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Graduate students' usage of and attitudes towards e‐books: experiences from Taiwan

Ming‐der Wu (Department of Library and Information Science, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan)
Shih‐chuan Chen (Department of Library and Information Science, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan)

Program: electronic library and information systems

ISSN: 0033-0337

Article publication date: 26 July 2011

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Abstract

Purpose

University libraries are increasing their e‐book collections. The purpose of this study is to investigate graduate students' usage of and attitudes towards e‐books at National Taiwan University.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 20 graduate students from the fields of humanities, social sciences, science and technology, and medicine were interviewed.

Findings

The results indicated that graduate students used e‐books mainly for the purposes of study and research. Monographs were the type of e‐book that students used most often, followed by textbooks and reference tools. While they appreciated the convenience of using e‐books, students mentioned several limitations. They liked the keyword search function of e‐books. Most of the time, graduate students browsed a few paragraphs or pages online and then printed out copies for further reading. They also borrowed the corresponding paper versions of the e‐books from the library. Students preferred that university libraries supply both the electronic and paper versions. In certain aspects, students' use behaviour was found to vary among disciplines.

Originality/value

This study highlights multiple aspects of graduate students' use behaviour with respect to e‐books. The findings could be used to enhance e‐book collection development in university libraries.

Keywords

Citation

Wu, M. and Chen, S. (2011), "Graduate students' usage of and attitudes towards e‐books: experiences from Taiwan", Program: electronic library and information systems, Vol. 45 No. 3, pp. 294-307. https://doi.org/10.1108/00330331111151601

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited