Before conducting a small usability study on ebook platforms, the authors of “Academic E-book Usability from the Student’s Perspective” said they expected students to prefer publisher platforms over aggregator platforms because “they rarely impose limits on printing and downloading.”
However, the results of their study showed otherwise. According to the article published by three academic librarians, University of Colorado Boulder students who participated in the study found aggregators easier to use – and they chose Ebook Central as their preferred platform.
In the study, university students performed several common tasks on each platform, including evaluating the landing page, navigating to a specific page, finding citation tools, and searching and evaluating results. An observer recorded their behavior and asked them questions about if and how they accomplished the task.
Since the study’s conclusion, Ebook Central added more than 130,000 DRM-free ebooks, which have no download, print and copy restrictions.