Accessibility of printed book collection at the University of Isfahan: the tsunami of false

Document Type : مقالات پژوهشی




Purpose: Measures the rate of physical accessibility to printed book collection at a major Iranian university library system.

Methodology: A list of 2972 titles cited in 97 theses completed in the last two years was checked against the online catalog of the University of Isfahan (Iran) to determine their availability, then search was carried out to find out how far titles with records in the catalog are actually accessible. Possible barriers to accessibility were explored through interviews with responsible library staff as informants.

Findings: Two accessibility rates were identified: 22.4% for the total number of cited items, the second 69% for the 962 titles for which records were found in the university online catalog, i.e. if they were available. A sample was drawn from the total number of 1668 unavailable English language citations and checked against the collections of 6 major universities nationwide and in the Google Books for full-texts. The outcome was that at best, not more than 19% were available. This, most probably reveals a gross false citation by the authors of the theses, hence a case for academic misconduct. Other barriers to physical accessibility to 962 available titles (100%) were: 1) problems of collection management practices (17.9%), being on loan (9.6%), and being held in libraries in numerous libraries scattered campus wide, in particular two dormitories libraries banned to students of opposite sex. Problems with collection management practices, according to the staff interviewed, included failure to delete records of wed titles from the catalog, lack of systematic inventory checks, errors of binding, and deficiencies with the library software.