Library Philosophy and Practice 2011
Doctoral Research in Library and Information Science by Pakistani Professionals: An Analysis
Dr. Rais Ahmed Samdani
Dr. Rubina Bhatti
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.
Objectives of the Study
The study was designed with the following objectives:
The study attempted to collect data, by means of questionnaire and semi-structured interview techniques. Different established related literature resources on the filed and internet sources were also consulted. Information that could not be obtained through above-stated data collection tools was obtained through personal communication from all the departments of Library and Information Science (LIS) of various universities in Pakistan.
Review of Related Literature
Haider' (1978) gives an overview information about the research activities in LIS in the country. A study by Anwar (1982) provides the information about 275 master-level theses submitted from 1967 to 1975. The purpose was to briefly review the academic research done at Department of Library Science, University of Punjab, Lahore.
Usmani (1987) in his study 'PhD research by Pakistani Librarians' provides abstracts of 11 Ph D dissertations completed by Pakistani library professionals. It shows that ten researchers completed their doctoral study from foreign universities and only one PhD degree was awarded by the University of Karachi, Pakistan. This study showed that the first degree holder was Dr. Abdul Moid who completed his the studies. It pointed out that during the period of 40 years (1947 – 1987), after the creation of Pakistan only 13 library have received doctorate degree in Library and Information Science. Haider & Mahmood (2007) conducted an in-depth study on MPhil and PhD research in library and information science in Pakistan. It is mainly based on review of the literature and information collected from Library and Information Science (LIS) schools through personal communication. The study pointed out the basic factors and problems that did not allow success in the doctoral programs in LIS in Pakistan. This study was limited to research carried out by the Pakistani universities. Mahmood & Shafiq (2010) studied the changing scenario of research in Pakistan. 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.
The above-mentioned studies provide useful information, but it was noted that most of the studies are limited to the research carried out in Pakistani universities, these do not give latest information about doctoral studies by Pakistani LIS professionals by foreign universities. Thus, the need for this study was felt in order to explore the current state of affairs regarding PhD research within and outside the country by LIS professionals.
LIS Education in Pakistan
The history of Library and Information Science (LIS) education and training in Pakistan dates back to 1915. An American library expert Dickinson's certificate course was started in the Punjab University Library. According to Khurshid (1997) 'this was first university-based course in the then British Empire'. At the time of independence of Pakistan in August 14, 1947, this course was discontinued and the Library School in University of the Punjab was closed. The real beginning of library and Information Science (LIS) can be traced by the sole efforts of Prof. Dr. Abdul Moid during the period of 1948 -1956. Prof. Dr. Abdul Moid, the founder of librarianship in Pakistan was the first who obtainPhD degree in library science from the Illinois University, USA in 1964, (Khurshid 1997). The Department of Library and Information Science (LIS) was established in August 10, 1956 at University of Karachi (UK), and that motivated other universities to start LIS education. The following Table shows the dates of establishment of the department of LIS in various universities in Pakistan.
Doctoral Research in LIS in Pakistan
At present 7 universities from public sector and one from private sector are offering doctoral research programmes in the field of Library and Information Science in Pakistan. Universities of Karachi, Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan, Peshawar, Islamia university, Bahawalpur and Federal Urdu University, Karachi are in public sector and Hamdard University is from the private sector.
University of Karachi
Doctoral research program in LIS was first started at the Department of LIS, University of Karachi in 1967. During the years 1967 to 1971, five candidates got admission, those were M.Adil Usmani, G. A. Sabzwari, Matloob Hussain, Akhtar H. Siddiqui and Abdul Haleem Chishti. Out of the five students enrolled in this program only M.A.H. Chishti succeeded in completing his thesis and was awarded the degree in 1981. The topic of his research work was "Islamic Libraries: 749 AD-1257AD) (Chishti 1981).
The PhD program at the university of Karachi was revived in 1987 and The second PhD degree was awarded to a senior faculty member of the Department of LIS, Nasim Fatima, under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Jamil Jalibi, the then Vice Chancellor of Univeristy of Karachi in 1992. Her topic was "Cataloguing and Standardizations of Urdu Manuscripts" (Fatima, 1995). The third PhD degree was awarded to Munira Nasreen Ansari, under the guidance of Dr.Nisar Zubairi, Professor Department of Mass Communication, UK in 2007. The topic of her study was "Information needs and information seeking behavior of the media practitioners in Pakistan". (Ansari, 2007). The fourth PhD degree was awarded to Shamshad Ahmed in 2009 for his study "A study of library and archival record in Directorate of Sindh Archive Karachi"., (Ahmed, 2009), that was completed under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Nasim Fatima. At present about 8 students are registered for M.Phil/PhD program and the research at doctoral level is in progress.
At present 13 library and information science professionals including seven faculty members have been involved in M.Phil/PhD research. Malahat Kaleem Sherwani: "Interactive role of information generating, handling institutions in Pakistan with special reference to Pakistan", Khawaja Mustafa: "A Model for network of health sciences libraries in Karachi", Ataur Rehnan: "Libraries of denimadars of Punjab" Nighhat Qadir: "Newspaper libraries of Karachi", Ataullah Shah: "Digital library initiatives in Pakistan: propose digital library model for the Aga Khan University" Farhat Hussain: " A Model curriculum of LIS education in Pakistan", Rafat Parveen Siddiqui: "Reference and information sources in Urdu language published from Pakistan: a bibliographical and analytical study", Muhammad Siddiq, Anwar Shoaib Khan, Naveed-e-Seher, Riaz Khaskheli, Rana Iqbal and Wasim Zia also working on their M.Phil/PhD dissertations covering various areas of LIS.
University of Punjab, Lahore
The Department of Library Science was established at University of Punjab (UP), Lahore in 1959. Master's program in LIS was started in 1971. After gap of 28 years doctoral in LIS was started in 1999. Fist PhD degree in LIS was awarded to Khalid Mahmood, a faculty member of the department in 2004. Prof. Dr. Syed Jalaluddin Haider was his Co-Supervisor. The topic of his research was "Alternative funding model for libraries in Pakistan", (Mahmood, 2003). The second PhD degree in LIS was awarded to Kanwal Amin, a faculty member of the Department of LIS in 2005. Prof. Dr. Syed Jalaluddin Haider was her thesis supervisor. Her research topic was "Philosophy and framework of collection management and its application in universities libraries of Pakistan: and Appraisal", (Amin, 2005). At present three students have submitted their PhD theses; "Model information system for educational administrators in Pakistan" by Mrs. Farazana Shifque (supervisor Dr. Kahild Mahomood), "Human resource management in university libraries of Punjab" by Mrs. Noshine Fatima Warich (supervisor Dr. Knwal Ameen) and "Prospects of digitization in university libraries of Pakistan" by Mr. Muhmmad Rafique (supervisor Dr. Knwal Ameen). The data shows that after the completion of their M.Phil, three more students are registered for PhD program.
University of Sindh, Jamshoro
The doctoral degree program in LIS at University of Sindh, Jamshoro was started in 2001. Nisar Ahmed Subhpoto completed his PhD in 2005 on "A Comparative Study of Provincial Archives in Pakistan: their impact on history, culture and research activities" (Subhopoto, 2005).Prof. Dr. Rafia A. Sheikh, the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the Sindh University was his supervisor. Presently four students are registered in PhD program. Currently, Khateeja Ansari working on "A Study of secondary school libraries in Sindh: standards and evaluative criteria", Hashmi A. Rind's topic is "College Librarianship in Sindh", Shereen Gul Soomro's topic "User survery/use satisfaction in the use of library information services: a comparative study of four university libraries in Sindh", Manzoor Ahmed Hajano's topic is "HEC's Digital Library Programme: A Comparative Study of Serials Central in (public sector general). Raufullah, Hamid Rehman have been working on their M.Phil/PhD dissertations covering various areas of LIS.
The Islamia University of Bahawalpur
The doctoral degree program at the Department of LIS, Islamic University, Bahawalpur was started in 1986 with the sole efforts of Prof. Dr. Muhammad Fazil Khan, who was the Chairman of the Department. The first PhD degree in LIS was also awarded to Muhammad Fazil Khan in 1991 under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Rafia Ahmed Sheikh. Title of his research was "Coordinate Planning for University Libraries in Pakistan: problems, perceptions, prospects, organization and implementation", (Khan, 1991) Currently, three faculty members have been involved in doctoral research; A.R. Buckari's topic for PhD is "A study of users' attitudes towards the use of resources and services in university libraries of Pakistan and Kashmir", Ghulam Abbas has been working on agriculture libraries and H.M. Shafique is conducting doctoral research on "The choice of librarianship as a career: an evaluation of socio-economic status of college librarians in Pakistan". Fozia Hashmi: "Contribution of Unesco towards Bibliographical Development", Maha Bushra: "A Study of Library Professionals towards Special Librarianship in Pakistan", Sajjad Ramooz : "A Study of Services & Standards for Secondary School Libraries in Pakistan", Shahid: "Services and Systems in Brail Libraries in Pakistan", Tahir Shah: "ervice and Standards of Libraries of Higher Learning institutions in Pakistan", Aisha Saadia: " Comparative Study of Attitudes towards the use of Information Sources by Physical and Social Scientists in University Libraries of Pakistan". At present 12 students have been working on their M.Phil dissertations covering various areas of LIS, i.e. Marketing of library and information services and products in Pakistan, professional library associations, open and free software, digitization of manuscripts, web 2 technologies, ICT training needs among library professionals, job satisfaction, and information needs and seeking behaviour.
University of Balochistan, Quetta
Department of LIS was established at University of Balochistan, Quetta in 1981. It statted master programme in LIS in 1985 and M.Phil programme in 1994. So for, three researchers have got their M.Phil degrees. In 2003, the PhD program in LIS was started. And Khurshid Ansari started his work on Standards for public libraries in Pakistan". He completed the work but unfortunately, he was killed by some miscreants. Another faculty member, Muhamad Ilyas, wa registered in doctoral program. His research topic is "Development and future needs of library and information science education in Pakistan".
University of Peshawar, Khayber Pakhtoon Khawa
The Department of LIS was established at University of Peshawar in 1962 and Masters program was started in 1983. A faculty member Syed Liaquat Ali was awarded M.Phil degree in LIS in 2010, he studied the "Effectiveness of IT in the development of library profession in Pakistan".
Federal Urdu University (FUU), Karachi
Federal Urdu University, Karachi has no regular teaching department of LIS. The ex-librarian of the University Library, Mukhtar Ashraf was registered in M.Phil/PhD program under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Waqar Hassan Gul. His research topic is "Research and critical study of Urdu collection of libraries of Karachi". (Ashraf, 2010)
Hamdard University (HU), Karachi
Hamdard University (HU) is the largest university of Pakistan in private sector. Although, the Department of LIS does not exist, but there is a provision of doctoral research MPhil/PhD in LIS (Social Sciences). The principal author of this study was completed his PhD in LIS (Social Science) in 2009 from the same university under the supervision of Prof. Naeemuddin Zubairi, Prof. Dr. G. A. Sabzwari was his Co-Supervisor. Topic of his research study was "Role of Hakim Mohammad Said Shaheed in the Promotion of Library Movement and Development of Libraries in Pakistan", (Samadani 2006).
At present two librarians are registered in M.Phil/PhD program in Faculty of Education and Social Sciences. Raja Ghulam Mustafa from the Central Library, University of Sargodha is registered under the supervision of Dr. Munira Nasreen Ansari, Assistant Professor, Department of LIS, University of Karachi. His research topic is "Library and Information Science job trends in Sindh Province", (Mustafa, 2010). Afzal Ahmed is also registered in MPhil/PhD program, (Ahmed, 2010)
PhD Degrees Awarded to Pakistani Professionals from Foreign Universities
The data shows that19 PhD degrees in the field of LIS were awarded to Pakistani LIS professionals during the years 1964 to 2010 by foreign univeristies. The First PhD degree in LIS was awarded to Prof. Dr. Abdul Moid in 1964 who worked on Urdu Language Collection in American Libraries byIllinoisUniversity, USA. (Moid, 1964). This step towards research activity in the LIS changes the research scenario in the field of LIS in Pakistan. He is the person who started first doctoral program in University of Karachi in 1967. The second doctoral degree awarded to Abdus Sabho Qasmi in 1967 from Columbia, USA. His research topic was "Code for Cataloguing Material Published in Urdu, Pushto and Punjabi". PhD degree was awarded to Anis Khurshid and Mumtaz A. Anwar in 1973. Research topic of Khurshid (1973) was "Standards for Library Education in Burma, Ceylon, India and Pakistan" and the topic of Anwar (1973) was "The career of the Pakistani Librarian: a study of socio-economic background: influences in vocational choice and appraisal of librarianship Pakistan", both was from Pittsburgh, USA. In 1976 Pittsburgh University awarded doctoral degree to Fasihuddin on the topic of "A Study of Indexing Policies and practices and the Literature of Taxicology." (Fasihuddin, 1976). Khawaja Iftikharuddin awarded doctoral degree on related topic of LIS from USA Virginia University in 1979. His research topic was "Standards for the Evaluation of Library Programmes of the Secondary Schools of Pakistan". (Iftikharuddin, 1979). Nazir Ahmed succeeded in completing his thesis and was awarded the degree in 1981, who worked on "An Analysis of Academic Libraries in the Punjab (Pakistan) and Proposal for their Development." (Ahmed 1981). Naimuddin Qureshi was awarded same degree from Pittsburgh, USA in 1982. His research thesis was "Standards for University Libraries in Pakistan."(Qureshi, 1982). Prof. Dr. Rafia Ahmed Sheikh, presently serving as Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Sindh was awarded PhD degree from London University College, UK in 1983. Her research topic was "A General Information Programme for Pakistan with special Reference to the Promotion of Cultures in Libraries and other Information Centers in Pakistan" (Sheikh, 1983). Dr. Ghaniul Akram Sabzwari, Ex-Chairman, Department of LIS, University of Karachi and a well known personality of LIS was awarded PhD degree from Century University, USA in 1983 who worked on "Critical Evaluation and modification of Dewey Decimal Classification Numbers relating to Islamic and Pakistani topics" (Sabzwari, 1983). In 1985 Abdus Sattar Chaudhary succeeded in completing his thesis and was awarded the degree on his work "Relationship between Political Alignment and Scientific Communication: a bibliometric Study of Egyptian Science Publications." in 1985 from Illinois, USA (Chaudhary, 1985). A. R Butt, ex-chairman, Department of Library and Information Science, University of Sindh succeeded in completing his thesis and was awarded the degree in 1987 who worked on "Development of the Publishing Industry in Sindh", from G. B College of Librarianship, Wales (Butt, 1987). Sajjad-ur Rehman was awarded PhD degree in LIS from Indiana University, USA in 1987. His research thesis was "Teaching of management in relation to different management theories in the Library Schools of North America: an explanatory study" (Rehman 1993). Prof. Dr Syed Jalaluddin Haider was awarded PhD degree in LIS for his study "Acquiring foreign materials for Pakistani libraries: a study", from Loughbourough University of Technology, UK in 1993 (Haider, 1993). A library professional from Bahawalpur, Hafiz Muhammad Khalid succeeded in completing his thesis on "Cooperation and networking in university libraries: a model for invitation and implementation in countries with less developed systems", and was awarded doctoral degree from Manchester Metropolitan University in 1997 (Khalid 1997). After a gap of three years a librarian from Karachi who also served as a Lecturer in the Department of LIS, University of Balochistan, Quetta, Sakina Malik was awarded doctoral degree from the Concordia University, USA in 2000. Her research topic was "Problems of library education in Asian countries: suggestions and recommendations" (Malik, 2000). Rubina Bhatti, the co-author of this study and the faculty member of the Department of LIS, Islamia University, Bahawalpur completed her doctorate from University of the Manchester, UK in 2003. Her research topic was "Perceptions of user education in the university libraries of Pakistan" (Bhatti, 2003). In the same year Muhammad Ramzan was awarded doctoral degree from St. George University International, UK on his study "Utilization Levels and Librarians' Attitudes toward Information Technology (IT): Application in Academic and Research Libraries in Pakistan" (Ramzan, 2003). It is worth mentioning that Dr. Ramazan has obtained second doctoral degree from University of Malaya in 2010. He was awarded PhD degree on his work entitled "Attitudes of librarians towards application of information technology in academic libraries in Pakistan"(Ramazan, 2010).
The study reveals that 28 doctoral degrees have been awarded so for to Pakistani professionals in the field of library and information science. Among them 19 doctoral degree awarded to Pakistani professionals by the foreign universities and only 9 doctoral degrees awarded from Pakistani universities. This study aims to provide comprehensive and current information about all the doctoral degrees awarded by various universities in and outside Pakistan. The data were analyzed to validate information about chronological growth, decade-wise growth, university-wise and subject-wise distribution of doctoral research.
Table 1: Chronological growth of PhD theses in LIS by the Pakistani Professionals
This table explains the number of doctoral degrees awarded in the field of LIS starting from the year 1964 up to the year 2010. It is clear from the table that research at doctoral level was quite unsatisfactory till 2000. After 2000 research productivity increased from the year 2003. This was due to the need and emphasis on recruiting qualified faculty and librarians mainly in the universities and some positive steps being taken by Higher Education Commission, Pakistan, as provision of more budgets for the promotion of research activities in the universities and granting scholarships to LIS rashers. . HEC plans to enhance the number of PhDs up to 20,000 by 2015 (HEC, 2005-10).
Table 2: Decade-wise growth of Ph D. theses in LIS
The table 2 portray the decade-wise distribution of PhD. theses in Pakistan. This data shows that three reseaechers got their PhD degree in 1960s. Dr. Abdul Moid, Dr. Abdus Sabuh Qasmi and Dr Anis Khurshid were awarded doctoral degrees from abroad. Further, it is evident from the table that during the decade 1980-1989 seven from abroad and one from Pakistani university. Nine doctoral degrees were awarded during 2000-2010. It is worth mentioning that during the current (2000-2010) decade highest number of PhD degrees were awarded by the Pakistani universities.
Table 3: University-wise distribution ofPhD theses
Table 3 sketches the university-wise research output in the form of PhD theses in the field of library and information science. 19 PhD degrees in the field of LIS were awarded to Pakistani LIS professionals from foreign universities, especially from USA and UK. Situation of Pakistani Universities to award the doctoral degrees in the field of LIS is not encouraging as four researchers succeeded in PhD programme in the field of LIS at the University of Karachi during the years 1981 to 2009. Two candidates accomplished their doctoral degrees by University of Punjab. It is suggested that the Departments of LIS in various Pakistani universities providing doctoral research should encouraged LIS professionals as this is the need of the present situation.
Table 4 Subject wise distribution ofPhD theses
Table 4 indicates that most researchers selected different aspects of university libraries in Pakistan for their PhD. 4 theses representing 14.28 percent were awarded doctoral degrees in this area alone. The major areas of research library and information science are: academic libraries, school libraries, library education, information technology, seeking behaviour, library management, user education, publishing, history of Islamic libraries, classification, Bibliometrics study.
Current and problem oriented topics, such as, web resources, library 2.0 and library automation though more important now-a-days, research in these areas has started during the yet now and the output is expected in the near future.
The study showed the details of the PhD research activities by LIS professionals in Pakistani and foreign universities. So far, 9 PhD. theses have been produced by the Pakistani universities and 19 PhD degrees (total 18) were awarded to the Pakistani professionals of library and information science from foreign universities. Their topics of PhD research were the Academic libraries, Archives, Bibliometrics study, Librarianship as a career, Cataloguing code, Collection Development and Management, Culture in libraries, Classification – Islam, History of Islamic Libraries, Information Seeking Behavior, Indexing, Information technology, Library Acquisition, Library Collection, Library Education, Library Fund-raising, Library Movement in Pakistan and Hakim Muhammad Said, Publishing, School libraries Standards, University libraries and User education. The findings pointed out that the situation of doctoral research in LIS in Pakistan is quite unsatisfactory. It is amazing to mention that during the last 63 years (1947 – 2010), only 9 PhD degrees was awarded by the Pakistani universities.
The Higher Education Commission, Pakistan (HEC) has made remarkable efforts to overcome this disappointing situation and has promoted the research culture in Pakistan by grating scholarships to researchers nationally and internationally. Although, HEC initiative for the promotion of research activities have shown a light of hope in this darkness, since more consistent efforts are needed in this regard". (Mahmood & Shafiq, 2010, p.300) . The problems that did not allow success in the doctoral programs in LIS, these 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". Haider and Mahmood (2007)
In order to promote doctoral research in the field of LIS in Pakistan it is recommended that"
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About the Authors
Dr. Rais Ahmed Samdani has obtained hisPhD degree from Hamdard University, Karachi, Pakistan and has Masters degree in Library and Information Science and Political Science from the University Karachi, Karachi. He served as an Academic Librarian at various academic institutions in Karachi during 1974-2009. There are 28 books and more than 125 papers, articles published in professional journals on his credit. Currently he is working as an Associate Professor in the Department of Library and Information Science, University of Sargodha, Punjab, Pakistan.
Dr. Rubina Bhatti got her PhD degree in LIS from University of Manchester, UK in 2003. Currently, she is working as Assistant Professor and Coordinator M.Phil programme at the Department of LIS, the Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Punjab, Pakistan. She is the writer of numerous articles in international and national journals and has contributed her research papers in many international and national conferences.