The utilization of eBooks in Medical Sciences’ Graduate Programmes in Makerere University: The case of students of Masters of Medicine in Internal Medicine and Masters of Veterinary Preventive Medicine
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This study was conducted in Makerere University to examine the Utilization of eBooks in Medical Sciences’ Graduate Programmes. The case study was the Masters of Medicine in Internal Medicine and the Masters of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. The study sought to investigate the accessibility, environment, perceptions and use of eBooks. While academic libraries spent huge amounts on subscriptions, there were limited studies on usage and therefore not enough information on value for money on e-resources subscription. The researcher adopted a case study design using a qualitative approach and purposive sampling technique to select the sample for the study. The methods for data collection included interviews, document review and observation. The study established that eBooks were available at Makerere University and graduate students especially those from the medical programmes were utilizing e-resources; students were mainly motivated to utilize eBooks because of the need for current information required by medical students; postgraduates used eBooks because they were convenient to access. Factors affecting ready access were established and included: unreliable Internet, power failure, limited access devices, and inadequate training and virus infections. The study concluded that postgraduate medical students regularly utilized eBooks to satisfy their information needs especially those from Master of Medicine in Internal Medicine. The study recommended continuous investments in eBooks platforms to encourage continuous utilization; enforce internal internet usage controls in order to improve internet service quality; provide loanable e-reading devices and invest more on power backup technologies based on the framework to optimize utilization.