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collection development, ebooks, STEM, Arts, Social Sciences, print books


The purpose of this study was to determine if there were any distinct differences in e-book usage habits among students in the social sciences, technical fields and the arts. To complete this study, students from three different disciplinary areas were surveyed. The same nine questions were posed to each student group, with slight modifications to some questions based on the discipline.The results of this study show that students in each discipline have a preference for convenience and accessibility, whether material is print or electronic. Some more unique characteristics between disciplines include the percentage of students using books and frequency of e-book usage. This study is unique in that it compares the preferences and habits of three specific groups of students from unrelated disciplines. It will be useful for librarians who manage collections for various disciplines and want a better understanding of what should be considered when choosing a format for materials.


This is the accepted manuscript version of the article.

The final version was published in Library Hi Tech News, a journal managed by Emerald Publishing.

Publisher Attribution

Cummings, L., Larrivee, A.M., Vega, L. (2015). Comparing Electronic vs. Print Book Preferences between Students in the Social Sciences, the Arts and STEM. Library Hi-Tech, 32(4). doi: 10.1108/LHTN-10-2014-0088



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