Beyond the Surveys: Qualitative Analysis from the Academic Reading Format International Study (ARFIS)

Diane Mizrachi, Alicia M. Salaz

Abstract

The Academic Reading Format International Study (ARFIS) collected data from more than 21,000 university students in 33 countries regarding their reading format (print or electronic) preferences and behaviors when engaging with academic texts during a three-year period. Quantitative analysis shows a consistent preference for print reading among most students worldwide. This paper presents new findings from our qualitative analysis of students’ survey comments, addressing the questions: Why do students prefer to read in print or electronically? What factors affect their decisions to read a text in their less preferred format? Are there behavioral patterns that will assist librarians and educators when deciding upon format policies?

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