The present study investigates the information gathering behaviour of the academic researchers at Sultan Qaboos University in the Sultanate of Oman. It endeavours to explore researchers' awareness and attitudes towards information sources and services. Research methods for this study were designed from the user-centred
perspective with triangulation approach. Hence, data was collected by the use of semistructured
interviews as the main instrument with journal study and observation as
supplementary tools. The information was collected from the members of the research
community in their capacity as users of information.
The study investigates the information needs and information gathering habits of the
research community and attempts to identify the problems experienced by researchers
in accessing and using information. It also seeks to explore the national policy for
planning and provision of information. Finally the study examines the performance of
the various information services in the context of user needs and the status of the
institution library information service provision.
The research concludes that present information environment at Sultan Qaboos
University is inadequate to meet the information needs of the research community. It
was found that the major causes for the situation was the lack of clear information
policies, inadequate funding, ineffective partnership between top management and
academic researchers, lack of effective in house training and finally absence of a reliable information technology infrastructure.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.