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What do faculty and students really think about e‐books?

Ian Rowlands (School of Library, Archive and Information Studies, University College London, London, UK)
David Nicholas (School of Library, Archive and Information Studies, University College London, London, UK)
Hamid R. Jamali (School of Library, Archive and Information Studies, University College London, London, UK)
Paul Huntington (School of Library, Archive and Information Studies, University College London, London, UK)

Aslib Proceedings

ISSN: 0001-253X

Article publication date: 20 November 2007

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to report on a large‐scale survey that was carried out to assess academic users' awareness, perceptions and existing levels of use of e‐books. The survey also seeks to find out about the purposes to which electronic books were put, and to obtain an understanding of the most effective library marketing and communication channels.

Design/methodology/approach

An e‐mail invitation to participate in the survey was distributed to all UCL staff and students (approximately 27,000) in November 2006, and 1,818 completions were received, an effective response rate of at least 6.7 per cent. Statistical analyses were carried out on the data using Software Package for Social Sciences (SPSS).

Findings

The survey findings point to various ways in which user uptake and acceptance of e‐books may be encouraged. Book discovery behaviour, a key issue for publishers and librarians in both print and electronic environments, emerges as a critical focus for service delivery and enhancement.

Originality/value

The survey is part of an action research project, CIBER's SuperBook, that will further investigate the issues raised in this initial benchmarking survey using deep log analysis and qualitative methods. The paper partly fills the gap in the literature on e‐books which has mainly focused on usage and not the users.

Keywords

Citation

Rowlands, I., Nicholas, D., Jamali, H.R. and Huntington, P. (2007), "What do faculty and students really think about e‐books?", Aslib Proceedings, Vol. 59 No. 6, pp. 489-511. https://doi.org/10.1108/00012530710839588

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited