European study into e-reading launches next week

European study into e-reading launches next week

A new European Commission-funded project will study whether or not reading digitally changes people’s comprehension of the text they consume.

The Evolution of Reading in the Age of Digitisation (EREAD) research will launch next week in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and carry on until autumn 2017 at locations around Europe, involving scholars from multiple disciplines, including the arts, humanities, social sciences and neuro-sciences.

Through a series of conferences and workshops scientists will meet with stakeholders from publishing and educational establishments to discuss the implications of digitisation on reading.

The project will take a “broad interdisciplinary approach” because of the outcomes of recent research on digital and screen reading, with some reports finding little or no difference in “cognitive outcomes from reading short texts on paper and screen”, while other research has found that “onscreen reading of linear texts longer than one page might impede reading comprehension” and that "the features of tablets might negatively affect emotional aspects of literary reading”.

EREAD will also address the economic and technological dimensions that "fuel the movement towards screen reading”.

The project is coordinated by researchers at the universities of Stavanger, Norway, and Leiden, in The Netherlands.

Rüdiger Wischenbart Content and Consulting is part of the research consortium.