The information need is one of the cognitive needs of humankind. The information need causes information seeking behaviour and these concepts complement one another. The information need and information seeking behaviour are affected by many factors. The concept of information need has proved to be elusive one and difficult to define. What initiates seeking need has received more attention from researchers than definition of information itself? The topic, unfortunately, it also approached from such a variety of prospective that no single definition for conceptual construct exists. In general, the literature fails into two broad categories: some studies attempt to determine the nature of the need, while others attempt to distinguish between levels of perception. Information need is often a vague concept. It is a more question asked of an information provider. It is a subjective, a relative concept existing in the minds of the experienced individuals. It changes over a period of time and varies from person to person, profession to profession, and from institution to institution and so on.


Information seeking behaviour is an activity of an individual in the process of identifying information that suits his/her knowledge pursuit. Information seeking behaviour is used synonymously with information gathering habits or information seeking pattern. It is an act of searching or finding or locating information required by different people such as an individual, a professional, an academician, a researcher, a consultant and etc., the process of searching information through various channels of communication is termed as Information Seeking Behaviour. Information seeking behavior may be defined as those activities a person may engage in when identifying their own needs for information, searching for such information in any way, and using or transferring that information (Wilson, 2000).

The concept of “information behavior” was coined in the late 1990s, but it traces its roots to the concept of “information needs and uses” that arose in the 1960s. There has been a gradual shift in the focus of information behavior research from a system orientation to a user orientation. At the end of 1970's and in the beginning of 1980's researchers began to realize that questions in information needs, seeking and use could not been seen only from the systems point of view. The user of the information and his/her needs came into focus and research in cognitive science was applied in the studies. Girja Kumar (1990) has emphasized that the information seeking behavior is mainly concerned with who needs what kind of information and for what reasons; how information is found, evaluated and used, and how their needs can be identified and satisfied.


Pharmacy education in India traditionally has been industry and product oriented. In contrast to the situation in developed nations, graduate pharmacists prefer placements in the pharmaceutical industry. In India, formal pharmacy education leading to a degree began with the introduction of a 3-year bachelor of pharmacy (B.Pharm) at Banaras Hindu University in 1937. At that time, the curriculum was presented as a combination of pharmaceutical chemistry, analytical chemistry, and pharmacy, which prepared graduates to work as specialists in quality control and standardization of drugs for pharmaceutical companies, but not for pharmacy practice. After independence in 1947, India inherited a system for the pharmacy profession from the British rulers that was unorganized and there was no legal restriction on the practice of pharmacy. The concept of pharmacy practice was not realized until after independence. In 1948, the Pharmacy Act was enacted as the nation’s first minimum standard of educational qualification for pharmacy practice in order to regulate the practice, education, and profession of pharmacy. Currently, one needs at least a diploma in pharmacy to practice as a pharmacist. Provisions of the Act are implemented through the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI).

The establishment of Madras Medical College in Tamil Nadu which is the second medical college in India was a turning point in the growth of medical education in the state of Tamil Nadu. At present there are 41Pharmacy educational institutions in Tamil Nadu affiliated to the Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University ( see Appendix ). The first medical university for medicine was started on Andhra Pradesh and the second one is in Tamil Nadu named as The Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University. An over view of the Pharmacy educational institutions and their libraries in Tamil Nadu has been discussed in a separate paper by the authors (Selvamani & Babu, 2014).


Due to vast of amount of literature available on the subject of Information seeking behavior, only recent and significant studies have been reviewed in this section.

Tahamtan, et al. (2015) investigated drug information-seeking behaviour of health-care professionals and the way they managed this information in a developing country that lacks necessary information technology infrastructures. The purpose of this paper is to list the resources that Iranian health-care professionals used to access drug-related information, to know the features and types of drug information resources which were much more important for health-care professionals, the problems they encountered in seeking drug information and the way they organized and re-found the information that they had retrieved. Lack of access to drug information and lack of enough time were the main obstacles in seeking drug information. On the other hand, Andualem, Kebede, and Kumie, (2013) assessed the information needs among Ethiopian health professionals. The majority of the respondents acknowledged the need of health information to their routine activities. Important barriers to access information were geographical, organizational, personal, economic, educational status and time. Age, sex, income, computer literacy and access, patient size, work experience and working site were significantly associated with information needs and seeking behaviour.

In an another study, DeRosa (2013) surveyed 49 physicians, 43 nursing staff members, 25 administrative staff members, 23 paramedical staff members, and 5 technical staff members, totaling 145 health professionals in Greece. The study revealed that funding for hospital libraries in Greece is an issue preventing many new initiatives, that there is no association to represent hospital libraries in Greece, that the few libraries operating in hospitals in Greece are understaffed with no administrative control, and the majority of Greek hospitals do not have adequate library facilities. These drawbacks contribute to the information-seeking challenges experienced by Greek healthcare professionals.

Maharana, Dhal and Pati (2013) investigates information seeking behavior and satisfaction level of the faculty members and students at the VSS Medical College, Burala, Odisha. The study examines frequency of library visit, purpose of information seeking, preferred resources, most preferred search engine, satisfaction level among the respondents etc.

Sedghi, Sanderson, and Clough, (2012) reported the results of a study investigating the relevance criteria used by health care professionals when seeking medical images. The results show that participants made use of 15 relevance criteria, although they agreed on topicality being the most important. The findings suggest that users apply different criteria in different situations when evaluating the relevancy of medical images. Thus, this study helps to contribute to the understanding of medical image resources and the information needs of health care professionals. A clear understanding of the medical image information needs of health care professionals is also vital to the design process and development of medical image retrieval systems.

Joyson Soundararajan and Ramesh Babu (2011) analysed the information use patter of health professional in Christian medical college and Hospitals in Tamil Nadu. This study covers user’s information needs, search, access pattern, use of e-resources in the field of medicine and allied health fields, barriers while accusing and e-resources.

Tenopir, et al. (2009), studied the reading patterns of science, social science, technology, and medical university faculty members. Study showed that the information seeking and reading patterns of science faculty changed with the growth of electronic journals.

Hider, (2009) analysed the information seeking behaviour of clinical staff with a random sample of 850 hospital clinical staff belonging to 3 professional groupings, medical and dental, nursing, and allied health professionals. The results from this survey indicate that hospital clinical staff in a large health care organization has clear preferences for particular resources, searching methods, and continuing education formats. All three groups of hospital clinical staff show a clear preference for Google among electronic resources. This survey provides a unique snapshot of the skills, attitudes, and behavior of hospital clinical staff, including allied health professionals, in a large regional health organization. Potential limitations include the relatively few medical staff responders and the proportionately lower response from nursing staff. The findings suggest that a large number of staff use and highly value Internet-based resources for clinical information seeking. Jeyshankar, Nageswara Rao, and Ramesh Babu, (2009) examined the information needs and information seeking behaviour of dentists in Chennai. They emphasized that the existing infrastructure in terms of collection, services and other facilities in the libraries of Dental Educational Institutions are to be strengthened. As evident in this study, the libraries are yet to emerge as an effective information handling institutions in the light of changes in IT environment.

It is observed from the review of literature that there is no single study on the Information Seeking Behaviour of faculty of Pharmacy either at state level or national levels in India. Therefore this research has been conducted to bridge the gap on Information Seeking Behaviour of Pharmacy faculty in Tamil Nadu in view of the recent developments in information Seeking Behaviour.


• To identify the information needs and seeking behaviour of faculty of the pharmacy educational institutions in Tamil Nadu (India).

• To examine the motivating factors for information seeking behaviour of the pharmacy faculty.

• To examine the faculty opinions about the comprehensiveness or otherwise of respective institution's library collections.

• To analyse the extent of use and dependence on various sources of Information for teaching and research.


This study is based on Survey Method. The data has been collected through questionnaire method. For this study the faculty in 41 pharmacy colleges in Tamil Nadu have been considered. A total of 729 questionnaires have been distributed among 41 pharmacy educational institutions as shown in Appendix. Out of which 601 have responded and the response rate is 82.44%.


The data collected from the questionnaire have been analyzed and interpreted to test the hypotheses framed and to fulfill the stated objectives. For this purpose Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software has been used. The statistical analysis techniques such as frequency distribution, percentage analysis, ANOVA, Cluster Analysis, Wilcoxon Signed – Rank test and Chi-square test etc., have been employed depending on the nature of the data collected from the respondents.

7.1 Back ground information of the respondents

The data in Table 1 presents, the classification of respondents by designation and gender. Out of 448 respondents of Assistant Professors, nearly half of the respondents are Male 228, Female are 220. This is followed by 48 Associate Professors of which 33 are Male and Female are 15. Out of 105 respondents of Professors, 70 are Male and Female are 35.

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Table 1
Designation Vs Gender of the Pharmacy faculty
S.No Gender Designation Total<br>n = 601
Assistant Professors<br>n = 448 Associate Professors<br>n = 48 Professors<br>n = 105
1 Male 228(37.94) 33(5.49) 70(11.65)) 331(55.08)
2 Female 220(36.60) 15(2.50) 35(5.82) 270(44.92)
Total 448(74.54) 48(7.99) 105(17.47) 601(100.0)

7.2 Nature and Types of Information required: Cluster Analysis

A total of 13 types of information sources were identified, as the nature and types of information required by the respondents, and the responses were analysed using cluster analysis. In the dendrogram Fig. 1, at 60% distance level four interpretable clusters have been formed.

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Fig. 1
Dendrogram for Nature and Types of information required

Mobile device ownership over time


The first cluster consists of eight variables as shown in Table 2.

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Table 2
Cluster 1: Strongly Required Information Sources
S.No Variable Code Description Agree Disagree
1 NTI3 Methods, process and procedures 593 8
2 NTI4 Experimental designs, results and informationapplication 592 9
3 NTI2 Background Theory 588 13
4 NTI5 Product, Material 588 13
5 NTI11 Information about lab procedures 585 16
6 NTI6 Information about previous work done inyour field 595 6
7 NTI7 Information about current development in yourfield 595 6
8 NTI1 Review of Literature 593 8
Total 4729 79

In the Cluster 1 agree and disagree ratio for these variables are 60.54:1 which means these sources are strongly required by the respondents. Hence this cluster has been named as “Strongly Required Information Sources”

The Second cluster has been formed with two variables as shown in Table 3

In the Cluster 2 agree and disagree ratio is 40:1 which reveals that these variables are highly required by the pharmacy faculty. Therefore this cluster has been named as “Highly Required Information Sources”.

The third cluster has been formed with two variables as shown in Table 4.

In the Cluster 3 agree and disagree ratio is 27:1 which reveals that these variables are moderately required by the pharmacy faculty. Therefore this cluster has been named as “Rarely required Information Sources”.

The fourth cluster has been formed with only one variable as shown in Table 5.

In this cluster agree and disagree ratio is 32:1 which means these sources are moderately required by the respondents. Therefore this cluster has been named as “Moderately required Information sources”.

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Table 3
Cluster 2: Highly Required Information Sources
S.No VariableCode Description Agree Disagree
1 NTI12 Scientific and technical news 586 15
2 NTI13 Information about Government decisions onmedical field 587 14
Total 1173 29
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Table 4
Cluster 3: Rarely Required Information Sources
S.No Variable Code Description Agree Disagree
1 NTI8 Computer programs and model building information 582 19
2 NTI9 Standards and patent specifications andcodes of practice 576 25
Total 1158 44
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Table 5
Cluster 4: Moderately Required Information Sources
S.No Variable Code Description Agree Disagree
1 NTI10 Statistical data 580 21
Total 580 21

7.3 Purpose of Information Seeking Behaviour ANOVA Test for Purposes of Information Seeking vs. Designation

ANOVA test has been conducted for the Purposes of Information Seeking with the designation of the sample and the data is presented in Table 6.

The Calculated F value is higher than the table value, for the following two variables :

1. To Increase promotional opportunities (3.987)

2. To prepare notes for special lectures / public speech etc. (3.931)

Hence, it is inferred that there is no significant difference between the variables in the ANOVA test, for the rest of the variables since the F value is lower than the table value.

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Table 6
Purposes of Information Seeking Vs Designation
S.No. Purposes of Information Seeking Calculated F Value Rank
1 To prepare for class teaching 1.458 5
2 To guide my students project/researchscholars 1.234 6
3 General awareness for new knowledge .221 18
4 For participation inseminars/conferences etc 1.172 7
5 To increase promotional opportunities 3.987 1
6 To conduct seminars/summer/winter schoolprogrammes etc. .082 19
7 To write and publish papers 1.058 12
8 To prepare notes for speciallectures/public speech etc 3.931 2
9 To set question papers etc 1.112 11
10 To set up and use of equipment .364 16
11 To check authenticity of availableresults/ information 1.113 10
12 To check and evaluate one’s own results .891 14
13 To broaden the area of attention andwork done in related areas .369 15
14 To crystallize broad and vagueassertions 1.932 4
15 To evolve innovative ideas 1.171 8
16 To know about govt decision on medicalfield .246 17
17 To have visibility among peers andcolleagues .930 13
18 Sharing with the members of the team .075 21
19 Broad ending area of attention andreviewing work done in the related areas .080 20
20 Keeping abreast of latest development inthe field 1.170 9
21 Orienting your work with the existingbody of knowledge 2.288 3

Degrees of freedom 2; Table value at 0.05 level of significance 2.9957

7.4 Dependence on Formal and Documentary Sources Chi Square Test on the Dependence on Formal and Documentary Sources

The data in Table 7 reveals that for three variables Chi-square value is greater than the table value, which are as follows:

1. Official documents in Medical Departments (31.2)

2. Trade catalogues (24.8)

3. Reference Books (24.4)

It is inferred that, there is significant relationship between the dependence on the above formal and documentary sources and the designation of the sample. Out of thirteen types of formal and documentary sources, three variables have higher Chi-Square value, when analysed in relation to the designation of the respondents.

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Table 7
Dependence on Formal and Documentary Sources Vs Designation
S.No Formal and Documentary Sources Chi-Square
1 Books 4.7
2 Reference books 24.4
3 Conference proceedings 6.9
4 Thesis and dissertations 4.3
5 Current reading materials 11.4
6 Technical/ R&D reports 7.6
7 Standards and Patent specifications 22.6
8 Official documents in Medical Departments 31.2
9 Reprints and preprints from fellow professionals 12.5
10 Abstracting the indexing sources 7.1
11 Trade catalogues 24.8
12 Personal collections 14.4
13 Audio/video recordings 8.2

Degrees of freedom 2; table value at 0.05 level of significance 2.9957

7.5 Dependence on Informal and Interpersonal Sources ANOVA Test for Dependence on Informal and Interpersonal Sources Vs Designation

The respondent’s dependence on the Informal and interpersonal sources has also been analysed by ANOVA Test and the results are presented in Table 8

It is observed from the Table 8 that, the F value is higher than the table value for only two variables namely, “Result of own experience” and “Consulting expert in the field” which infers that the difference in sample mean is significant.

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Table 8
ANOVA Test for Dependence on Informal and Interpersonal Sources Vs Institution
S.No Informal and Interpersonal sources F Value
1 Personal experiences 2.579
2 Consulting experts in the field 4.030
3 Consulting colleagues and fellowprofessionals 1.187
4 Results of one 5.308
5 Consulting librarystaff/catalogues/OPACs 2.945
6 Professional meetings, seminars,symposia and lectures .784
7 Educational and training courses 1.264
8 Fellow professionals outside 1.070
9 Visit to pharmacy industries .871

Degrees of freedom 2; table value at 0.05 level of significance 2.9957

7.6 Use of Library Special Services

The opinion on eleven different of special services were obtained and the same is shown in Table 9.

Among the services provided in the library, “Journal Circulation” is having positive opinion (322) 53.58%, followed by “Literature Searching“ with (307) 51.08% respondents and third rank goes to “e-Resources” with (279) 46.42% respondents. (Table 9).

The first three ranks are follows.

Rank 1. The accuracy of information 347 (57.74%)

Rank 2. The understandability of information 251 (41.76%)

Rank 3. Its up-to-date-ness of information, 229 (38.10%)

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Table 9
Special Services Provided in the Library Vs Designation
S.No Services Designation Total<br>n=601 Rank
Asst Professor<br>n=448 Associate Professor<br>n=48 Professor<br>n=105
1 Translation 36(5.99) 2(0.33) 8(1.33) 46(7.65) 11
2 Journal circulation 235(39.10) 28(4.66) 59(9.82) 322(53.58) 1
3 Literature searching 223(37.11) 27(4.49) 57 (9.48) 307(51.08) 2
4 Compilation of bibliographies 73(12.15) 6(1) 22(3.66) 101(16.81) 9
5 Indexing and abstracting services 127(21.13) 10(1.66) 41(6.82) 178(29.61) 6
6 Library bulletin 94(15.64) 19(3.16) 25(4.16) 138(22.96) 7
7 Photocopying 165(27.45) 18(3) 46(7.65) 229(38.10) 4
8 Selective dissemination of information 45(7.49) 1(0.16) 9(1.5) 55(9.15) 10
9 NIC-NET services 91(15.14) 6(1) 22(3.66) 119(19.80) 8
10 CD-ROM services 131(21.79) 14(2.33) 48(7.99) 193(32.11) 5
11 e-Resources 203(33.77) 20(3.33) 56(9.32) 279(46.42) 3
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Table 10
Factors in the Context of Information Services Vs Designation
S.No Information services 1 2 3 4 5 Rank
1 The Cost in money 101(16.81) 93(15.47) 244(40.60) 62(10.32) 101(16.80) 6
2 The time it took 37(6.16) 84(13.98) 152(25.29) 195(32.45) 133(22.12) 4
3 Its up to-dateness 26(4.33) 53(8.82) 146(24.29) 147(24.46) 229(38.10) 3
4 The accuracy of information 1(0.16) 42(6.99) 85(14.14) 126(20.97) 347(57.74) 1
5 The understandability of information 7(1.16) 31(5.16) 153(25.46) 159(26.46) 251(41.76) 2
6 The accessibility of the information 97(16.14) 44(7.32) 115(19.14) 163(27.12) 182(30.28) 5

1–Not important 2–Least important 3-Important 4-Very Important 5-Most Important

7.7 Time spent in the Institution’s Library

In this study the respondents were asked to furnish the time spent in their respective institution’s library, and the data is presented in the Table 11.

It is observed from Table 11 that, 27.62% of the sample spent between 16 and 20 hours in a week in the library, followed by 21.95% between 11 and 15 hours. A meager percent 6.16% spent less than 4 hours per week. Therefore it is inferred that larger the number of respondents, greater the number of hours spent in the library.

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Table 11
Classification of faculty by Time Spent in the Institution’s Library per Week
S. No Timespent in the library Per week Designation Total<br>n=601 Rank
Asst. Professor<br>n=448 Associate Professor<br>n=48 Professor<br>n=105
1 More than 20 hrs 65(10.81) 6(1) 8( 1.33) 79(13.14) 5
2 Between 16 and 20 hrs 117(19.47) 17(2.83) 32(5.32) 166(27.62) 1
3 Between 11 and 15 hrs 87(14.47) 16( 2.66) 29( 4.82) 132(21.95) 2
4 Between 7 and 10 hrs 84( 13.97) 4( 0.66) 15(2.49) 103(17.12) 3
5 Between 4 and 6 hrs 66( 10.98) 4( 0.66) 14( 2.33) 84(13.97) 4
6 Less than 4 hrs per week 29( 4.83) 1( 0.17) 7( 1.16) 37(6.16) 6

7.8 Delegation of work for Information seeking

Nearly 1/3 of the respondents are in the habit of collecting information by searching individually and 41.60% delegate occasionally. It is interesting to note that, highest respondents delegate occasionally 41.60% and meager percent (12.81%) delegate frequently. The reason may be attributed to the phenomena that the institution’s environment and Professors are busy with teaching and research (Table 12).

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Table 12
Delegation of Work Vs Designation
S.No Delegation of work Designation Total<br>n=601
Asst. Professor<br>n=448 Associate Professor<br>n=448 Professor<br>n=448
1 No Delegation 94(15.64) 14 (2.33) 24(3.99) 132(21.96)
2 Delegate Occasionally 186(30.95) 21(3.49) 43(7.15) 250(41.60)
3 Delegate Moderately 109(18.14) 9(1.5) 24(3.99) 142(23.63)
4 Delegate Frequently 59(9.82) 4(0.66) 14(2.33) 77(12.81)

7.9 Motivational factors for the Information Seeking Behaviour

The first 5 ranks are as follows:

1. To pursue research related to work in the field, 51.75%

2. For self-improvement, 46.92%

3. To achieve desired result in work, 45.59%

4. To acquire and update knowledge in the field, 41.76%

5. For pleasure of doing work, self-fulfillment, and self-satisfaction, 41.26%

It is observed from Table 14 that 1/3 respondents 33.94% are of the opinion that challenging diseases and new drugs, followed by “Changing pattern of education” 27.12%, and “New syllabus pattern of university” 23.46% and “Information overload” 15.97%, and meager percent opinion having “Medical council of India norms on Medical Education” 7.32% are the factors that affect the information seeking behaviour.

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Table 13
Motivational factors for the Information Seeking Behaviour
S.No Motivational factors (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Rank
1 To pursue on research related to work inthe field 24(3.99) 37(6.16) 127(21.13) 311(51.75) 102(16.97) 1
2 To have visibility among peers andcolleagues 30(4.99) 84(13.98) 180(29.95) 92(15.31) 215(35.77) 8
3 To have an edge over other competitors 50(8.32) 81(13.48) 198(32.94) 110(18.30) 162(26.96) 11
4 For recognition 34(5.66) 69(11.48) 179(29.78) 158(26.29) 161(26.79) 12
5 To prepare for project review 19(3.16) 41(6.82) 144(23.96) 208(34.61) 189(31.45) 10
6 For self-improvement 13(2.16) 46(7.65) 125(20.80) 282(46.92) 135(22.46) 2
7 To acquire and update knowledge in thefield 9(1.50) 41(6.82) 164(27.29) 251(41.76) 136(22.63) 4
8 To maintain professional competence 13(2.16) 29(4.83) 141(23.46) 239(39.77) 179(29.78) 6
9 To achieve desired result in work 22(3.66) 24(3.99) 133(22.13) 274(45.59) 148(24.63) 3
10 To write and publish 10(1.66) 49(8.15) 167(27.79) 209(34.78) 166(27.62) 9
11 To pursue continuing education 20(3.33) 45(7.49) 168(27.95) 216(35.94) 152(25.29) 7
12 For pleasure of doing work, self-fulfillment andself-satisfaction 36(6) 41(6.82) 165(27.45) 248(41.26) 111(18.47) 5

n = 601<br> 1-Non motivator 2-Weakest motivator 3-Average motivator 4-Fairly motivator 5-Strongest motivator

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Table 14
Environment that Affects Information Seeking Behaviour Vs Designation
S.No Environment affects of Information needs Designation Total<br>n=601 Rank
Asst. Professor<br>n=448 Associate Professor<br>n=48 Professor<br>n=105
1 Information overload 64(10.64) 5(0.83) 27(4.5) 96(15.97) 4
2 Medical council of India norms onMedical Education 30(4.99) 4(0.67) 10(1.66) 44(7.32) 5
3 Challenging diseases and new drugs 153(25.46) 15(2.49) 36(5.99) 204(33.94) 1
4 Changing pattern of education 125(27.9) 9(1.5) 29(4.83) 163(27.12) 2
5 New syllabus pattern of university 111(18.46) 9(1.5) 21(3.49) 141(23.46) 3

7.10 Dependence on Institution’s Library Sources for Research Wilcoxon Signed – Rank Test for the Dependence on Institution’s Library Sources for Teaching and Research

The dependence on information sources available in the institution’s library for teaching and research has been analysed through Wilcoxon Rank Test for each variable, and the results are shown in the Table 15.

The frequency distribution, mean rank and the two-tailed probability values of the respondent’s dependence on Institution’s library for teaching and research are presented in Table 15. The following inferences could be drawn:

i. The respondents differ on their dependence on institution’s library sources for teaching and research.

ii. The two-tailed values for the all variables indicates that the dependence by the respondents on these variables for teaching do differ from research since their values are lesser than the table value of 0.05.

iii. This may be due to the fact that these sources are not much sought for in the pharmacy subjects

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Table 15
Dependence on the Institution’s Library Sources for Teaching and Research
S.No Sources Role No Dependence Rare Dependence Occasional Dependence Frequent Dependence High Dependence Mean Rank Tow-tailed Probability
1 Books Teaching 2.3 1.66 7.15 30.2 58.56 123.56 0.000<0.05
Research 3.16 3.32 15.80 29.11 48.58 113.49
2 Article in Journal Teaching 3.16 7.82 23.62 33.61 31.78 157.83 0.000<0.05
Research 0.83 2.83 5.32 18.64 72.38 148.77
3 Newspapers Teaching 5.99 24.29 29.95 21.13 18.64 125.86 0.000<0.05
Research 7.99 15.97 27.12 26.46 22.46 112.03
4 Govt. Documents Teaching 16.97 20.30 27.79 19.63 15.31 85.70 0.000<0.05
Research 14.64 19.30 21.46 24.63 19.97 87.48
5 Dissertations Teaching 10.15 17.14 27.62 24.79 20.30 105.61 0.000<0.05
Research 15.82 10.82 23.96 29.78 29.61 106.68
6 Field/Survey Reports Teaching 13.81 19.80 29.62 19.47 17.30 99.85 0.000<0.05
Research 7.15 15.81 26.62 22.13 28.29 107.77
7 Indexing & Abstracting Services Teaching 10.48 13.48 26.12 22.63 27.29 90.94 0.000<0.05
Research 3.83 8.49 22.13 26.12 39.43 127.28
8 Audio/Visual Teaching 15.99 17.14 26.29 25.46 25.12 120.44 0.000<0.05
Research 5.16 14.64 26.46 24.46 29.28 99.99
9 Book Reviews Teaching 7.15 11.81 21.13 32.12 27.79 77.86 0.000<0.05
Research 2.83 6.99 17.47 31.28 41.43 108.54
10 Patents and Standards Teaching 11.48 19.97 26.79 20.80 20.96 97.79 0.000<0.05
Research 6.49 12.81 20.30 26.96 33.44 123.11
11 Internet Services Teaching 4.16 6.16 14.81 29.45 45.42 88.28 0.000<0.05
Research 3 4.49 9.98 18.80 63.73 94.58


According to the overall findings of the study, it was obvious that there is a need for a big shift in building and improving the system for providing pharmacy information in pharmacy colleges in Tamil Nadu. Although change is likely to take time, it is clearly vital that a much-needed pharmacy information management service is supported by high-quality resources and advanced technologies. To ensure this, some recommended strategies and practical solutions are proposed for improving the quality in Pharmacy libraries in Tamil Nadu.

8.1 Enhancement of ICT Facilities in Pharmacy libraries

The majority of respondents prefer the Internet as their first source to look for the needed information as they feel that it has a significant impact on their study / research / teaching. The majority of faculty prefers pharmacy educational institutions’ library as the most convenient place for accessing the Internet. Networking the pharmacy college libraries would positively help the users in satisfying their information need through other libraries. Providing Internet facilities in the library by charging nominal fees would help in generating revenue for the library.

This is a challenge as well as an opportunity to serve the library users effectively. Hence it is suggested that, the libraries must make all efforts to upgrade the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) infrastructure for providing seamless broadband/leased line Internet access to the users. By establishing the cyber libraries or the computer centres within the library, the libraries can attract users community.

8.2 Information Literacy Program

The respondents often face difficulties like too much of information, too many different formats and scattered on the internet. They often resolve these information access problems by preferring an individual, independent work or consulting peers. Users have also indicated that they learn about information skills for information seeking in this changing ICT environment by trial and error and through colleagues and friends. In view of this prevailing situation, it is suggested that the libraries must plan and implement new information literacy programmes, which impart required skills / techniques to the users in accessing electronic information resources more effectively.

8.3 Library Staff Assistance

It is recommended that the library staff or the librarians could use their time in a better way by focusing on assisting the users. The librarians should help the users to improve their skills in information seeking activities and to find the different types of information they need. The Librarians should also assist the users in learning the use of OPAC, search engine, and CD-ROM products, and web sources available through the various networks.

It is suggested that the advanced training for users at different levels should be planned and implemented on priority basis. The content of training programs should be (a) Basic introduction to library resources, services and facilities; (b) Using OPAC; (c) Methods and tools for searching information resources, (d) Using the Internet; Using online and CD-ROM databases; (f) Using electronic journals; (g) Increase the use of reference books; and (h) Introducing audio-video materials.

8.4 In-Service Training Program for Librarians

The information technology is changing rapidly. New innovations are taking place regularly. Therefore, it is suggested that the librarians should continue to monitor the latest developments in technology and the adoption of technology should be based on evidence that supports the information seeker’s perspective.

It is strongly recommended that the pharmacy educational institutions in Tamil Nadu should encourage the librarians to attend regularly the training programmes organized by INFLIBNET/DELENET and other refresher courses/orientation courses, workshops, conferences, and seminars at the local and national level. There is a need to provide medical librarians to play an important role in assessing doctors' information needs and to help them in seeking out the required information. They should be trained to participate in the journal clubs and other meetings to help doctors in assessing their information needs. This can be achieved through training and assigning qualified staff in the hospital libraries and other medical libraries.

8.5 Use of Library Services

The information needs of Pharmacy faculties is varied and manifold. In the light of the distinct characteristics of Pharmacy faculties, the information system and services should be tailored to correlate with the characteristics of users. The study noticed that only a few services such as, lending of books and periodicals and reference service are highly ranked services used and other types of services are given lower ranking. Realising the significance of variety of documentation services and ICT based services that influence the information seeking behaviour, it is recommended that the libraries of Pharmacy educational institutions should take necessary efforts to provide those services. Hence, in order to enhance the awareness on the provision of such services, it is recommended that the Librarians shall conduct user education programmes to propagate the availability of library services and facilities. Further, it is also feasible to conduct periodically user studies to identify the extent of non-utilization of these services. Availability, affordability, accessibility, acceptability and sustainability of the services shall be considered while introducing ICT based services in the libraries of Pharmacy educational Institutions.

8.6 Faculty Motivation to Seek Information

Since it is found that the institutional affiliation and designation of the respondents have direct influence on the motivating factors for information seeking behaviour, it is urged that, the managements of the Pharmacy Educational Institutions shall create conducive environment that promote more refined information search process. Managements should provide necessary incentives for the research output produced by the Faculty of Pharmacy.

8.7 Collection Building

In view of the requirements expressed by the faculty on various sources of information for teaching and research, it is suggested that the libraries shall acquire a variety of sources in Pharmacy and allied disciplines. In case of a difficulty to procure the necessary resources due to financial constrains, it is suggested that they can enter into resource sharing arrangements with other libraries either at local, regional or national level. Further, in view of the changing scenario in the information and communication technologies, it is suggested that the libraries attached to Pharmacy Institutions shall strive a right choice between printed and electronic media of resources. There must be a good acquisition policy for their libraries formulated by Librarians and Managements of Pharmacy educational institutions. For effective utilisation of information sources, the acquisition policy should be objective and need-based.

8.8 Resource Sharing and Networking

It is a mandatory on the part of Pharmacy Colleges in Tamil Nadu in particular and India in general, to participate in the ERMED (Electronic resource in Medicine) programmes as suggested by the Medical Council of India norms. In view of the increased pressure on the Pharmacy Institutions to share resources by becoming member of Consortium, it is suggested that all the Pharmacy Institutions shall become members of the Consortium, and shall also form a Consortium of Pharmacy Libraries, to harvest the progressive benefits of resource sharing and networks. It is also suggested that the following types of co-operative programmes among the pharmacy educational institutions may be initiated:

i. To promote exchange of persons with different specialisations in Pharmacy subjects;

ii. To identify national and international transfer centres for the exchange of information in the field of Pharmacy; and

iii. To promote exchange of publications such as technical reports, field survey reports and other research output.

8.9 Towards the Planning and Implementation of ISO -9000 Standards

Realising the possible benefits that accrue through standardization of services and the growing tendency of the various Pharmacy Educational Institutions opting for ISO-9000 Standards, it is suggested that the Pharmacy Institutions including libraries need,

• To facilitate the development of the standardization and Total Quality Management (TQM) of Library services ;

• To facilitate the international exchange of products and services and develop intellectual, scientific, technological and economic co-operations; and

• To join the stream of ISO 9000 standards series accredited institutions.

8.10 Designing a Methodology for the Identification of Information Needs of Pharmacy Faculty

The library and information centres of the respective Pharmacy educational institutions shall formulate and implement methodology for the identification of information needs as :

• Continuous refinement and updating of their information needs;

• Study of Faculty and their specific environment;

• Study of the academic/research activities in the institution; and

• Conducting of formal/informal interviews with the faculty


When compared to findings of earlier studies to that of present study, it is evident that there is a clear change in the present scenario of information-seeking behaviour of academics/ scientists in the field of medicine and health sciences. A shift from library oriented information searching to Internet –based information searching is obvious. The information communication technology (ICT) has a positive impact on all the library and information services like Reference Service, Current Awareness Service, Online Public Access Catalogue, etc. The library users engage in a range of complementary modes of information seeking who use the electronic resources and web as an information resource to support their daily academic activities. The information seeking behavior of users is another aspect, which is influenced by the developments in ICT and its application in the libraries.

The information need of Pharmacy faculty is varied and manifold. In the light of the distinct characteristics of Pharmacy faculty, the information system and services should be tailored to correlate with the characteristics of users. The study noticed that only a few services such as, lending of books and periodicals and reference service are highly ranked services used and other types of services are given lower ranking. It is recommended that the libraries of Pharmacy educational institutions should take necessary efforts to provide those services. It is strongly recommended that the pharmacy educational institutions in Tamil Nadu should encourage the librarians to attend regularly the training programmes organized by INFLIBNET/DELENET and other refresher courses/orientation courses, workshops, conferences, and seminars at the local and national level. Pharmacy Educational Institutions shall create conducive environment that promote more refined information search process. Managements should provide necessary incentives for the research output produced by the Faculty of Pharmacy. A continuous assessment of information needs and seeking behaviour of faculties and students is an essential thing to be carried out by these libraries on a regular basis. It can be expected that considering the dynamic nature of ICT and the changes in the seeking behaviour, such studies would definitely bring out new findings on information needs and seeking also certainly help the librarians working in the Pharmacy Educational Institutions to bring the necessary changes on a priority basis.

Introducing measures to increase the awareness of Open-Source information resources among academics is highly recommended. It is important that library professionals / information managers especially in health / medical libraries should embark on re-designing their services with innovative approaches to match with the needs of health professionals of the time. The information seeking behaviour of pharmacy faculty is significant. The pharmacy faculty had neither effective and well developed information center such as library, nor internet facilities. Conducting training on managing health information, accessing computer and improving infrastructures are important interventions to facilitate effective information seeking. Universal access to information for health professionals is a need to achieve “health for all strategy”. Hence the Pharmacy educational institutions on one hand and the librarians on the other hand, shall strive together more professionally with blend of service-mindedness to the community, by effectively utilising Information Technology.



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