Sie sind auf Seite 1von 13

The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www.emeraldinsight.com/0024-2535.

htm

Reading behavior in digital environments among higher education students


Analysis of demographic factors in Iran
Ahmad Shabani
Department of Library and Information Science, Faculty of Education and Psychology, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

Reading behavior

645
Received 29 November 2010 Reviewed 15 December 2010 Revised 24 January 2011 Accepted 8 February 2011

Fatemeh Naderikharaji
University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran, and

Mohammad Reza Abedi


Department of Consulting, Faculty of Education and Psychology, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran
Abstract
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to study reading behavior in the digital environment based on demographic factors including faculty, degree and gender among higher education students of Isfahan University. Design/methodology/approach This study was survey descriptive using a researcher-made questionnaire and data collection was accomplished using stratied random sampling method. The population of the study was the postgraduate students from seven faculties of Isfahan University. Different aspects of reading behavior were studied including the amount of reading of electronic resources, the style of reading electronic resources, the amount of annotating the electronic and print resources, the amount of printing out electronic documents for reading, and preference of reading medium. Findings The study showed that the amount of reading of electronic resources is highest in the students of technical and engineering subjects, while the amount of printing out of electronic documents is highest in the faculty of sciences. PhD students usually make use of scanning for reading electronic resources, whereas postgraduate students generally print out more electronic documents. Practical implications The ndings of this study will help university authorities and digital libraries managers to provide better services to users and students. Originality/value With the advent of internet and computers, reading is not the same as in the past. Reading in the digital age has changed and this paper tries to give some insight about the reading behavior of students and their preferences and the differences based on faculty, degree and gender. Keywords Reading, Reading behaviour, Digital environment, Students, Iran, Universities, Electronic resources Paper type Research paper

Introduction Human thought has come a long way concerning the recognition of and interaction with its environment. As a result of human effort in this regard, different sciences emerged and reading became the approach for acquiring knowledge and providing the learning opportunities for human beings, such that this process turned out to be an essential need for human societies.

Library Review Vol. 60 No. 8, 2011 pp. 645-657 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 0024-2535 DOI 10.1108/00242531111166683

LR 60,8

646

During the past decades, changes in information technology have caused extensive alterations in publication, and novel resources have therefore been created called electronic resources, which play a crucial role in the information explosion. Changes in reading behavior are a key issue related to the information explosion how do students interact with information in an increasingly electronic environment. In this information-saturated environment, a great amount of information can be acquired and the time allocated to reading electronic resources has increased. Nevertheless, people have limited time for reading and cannot extend their reading time deliberately. Therefore, some strategies for nding the information of interest are necessary to overcome such problems. As has been noted, the emergence of digital media and the nature of hypertext have altered reading behavior. The development of digital libraries and electronic resources has resulted in peoples tendency to less in-depth as well as more inconsequent and non-concentrated reading (Levy, 1997). Also, in a saturated information environment, attention to the content has decreased considerably. What we nowadays encounter is the problem of not paying attention to information. As the amount of information increases, the ability to understand the meaning of written documents becomes more difcult (Liu, 2003). The acquisition of reading skills in the population is considered key to the success of every society. Much research has been done in the eld of reading; Adler et al. (1998) studied how people read during their daily work. They presented a description and taxonomy of reading activities that occurred in the daily work of people within different professions. Reading has different types and is carried out with different goals. Users often use different types of rapid and goal-oriented reading such as scanning and search for nding answers to their questions. Considering the diversity among individuals, occupations, work environments and types of reading activities, the question was whether there is a common feature among these reading activities in spite of such diversity. It was found that reading paper documents consisted of much of the time spent reading for work purposes. This was of note, since all participants of this study possessed computers with considerable facilities and they needed their computers to be used at least for some part of their activities. It can be estimated that paper is preferred to online materials at least in some situations, as paper better supports reading and writing (Adler et al., 1998). The focus of some other researchers has been towards the reading of e-journals (Tenopir, 2003; Tenopir et al., 2009) or reading of e-books (Ismail and Awang Negah, 2005). Ismail and Awang Negah (2005) found out that students are heavy users of the internet and have positive attitudes towards e-book services, but the level of e-book use was still low. Those who are users of e-books nd e-books easy to use and their usages are mainly for writing assignments or project work. Generally, both users and non-users of e-books prefer to use the printed version of textbooks especially if the text is continuously used. The main reason for non-use is the preference for the printed text, especially if the text is continuously used throughout the academic year. McKnight (1997) found out that people do not tend to read from computer screens and they prefer to print out texts for reading. Considering the development of electronic resources, it is of importance to analyze reading in this environment. In practice, reading on a computer monitor is generally limited to citations and paragraphs and as a habit, longer printed documents are preferred for reading. The emergence of reading devices, improvement in monitor technology and increase in number of electronic

documents and e-books have all changed the reading behavior of people. In the past, the low quality of monitors had made it boring and difcult to read for long hours; the development of reader software however has now made reading on computer monitors easier for most people and has become much more exible (Brown, 2001). Reading is not a single activity; rather, it can appear in diverse forms, and skilled readers who are aware of these reading styles and strategies use them in different situations for different purposes. According to their characteristics, the existing media support different styles of reading and on the other hand the readers choose dissimilar media in different situations (OHara, 1996). Considering the development of electronic resources in universities during recent years, it is of signicance to investigate reading behavior in the digital environment. The present research therefore studies the differences existing in reading behavior of higher education students in the digital environment, based on the factors proposed by Liu (2005), including the amount of reading of the electronic resources, the style of reading the electronic resources, the amount of annotating of the electronic and print resources, amount of printing out of electronic documents for reading, and preference of electronic or print resources in equal circumstances. Related works Numerous studies have been carried out regarding reading behavior, with some research having been undertaken related to changes in reading patterns due to using the internet and electronic resources. Tenopir et al. (2009) studied information seeking and reading patterns used by university faculty members during three decades. The tendency of faculty members for locating and using scientic information is increasingly shifted from paper journals towards electronic journals. Online information seeking as a strategy for nding required journal articles has increased and due to simplicity of information access through modern technologies, it can be adapted to these technologies. Furthermore, in comparison with faculty members of human sciences and social sciences, faculty members of basic sciences have a higher tendency to read electronic journals. The number of journals as well as number of papers published each year has increased; hence, scholars are under more pressure for reading articles. The results indicated that in average and compared to past times, faculty members read more whereas less time is spent for reading each article since they have limited time. Liu (2008) studied gender differences in digital media, investigating the differences between women and men in terms of reading in a continuous media/environment, in order to indicate to what extent there is difference between women and men in their choice of reading medium and satisfaction of continuous reading. Also, he intended to nd out whether gender plays a role in using digital documents and changing reading behavior. Liu found out that men and women prefer different media for reading. Women preferred print medium more than men, i.e. 73.2 percent vs 51.3 percent, while men were more in favor than women of the digital medium, i.e. 12.5 percent vs 5.7 percent. Furthermore, women printed the electronic documents more than men. Women were more unsatised with online reading (30.9 percent vs 18.8 percent) and men had positive views towards online reading, compared to women (30 percent vs 22 percent). In addition, the results revealed that in comparison with men, women tend more to print out electronic documents for reading while men have a higher tendency to mark electronic documents for future reading. Compared to women, a high percentage of men

Reading behavior

647

LR 60,8

648

in this study reported increased time for review and scanning (71.3 percent vs 66.7 percent), single reading (52.5 percent vs 39.8 percent), and non-serial reading such as skipping to next lines (77.5 percent vs 69.1 percent). In comparison with women, a higher number of men reported decrease of in-depth reading and concentrated reading; these differences were not however statistically signicant. The study showed that there is a signicant relationship between online reading and choice of medium. Also, satisfaction of online reading is positively related to choice of electronic media, while dissatisfaction of continuous reading has a positive relationship with choice of printed medium. Additionally, Liu (2005) made a comparison between reading behavior of Americans in his previous study and his new study and concluded that continuous reading behavior of Chinese readers is similar to that of American readers. Abdul Karim and Hasan (2007) gured out that the internet is a resource frequently used by 46 percent of students. They found no signicant difference between the attitude of men and women towards reading. Investigation of the relationship between educational major and reading resources indicated that, concerning the educational major, a signicant difference exists between use of library and web site, such that students of arts usually make use of library services, while students of information technology more often use web sites. The study of the relationship between educational major and reading habit and attitude showed that there is a signicant difference between students of these two majors, i.e. students of arts have a more positive approach towards reading and enjoy reading more compared to students of information technology. Liu (2006) found out that 52 percent of responders use online information resources (electronic journals) whereas 28.5 percent of them use internet. Abundance of printing out the electronic documents was 99.3 percent. Besides, educational major inuenced the choice of information. Students of librarianship and information science more than others use online resources. Among different majors, use of printed and electronic resources is different. Students of computer sciences, business management and librarianship and information science make use of electronic resources more than students of social sciences. Liu (2005) performed a study on reading behavior in the digital environment and changes in the past ten years at San Jose University, USA. According to his study, 67 percent of the respondents asserted that they spend a great deal of time reading. They read on computer screens in the following sequence: browsing and scanning: 80 percent, keyword spotting: 72 percent, one-time reading: 56 percent and reading selectively: 87 percent. Also, 82 percent of the respondents stated that the time they spent on non-linear reading has increased while 45 percent reported a reduction in their in-depth and concentrated reading. About 54 percent of the respondents took notes from printed material whereas it is about 11 percent in case of electronic material; 80 percent of the respondents print out electronic documents for reading. The magnitude of accessible digital information has increased the time spent on reading electronic documents, and reading on screen display is ourishing. Reading on computer screens is more of a scanning type and as mentioned earlier, less time is spent on in-depth and concentrated reading. King and Montgomery (2002) found that approximately 77 percent of reading resources of PhD students and 70 percent of those of university faculty members are electronic resources. Faculty members read 30 percent of reading materials on computer

monitors which takes less time and is a way to update their information. Also, PhD students read half of the resources on computer monitors. Faculty members print out the documents for reading more than PhD students, i.e. 68 percent vs 54 percent. OHara and Sellen (1997) compared reading from paper to reading online. They found paper has many advantages like easy annotation, quick navigation and exibility of spatial layout. These, in turn, allow readers to deepen their understanding of the text, extracting a sense of its structure. In an experiment, they made a comparison between reading online documents and paper-based reading. As a result, they found out that during paper-based reading, readers take notes and this is fullled fast during reading. In contrast, taking notes in online cases in the electronic environment is not easy and readers were faced with some problems. In this case, readers had to open a textbox or a blank document to take notes on it; this evidently interfered with reading. The readers stated that they had a higher tendency to taking notes in case of paper-based reading. Taking notes helps readers to extract the text structure during reading; it is a process which facilitates understanding and supports text re-reading. Objective and methodology The present study is of survey-descriptive type. This study attempts to answer several research questions: RQ1. How reading of electronic resources is there among higher education students of different faculties in Isfahan University, based on demographic factors including their degree and gender? RQ2. What is the style of reading electronic resources among higher education students of different faculties in Isfahan University, based on demographic factors including their degree and gender? RQ3. How much annotating of electronic and print resources takes place among higher education students of different faculties in Isfahan University, based on demographic factors including their degree and gender? RQ4. How much printing of electronic documents takes place among higher education students of different faculties in Isfahan University, based on demographic factors including their degree and gender? RQ5. How much are electronic and print resources preferred in equal circumstances among higher education students of different faculties in Isfahan University, based on demographic factors including their degree and gender? The present research was of descriptive-survey type. Descriptive, because it involves the description, recording, analysis and interpretation of conditions that now exist. It involves some type of comparison or contrast and may attempt to discover relationships which exist between existing non-manipulated variables. In addition, it is a survey, since it gathers data from a relatively large number of cases at a particular time and is concerned with the generalized statistics that result when data are abstracted from a number of individual cases. The population under study was composed of higher education students in University of Isfahan during 2008-2009 in seven faculties, including the faculties of literature and human sciences, physical education, foreign languages, sciences,

Reading behavior

649

LR 60,8

650

economics and administrative sciences, education and psychology and technical and engineering. The number of students in the seven mentioned faculties was 988, 150, 446, 946, 600, 455 and 307 students, respectively. In the current study, stratied random sampling was used. In order to determine the sample size, an initial study was performed in a 30-individual sample subsequent to preparation of the research tool and hereby the sample size was calculated to be 280 students, based on the populations variance. Then, 40 students of each faculty (20 female and 20 male students) were studied. The percentage of students in the sample size from different faculties of Isfahan University varies in the range of 40-41 students (13.98-14.33 percent). The ample size from the two faculties of educational sciences and psychology and physical education was 40 individuals, while the sample size from the ve remainder faculties was 41 students. The tool used in this study for the purpose of data collection was a researcher-designed questionnaire, designed considering the points obtained from theoretical foundations and the literature review, as well as the questionnaires by Liu (2005, 2008), Abdul Karim and Hasan (2007) and King and Montgomery (2002). The rst section deals with sociological aspects of the respondents. In the next sections, reading electronic resources, reading methods, the amount of annotating, the amount of printing out of the electronic resources for reading and the advantages of electronic resources are discussed. For answering the questions, a ve-point Likert scale was used. To determine the validity of the questionnaire content, the initial questionnaire was handed into several faculty members in Department of Librarianship and Information Science in Isfahan University of Isfahan and Isfahan University of Medical Sciences and their suggestions were considered in nal design of the questionnaire. After determination of sample size, 320 copies of the questionnaire were distributed among the students in May and June 2009, and 290 copies of which were lled. Also, four lled questionnaires were then removed from total data due to deciencies existing in the answers. Using Cronbachs a, reliability of the questionnaire was calculated to be 0.82. Research ndings were described using parameters such as abundance, percentage and mean. Afterwards, in order to determine the signicance of reading behavior of students, we made use of t-test, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Shefeh test. Research ndings In this section, research data from the survey are analyzed. Faculties In this section, research questions were investigated and following results were obtained. According to Table I, the amount of reading and printing out of the electronic resources is statistically signicant when comparing different faculties, and there is difference among the faculties. A Shefeh test was used to compare the faculties, and its results are provided in Tables II and III. According to Table II, there is difference between the amount of reading electronic resources in the faculty of foreign languages and the faculties of sciences and technical and engineering, such that the students of the latter faculties use electronic resources more than students in the former faculty. Also, a difference is observed in this parameter between students in faculties of literature and human sciences and technical

and engineering, where the latter students read electronic resources more than the former ones. In addition, this parameter shows a difference between students in faculties of sciences and foreign languages, which indicates higher amount of reading electronic resources in favor of the former. This parameter is also different between faculty of education and psychology and faculty of technical and engineering, in favor of the latter. A difference is observed between the faculty of technical and engineering and the two faculties of physical education and economics and administrative sciences, where the technical and engineering students read electronic resources more. Furthermore, the difference between the faculty of technical and engineering and the ve faculties of foreign languages, literature and human sciences, education and psychology, physical education, and economics and administrative sciences, in favor of technical and engineering students. According to Table III, there is a signicant difference in printing out the electronic resources between students in the faculties of sciences and technical and engineering, and the former print out more electronic resources.
Sum of squares 67.45 386.03 453.49 19.10 295.86 314.96 df 6 278 284 6 277 283 Mean squares 11.24 1.38 3.18 1.06

Reading behavior

651

Research question The amount of reading electronic resources The amount of printing out electronic resources

Type of comparison Within group Between groups Total Within group Between groups Total

Sig. Table I. Comparison of the ANOVA results of the relationship between the faculties and amount of reading and printing out electronic resources

8.09 0.00 2.98 0.00

Faculty Foreign languages

Faculties

Mean 21.00 21.63 21.31 1.00 21.15 20.95 1.63 1.31 1.15 0.95

SD 0.26 0.26 0.26 0.26 0.26 0.26 0.26 0.26 0.26 0.26

Sig. 0.02 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.02 0.04 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.004

Sciences Technical and engineering Literature and human sciences Technical and engineering Sciences Foreign languages Physical education Technical and engineering Economics and administrative sciences Technical and engineering Technical and engineering Foreign languages Literature and human Sciences Physical education Economics and administrative sciences

Table II. Pair comparison concerning the relationship between the faculties and amount of reading electronic resources

Faculty Sciences Technical and engineering

Faculties Technical and engineering Sciences

Mean 0.85 2 0.35

SD 0.22 0.22

Sig. 0.03 0.03

Table III. Pair comparison concerning the relationship between the faculty and amount of printing out electronic resources

LR 60,8

652

Degree As can be determined from Table IV, the difference between mean amounts of reading the electronic resources is not statistically signicant between postgraduate and PhD students of Isfahan University and it can be stated that not much difference exists between the two degrees in this regard. According to Table V, the difference between mean scores of reviewing among postgraduate and PhD students of Isfahan University is statistically signicant. On the other hand, no signicant difference was observed between postgraduate and PhD students of Isfahan University concerning the mean scores of critical reading, in-depth reading, linear reading, non-linear reading, keyword spotting and one-time reading. According to Table VI, the difference between mean scores of annotating electronic and print resources among postgraduate and PhD students of Isfahan University is not statistically signicant. Based on information provided in Table VII, a signicant difference exists between mean scores of printing out of the electronic resources among postgraduate and PhD students in Isfahan University.

Table IV. The amount of reading electronic resources based on degree

Degree Postgraduate PhD

n 243 37

Mean 3.84 3.72

SD 1.23 1.28

df 278

t 4.05

Sig 0.97

Style Scanning Critical reading In-depth reading Linear reading Non-linear reading Table V. The style of reading electronic resources based on degree Keyword spotting One-time reading

Degree Postgraduate PhD Postgraduate PhD Postgraduate PhD Postgraduate PhD Postgraduate PhD Postgraduate PhD Postgraduate PhD

n 242 37 241 36 241 37 240 37 239 37 241 37 240 37

Mean 3.55 3.91 2.51 2.41 2.90 2.62 2.74 2.89 3.43 3.54 3.36 3.70 3.43 3.32

SD 1.07 0.75 0.89 0.80 1.06 0.89 0.93 0.90 1.09 0.98 1.04 0.87 0.99 0.94

df 277 275 276 275 274 276 275

t 1.98 0.61 1.55 0.91 0.55 1.84 0.64

Sig. 0.01 0.29 0.60 0.55 0.31 0.16 0.66

Resources Table VI. The amount of annotating electronic and print resources based on degree Electronic Print

Degree Postgraduate PhD Postgraduate PhD

n 242 37 242 37

Mean 2.81 2.32 3.13 3.08

SD 2.23 0.91 0.98 1.03

df 277 277

t 1.32 0.92

Sig. 0.38 0.53

Considering data in Table VIII, there is a signicant difference between mean scores of preferring electronic or print resources among postgraduate and PhD students in Isfahan University. Gender According to Table IX, the mean amount of reading the electronic resources is not signicantly different between female and male higher education students in Isfahan University. As is calculated from Table X, the difference in mean scores of scanning, critical reading, in-depth reading, linear reading, non-linear reading, keyword spotting and one-time reading between female and male higher education students in Isfahan University is not statistically signicant.

Reading behavior

653

Degree Postgraduate PhD

n 242 37

Mean 2.53 2.37

SD 1.02 1.25

df 277

t 0.83

Sig 0.03

Table VII. The amount of printing out of electronic resources based on degree

Degree Postgraduate PhD

n 241 37

Mean 1.32 1.29

SD 0.46 0.61

df 2.76

t 0.30

Sig. 0.74

Table VIII. The amount of preferring electronic or print resources based on degree

Gender Female Male

n 143 143

Mean 2.83 3.09

SD 1.29 1.21

df 284

t 1.73

Sig. 0.31

Table IX. The amount of reading electronic resources based on gender

Style Scanning Critical reading In-depth reading Linear reading Non-linear reading Keyword spotting One-time reading

Gender Female Male Female Male Female Male Female Male Female Male Female Male Female Male

n 142 143 141 142 141 143 140 140 142 140 142 140 141 142

Mean 3.57 3.63 2.51 2.48 2.85 2.87 2.72 2.79 3.47 3.44 3.47 3.44 3.41 3.42

SD 0.99 1.08 0.91 0.86 1.08 1.01 0.95 0.93 1.10 1.06 1.10 1.06 1.00 0.97

df 283 281 282 278 280 280 281

t 0.47 0.23 0.12 0.61 0.22 0.22 0.09

Sig. 0.21 0.49 0.66 0.66 0.65 0.65 0.61 Table X. The style of reading electronic resources based on gender

LR 60,8

654

According to Table XI, mean scores of the amount of annotating the electronic resources is not signicantly different between female and male higher education students in Isfahan University. Based on information provided in Table XII, no signicant difference exists in mean scores of printing out the electronic resources between female and male postgraduate and PhD students in Isfahan University. Considering data in Table XIII, there is no signicant difference in mean scores of preferring electronic or print resources between female and male postgraduate and PhD students in Isfahan University. Discussion and conclusion Based upon the received answers, it was indicated that there is no signicant difference among reading behavior of higher education students in different faculties of Isfahan University. More specically, it was revealed that their behavior concerning style of reading the electronic resources, the amount of annotating the electronic and print resources, and preference of electronic and print resources in equal circumstances is identical and they have similar attitudes. Nonetheless, there is difference among different faculties, regarding the amount of reading of electronic resources and the amount of printing out of these resources. According to Table II, there is difference between the amount of reading the electronic resources in the faculty of technical and engineering and the faculties of foreign languages, literature and human sciences, education and psychology, physical education, and economics and administrative sciences, such that technical and engineering students make use of electronic resources more than students in other faculties. As the results of the study carried out by Abdul Karim and Hasan (2007) indicated, there is a relationship between reading resources and educational major, and students

Resources Table XI. The amount of annotating electronic and print resources based on gender Electronic Print

Gender Female Male Female Male

n 142 143 142 143

Mean 2.52 2.97 3.00 3.27

SD 1.09 2.73 0.98 0.98

df 283 283

t 1.82 2.38

Sig. 0.66 0.27

Table XII. The amount of printing out electronic resources based on gender

Gender Female Male

n 142 143

Mean 2.29 2.72

SD 1.07 0.99

df 283

t 3.52

Sig 0.12

Table XIII. The amount of preferring electronic or print resources based on gender

Gender Female Male

n 143 141

Mean 1.30 1.32

SD 0.50 0.47

df 282

t 0.32

Sig. 0.84

of art subjects use the library more while students of information technology use web sites more. Tenopir (2009) found that compared to professors of human sciences and social sciences, faculty members of basic sciences read electronic journals more. Liu (2006) gured out that the educational major inuences the choice of information. Students of librarianship and information science have the highest use of online resources. Use of print and electronic resources is also different among different educational majors. In this regard, the current study is in accordance with the research performed by Liu (2006) and Abdul Karim and Hasan (2007). Furthermore, our ndings showed a signicant difference between the amount of printing out of the electronic resources in the faculty of sciences and that in the faculty of technical and engineering, such that students in the faculty of sciences print out more of the electronic resources for reading. Based upon the received answers, there is no signicant difference in reading behavior of higher education students concerning their degree. In particular, behavior of postgraduate and PhD students towards the amount of reading of electronic resources, style of reading the electronic resources, the amount of annotating electronic and print resources and preference of electronic or print resources in equal circumstances is identical and they show similar approaches. On the other hand, concerning their degree, difference exists in the amount of scanning on computer monitors as well as the amount of printing out of the electronic resources. Considering the information in Table V, the mean score of scanning for postgraduate and PhD students is 3.55 and 3.91, respectively. This reveals that PhD students use this style of reading since they must read more documents. Also, they are more uent in English, read more, and have more experience in reading the electronic resources on a computer monitor. According to Table VII, the mean score of the amount of printing out of electronic resources for postgraduate and PhD students is 2.53 and 2.37, respectively. This as well indicates that PhD students print out the electronic resources less. They read more on the computer monitor due to their experience and as mentioned above they use more of a scanning style. According to Ramirez (2003), those who have more experience with computers can tolerate more time reading on computer monitors. The next generation who grow up with this technology will reveal different attitude towards reading in digital environment. King and Montgomery (2002) discovered that PhD students print out less and read more on computer screens. This is in agreement with our results regarding the amount of printing out the electronic resources. Analysis of data obtained in this study shows that no signicant difference exists in reading behavior of higher education students concerning their gender. To be more precise, behavior of female and male students is identical towards the amount of reading of electronic resources, the style of reading the electronic resources, the amount of annotating the electronic and print resources, the amount of printing out of the electronic resources and preference of electronic or print resources in equal circumstances. Liu (2008) studied gender differences in the online environment and found that in comparison with men, women more prefer paper for reading. In addition, women printed out the electronic resources more. No further signicant difference exists between reading behavior of men and women in the online environment.

Reading behavior

655

LR 60,8

656

Abdul Karim and Hasan (2007) performed a study regarding the reading differences between the two genders and found no signicant difference between their reading approaches. Regarding the differences between the two genders concerning their reading behavior in digital media, results of our study are well consistent with those of Liu (2008) and Abdul Karim and Hasan (2007). Students use electronic resources due to the possibility of remote access to information, not having to personally visit the library, quick access to information, and saving time. Additionally, several users can simultaneously use a single document. The problem that users of printed resources encountered is that their document of interest may have been borrowed by another user, while this is not the case concerning the electronic resources, and users have 24-hour access to these resources. However, the most signicant disadvantage of reading the electronic resources from the users viewpoint is reading from the computer screen, as it is tiresome. Also, scrolling the document to read upper and lower parts of the document increases the users tiredness. In spite of differences between printed and electronic documents, it seems that digital reading, i.e. reading electronic resources, is growing among the users; though it has not completely replaced reading the printed resources. Searching digital documents is easy; furthermore, it provides access to information since each document has some links to electronic resources. To overcome the existing saturation in the information environment, users usually tend to scan and non-serially read the documents on the computer screen. Students satisfy their own information needs from a collection of printed and electronic resources and print out documents mostly for in-depth reading and taking notes. The study of reading behavior challenges the organization managers to provide an infrastructure of technology and equipment for a wide range of users, and to expand the band width so they can benet from the advantages of electronic reading.
References Abdul Karim, N. and Hasan, A. (2008), Reading habits and attitude in the digital age: analysis of gender and academic program differences in Malaysia, The Electronic Library, Vol. 4, pp. 285-98, available at: http://dlist.sir.arizona.edu/798/01/SR30_4_Goodman.doc (accessed 26 April 2008). Adler, A., Gujar, A., Harrison, B., OHara, K. and Sellen, A.J. (1998), A diary study of work-related reading: design implication for digital reading devices, Proceedings of CHI98 Conference, Los Angeles, CA, USA, pp. 241-8, available at: www.ict.csiro.au/staff/ kenton.ohara/papers/reading_CHI.pdf (accessed 26 April 2008). Brown, G.J. (2001), Beyond print: reading digitally, Library Hi Tech, Vol. 19, pp. 390-9, available at: www.emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/07378830110412456 (accessed 26 April 2008). Ismail, R. and Awang Negah, Z. (2005), The pattern of e-book use amongst undergraduate in Malaysia: a case of to know is to use, Malaysian Journal of Library & Information Science, Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 1-23, available at: www.majlis.fsktm.um.edu.my/document. aspx?FileName327.pdf (accessed 26 April 2008). King, K.W. and Montgomery, C.H. (2002), After migration to an electronic journal collection: impact on faculty and doctoral students, D-Lib Magazine, Vol. 8 No. 12, available at: www.dlib.org/dlib/december02/king/12king.html (accessed 6 April 2008). Levy, D.M. (1997), I read the news today, oh boy: reading and attention in digital libraries, Proceedings of the 2nd ACM International Conference on Digital Libraries, Philadelphia, PA, USA, pp. 202-11.

Liu, Z. (2003), Trends in transforming scholarly communication and their implications, Information Processing & Management, Vol. 39 No. 6, pp. 889-98, available at: www. portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id953614 (accessed 6 April 2008). Liu, Z. (2005), Reading behavior in the digital environment: changes in reading behavior over the past 10 years, Journal of Documentation, Vol. 61 No. 6, pp. 700-12, available at: www. emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/00220410510632040 (accessed 6 April 2008). Liu, Z. (2006), Print vs. electronic resources: a study of user perceptions, preferences, and use, Information Processing & Management, Vol. 42 No. 2, pp. 583-92, available at: www. portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id1120479 (accessed 6 April 2008). Liu, Z. and Huang, X. (2008), Gender differences in the online reading environment, Journal of Documentation, Vol. 64 No. 4, pp. 616-26, available at: www.emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/ 00220410810884101 (accessed 6 April 2009). McKnight, C. (1997), Electronic journals: what do users think of them?, Proceedings of the International Symposium on Research, Development and Practice in Digital Libraries, University of Library and Information Science, Tsukuba. OHara, K. (1996), Towards a typology of reading goals, Technical Report EPC-1996-107, available at: www.xrce.xerox.com/publis/cam-trs/pdf/1996/epc-1996-108.pdf (accessed 6 April 2008). OHara, K. and Sellen, A. (1997), A comparison of reading paper and on-line documents, Proceedings of CHI97 Conference, Atlanta, GA, USA, pp. 335-42, available at: www. portal.acm.org/ft_gateway.cfm?id258787&typepdf (accessed 6 April 2008). Ramirez, E. (2003), The impact of the internet on the reading practices of a university community: the case of UNAM, paper presented at the World Library and Information Congress: 69th IFLA General Conference and Council, Berlin, 1-9 August, available at: www.ia.queenslibrary.org/IV/ia69/papers/019e-Ramirez.pdf (accessed 16 April 2008). Tenopir, C. (2003), Use and users of electronic library resources: an overview and analysis of recent research studies, available at: www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub120/pub120.pdf (accessed 16 April 2008). Tenopir, C., King, D.W., Edwards, S.H. and Wu, L. (2009), Electronic journals and changes in scholarly article seeking and reading patterns, Aslib Proceedings, Vol. 61 No. 1, pp. 5-32, available at: www.emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/00012530910932267 (accessed 8 October 2009). About the authors Ahmad Shabani received his Bachelor of Political Science at the University of Tehran, his MLIS at the University of Tehran, and his PhD in Library and Information Sciences at Islamic Azad University, Tehran. He is currently an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education and Psychology at University of Isfahan. Ahmad Shabani is the corresponding author and can be contacted at: shabania@edu.ui.ac.ir Fatemeh Naderikharaji received her Bachelor of English Literature at University of Allameh Tabatabai, Tehran, and her MLIS at the University of Isfahan. Mohammad Reza Abedi received his Bachelor of Psychology at the University of Isfahan, Isfahan, his Master of Psychiatry at Iran Medical Sciences University, Tehran and his PhD in Consulting at the University of Allameh Tabatabai, Tehran. He is currently an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education and Psychology at the University of Isfahan.

Reading behavior

657

To purchase reprints of this article please e-mail: reprints@emeraldinsight.com Or visit our web site for further details: www.emeraldinsight.com/reprints