Usage of Electronic Resources Among Ophthalmologists in India

Usage of Electronic Resources Among Ophthalmologists in India

A. Ashok Kumar (Anna Centenary Library, India)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7125-4.ch003
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The contribution of ophthalmologists is inevitable for visually challenged patient care and to eradicate unnecessary blindness in this society. Other than the academic focus of the medical students, the importance of continuing medical education (CME) for doctors in all disciplines, including ophthalmology, is a well-known factor to enhance their day-to-day clinical practices. The role of electronic and online resources in academic curriculum of medicine and CME is acceptable and inexorable among the user community worldwide. In the last several years, many research studies have focused on how people use electronic resources or on their feelings about electronic and online resources in various fields. In this study, the researcher analyzed the electronic resources usage among the ophthalmologists which indirectly supports their day-to-day clinical practices and serves the society against blindness. The results of the study show that the respondents have an average level of e-resources usage skills, particularly on awareness about many available e-resources.
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The prominence of electronic and online resources in this information era is a fact that is inevitable. Electronic and digital formats of information are interspersed in our day to day routines personally, academically and professionally. John Shaw Billings, a great surgeon and librarian once famously mentioned, “The learning of the doctor which goes on after he has his degree is, after all, the most important part of his education” (Billings as cited in Manning & Debakey, 1989). The above quote insists about the importance of continuing medical education to be a virtuoso medical professional. For continuous learning, digital resources play a vital supportive role to adopt. As it supports and enhances the output of the better patient care in the society, it is fruitful to do research on the same.

The role of ophthalmologists in this society is unavoidable for eye and vision care of patients. Earlier the information which they sought to support their patient care and medical practices depended solely upon the print versions, but after the technological evolution the multifarious digital formats were also available. Even in the present scenario, some of the medical professionals prefer printed versions of resources, now the condition is changing as they need not come physically to the library premises to find the print formats but can stay at their clinic table and access online resources through networks at any time. The eclectic availability of e-resources has changed what users actually read and use. The users, particularly doctors now tend to use only what is easily accessible during their constrained time. Serendipity of getting authenticated and reliable resources is still an issue in the usage electronic and online resources.

Hence, the necessity of analyses on the usage of e-resources among ophthalmologists spontaneously rises to predict the supportive elements in their clinical practices. In this chapter, the various facets involved and combined in the present research have been presented and elucidated.

Electronic Resources

The emergence of information technology has brought tremendous changes and developments in almost every discipline and field. In academic and research, the ICT influences the reading materials format from print to digital. Electronic resources, shortly known as e-resources are ever growing to support research and education in this digital era. This new frontier has been hastily populous over the last few years with the explosion of e-resources in the forms of newspapers, magazines, journals, books, statistical data, images, audio including music, videos and websites. The electronic and digital resources can be characterized as ‘born digital’ and ‘digitalized’, which means the resources are digital by origin and digitally archived by scanning printed materials, respectively.

The need of electronic formats of information resources is due to sustenance easy access, quick access, share, port, edit and search capabilities compared to printed versions. The challenges of using electronic resources are the need of supporting equipment and devices; technical and computer literacy; network connectivity and speed; power supply and licencing. One of the unique traits of e-resources compared to print is that it is accessible by multiple users at the same time irrespective of the place of access.

According to AACR2, 2005 Update, an electronic resource is: “Material (data and/or program(s)) encoded for manipulation by a computerized device. This material may require the use of a peripheral directly connected to a computerized device (e.g., CD-ROM drive) or a connection to a computer network (e.g., the Internet).” It includes data available by (1) remote access and (2) direct access (fixed media). In other words, remote access refers to the use of electronic resources via computer networks. The term ‘direct access’ can be defined as the use of e-resources via physical carriers designed to be inserted into a computerised device or its auxiliary equipment, for example: discs, cassettes, drives, etc. According to Gradman glossary, an electronic resource is a publication in digital format which must be stored and read on a computer device.

Key Terms in this Chapter

E-Ophtha: E-Ophtha is one of the open access resource website, which has bundle of information on ophthalmology including online text books, presentation slides, blog, links to useful websites and more.

Online Resources: In general, web pages and documents on the internet that provide useful information are known as online resources. While an online resource is archetypal data and educational in nature, any support software available online can also be considered a resource.

E-Resources: Has potential to provide access to literally thousands of e-articles, e-books, online newspapers, magazines and more, which is far more than a library could possibly subscribe in print format. It is possible to find related studies while searching internet, as most online databases provides citation links to the particular study.

Ophthalmology: Ophthalmology is the division of medicine that deals with anatomy, physiology and diseases of the eye. The term ophthalmology comes from the Greek words “ophthalmos” means eye and “logos” means word, thought or discourse; ophthalmology literally means “the science of eyes.”

Web 2.0: The web is currently the trendy hotspot global interaction among the online users. The concept of web was changed from one-way communication of information to two way communication of information. This concept is known as Web 2.0, and it encourages the information consumer to become information provider.

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