Like an open book? Accessibility of e-book content for academic study in a diverse student population


  • Laura Joy Muir
  • Thomas Veale
  • Anne Nichol



e-books, usability, accessibility


This paper reviews previous research on e-books and the information seeking behaviour of scholars. It presents the initial findings from an in-depth study of the behaviour and experiences of seven students (including students with dyslexia and visual impairment) using e-books for their academic coursework assignments and highlights the information accessibility issues they encountered. It discusses the need to develop a new model of e-book content delivery and proposes a framework for the evaluation of academic e-books from a commercial or 'business' perspective.

Author Biographies

Laura Joy Muir

Dr Muir is a Senior Lecturer in the Information Management department of Aberdeen Business School at the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. Her departmental responsibility is for knowledge exchange, corporate and enterprise activities. Her research interests include perceptually optimised video communication systems, information systems usability and information accessibility.

Thomas Veale

Thomas was an MSc Information and Library Studies student in 2007/8 at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen during the research project.

Anne Nichol

Anne Nichol is a Librarian and Faculty Liaison Advisor in the Georgina Scott Sutherland library of Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.






Refereed Research Articles