Authors : Esta Tovstiadi, Natalia Tingle, Gabrielle Wiersma
This article describes how librarians systematically compared different e-book platforms to identify which features and design impact usability and user satisfaction.
This study employed task-based usability testing, including the “think-aloud protocol.” Students at the University of Colorado Boulder completed a series of typical tasks to compare the usability and measure user satisfaction with academic e-books.
For each title, five students completed the tasks on three e-book platforms: the publisher platform and two aggregators. Thirty-five students evaluated seven titles on nine academic e-book platforms.
This study identified each platform’s strengths and weaknesses based on students’ experiences and preferences. The usability tests indicated that students preferred Ebook Central over EBSCO and strongly preferred the aggregators over publisher platforms.
Librarians can use student expectations and preferences to guide e-book purchasing decisions. Preferences may vary by institution, but variations in e-book layout and functionality impact students’ ability to successfully complete tasks and influences their affinity for or satisfaction with any given platform.
Usability testing is a useful tool for gauging user expectations and identifying preferences for features, functionality, and layout.
URL : Academic E-book Usability from the Student’s Perspective
DOI : https://doi.org/10.18438/eblip29457
Librarians often wish to know whether readers in a particular discipline favor e-books or print books. Because print circulation and e-book usage statistics are not directly comparable, it can be hard to determine the relative interest of readers in the two types of books. This study demonstrates a two-step method by which librarians can assess the appeal of books in various formats.
First, a nominal assessment of use or nonuse is performed; this eliminates the difficulty of comparing print circulation to e-book usage statistics.
Then, the comparison of actual use to Percentage of Expected Use (PEU) is made. By examining the distance between PEU of e-books to PEU of print books in a discipline, librarians can determine whether patrons have a strong preference for one format over another.
URL : http://m.crl.acrl.org/content/77/1/20
“Data collected through COUNTER usage statistics and the LibQUAL+ service quality assessment survey tell us that faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates value access to the growing e-book collection at Columbia University Libraries (CUL). While the aggregate results indicate that e-book use continues to increase, usage rates are not uniform across disciplines. Anecdotal evidence suggests that while e-book use has grown in the sciences and social sciences, scholars in the arts and humanities rely heavily on print books. Given the highly diverse research needs of the university community, CUL is keen to understand scholarly e-book usage in various disciplines.
In this study, we sought an innovative research method to understand e-book usage. This method utilizes data from two sources: readers’ e -book search terms harvested by Google Analytics; and requested e-book titles provided by the COUNTER e-book usage reports. The data was analyzed using NVivo, a qualitative analysis software, to examine popular scholarly e-book topics and the correlation between search and delivery.”
URL : http://academicworks.cuny.edu/ols_proceedings_lac/4/