Not So Fast! Researcher Preferences for Print or E-books


Published on

Janice Adlington (speaker), Wade Wyckoff (speaker)

Published in: Education, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Public university in Hamilton, Ontario. FTE: 27,000. Medical-doctoral, ARL Library
  • Three physical libraries (hum/soc sci, sci-eng, business). Medical library – separate budgets, reporting.
  • Why e-books: budget limitations – STLs for broader CONTENT, just in time collections. Support our users: convenience of online.
  • No discovery layer. Mediated PDA via EBL, until September 2013
  • Multi-disciplinary platforms: EBL, Ebrary,Ebscohost (former NetLibrary titles), E-books @ Scholars Portal. Excludes historical collections (EEBO, ECCO), primary sources, government publications, medical e-book collections managed by the Health Sciences Library
  • 2009 survey – undergrads want both formats, prefer print or electronic for different purposes. Focused on faculty and upper-level students – sustained engagements with texts, deep reading
  • April 2013 – emailed invitation to all faculty, graduate students, and 4th & 5th year undergrads. Faculty of Health Sciences excluded.
  • 76% of Faculty respondents preferred print. 70% of doctoral students. 58% of undergraduates. 47% of Masters responses came from Engineers .
  • Does not include interdisciplinary faculty, or faculty who don’t use e-books (n=6). Strong preference (83%) for print among hum & soc sci faculty.
  • Same pattern of preferences for the Social Sciences & Humanities. Engineering consistent (57% prefer print). Science, gap closing.
  • More acceptance of e-books, but overall preference for print even among science and engineering students. Social science undergrads – slight preference for e-
  • Direct comparison: “Ebooks are good for scanning; quick keyword searches, and for reference. Physical books are better for reading, and for flipping back and forth.
  • Overall results. Multiple choices allowed. Responses=1102. Of course, we also know that “prefer” and “able” aren’t equal in the context of e-book platforms. Hindsight: Should have separated more clearly in the questions what they ARE doing vs. what they WANT in terms of interacting with e-books on various devices.
  • Other than reading online w/ a desktop/laptop, how are users approaching e-books? Springer PDF availability contributing to higher Sci/Eng responses on downloads? Download to pc has definite appeal across disciplines, tablets also gaining strength. Will be interesting to look at tablet responses again in a few years.Responses=864
  • Others along the same lines:“For books on e-book platforms, so far I have not been sure about what to do with them. I would prefer to be able to generate a PDF that I could download to my iPad and then annotate using GoodReader, and then save in my PDF archive…. Or I print out sections that I need.” – Associate Professor, Social Science“I prefer to download the entire document, not just sections. I find if I can't download the whole book then there's no point….” – Doctoral student, Humanities“If you don't have the book in print, I go to a library that does.” – Doctoral student, Social Sciences
  • Other similar:“I like the search ability of e books as a preliminary tool, but I find it harder to concentrate and deeply engage with them.” – Associate Professor, Humanities“To be able so effectively to search--both the book, and also one's own annotations--admits of much new functionality. Relatedly, e-books allow for more more elaborate taxonomies of annotation, and allow one more readily to revise one's annotations.” – Associate Professor, Humanities“Generally, I like the fact that I can skim the content in a physical book. Often, if I need to know a great deal about a subject, I use a physical book. If I just need a reference, I use the e-book.” – Doctoral student, Engineering“In my opinion, the main drawback of e-books is that leafing through or going back and forth is not (currently) that easy. This could be significantly improved in the near future with better bookmarking/hyperlinking conventions as well as faster and more flexible readers. When it comes to say, short scientific and news articles, novels and the sort that one doesn't need to go back and forth a lot, e-book is definitely my preferred format.” – Doctoral student, Science
  • The question that launched a survey. Provoked some strong responses in the comments but ultimately don’t think we can read too much into this.
  • Not So Fast! Researcher Preferences for Print or E-books

    1. 1. Not so fast! Researcher Preferences for Print or E-books Janice Adlington Collections and Information Resources Librarian Wade Wyckoff Associate University Librarian, Collections
    2. 2. McMaster University
    3. 3. McMaster University Library
    4. 4. Monograph collections: Mixed Strategies Title by title firm ordering (print and e) No major print approval plans (1 small plan for Business)  PDA/DDA  E-book front list purchases: Springer, Oxford UPSO, Harvard, IEEEWiley - often consortial  E-book subscriptions: ACLS Humanities ebooks, CogNet, Knovel – but no large aggregator  
    5. 5. From the Users View E-books found through the catalogue (VUFind)  “5-minute e-books”   Over 25 platforms ◦ Varied interfaces, DRM conditions  E-books @ Scholars Portal (local hosting)
    6. 6. By the Numbers # of E-books # of Platforms Science - Engineering 46,865 10 Soc Sci - Humanities 52,842 11 Multi-disciplinary 12,378 4 EBL PDA records 44,000 TOTAL 156,085 25
    7. 7. Policies   No intentional duplication of print and eNo ILL for print if e-book owned (with very few exceptions)
    8. 8. Impetus for the Survey Anecdotal evidence that users don’t want ebooks  Faculty pushback on a specific e-book package   Ask them directly Goals  Obtain structured input  Develop more nuanced collecting strategies  Better support those most likely to engage deeply with texts
    9. 9. Survey Instrument SurveyMonkey – “5 minute survey” 7 questions – NONE mandatory  2 demographic  2 general preference  2 usage  1 collection-oriented Plus an open-ended comment box 4 opportunities to add comments
    10. 10. Results: Response rate Respondents Response Sent to rate (%) Undergrad 476 5290 9 Graduate 374 2659 14 Faculty 235 717 33 8666 13 Did not answer Total 26 1111
    11. 11. Q3: In general, my preferred format for books is… 300 E-books 250 Print 200 150 100 50 0 Faculty Doctoral Masters Undergrads
    12. 12. Q3: Faculty preference by discipline 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Faculty n=221 E-books Print
    13. 13. Q3: Graduate preference by discipline Graduate Students n=358 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 E-books Print
    14. 14. Q3: Undergraduate preference by discipline 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 4th and 5th year Undergrads n=439 E-books Print
    15. 15. From Science Faculty “Print books provide a richer learning experience”  “I really dislike e-books. It is not possible to pick up 10 books on a subject and skim through them to see if they are relevant or not.”  “it's hard to "put your finger" in one page to refer back to when reading a later one.”  “The key issue for me is the ability to own annotated copies of the book sections relevant to me.” 
    16. 16. Q4: I use e-books from the McMaster Libraries’ collection 250 200 150 First Choice Convenient 100 Only option Never 50 0 Faculty Graduate Undergrad
    17. 17. Q5: When I read e-books, I prefer to... 800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 Read online Read on my phone Download to laptop/desktop Download to a tablet Download to an e- Print the sections I book reader need Not applicable
    18. 18. Q5: When I read e-books, I prefer to... 180 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 Read on my phone Download to laptop/desktop Download to a tablet Download to an e-book reader Print the sections I need
    19. 19. Q5: When I read e-books, I prefer to...  My computer is the only device that I own that allows me to read e-books; it is not particularly convenient (slow loading time for each page, difficulty flipping back and forth in the book). I print chapters only when I know that I will need to use them on a regular basis. When possible, I convert chapters to pdf formats (easier to handle and take notes on).” – Doctoral student, Social Sciences  “If I have to consult a few pages from a book I have already read, I will read them online on my computer. However, if I have to actually read the whole book I will get a paper copy, either from Mills or from another library if need be.” – Doctoral student, Humanities  “I don't prefer to read them electronically at all.” – Master’s student, Engineering  “I try to buy the books to avoid using the library's e-books.” – Professor, Science
    20. 20. Q6: I use e-books & print books differently 400 350 300 Yes 250 No 200 150 100 50 0 Faculty Graduate Undergraduate
    21. 21. Q6: I use e-books & print books differently 200 180 160 140 120 Yes 100 No 80 Not applicable 60 40 20 0 Business Health Sciences Science Engineering Social Sciences Humanities
    22. 22. Q6: I use e-books & print books differently  “I read e-books less intently and don't absorb enough information from them.” – Assistant Professor, Humanities  “I don't find it as easy to flip around *an e-book] and look at different pages or sections. It's not as easy to quickly double check on something and then I end up forgetting about it, unless I write a reminder.” – Doctoral student, Humanities  “I 'mine' electronic texts, but read print books. I like both, but for different purposes.” – Assistant Professor, Social Sciences  “I read books. I skim ebooks.” – Associate Professor, Engineering  “Ebooks are great for searching through, but print books are much easier to browse.” – Doctoral student, Science
    23. 23. Q7: Comprehensive or Selective? 250 200 150 Comprehensive Selective 100 50 0 Business Health Sciences Science Engineering Social Sciences Humanities
    24. 24. Why we like e-books Anytime anywhere access Save library shelf space PDA provides a large content pool Packages offer a lot of content, often at favorable prices  Have focused heavily on content    
    25. 25. Implications – Purchase Model Problematic  Big deals = big dollars  Publisher packages: exclusions, ever expanding content  Subscription-based models: ongoing vs. 1x funds  PDA from each publisher’s platform  USABILITY: Restrictive DRM, user limits on front list titles, no page images
    26. 26. Implications – Purchase Model Favourable  STM content  Package discounts, clear title lists  No premium for individual e-book purchases  Provide data to book vendors (YBP, Coutts)  Aggregated PDA –management efficiencies  Local load rights - consistent interface  USABILITY: Liberal or no DRM  Format options: ePub and pdf
    27. 27. Implications – Moving Forward       In the near term, continue print for humanities traditional scholarly academic monograph Prioritize liberal DRM (e.g. Harvard e-books) Rethink ILL policies Rethink acq policies: will we buy print where we have only an unowned DDA version? An owned e-book? Legacy print collection management: some degree of caution still warranted in weeding print based on ebook availability Repeat survey (with some changes from what we’ve learned) to track changes over time
    28. 28. Questions? How are these issues playing out at your libraries?