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UWE Bristol “It’s about convenience, ease, time and comfort”: preliminary outcomes from the LIRG/Elsevier e-book usage project Presentation by Jackie Chelin, Elspeth Williams and Greg Ince Members of e-books research project group, Library Services, UWE Aim and objectives of project

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UWE Bristol

“It’s about convenience, ease, time and comfort”: preliminary outcomes from the LIRG/Elsevier e-book usage project

Presentation by

Jackie Chelin, Elspeth Williams and Greg Ince

Members of e-books research project group, Library Services, UWE

aim and objectives of project
Aim and objectives of project
  • To find out more about how staff and students are using e-books for learning, teaching and research, i.e.:
    • Whether e-books are meeting users’ needs
    • What place there is for e-books within the context of a multidisciplinary academic library collection
  • By doing so, to discover more about the distinct drivers and barriers to use of e-books
  • Can offer insights at a particular point in time
definition of e books for project
Definition of e-books for project
  • Electronic versions of titles that are, were, or could be available as hard copy books, and therefore resemble books in their structure and presentation, e.g.:
    • Textbooks
    • Reference books (dictionaries, encyclopedias)
    • Law texts
research design
Research design
  • Web-based questionnaire aimed at UWE students – December 2007
  • Interviews with academic staff from a range of schools – February to May 2008
  • Observation of students undertaking a task online – April/May
key findings from survey
Key findings from survey
  • Users of e-books = 62%, non-users = 38%
  • First year UG students are most likely to be non-users
  • Law students reported using them most frequently
  • First year UG students are more likely to use them for recommended reading than other levels of student
  • Library catalogue is most frequently used method for finding them
  • Rated as easy or very easy to use by 91% of users
  • Major appeal is their accessibility, i.e. available 24 hours, instant online access and no visit to library necessary
  • Preference of e-books users for print (32%), for electronic (17%), no preference (51%)
  • Main reason for non-use was not knowing about them (56%)
key findings from interviews
Key findings from interviews
  • Issues relating to pedagogy, e.g. VLE, reading lists, spoon feeding
  • Content, e.g. availability appropriateness, primary-secondary material
  • Types of user, e.g. off campus, distance, international, print disabled
  • Purpose of use – e.g. complementing print, textual analysis, reference, research
  • Issues relating to technology – e.g. hand held devices
  • Social, cultural and political issues
key findings from observed tasks
Key findings from observed tasks
  • Students demonstrated a variety of ways of finding an e-book
  • Most would be happy to read on screen if it were just a chapter or two of an e-book
  • Although the bookshelf / notes facilities were impressive to the students, one realised that with multiple e-book providers it would not be possible to keep them all together
  • Predilection for copy and paste often meant students used control keys
  • Functionality was not always evident, although, some particularly liked the highlight feature
  • Two commented on the need for training on using e-books
  • The difference in the look of the same book in the two interfaces provoked interesting responses from 2 students who indicated they preferred the one that looked more like a book (less like Word)
  • Some students worried about losing access to their retrieved book when they used different bits of functionality
use of funding
Use of funding
  • Digital Dictaphone equipment
  • Transcription of interviews
  • Prize draw for online survey (to encourage students to provide contact details for follow up observed tasks)
  • Incentives for observed tasks
members of research group
Members of research group
  • Jason Briddon – Faculty Librarian – Health and Life Sciences
  • Jackie Chelin – Deputy Librarian
  • Greg Ince – Collection Management Librarian
  • Jane Redman – E-learning co-ordinator
  • Alastair Sleat – Subject Librarian, Bristol Institute of Technology
  • Elspeth Williams – Faculty Librarian, Bristol Business School
  • Advised by:
    • Ian Beeson – PG Scheme Co-ordinator, BIT
    • UWE’s Research Business and Innovation team
  • Aided by
    • Judith Stewart – Faculty Librarian, Education, Sociology and Politics (interviews)
    • Library Administrative Services team (admin)