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Literacy Lab

Literacy Lab

Collaborative research practices, to understand and improve children and young people's literacy experiences and outcomes

Adults’ e-Reading Behaviour


Previous research has found that reading for fun is an important predictor of reading ability, however, many adults’ struggle to find time for reading . This project aims to enhance our understanding of how adults fit reading in their daily lives by observing electronic reading behaviour, such as the duration and frequency of reading, locations of reading, and the ways in which readers progress through a narrative text. We will assess the connection between reading behaviour and readers’ motivation and electronic reading experience to capture how adults differ in the ways in which they read and select books. This information works as a foundation to help us support adults in incorporating reading in their everyday lives, which can make a difference in enhancing adults’ reading ability.
In this quantitative project, adults are asked to sign up to an online e-reader platform developed for the purposes of this study and read an e-book at their own pace. The e-reader tracks reading behaviour with unobtrusive, embedded tracking functions. Information about motivation and electronic experience is collected via questionnaires.
So far two different studies have been conducted and a third experiment is ongoing. In the first study, participants were asked to read a short story over 14 days while their reading behaviour was observed. Motivation to read the text was manipulated by influencing how much choice the readers had in selecting their short story. The second study assessed e-reading behaviour longitudinally: 800 participants from all around the world signed up to use the e-reader system and read an e-book while their reading behaviour and text selection process were observed. The third study in this research project investigates how adults read on dedicated reading devices, such as Kindle e-ink e-readers.
If you are interested in hearing more about the project, or taking part, contact Pauliina on
You can learn more about this research in this BERA Special Issue blogpost:  How do adults read ebooks?
This project is funded by ESRC (managed by Scottish Graduate School of Social Sciences) and School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh.
Project Team:
PhD Researcher: Pauliina Vuorinen,  University of Edinburgh
First Supervisor: Prof Frank Keller,  University of Edinburgh
Second Supervisor: Prof Ben Tatler,  University of Aberdeen
Assistant Supervisor: Dr Maria Wolters, University of Edinburgh

With support from Dr Sarah McGeown, University of Edinburgh


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