Original Research

An investigation on e-resource utilisation among university students in a developing country: A case of Great Zimbabwe University

Talent Mawere, Kundai O.S. Sai
SA Journal of Information Management | Vol 20, No 1 | a860 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v20i1.860 | © 2018 Talent Mawere, Kundai O.S. Sai | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 February 2017 | Published: 12 June 2018

About the author(s)

Talent Mawere, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Great Zimbabwe University, Zimbabwe
Kundai O.S. Sai, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Great Zimbabwe University, Zimbabwe

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Background: Electronic libraries are the recent development in the ever-changing technological world today. Students nowadays have the ability to carry the library wherever they are, their Internet-enabled devices being the only requirement. Most universities worldwide have subscribed to various online databases and other e-resources as a way of availing resources to their students. To their credit, most institutions of higher learning in developing countries have not been left out in this stampede.


Objectives: The study aimed at investigating the adoption and utilisation of e-resources by students at a university in a developing country.


Method: The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) model was used to conceptualise the study. A survey questionnaire was designed and distributed through social media platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp. Quantitative data were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The Chi-squared test was used to test for casual relationships within the developed model. A thematic approach was used to analyse qualitative data.

Results: Despite the fact that many Zimbabwean academic institutions have made the facility of e-libraries top agenda in their strategic plans, the adoption rate among students is still very limited. This can be attributed to a myriad of facts, inter alia, poor marketing strategies, lack of resources among the students and exorbitant data charges by Internet Service Providers (ISPs).


Conclusion: This study has provided some basic insights in utilisation of e-resources in universities of developing countries. Despite the younger generation being described as digital natives, it is, quite evident that their uptake of technological innovations especially in education is quite poor. This research will assist both researchers and management of institutions of higher learning to provide and design amicable solutions to the problem of poor utilisation of e-resources as it highlights the major causes of poor utilisation in the developing country context.


e-resource utilisation; e-book; e-journal; Great Zimbabwe University; Zimbabwe University librarians consortium; TAM


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