Fast Facts

Gary Pattillo

Print vs. e-book preferences

A qualitative study of a group of City University of New York students found that “students tended to use print for academic and long-form reading and to engage with it more deeply. Although electronic resources were sometimes used for academic purposes, students often used them for shorter and non-academic reading. Students found electronic media convenient, but most of them did not wish to switch to electronic media for their academic reading.”

Nancy M. Foasberg, “Student Reading Practices in Print and Electronic Media,” College & Research Libraries (pre-print) (2013), (retrieved August 1, 2013).

Google Books Ngram Viewer

The Google Ngram database draws on more than 8 million digitized books (about 6 percent of all books ever published) in a variety of languages. The Ngram Viewer provides a simple search interface that plots word frequencies over time. The database has been updated with syntactically annotated ngrams, providing for lexical analysis and “culturomics” or quantitative analysis of culture. Google provides the data sets for large scale analysis of the underlying data.

Google Books Ngram Viewer, (retrieved August 9, 2013).

Student writing and digital tools

“In a survey of Advanced Placement and National Writing Project middle-school and high-school teachers, a majority say digital tools encourage students to be more invested in their writing by encouraging personal expression and providing a wider audience for their work. Most also say digital tools make teaching writing easier, despite an increasingly ambiguous line between formal and informal writing and students’ poor understanding of issues such as plagiarism and fair use.”

Kristen Purcell, Judy Buchanan, and Linda Friedrich, “The Impact of Digital Tools on Student Writing and How Writing Is Taught in Schools,” Pew Internet & American Life Project, July 16, 2013, (retrieved August 9, 2013).

European employment

According to Eurostat, in 2011, 7.5 million young people aged 15 to 24 and an additional 6.5 million young people aged 25 to 29 were excluded from the labor market and education in Europe. This corresponds to a significant increase in the NEET rate (not in employment, education, or training): in 2008, the figure stood at 11 percent of 15 to 24-year-olds and 17 percent of 25 to 29-year-olds. By 2011 these rates had increased to 13 percent and 20 percent respectively.

Eurofound (2012), “NEETs—Young people not in employment, education or training: Characteristics, costs and policy responses in Europe,” Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, (retrieved June 11, 2013).

Research data curation

The volume of electronic data is estimated to grow from 0.8 zettabytes (1 ZB equals 1 trillion gigabytes) as of 2009 to approximately 35 ZB (35 trillion gigabytes) by 2020. It is stored in a wide variety of locations and formats, not easily accessible to researchers. An industry forum, hosted by Thomson Reuters in July 2013, states that the current unavailability of this data constitutes an impediment to the progress of research. The group asserts that the availability and accessibility of the material—properly maintained and curated—is essential for advancing science.

“Unlocking the value of research data: A report from the Thomson Reuters industry forum,” Thomson Reuters, July 2013, (retrieved August 13, 2013).

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