Evaluation of the Brazilian Capes Portal of EJournals: An analysis of users’ barriers and problems


  • Nádia Ameno Ribeiro Master Student of the Graduate Program in Information Science, School of Information Science, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil
  • Beatriz Valadares Cendón Professor, Graduate Program in Information Science, School of Information Science, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil


User satisfaction, User studies, Evaluation of digital libraries, E-Journals, Methodology


The present research evaluated the barriers found by faculty when searching for information in the Capes Portal of E-Journals. The Capes Portal of E-Journals offers more than 35 thousand scientific journals and is considered the largest of its type in Latin America. The faculty selected for carrying out this research was distributed throughout 17 federal Brazilian universities from the 5 geographic regions of the country. The data was collected by means of a web-survey which used a mainly quantitative methodology, with some qualitative data. Four questionnaires were used, containing a total of 71 questions. The current study reports the results obtained for one of the open questions, which asked on the main barriers and problems to use the Portal. The research used content analysis to create categories in the qualitative analysis of the data. For the question analyzed, 4044 messages were received from the respondents. Out of these, 3579 comments (80% of the comments) were selected for analysis because they were related to the difficulties the respondents had upon searching the Capes Portal of EJournals. The 3579 comments were subdivided into nine initial categories, which were regrouped into three main categories according to their content similarity: (1) Personal Aspects; (2) Aspects of the System and (3) Institutional Aspects. The analysis revealed that Category 3, Institutional Aspects, concentrated the greatest part of the comments (48%), while Category 2, Aspects of the System obtained 42% of the comments, and Category 1, Personal Aspects, had the smallest number of the comments, 10%. The personal factors (Category 1) which users mentioned as responsible for their difficulties in searching the Portal were mostly lack of time to use the system. Few comments (1%) mentioned lack of skills to use computers, the internet and lack of domain of the English language. The institutional factors (Category 3) pointed by the respondents regarded the Portal’s maintaining institution (Capes), and the institutions which give access to the users, which, in the context of the present research are the federal universities. In this category were the less than adequate speeds of connection, availability and adequacy of computers, printers, updated software, and rooms in addition to the need for more training activities on the use of the Portal and of policies for making the Capes Portal widely known to its users. The aspects pointed out by the users as aspects of the system (Category 2) causing difficulties for access and search of the Portal included the nonavailability of the journals or of the full text of the articles searched for, problems related to the usability of the interface and other technical aspects of the system. 




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