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Old 11-30-2009, 09:15 AM   #1
Nate the great
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Final report on ebook observatory project just released

JISC (Wikipedia) just completed a 2 year long project in which they studied "the behaviours of e-book users and the impact of course text e-books on print sales" in the UK. There is a lot of useful data in this report.

The report can viewed online (as Flash), or you can download it as a PDF.
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Old 11-30-2009, 05:02 PM   #2
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I found this very interesting study. The only thing missing was a description of the hardware in use for eBook reading. Otherwise it was very complete.
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:12 AM   #3
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I found this very interesting study. The only thing missing was a description of the hardware in use for eBook reading. Otherwise it was very complete.
Most likely just computers with various software solutions like generic PDF and perhaps some more proprietary stuff. Seems to be pretty much no suggestion of specialized ebook reader device usage as far as the study is concerned.

Most of their findings are pretty reasonable and predictable. I liked that recommendations on page 37 included fast environments and avoiding over-restrictive DRM solutions. Oh to dream...
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:20 AM   #4
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It's interesting that they released the document as a pdf: the one format every ebook lover hates!
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:24 AM   #5
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It's interesting that they released the document as a pdf: the one format every ebook lover hates!
They're not especially popular on this site, but there are quite a few people even here who find them to be the best format currently available, and they're still one of the most common formats in general for ebooks outside of the specialist reader-device segment.
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:17 PM   #6
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Most likely just computers with various software solutions like generic PDF and perhaps some more proprietary stuff. Seems to be pretty much no suggestion of specialized ebook reader device usage as far as the study is concerned.

Most of their findings are pretty reasonable and predictable. I liked that recommendations on page 37 included fast environments and avoiding over-restrictive DRM solutions. Oh to dream...
I agree that most users seemed to be using computers to read the eBooks, or mostly to search the eBooks. However, they did point out that users wanted more portable solutions.

I wouldn't have predicted that students wouldn't read the documents but only use them to search for stuff. This is a clear indicator that there is much work to be done to make the eBooks readable. Of course part of the problem is that the hardware they were using doesn't lend itself to reading.

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Old 12-01-2009, 12:24 PM   #7
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It's interesting that they released the document as a pdf: the one format every ebook lover hates!
Generally, I find that most people prefer PDF for nonfiction. when dealing with quotes, tables, etc, reflow isn't always good.
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Old 12-01-2009, 01:07 PM   #8
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It's interesting that they released the document as a pdf: the one format every ebook lover hates!
I'd imagine most people would read it on their computer, therefore PDF makes a lot more sense than epub.

As far as devices go, I know there are a few examples in the schools and FE(*) sectors (as opposed to HE(*), which is where the JISC study seemed to be looking at), where mobile devices are being used as ebook readers and general teaching aids. Mobile devices in this instance means things like phones, games consoles and UMPCs rather than dedicated ereaders, but given the nature of the work being done with them, this makes more sense than using a dedicated device.

If you're really interested, one outline is here: http://www.molenet.org.uk/projects/s...nghammersmith/ - the whole MoLeNET is about mobile learning. Disclaimer: I work for one of the organisations involved in the MoLeNET programme.

(* FE = Further Education, ie college. HE = Higher Education - ie university)
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