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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Buzz on ebrary study...

I have been seeing a lot of buzz (for and against) a recent study by ebrary on e-book usage by students. A short synopsis can be found in the Chronicle of Higher Education last week. The synopsis is not as interesting as some of the comments to the synopsis. I thought the Chronicle slant was interesting, primarily in its glass half empty slant. I actually thought the fact that 49% of students had used an e-book was a pretty high number, and higher than I had seen anywhere else. However, the Chronicle chose to look at this as over half of students have never used an e-book. Consistent with other studies, over half of the students who do not use e-books say that they do not do so because they do not know where to find them (or something similar).

It is important to note that the ebrary study does seem to have some methodological issues that call into question the real meaning of the findings. As one point in a constellation of other data points, it does point to a general movement towards great adoption of e-books by students, and to some of the persistent barriers to adoption that need to be addressed.

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