Full-text articles: Faculty perceptions, student use, and citation abuse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to seek to explore faculty perceptions versus actual student usage of print and online, full-text articles. Design/methodology/approach: Surveys were given to faculty and their students at four Penn State campuses. Both the six-question instructor survey and the 11-question student survey related to article retrieval for one particular class assignment. Findings: Data gathered from the surveys surprisingly indicated that faculty are overestimating student use of online articles and underestimating their use of print. This study also showed that a majority of students will reject an article that is not available online in full-text. Research limitations/implications: In this study there was a discrepancy between students stating that they knew to cite online sources differently from print sources, and faculty stating that they could tell the percentage of online articles used from their students' bibliographies. In future studies, more of an emphasis would be placed on measuring faculty knowledge of citing online resources. Practical implications: This paper could be used to support the continued purchase of print resources. It could also be used to support the need for faculty to keep current on citing new technological formats and instructing their students on the same. Originality/value: This study was conceived in an attempt to statistically verify not only faculty perceptions of full-text use, but also librarians' perceptions of faculty and student article practices. While a literature search produced several studies on faculty perceptions of internet usage, few were found that touched specifically on full-text articles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-72
Number of pages8
JournalReference Services Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Library and Information Sciences


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