E-readers for the Faculty of Behavioural & Social Sciences


Bibliotheek Gedrags- en Maatschappijwetenschappen

Library of Behavioural and Social Sciences

In recent years, more and more e-readers and tablets for reading e-books and articles have been launched in the market. The University of Groningen Library is now purchasing an increasing number of e-books. The e-books come from various platforms. The formats in which the e-books are made available varies considerably: PDF, HTML, via DRM platforms. Some of these formats are more suited than others to reading on an e-reader or tablet.

The aim of the ‘E-readers for the Faculty of Behavioural & Social Sciences’ project was to compile an inventory of user experiences with different types of e-reader and different types of e-book. During the project, three members of the academic staff at the Faculty were asked about their experiences using different e-book formats from the University collection on various e-readers.
These staff members were given three types of e-reader/tablet on loan: a Sony e-reader, an Archos e-reader and an iPad. During the loan period they used the e-reader to consult a selection of e-books in their subject area from various providers: EBL, Ebrary, MyiLibrary, Oxford Scholarship Online and PsycBOOKS. They reported their findings on the platforms and e-readers to the GMW Library.

At the end of 2011, one of the three staff members had been loaned the two e-readers and had the use of the iPad. The second researcher had been loaned the Sony e-reader at that time, and had the use of the iPad. The third staff member was issued with an Archos e-reader.

The results of this trial project are expected at the end of January. The two iPads purchased for the project can then be put to use elsewhere in the Library.

Rienk Withaar