[RSS] [Google]



contact us

Library Philosophy and Practice 2010

ISSN 1522-0222

Information Seeking Behaviour of Researchers in Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), Lucknow

Dr. M. Masoom Raza
Associate Professor and Corresponding Author
Department Of Library and Information Science
Aligarh Muslim University
Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India

Sarwat Fatima
Department of Library and Information Science
School of Social Sciences
Indira Gandhi National Open University
New Delhi, India

Ashok Kumar Upadhyay
Research Scholar
Department of Library and Information Science
Aligarh Muslim University
Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India



Information seeking behaviour is a complex activity, requiring access to diverse information resources to deal with work-related, personal, and social information problems. Information-seeking behaviour refers to strategies for locating information, and has three elements: people, information, and systems. The study of individual information-seeking behaviour requires understanding of the psychological state of the user that may lead to insight into their expectations make it possible to predict information-seeking activity (Ocholla 1999).

Concept of Information Seeking Behaviour

With the deluge of available information, each person needs information of increasing variety. The information needs of a particular group of users and for a specific situation or organization are difficult to determine. There is not one simple system to cope up with all information needs (Mahapatra and Panda 2001).

According to Krikelas (1983), information-seeking behaviour refers to “any activity of an individual that is undertaken to identify a message that satisfies a perceived need.” Mick (1980) observed that “information- producing and information-seeking behaviour are closely linked and are the reasons why most information systems are not better accepted as they fail to provide linkage between the two activities.”

Review of Related Literature

Steinerova and Susol (2007) conducted a study on user information behaviour from a gender perspective in Slovakia. Differences in orientation to information, collaboration style, and use of information were discovered, with the conclusion that gender as a variable can be productive for understanding information processing.

Asemi (2005) surveyed the search habits of Internet users at Isfahan University of Medical Sciences (MUI) in Iran, and found that training would help them obtain useful and relevant information.

Oduwole (1999) conducted a study to examine the impact of an institution's medical library on the clinical decision-making of medical officers in two Nigerian university teaching hospitals and to examine the medical information sources. The major findings revealed a heavy dependence on the journal literature.

Prasad (1998) noted that non-traditional literature such as unpublished conference and symposia papers, research proposals, policy guidelines, and project reports are also popular among scholars.

Clougherty, et al., (1998) carried out a user needs assessment at the University of Iowa in order to determine the purpose of undergraduate visits to the library and overall user satisfaction. Results indicated that more than 70 percent of respondents used the library as a place to study, use photocopiers, and borrow material. An equal number turned to library staff for assistance.

Adedibu, et al., (1997) investigated the information needs of medical students, collecting data on their library orientation and reasons for coming to the library.

Sethi (1990) studied the information-seeking behaviour of social science faculty in Indian universities. Respondents preferred journals, books, government documents and reference sources for meeting their information needs.

Pelzer and Leysen (1988) evaluated veterinary medical students' perception of the demands of their curriculum for locating clinical information to determine whether they sought current information and where they obtained it. Indexes and abstracts were used more by students in the clinical curriculum who held or were seeking advanced degrees than by the general body of students, reflecting this group's prior exposure to information sources.

Objectives of the Study

1. To discover the awareness of researchers regarding services provided by the Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), Lucknow.

2. To identify the purpose and type of information sought by researchers of CDRI.

3. To determine the extent of IT application in the library and research awareness of these applications.

4. To examine user opinion regarding the facilities provided by CDRI.

5. To determine the researchers strategy for searching.

6. To determine the factors that influence researchers' information needs and information-seeking.

Scope and Limitations

The scope of the study is limited to the researchers of CDRI, Lucknow.

Sample Population

The present study was conducted on a sample of 54 researchers of CDRI. A total of 60 questionnaires were distributed, of which 54, i.e., 90 percent, were returned.

Data Analysis

Table 1: Frequency of Visit to the Library

Sl. No. Frequency No. of Researchers Percent
1 Daily 5 9.26 percent
2 Twice a Week 12 22.22 percent
3 Weekly 22 40.74 percent
4 Monthly 15 27.78 percent


54 100.00

About 40 percent of respondents visit the library weekly, followed more than one quarter who visit monthly, and 22 percent who visit twice a week.

Table 2: Purpose of visit

Sl. No. Purpose of visit No. of Researchers Percent
1 Collect reading material 27 50 percent
2 Find latest arrivals in library 19 35.18 percent
3 Read newspapers and magazines 3 5.56 percent
4 Other 5 9.26 percent


54 100.00

Half of respondents visit the library to collect reading material, followed by more than one-third who visit to see the latest acquisitions.

Table 3: OPAC for material searching

OPAC Facility

No. of Researchers

Yes Percent No Percent Total Percent
44 81.48 10 18.52 54 100

More than 80 percent use the library OPAC to search for material.

Table 4: Strategy for Searching

Sl. No. Searching strategy No. of Researchers Percent
1 By subject 25 46.30 percent
2 By author 8 14.81 percent
3 By title 14 25.93 percent
4. Any other 7 12.96 percent


5.4 100.00

Nearly half search for material by subject, while about one-quarter search by title.


Table 5: Types of Computerized Services

Sl. No. Types No. of Researchers
   Yes Percent No Percent
1. Literature search within the library 7 12.96 47 87.04
2 Literature search through local network 7 12.96 47 87.04
3 Literature search through national network NIL NIL 54 10
4. Literature search through International network 28 51.85 26 48.15

More than half of respondents search the literature through international networks, while only about 13 percent search through the local network.

Table 6: Types of Problem in Using Internet

Sl. No. Types No. of Researchers
   Yes Percent No Percent
1. Technical 6 11.11 48 88.89
2 Guidance Nil Nil 54 100
3 Slow downloading 16 29.63 38 70.37
4. Any other 5 9.26 49 90.74

Slightly less than one-third of respondents said that slow downloading was a problem.

Table 7: Information Technology Based Services

Sl. No. IT Services No. of Researchers
   Yes Percent No Percent
1. Circulation services 23 42.59 31 57.41
2 OPAC (Online Public Access Catalogue) 42 77.78 12 22.22
3 Xeroxing 45 83.33 9 16.67
4. CD ROM 16 29.63 38 70.37
5. Microfiche Reading 2 3.70 52 96.30

Users have a mostly-favorable view of library services, particularly photocopying and the OPAC. Circulation has a favorable rating of about 42 percent.

Table 8: Library Services

Sl. No. Library Services No. of Researchers
   Yes Percent No Percent
1. Reference Services 37 68.52 17 31.48
2 CAS (Current Awareness Service) 38 70.37 16 29.63
3 SDI (Selective Dissemination of Information) 10 18.52 44 81.48
4. Indexing Services 37 68.52 17 31.48
5. Abstracting Services 31 57.41 23 42.59
6. Bibliography 40 74.07 14 25.93
7. News papers 43 79.63 11 20.37
8. Inter library loan 5 9.26 49 90.74
9. Translation services 3 5.56 51 94.44

Nearly 80 percent of respondents use newspapers, with large numbers also using bibliographic services, CAS, and reference services and indexing services.

Table 9: E-Journals in Library

Sl. No. E Journals No. of Researchers Percent
1. None 1 1.85 percent
2. One Nil Nil
3. Two to five 12 22.22 percent
4. More than five 41 75.93 percent


54 100 percent

More than three-quarters of respondents use more than five of the library’s e-journals.

Table 10: Attending Conferences, Seminars and Workshops

Sl. No. Conferences No. of Researchers Percent
1. Always 15 27.78 percent
2. Frequently 29 53.70 percent
3. Rarely 9 16.67 percent
4. Never 1 1.85 percent


54 100 percent

Nearly all respondents attend conferences frequently or always.

Table 11: Purpose of Seeking Information

Sl. No. Purpose No. of Researchers Percent
1. For career development 28 51.85
2. To solve immediate practical problems 7 12.96
3. To keep up to date 18 33.34
4. To write an article 1 1.85


54 100

More than half of respondents seek information for career development, followed by one-third who seek information to keep up-to-date.

Table 12: Opinion Regarding Librarian and Library Staff

Sl. No. Opinion No. of Researchers Percent
1. Helpful 33 61.11
2. Most helpful 6 11.12
3. Less helpful 7 12.96
4. Least helpful 7 12.96
5. Not helpful at all 1 1.85


54 100

More than three-fifths of respondents found the library staff helpful.

Table 13: Facilities in Library

Sl. No. Facilities in Library No. of Researchers
   Yes Percent No Percent
1. Opening Hours 33 61.11 21 38.89
2 Library environment 47 87.04 7 12.96
3 Location 47 87.04 7 12.96
4. Collection of books & Journal 41 75.93 13 24.07
5. Issue return system 40 74.07 14 25.93
6. Arrangement of materials 44 81.48 10 18.52

A large majority responded very positively about the environment and facilities of the library.

Summary of Findings

Most researchers visit the library weekly, generally to collect reading material. The OPAC is the most-used resource for searching, and most researchers prefer to search by subject. Literature searches are performed using the library's international network. Most use Internet services for email and face the problem of slow downloading. Photocopying and the OPAC are the most-used services in the library. Newspaper and bibliography services are the most used research services. Most researchers use the library's e-journals, and most attend conferences, seminars, and workshops frequently. Most researchers feel that library staff is helpful and most find the library facilities satisfactory, although a sizable number are not satisfied with the opening hours.


The CDRI library has been providing effective services to researcher. Most users are satisfied with the services provided by the library and the study reveals that there is a good application of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the library. Information-seeking behaviour differs from one discipline to another and from one institution or library to another. Library information systems, however, must be capable of handling the complex information need and demands of researchers.


Adedibu, L., et al. (1997). Information needs and information seeking patterns of medical students at Lautech, Ogbomoso. Aslib Proceedings 49 (9): 238-242.

Asemi, A. (2005). Information searching habits of Internet users: A case study of the Medical Sciences University of Isfahan, Iran. Webology 2 (1) Available: http://www.webology.ir/2007/v2n1/a10.html

Clougherty, L., et al. (1998). The University of Iowa Libraries' undergraduate user needs assessment. College and Research Libraries 59 (6): 572-84.

Krikelas, J. (1983). Information-seeking behaviour: A pattern and concept. Library Quarterly, 19 (2): 7.

Mahapatra, R.K., & Panda, K.C. (2001). Information-seeking behaviour: A conjectural approach. SRELS Journal of Information Management 38 (2): 121-136.

Mick, C.K. (1980).Towards usable user studies. JALIS 31 (5): 347-350

Ocholla, D.N. (1999). Insight into information seeking and communicating behaviour of academics. International Information and Library Review 31 (3): 119-143.

Oduwole, A.A. (1999). Study of the impact of medical libraries on clinical decision-making in Nigeria university teaching hospitals. International Information and Library Review 31 (4): 109-15.

Pelzer, L.N., & Leysen, J.M. (1988). Library use and information-seeking behaviour of veterinary medical students. Bulletin of the Medical Association 76 (4): 328-33.

Prasad, H.N. (1998). Information-seeking behaviour of physical scientists and social scientists: A report. Annals of Library Science and Documentation 45 (2): 41-48.

Sethi, A. (1990). Information seeking behaviour of social scientists: An Indian conspectus . New Delhi: Hindustan Publishing Corporation.

Steinerova, J., & Susol, J. (2007). Users' information behavior: A gender perspective. Information Research 12 (3) Available: http://informationR.net/ir/12-3/paper320.html



contact us