HEC digital library downloads hit million mark
ISLAMABAD, March 21 2006: There has been a phenomenal increase in the total number of full text articles downloaded over the previous year by researchers in the universities from the Higher Education Commission’s Digital Library.
The statistics for 2004 totalled approximately 100,000 full-text article downloads, whilst the total count for 2005 has exceeded over 1 million, a ten-fold increase, indicating the increasing utilisation of this invaluable resource.
A total of 666,986 full text downloads from public sector universities has been recorded, with approximately 350,000 downloads from the participating private sector universities and indigenous research institutions. The rise clearly suggests that all the participating public, private and non-indigenous institutions have woken up to the immense potential offered to their researchers through this programme and have benefited considerably by being able to access the scientific and technological content.
The University of Karachi has the highest number of downloads (91,989), of which the majority (over 75,000) are from a single research Institute (HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry) followed by Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad (83,426), University of the Punjab, Lahore (66,885), University of Faisalabad (55,410) and University of Technology, Lahore (55,225). Among the private sector universities, Lahore University of Management Sciences tops the list with 83,882 downloads.
All other universities have less than 30,000 downloads each of research articles. NED University of Engineering and Technology had only 14,190 downloads. National University of Science and Technology had only 8,978 downloads while Mehran University of Engineering and Technology had only 5,727 downloads.
According to an information brief by the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (Oxford, UK), the success of a digital library can be measured by calculating the cost per article download. If the indicator shows a cost of equals less than 10 dollars per article, the programme may be considered as operating successfully.
The usage statistics compiled for the year 2005 signify that the cost per article for HEC Digital Library calculates to less than 2.3 dollars per article, which is free to the end users but is borne by the government. Pakistan’s Digital Library has proven itself to be a world-leading national consortium, in terms of the content available and the usage relative to total expenditure.
Since its inception in 2004, HEC’s Digital Library Programme has gone from strength to strength in terms of the content available and usage in higher education institutions across the country.
Source: Business Recorder