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Title: An investigation of the barriers to information access : a study among university students with special reference to Saudi Arabia
Author: Gharieb, Magdah Ezzat A.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3495 7714
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2007
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This research aimed to find out the main barriers to information access facing students in culturally similar as well as distinct university environments. Using Wilson's model as a broad basis for the study, various intervening variables from (1) two culturally distinct academic environments, viz. University of Strathclyde (SU) in Glasgow, UK, and King Abdul-Aziz University (KAAU) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and (3) three universities from the same environment, viz. KAAU, King Saud University (KSU) and Imam Mohammed Bin Saud Islamic University (IMBSIU) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, have been studied using both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and a combination of data collection techniques via questionnaire, interview and focus groups. It was noted that university students in the UK get better information services because of the prevailing national and institutional policies and guidelines for ICT infrastructure and information support. Each university in Saudi Arabia has different ICT and information policies, which are not often clearly written, and the geographical location of the university plays a great role in the provision of ICT and information services. Similarities were noted among Saudi university students in terms of the influences of demographic variables on the use, type and preference of e-information resources, and on the access and usage patterns of Internet. Differences were noted with regard to the students' social/interpersonal variables, particularly on the type and preference of e-information resources, and the level of parental education influencing the access and user confidence in adopting ICT. Concluded that information behaviour of university students in Saudi Arabia is influenced by the ICT and information infrastructure of the country and the specific universities, the geographical location, as well as religious and social customs and practices, and the socio- economic characteristics of the students and their ICT and informat ion skills. The design of academic library websites needs to be improved to meet the user needs. Wilson's general model of human information behaviour, especially with regard to the barriers to information access, has been modified in accordance with the findings of this research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: JISC Digital Islam
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral