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J Med Libr Assoc. 2014 Jul;102(3):169-76. doi: 10.3163/1536-5050.102.3.006.

Information-seeking behavior and the use of online resources: a snapshot of current health sciences faculty.

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1 , Assistant Professor and Scholarly Communication Librarian, University Library, University of Illinois at Chicago, 801 South Morgan, Chicago, IL 60607; , Assistant Professor and Regional Head Librarian, Library of the Health Sciences-Urbana, University of Illinois at Chicago, 506 South Mathews Urbana, IL 61801; , Assistant Professor and Collections Coordinator, University Library, University of Illinois at Chicago, 801 South Morgan, Chicago, IL 60607.



The research assesses the information-seeking behaviors of health sciences faculty, including their use of online databases, journals, and social media.


A survey was designed and distributed via email to 754 health sciences faculty at a large urban research university with 6 health sciences colleges.


Twenty-six percent (198) of faculty responded. MEDLINE was the primary database utilized, with 78.5% respondents indicating they use the database at least once a week. Compared to MEDLINE, Google was utilized more often on a daily basis. Other databases showed much lower usage.


Low use of online databases other than MEDLINE, link-out tools to online journals, and online social media and collaboration tools demonstrates a need for meaningful promotion of online resources and informatics literacy instruction for faculty.


Library resources are plentiful and perhaps somewhat overwhelming. Librarians need to help faculty discover and utilize the resources and tools that libraries have to offer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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