October 6, 2015

ebrary Releases Survey Findings on Social Media as Research Resource

The findings are found in an addendum to the ebrary 2011 Global eBook Survey.

Highlights from the Social Media Addendum:

  • While 41% of students are currently using social media for research or study, 59% are not.  Reasons for not using social media include that existing sites are not a reliable source of information.
  • When asked if they would use social media to share research with peers, 58% of students indicated “likely” to “very likely,” while 43% stated “unlikely.”
  • 35% students indicated they would “likely” to “very likely” pose a question to a librarian using social media, compared to 45% who would “likely” to “very likely” use social media to pose a question to faculty.
  • When asked if they would use social media to connect with students with similar academic interests, 69% stated “likely” to “very likely,” while 31% stated “unlikely.”

“Using traditional social media platforms for research could be problematic for students on a number of fronts:  Most are not designed for serious research, and students may not wish to share personal information with faculty and librarians,” said Kevin Sayar, ebrary’s President and General Manager. “This survey indicates that we need to develop better and more intuitive ways for students to collaborate with authoritative sources in a trusted, research oriented environment.

More than 6,500 students worldwide participated in ebrary’s 2011 Global Student E-book Survey, which was very similar to a 2008 survey created by librarians.  As part of the latest survey, ebrary added questions pertaining to social media, which has grown and changed significantly over the past three years.

Direct to ebrary 2011 Global Student eBook Survey – Social Media Addendum

Access the Complete 2011 Survey and Older Reports

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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