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Library and information science research in pakistani universities

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Abstract

It presents bibliographic information on the master and doctoral theses submitted to six universities in Pakistan up to 2003. Although the compilers feel that this list is still not as comprehensive as it should have been, but it is first work of its kind in Pakistan and serves the purpose to a great extent. A total of 855 entries of theses are arranged under 16 subject categories. Web designing by Naveed ul Haq Hashmi.
... This study indicated that however research activities have been rapidly increasing in LIS field in Pakistan, but there is still a wide gap between demand and supply of LIS professionals with research experiences. Fatima, Mahmood & Usmani (2004) compiled a list of 855 Library and Information Science research in Pakistani universities. It provides bibliographic information on the master and doctoral theses of LIS submitted to six Pakistani universities 1967 to 2003. ...
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Research is a process of enquiry that draws data from the context in which events occur, in an attempt to describe these occurrences, as a means of determining the process in which events are embedded and the perspectives of those participating in the events, using induction to derive possible explanation based on observed phenomena", Gorman & Clayton (2005). The creation and dissemination of research is central to the growth of any profession. Library and Information Science is no exemption. A considerable amount of emphasis has been placed by many library experts and professionals towards the creation of research culture among LIS community. Hallam (2005) also emphasized that: "It can be strongly argued that research is critical for the creation of professional knowledge and therefore critical to the survival and growth of the library and information profession. Without a commitment to research, we will not be a profession as such, but merely an occupa­tion that focuses on routine processes" (p. 4). Doctoral research in library and information science (LIS) in Pakistan was started in 1967 from the University of Karachi. Interview responses indicate that during these five decades, very few LIS professionals got involved in PhD level research activities due to number of factors i.e. inadequate opportunities, poor facilities, lack of any incentive and training for research activities, over-worked and lack of interest from higher authorities, poor status of LIS professionals in the eyes of other faculty members related of other fields in all academic institutions of Pakistan.
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This paper presents bio-bibliometric analysis of the contributions of Dr. Khalid Mahmood in the field of Library and Information Science through his publications. The analysis includes geographical and year wise distribution of publications; collaboration for publication; publications by type; language and journal preferences for the publication; and coverage of different subject areas. Results of the study indicate that Dr. Khalid Mahmood is a prolific writer in the field of library and information science. He contributed 115 items including 99 articles, six books, eight conference papers and two papers in newsletters till December 31, 2011. Research work by Dr. Khalid Mahmood is well accepted in developed countries like United Kingdom and United States of America. He used English language to disseminate majority of his research work. He believes in teamwork and about two third of his research work was result of collaboration.
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Purpose – The aim of this study is to provide an insight to international readers into the perspective of doctoral level research in Pakistan. The factors which led to the start of this program and difficulties encountered in this regard at different universities are discussed. Design/methodology/approach – The study is mainly based on review of the literature. Research theses approved at MPhil and PhD level are evaluated. Some information collected from Library and Information Science (LIS) schools through personal communication is also provided. Findings – The problems that did not allow success in the doctoral programs in LIS were: lack of encouragement by seniors in a real sense; low esteem for indigenous PhD degree in the eyes of fellow professionals; little or no impact of early recipients of the degree on profession; and non‐availability of financial assistance to the prospective candidates. Of the findings mention is made of: no fixed criteria for admission; the research topics do not concern the problems; and absence of proper supervision/guidance resulting in poor quality of thesis in most cases. Suggestions include: formation of a high level committee comprising senior library educators under the Higher Education Commission to work out problems and streamline the process; maintenance of close links with library schools in other countries, particularly in the English speaking world, which are interested in global librarianship. Originality/value – This paper is the only evaluation of postmaster level LIS education in Pakistan. The findings are useful for planners of LIS education at postmaster level in Pakistan as well as in other developing countries.
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