School of Information Sciences -- Faculty Publications and Other Works

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Surveys of academic staff in Australia, Finland, and the United States from 2004-2007 reveal reading patterns of e-articles by academics that can be used to measure the purpose and value of e-reading and to demonstrate the value of library-provided electronic journal collections. Results can also be used to compare differences across subject discipline, age, and national boundaries, and how the decisions that libraries make influence reading patterns. The surveys used a variation of the critical incident technique to focus on the last e-article read, whether from the library collection or from elsewhere. Readings from e-journals and articles provided by libraries were more often for the purpose of research than were readings from other sources; were rated as highly valuable to that purpose; and have many reported values, including stimulating new ideas. Academics who published more also read more. Although there were some minor variations in e-reading patterns among the countries, most differences in reading patterns resulted instead from differences in subject discipline. Personal characteristics of the reader, including age and status, had much less influence on e-reading habits. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

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