Characteristics and availability of journal literature used by biomedical researchers in South Africa

Steynberg, Susan (1991-12)

Dissertation (D. Phil) -- University of Stellenbosch, 1991.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The management of especially academic libraries need to justify the expenditure on staff, equipment and materials to the top management at universities which are in the throes of economically stringent times. Document delivery is seen as one of the core functions an academic information service performs and thus an appropriate target for objective assessment The present project focuses on the document delivery capability of the academic medical libraries in South Africa. A dual research protocol is employed. Firstly the characteristics of the journal literature used by the South African biomedical researchers are analysed and described. The availability of these publications are subsequently investigated. The journal articles published in 1989 by the target group provides the source data for the project. These articles, augmented by a representative sample of the references cited, are analysed according to established bibliometric criteria. The resulting description of characteristics is significant in its comparability with similar international studies. Subsequently, an empirical document delivery test is conducted at all seven the academic medical libraries in South Africa to establish the availability quotient of the identified journal citations. A hypothetical national average is also calculated. A high availability rate was found at all the test libraries. Academic libraries are at present forced to cancel journal subscriptions. It is crucially important that such cancellations should be handled on a rational basis thereby limiting the damage to what is collectively considered a national asset This is only possible through national cooperation under the auspices of the CUP. This study was intended as an indicator of the current state of availability of biomedical journal literature in South Africa. It is recommended that the same methodology be used for follow-up studies to control these results and to monitor future availability trends.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die bestuur van veral akademiese biblioteke is onder toenemende druk om die hoe bedryfskoste van inligtingsdienste aan hul topbestuur te regverdig. Die evaluering van dienste word dus In prioriteit. Dokumentlewering word gesien as een van die kernfunksies wat 'n akademiese inligtingsdiens verrig. Dit is terselfdertyd baie geskik vir objektiewe meting. In hierdie projek word spesifiek ondersoek ingestel na die aard en beskikbaarheid van die tydskriflektuur wat deur biomediese navorsers in Suid-Afrika gebruik word. Dit geskied deur In tweerlei navorsingsprotokol. Enersyds word die eienskappe van die tydskriflektuur wat deur SuidAfrikaanse biomediese navorsers gebruik word ontleed en beskryf, andersyds word die beskikbaarheid van hierdie publikasies ondersoek. Die tydskrifartikels wat in 1989 deur die teikengroep gepubliseer is, word as uitgangspunt gebruik. Hierdie artikels asook 'n verteenwoordigende monster van die verwysings daarin vermeld, word volgens aanvaarde bibliometriese kriteria ontleed. Die beskrywing van die eienskappe van hierdie publikasies is insiggewend in die vergelykbaarheid daarvan met soortgelyke internasionale studies. Vervolgens word die beskikbaarheidskwosient van biomediese navorsingstydskrifte by al sewe SuidAfrikaanse akademiese mediese biblioteke bepaal en 'n hipotetiese nasionale gemiddelde word bereken. Die beskikbaarheidsvlak van die items is hoog by al die mediese biblioteke waar die empiriese dokumentleweringstoets afgele is. Akademiese biblioteke word genoop om tydskrifte weens geldtekort te kanselleer. Dit kan hierdie gunstige toed rag van sake nadelig be·invloed. Dit is dus gebiedend noodsaaklik dat die skade aan die nasionale voorraad beperk word deur die rasionalisering van tydskrifvoorraad. Dit kan aileen geskied deur onderlinge samewerking tussen veral die mediese biblioteke, onder leiding van die KUH. 'n Oogmerk van hierdie studie was om as indikator van die huidige beskikbaarheid van biomediese joernale in Suid-Afrika te dien. Opvolgstudies met dieselfde metodologie is wenslik om die resultate te kontroleer en verdere neigings ten opsigte van die beskikbaarheid van biomediese navorsingsjoernale te monitor.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/69122
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