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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

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How students use e-books - reading or referring?

Noorhidawati, A. and Gibb, F. (2008) How students use e-books - reading or referring? Malaysian Journal of Library and Information Science, 13 (2). pp. 1-14. ISSN 1394-6234

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Abstract

This paper reports a study on students' perceptions and reactions towards e-books in Higher Education (HE). During this study a Web survey and a follow-up study were conducted using students from University of Strathclyde as a sample population. The Web survey revealed that there were three different types of e-book use in an academic setting: (a) fact finding; (b) finding relevant content; and (c) extended reading. The most popular reason for using e-books was for "finding relevant content" which indicated that e-books were not read in their entirety but instead were consulted or used for reference purpose. The Web survey finding was then confirmed by the follow-up study. This study is valuable for designing a better e-book features in which they should be designed according to what purpose the e-books are used for (i.e. for reference purpose or extended reading or both). If the e-books are intended to be used for reference purpose, the features might include practical searching and browsing features, whereas if the e-books are designed for extended reading they should be provided with features that are conducive for on-screen reading such as a good layout design and navigation tools.