Study Finds Reference the Most Popular Ebook Category Used by Students Today

Posted by Credo on 10/3/16 10:10 AM

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20272432149_88229e6205_mAccording to a new survey on Academic Ebook usage conducted by Library Journal, reference is the only category of ebooks students prefer to their print counterparts. In fact, only 16% of students prefer print reference materials.

Reference is the most popular form of ebook offered by academic libraries today, utilized by 92% of respondents to the survey. As libraries look to make the best use of their budget, migrate print to electronic titles, and meet the needs of modern researchers, this report highlights several strategies to help make the best decisions.

E-Reference books are popular with students and librarians, but obstacles still exist when trying to get the most use from a library’s electronic collection. Over half of respondents said that lack of awareness of ebooks hindered usage. However, librarians saw increased usage when they offered their ebooks through a discovery service (like our Credo Online Reference Service), or linked to ebooks with LibGuides (like this).

The survey also highlighted that not all ebook platforms are created equal. Which features were librarians looking for when they purchased their ebooks? More than 90% cited the following as either “important” or “very important”:

  • “user save, share, and download capabilities”
  • “persistent URLs”
  • “mobile-optimized”
  • “PDF format”

Good thing we offer all four on our platforms! We’ll be diving deeper into the survey report in the coming days. Please don’t hesitate to hit us up on Facebook, Twitter, or the comments section to tell us about your library’s experience with ebooks!