Latest Research Highlights
04Oct

Impact of E-resources on Improving Research and Publishing

Research databases comprise a set of bibliographic data that provide access to specific information sources. They are important digital tools for doing research and retrieving information.
Tawasul sheds light on SQU’s subscriptions to information e-resources and how they can benefit research activity among its faculty members, researchers and students. In this regard, an opinion survey of a sample of SQU researchers was recently undertaken to identify the advantages of such e-resources compared with other sources of information.
The results showed that these e-resources have a number of benefits for authors, researchers and academic publication. Authors can achieve a scoop through publishing their research results and latest discoveries, reaching out to readers and expanding their presence and visibility with more research papers and citations therein.
In terms of academic publication, e-resources are characterised by efficiency, better quality than print versions, easy access and low cost, which could transform many paper resources into electronic ones. It is also possible for authors to attach illustrations to their work, such as audio and video files, or to share them with others on social media.
For researchers, the benefits of using e-resources include continuous accessibility outside working or office hours, ease of information search and retrieval with various search methods, savings in time and effort, up-to-date information and the ability to manage their published works.
Therefore, as information e-resources are indispensable tools, SQU has always been keen to provide them and encourage their effective use, so that maximum benefit can be gained. In this article, we review the most important e-references and search engines for documenting and publishing research output.
E-journals
These are periodical e-resources, published regularly in a number of issues at specific times of the year. Each issue has a number and date and contains articles or other document types. They may also publish conference proceedings or publications of institutions. E-journals are generally listed in databases such as:
Dar Almandumah Database, which includes:
Edusearch:
An Arabic educational database that provides information to researchers. It is mainly designed to store and archive all sources of information, periodicals and Arab scientific publications that address issues of education in the Arab world.
Islamic Info:
A database covering periodicals and yearly books which are focused on Islamic sciences, such as jurisprudence, principles of jurisprudence, comparative jurisprudence, jurisprudence schools, hadith, doctrine, groups, monotheism, Qur’anic sciences, interpretation, readings, Qur’an recitation and the Prophet’s biography.
HumanIndex:
An Arabic database that covers all journals and yearly books which are specialised in different fields and issued in Arabic in all Arab and foreign countries; it also lists conference and symposium proceedings in Arabic.
ScienceDirect:
Elsevier’s leading platform of peer-reviewed scholarly literature; it includes over 2500 journals and 11,000 books covering areas such as computer science, engineering technology, energy sciences, environmental sciences, materials sciences, mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy, medicine, life sciences, business, economics and social sciences.
Wiley:
A global portal that hosts the broadest collection of journals and databases including Scopus and Clarivate. 
Taylor & Francis:
Publisher of knowledge and research spanning agriculture, chemistry, education, engineering, geography, law, mathematics, medicine and social sciences.  
E-books
E-books are useful scientific resources for researchers to retrieve up-to-date information for their works. Examples of library subscriptions to e-books are:
Al Manhal:
Offers full-text searchable electronic databases of books and dissertations from the Arab world.
Springer E-books:
Books can be downloaded in full text or in separate chapters without having to log in. They can be read on any app or transferred to any device. Users can also choose between PDF or EPUB format to save books and benefit from the integration functionality with Google Drive and smartphones.

Bibliographic Databases
These are concerned with listing scientific materials through a descriptive record, including the author’s name, title and indices; they include all types of search tools for different information sources.
Scopus:
This is the world’s largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature. It covers around 22,000 titles from over 5000 publishers, of which 20,000 are journals reviewed by experts in scientific, technical, medical and social disciplines, including the arts and humanities.
Agricola:
A database on ecology and agriculture sciences; it includes over 4.8 million citations.
CINAHL: 
It provides indexing for 5000 journals from the fields of nursing and allied health; full-text material includes journals on legal cases, clinical innovations and drug records.
Open Access Resources
These have emerged as a solution to facilitate scientific interaction and instant access to published research and to overcome the issue of growing subscription costs that cannot be met by libraries and individuals.
Shuaa:
This digital research repository contributes significantly to research in the Sultanate; it is a great opportunity to provide value-added services to the research community by providing free-of-charge research findings online.
DOAJ:
This is an online directory that indexes and provides access to high-quality, open-access and peer-reviewed journals covering all subjects and languages.
E-dissertations
Previous dissertations and theses that cover specific topics are important for researchers in preparing a coherent scientific work. They help enrich research by filling gaps that may not have been discussed previously. Among the most important resources of Arab and foreign university dissertations are the following two databases:
Al Mandhomah:
This has more than 70,000 full-text theses, covering various disciplines such as pure and applied sciences, Islamic sciences, administrative sciences, social sciences, the arts and others.
ProQuest:
This has over 5 million Master’s and PhD dissertations, making it the largest in the world in this field.
Among the e-resources is the digital platform PURE, which manages research data and activity of academic and research institutions. It is also considered a basic reference for researchers as well as a good resource for other organisations to benefit from SQU’s research expertise.
To conclude, the survey results show that researchers and students are in favour of maintaining funding for e-resources, increasing training courses and workshops on services provided by e-resources and encouraging researchers to publish through such resources.