Entomologists’ Utilization of Electronic Information Resources at Makerere University, and National Agricultural Research Organization, Uganda
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The concept of electronic resources had tremendously been adopted by most societies due to its associated value. Technology advancement has been a major driving force for this dynamic shift of access to information. Such a technology requirement may be in the form of hardware such as computers, tablets, and mobile phones, or software. These resources help researchers and scholars to access information conveniently at any time and from any location. Insects are a major component of the ecosystem. Some insects are very destructive such as giant looper, caterpillars and locusts, while others such as bees and grasshoppers are beneficial. While agriculturalists continue to experience losses due to pests, some solutions already exist and can be accessed online. It is therefore the role of experts like entomologists who should retrieve the technical information from various sources and provide meaningful solutions to the local farmers. This paper aims to address the gap in information services provided by institutions and information personnel, for improved utilization of electronic resources by teachers, researchers, and postgraduate students, of Entomology at Makerere University and National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO). The study employed a mixed-methods research paradigm. An Interview guide, questionnaire, and observation guide were used to collect data from Entomologists. Data was captured using Epidata (V. 3.1), analyzed using descriptive statistics in SPSS (V.21) to obtain the frequencies and relationships in response to the research questions. Data were presented in tables and graphs for appropriate interpretation. Results from the study indicated that Entomologists were aware of the availability of E-Resources at their institutions. It was also established that the internet was largely utilized in the search for information, and searches from Google Scholar and AGORA databases were more prominent. The majority of the Entomologists were found to prefer E-Resources to print resources and that they mainly depended on E-Resources under their institutional subscriptions. Entomologists were found to have a diversity of information needs, but they largely searched for information on the biology and physiology of insects. The major challenge encountered by Entomologists in the use of E-Resources was the slow internet speed resulting from limited bandwidth. This study practically and theoretically, contributes to Information services at institutions. It isolates Entomologists from other researchers and provides conclusive solutions to societal problems resulting from hindrances to information access.