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Surprising Science


How will the introduction of e-book devices affect academics and fit into the scholarly ecosystem? And is the book as an artifact dead?

Despite initial tentativeness on the part of consumers, it seems that e-books are here to stay. But while lots has been said about what the electrical devices replacing the printed page will have on the publishing industry, not so much has been said about how this change will affect education and academics. “How useful are these devices for academics and how do they fit into our own personal scholarly ecosystems?” asks Alex Golub of Inside Higher Ed. “Let’s face it: at heart, the Kindle is designed to let you read mystery novels, not academic books. It is small, light, and has terrific battery life…The Kindle is remarkably freeing — suddenly your porch or the beach is a workspace…In fact, I must admit that I think the book as an artifact is already dead.”


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