In the last decade or so, education has taken on a new dimension; one in which information is more but the effort required to access such information is less. Libraries susceptible to wear and tear are now increasingly being substituted with virtual files – PDFs, E-books, Audio Books and the like.
Nowadays, almost every novel or written file is available in the form of a ‘soft copy’ – PDF or Kindle format resulting in a two-fold advantage. One, easier and cheaper acquisition of files, and two, learning within the comfort of one’s home.
Virtual Repositories: Benefits
Some of the most widely accessed repositories include JSTOR and INFLIBNET (Nlist, Shodhganga, etc). What is intriguing is that these sites dont just spoon food students and researchers in the form of summaries but rather, provoke thought. They either result in acceptance or debate, both of which pique one’s interest and spark new ideas thus adding to the already existing perspectives. Students learn new methods of approaching the same material by perusing articles, essays or research papers on the said topic/s. In fact, such sites offer a plethora of opinions to the researcher that he or she may accept or challenge thus adding significant amount of weightage and substance to his/her paper. By disputing or utilising another’s opinion as justification, it shows how well read one is and the effort one has put in to research his/her field. This adds to the over all writing as well as reading experience.
In-depth Analysis of Texts
Additionally, platforms like Spark Notes ,Cliffs Notes, E-Notes and many other such portals enhance an individuals knowledge through the content on their sites that range from contextual background to chapter wise analysis. Again, such an understanding of a particular theme deeply enhances ones comprehension of the topic on the whole and is thus not limited to just surface information. One learns about societies, time periods and the circumstances that inspire the opinions of the time.
Furthermore, students all over the world can access the same information without having to forage around in a library. This is of great significance to those who are unable to access physical libraries but have the resources required to access the same virtual works of scholarship. Similarly, the problems associated with the print media in the form of publishing no longer poses a threat. Any individual can upload his or her work either on such portals or blogs (which are also gaining popularity amongst the masses).
Thus, portals the likes of INFLIBNET work towards modernization of libraries and these digital libraries (like JSTOR) offer researchers a melange of e-resources – books, journals and other primary and secondary sources. Libraries have witnessed an incredible metamorphosis which benefit individuals on both ends – the readers as well as the writers.
Therefore it is safe to say that when it comes to the education sector, the use of E-sources must be encouraged so that researchers are able to obtain the best with just a click. This will help save time, increase one’s knowledge as well as preserve that which is out of publication. Thus, the required infrastructure to further this end must be established.
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