Caren Milloy, head of research for British digital technology thinktank JISC, has a piece on Research Information about the different ways students are using e-books than they are printed books.
E-books are helping turn students into researchers. The convenience of online access allows users to view e-books off campus and throughout the day and night to find information on the move. The user doesn’t immerse themselves continuously as they might in a printed book. Instead they use e-books to find facts quickly – using research type skills to skim and scan the information to extract it for their assignments.
She suggests that, since the way e-books are being used is so different from p-books, the two are probably used in tandem, rather than switching to e-books at print books’ expense.
Milloy then notes that it is important to find business models that take these different use cases into account. She mentions that college use-cases for e-books are different in America than in the UK, then talks about the long-term study JISC is undertaking to determine the best way for libraries to make e-books available.
It is good to see this sort of forward-thinking research project at work. I’m not sure how much overlap this will have with commercial e-book vendors, but anything that helps to create a working ecosystem for e-books of any kind is worth keeping an eye on.
(Found via TheDigitalReader.)