Scholarly use of E-books in a virtual academic environment: A Case Study

Document Type

Journal Article


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Computer and Security Science




This article was originally published as: Ahmad, P. , & Brogan, M. P. (2012). Scholarly use of E-books in a virtual academic environment: A Case Study. Australian Academic and Research Libraries, 43(2), 189-213. Original article available here


From a fledgling technology with no proven business models, electronic books (e-books) have grown in importance usurping traditional formats as an acquisitions budget line in many academic library contexts. Business models include purchase, subscription, and pay per use. In academic and research libraries, web based e-book delivery is the dominant platform involving desktop, Netbook and iPad user agents. E-books are the hot property of today's academic library, forming the new wave in information services along with web scale discovery and institutional repositories. This paper reports the results of a preliminary analysis of transactional e-log data describing academic and student use of Ebook Library (EBL) titles at Edith Cowan University (ECU) Library, Perth, Western Australia. The data mined and analysed encompassing Semesters One and Two of the 2010 academic year. Analysis includes descriptive statistics and other metrics describing e-book usage patterns and user behaviour. The paper compares usage patterns observed with earlier studies and reports on the phenomenon of the 'power user'.

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