December 14, 2017

Most Students Don’t Use Social Media to Study

Some 59 percent of students are not using social media for research or study, according to ebrary’s 2011 Global Student E-book Survey – Social Media Addendum.

Lynn Brainard, ebrary’s media relations sales coordinator, North America, told LJ, “The survey was taken by undergraduate and post-graduate students. We also pushed this out to community colleges, so it could be first year, second years there too. Over 6,600 students participated in the survey.”

The students seemed receptive to the idea of using social media to connect with fellow students: 69 percent said they are likely or very likely to use social media to connect with students with similar academic interests, and 58 percent said they would use social media to share research with peers.

However when authority figures enter the picture, the numbers drop to a minority. Only 45 percent said they would usual social media to pose a question to faculty, and even fewer, at 35 percent, would use social media to pose a question to a librarian.

Kevin Sayar, ebrary’s president and general manager, said in a statement, “This survey indicates that we need to develop better and more intuitive ways for students to collaborate with authoritative sources in a trusted, research oriented environment.”

If David W. Lewis, dean of the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) University Library, is right, Sayar has about eight years to do so. That such tools would be developed and in use by 2020 is one of the predictions in Lewis’ forthcoming paper From Stacks to the Web: the Transformation of Academic Library Collecting.

Meredith Schwartz About Meredith Schwartz

Meredith Schwartz ( is Executive Editor of Library Journal.