before hand or take the help of intermediates like library professionals to help them in accessing the electronic documents. Even the library professionals have to learn the skill, if they desire to serve the users effectively and efficiently.

❖ The libraries face a number of problems relating to the new media that are yet to be popular among their users.


Impact of e-resources and services on higher education and research:

In the 21st Century Information Technology (IT) had brought rapid changes in education. The conventional teaching and learning is gradually moving towards online. The concept of digital library, virtual library, and electronic library came into present situation. Electronic information resources have many advantages over traditional information resources. For teaching and learning, electronic resources are available in web enabled medium. A lot of developments are witnessed in the recent years in e-publishing. Publishers are interested in many issues like publishing costs, changing readership, changing user expectations, rights management and archiving. Many authors and corporate bodies are resorting for self publishing of various scholarly publications, and quality assurance. Researchers are interested to have easy access to full text publications and reference linking in a complex information space.

In the information technology era, academic libraries and information centers have radically changed the information environment. Higher education institutions started subscribing to electronic resources to meet the users’ requirements and expectations.

In view of the vital role being played by e- resources and services in education, information, research and development and information technology, an attempt has been made in the present work to bring out “Impact on Electronic Resources on Academic Program in Arts and Science Colleges, Tiruchirappalli: A S tudy”.

Reference Article:

  • R, P. (2009). Impact of Electronic Resources on Academic Program in arts and science colleges Tiruchirappalli A study.

Md. Ashikuzzaman

Work at North South University Library, Bangladesh.

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