Reading in the digital age: what do students think and do?

Hargreaves, Helen and Caldwell, Elizabeth and Robin, Sarah (2021) Reading in the digital age: what do students think and do? In: Academic Libraries North Conference 2021, 2021-09-08 - 2021-09-09, Online. (Unpublished)

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An increasingly important aspect of undergraduate study is the ability to deal with reading academic texts in digital format. Whilst the literature suggests that students prefer reading print texts (Mizrachi 2015, Foasberg 2014), and often have a deeper level of engagement with texts in this format (Mangen et al. 2013; Delgado et al. 2018) the reality is that for most students digital texts have become the norm. In this paper, we present findings from an externally-funded study exploring students’ perspectives and practices in relation to digital reading. Analysis reveals that reading in digital format does indeed form the bulk of students’ reading activity, with ease and speed of accessibility, cost and environmental considerations influencing this choice, and in some cases precluding reading in print. Students’ approaches to reading digital texts varied depending on reading purpose, but in general, students had developed a range of techniques to help them navigate digital reading. The students also highlighted frustrations and challenges in online reading that may have implications for future purchasing in libraries. This paper will discuss these findings and their potential to inform the production of resources for reading development relevant to the digital age.

Item Type:
Contribution to Conference (Paper)
Journal or Publication Title:
Academic Libraries North Conference 2021 : New beginnings: aspirations and optimism for the future
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Research Output Funding/yes_externally_funded
?? yes - externally funded ??
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Deposited On:
12 Sep 2023 13:05
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 08:51