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Going Mobile in Academia – From Roy Tennant in LJ

by Roy Tennant, August 31st, 2010 here: http://blog.libraryjournal.com/tennantdigitallibraries/2010/08/31/going-mobile-in-academia/

iPhoneThe California Digital Library has been studying the use of mobile devices among the University of California faculty and students, and this month they released a report on that work.

A few of their findings:

  • Slightly more academic survey respondents own mobile phones without internet (61%) than mobile devices that with internet (53%). Faculty were the most likely respondents (63%) to own a mobile device with internet, followed by graduate students (53%) and then undergraduates (41%).
  • Of academic survey respondents who own mobile devices with internet, the majority own iPhone (53%) or iPod Touch (20%) devices. The next highest device was Blackberry (10%), and then Droid (9%).
  • Some of the most common uses of mobile devices with internet include finding information and accessing email. They are used less for academic purposes, such as accessing campus or library websites or completing coursework.
  • Few survey respondents are using eBook devices and tablets for academic reading.
  • Most interviewees noted that they did not want to do actual academic research on mobile devices. Many see research as a difficult activity that would only be more difficult on a mobile device.
  • Despite this disinclination to do heavy research on mobile devices, there does seem to be an interest in having the option to access library databases, catalogs, and resources from mobile devices. Instead of using these tools to perform actual research, it is more likely that users will use library databases to retrieve known materials or find quick information.
  • Despite positive interest in notification by text message in the literature (including library notifications), most of our participants prefer notifications by email instead of text message.
  • Sending oneself email is a way to transfer information and files between devices.

See the report for more findings and recommendations to the UC community, as well as other reports at the web site.

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Filed under: Administrative Issues, user experience,

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