oa South African Journal of Information Management - Using the open Web as an information resource and scholarly Web search engines as retrieval tools for academic and research purposes : original research
This study provided insight into the significance of the open Web as an information resource and Web search engines as research tools amongst academics. The academic staff establishment of the University of South Africa (Unisa) was invited to participate in a questionnaire survey and included 1188 staff members from five colleges. This study culminated in a PhD dissertation in 2008. One hundred and eighty seven respondents participated in the survey which gave a response rate of 15.7%. The results of this study show that academics have indeed accepted the open Web as a useful information resource and Web search engines as retrieval tools when seeking information for academic and research work. The majority of respondents used the open Web and Web search engines on a daily or weekly basis to source academic and research information. The main obstacles presented by using the open Web and Web search engines included lack of time to search and browse the Web, information overload, poor network speed and the slow downloading speed of webpages.
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