Scholars' Choice among Book Formats
Scholars' patterns of using books in their various formats and their reactions to on-line books are being tracked through a variety of surveys, individual interviews, and focus groups (see Table 17.1).
One survey involves visiting a class session for which an assigned reading was in an on-line book. A question asks which format(s) of the book the student used for this assignment. Responses were distributed as shown in Table 17.8.
In 70% of the responses for fall 1996, as seen in Table 17.8, the student had used his or her own copy of the text. The next most common method was to use a friend's copy (14%). The shares for those two modes are insignificantly different in spring 1997. We are obtaining course syllabi from instructors so that, in the future, we can analyze these responses based on what portion of the book is being used in a course and whether students are expected to purchase their own copies.
Preferences for Studying Class Reading
We obtained far fewer responses (119 in fall 1996 and 88 in spring 1997) as to the preferred mode of studying. Table 17.9 shows that in both semesters, about twothirds of respondents reported a preference for reading their own copy.