The Book Industry Study Group has released the results of a new survey it conducted, called "Student Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education." Among the findings are that 75% of college students say they prefer textbooks in printed rather than e-text form, citing print’s look and feel, as well as its permanence and ability to be resold.
Still, some college students do prefer e-texts. About 12% of the students surveyed--mostly males, and often MBA-seeking or distance learners--said they liked the lower cost, convenience, and portability of e-texts. The majority of survey respondents (60%) said they place high value on core textbooks--whether printed or electronic--most of which continue to be purchased at the college bookstore (65%). One-fifth of students said they purchased textbooks from Amazon.com. And 11% of students said they preferred renting textbooks to buying them.
Other findings revealed ways students try to save money when it comes to textbooks. They often buy previous editions of a textbook (16% did this for their current class) or international versions (18% did this at least once). More than 40% of survey respondents said they bought a textbook from a pirate Web site, or know others who have (15% said they personnally have bought a textbook from a pirate site and 25% said they knew some one who had). Many reported copying their friends’ textbooks.
The survey was conducted by Bowker’s PubTrack service. The results will be presented at BISG’s February 9, 2011 event, What College Students Think: Making Information Pay for Higher Ed Publishing. Information is available at http://www.bisg.org/events-0-615-mip-for-higher-ed-publishing.php.