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Gender differences in the online reading environment

Ziming Liu (School of Library and Information Science, San Jose State University, San Jose, California, USA)
Xiaobin Huang (Department of Information Management, Zhongshan University, Guangzhou, China)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 25 July 2008




The purpose of this study is to explore gender differences in the online reading environment.


Survey and analysis methods are employed.


Survey results reveal that female readers have a stronger preference for paper as a reading medium than male readers, whereas male readers exhibit a greater degree of satisfaction with online reading than females. Additionally, males and females differ significantly on the dimension of selective reading and sustained attention.


Understanding gender differences would enable a better understanding of the changing reading behavior in the online environment, and to develop more effective digital reading devices. Factors affecting gender differences in the online reading environment are discussed, and directions for future research are suggested.



Liu, Z. and Huang, X. (2008), "Gender differences in the online reading environment", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 64 No. 4, pp. 616-626.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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