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Survey Shows Increasing Use of E-Books As Research Tool Among Students

abstract:Digital resources are used as often, if not more often, than print books says 6,500 students at around 400 institutions across the globe who participated in a survey by Ebrary, the Palo Alto-based digital content service and delivery company. Craig Morgan Teicher who writes for Publishers Weekly, (6/25/2008 7:00:00 AM) says that "while the survey does indicate some skepticism and ignorance about e-books in institutional libraries, it also clearly shows that students are increasingly using e-books and other digital reference sources for research and other assignments."

article:

June 25, 2008
— "Respondents say they use Google and other search engines as well as e-books more than print books for research assignments; online encyclopedias and Wikipedia are only slightly less used than print books, according to the survey. Print books, however, are deemed the most trustworthy sources, as well as far better for cover-to-cover reading.

Among the qualities the survey inquires about—including anytime-access to books and cut-and-paste features—searchability is deemed the most important feature of e-books. The most popular means of accessing e-books is through a library Web site, followed by Google. A lack of e-books in a student’s area of interest is cited as the major factor for not using the format.

Ebrary enlisted the help of 150 college and university librarians from many countries to compile the survey, which, according to ebrary, is meant to explore “students’ usage and perceptions of e-books.” The greatest number of survey respondents was from the U.S. and Italy, followed by Canada and Hong Kong. Engineering is the course of study with the most respondents, by a very large margin.

The results of Ebrary’s survey are, in some cases, surprising, especially in terms of how frequently students do use e-books, and also confirm what the publishing industry already knows: that tech-savvy readers (like engineering students) are the most likely early adopters, and more e-book titles published means more e-book readers."

This Iowa University Blog is one of the Google Five - top universities that are digitizing their collections amidst growing interest from the public in free and easy access to their "stacks".

 

 

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