Introduction: The significance and validity of web-based scientific databases are increasing dramatically in the scientific community. Moreover, a great number of students use these resources without having sufficient and accurate knowledge and understanding. In order for students to use these databases and electronic resources optimally, identifying the factors that affect the understanding and acceptance of these resources seems necessary. The aim of this study was to determine postgraduate medical students’ acceptance and understanding of these resources.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 311 postgraduate medical students from Kerman University of Medical Science (KMU) in 2013. Data were collected using a researcher-made questionnaire, and the data were analyzed using SPSS. In order to design the model (i.e., the interaction between study variables and to determine the relationships between them in an integrated pattern), LISREL version 8.7 and a structural equation model were used. Descriptive statistics and t-tests also were used in data analysis.

Results: The results showed that the average components of the perception of usefulness, perception of ease of use, attitude towards use, decision to use, using to perform duties, and using to increase knowledge were 4.31, 4.14, 4.24, 16.27, 20.85, and 16.13 respectively. Accordingly, the average of all these indicators was significantly higher than the assumed amount (p < 0.01). Moreover, the results obtained from factor analysis and the structural equation model indicated that the model of the present study fit the data perfectly. 

Conclusions: Based on the findings of this study, the more these databases are considered useful and easy to use, the more they are used. Therefore, designers of databases and electronic resources can design systems that are both useful and easy to learn by considering the components of the research model.


Keywords: scientific information databases, technology acceptance model, graduate students
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