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The case for e-book literacy: undergraduate students' experience with e-books for course work.

Muir, Laura; Hawes, Graeme


Laura Muir

Graeme Hawes


This paper investigates how electronic books (e-books) are used for scholarly activity. It focuses on the end-users of e-books in a case study which aimed to establish how scholars use and learn from e-books and the limitations of academic e-books. There have been a number of calls for more user-focussed research on e-books to understand how they are used rather than how often they are used. In-depth case studies of end user behaviour are, by design, very labour and resource intensive and generally limited in terms of the numbers of participants and the ability to generalise from analysis of the results. However, this type of research provides a valuable insight into how scholars interact with e-books to attempt to fulfil their information needs. These studies produce a very rich data set which enables the researcher to understand how scholars use, and wish to use, e-books. Analysis of our empirical results, together with those obtained from previous research examining user needs and experiences of e-books, has enabled us to draw general conclusions about what is required in future e-book design and development. More specifically, we present a typology of e-book interactions relevant to the design of e-books (content and features) and to library/academic instruction in the effective use of e-books (˜e-book literacy).

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 31, 2013
Journal Journal of academic librarianship
Print ISSN 0099-1333
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 39
Issue 3
Pages 260-274
Institution Citation MUIR, L. and HAWES, G. 2013. The case for e-book literacy: undergraduate students' experience with e-books for course work. Journal of academic librarianship [online], 39(3), pages 260-274. Available from:
Keywords E-books; Information seeking behaviour; Scholarly activity; Electronic resources; Typology of eBook interactions


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