Int J Digit LibrDOI 10.1007/s00799-008-0036-y
The use of online digital resources and educational digital librariesin higher education
© Springer-Verlag 2008
This paper summarizes results from a nationalsurvey of 4,678 respondents, representing 119 institutions of higher education in the United States regarding their use of digital resources for scholarly purposes. This paper presentsthe following results: (1) demographics commonly used inhigher education to categorize populations such as institu-tion type or level of teaching experience could not reliablypredict use of online digital resources, (2) valuing onlinedigital resources corresponds with only higher levels of usefor certain types of digital resources, (3) lack of time was asigniﬁcant barrier to use of materials while, paradoxically,respondents indicated that they used them because they savetime, (4) respondents did not tend to intentionally look to theInternet as a trusted resource for learning about teaching.
This article summarizes aggregate and summary resultsfrom a national survey of higher education instructors in the
F. McMartin (
)Broad-based Knowledge, Richmond, CA, USAe-mail: ﬂora.email@example.comE. Iverson
C. ManducaCarleton College, Northﬁeld, MN, USAA. Wolf University of Wisconsin—Madison, Madison, WI, USAJ. MorrillMorrill Solutions, Madison, WI, USAG. MorganGeorge Mason University, Fairfax, VA, USA
United States aimed at understanding the uses, motivations,and barriers surrounding faculty members’ and instructors’use of educational digital libraries.
In addition, it examines discovery and use of educationaldigital resources within the context of the growing desire onthe part of faculty members and instructors to use them, andan increasing difﬁculty in their ability to ﬁnd, access anduse them. The National Science Education Digital Library(NSDL) aptly described the situation faculty members andinstructors face:The rapid acceleration of information available via theinternetmakeslocatinghigh-quality,accurate,andtrulyuseful educational resources challenging for teachersand learners. Educators, in particular, need efﬁcientand reliable methods to discover and use science andmath materials that will help them meet the demandsof instruction, assessment, and professional develop-ment.
A growing movement is evolving to address the needs of faculty members and instructors wishing to ﬁnd and useonline digital materials. Since the mid 1990s the National
For the purposes of this discussion we use the term “digital library”broadly, aligning our view with that of the Lynch and Garcia-Molinadeﬁnition: [digital libraries are] “systems providing a community of users with coherent access to a large, organized repository of infor-mation and knowledge”. This deﬁnition is sufﬁciently broad to
include collections that formally identify themselves as digital libraries(i.e., the National Engineering Education Digital Library or NEEDS—The National Engineering Education Digital Library), those that areassociated within the Open Educational Resource movement (e.g.,OpenCourseWare sites such as MIT or Utah State University) or arecampus-supported repositories or members of multi-campus consortia.According to this deﬁnition, commercial entities may also be a collec-tion, for example, JSTOR and the growing collection of materials heldin the iTunes University website sponsored by Apple.