The Academic Reading Format International Study (ARFIS), a project to investigate the attitudes and behaviors of university students around the world towards academic readings on paper and onscreen. It seeks to answer the research questions: What are the format preferences and behaviors of college and university students when engaging with their academic readings? Do they vary across cultures and institutions? How do these behaviors and attitudes compare across an international sample?

ARFIS is a replication based on a 2014 study performed at UCLA [1] to produce comparative results and to see whether students’ reading format preferences vary or maintain consistency across multi-national student populations. ARFIS coordinators Diane Mizrachi, Joumana Boustany and Serap Kurbanoglu invited colleagues from professional networks to participate. The study population includes all levels of college and university students and all fields and disciplines.

The ARFIS questionnaire consists of 17 likert-style statements on academic reading behaviors and preferences, six demographic questions, and an open prompt for any further information. All questions include a box for optional comments. We use the LimeSurvey platform, which has a translation feature. Each researcher is given his/her own account, and is responsible for ensuring the accuracy of their translated survey and distributing it in their own institution or country.

Researchers in nearly 30 countries have contributed data to ARFIS to date, and the analysis and reporting of this data is ongoing (see ‘Publications’). Individual researchers may report their own country data independently; the ARFIS international study amalgamates and compares descriptive and statistical results across the global dataset.

[1] Mizrachi, D.: Undergraduates’ Academic Reading Format Preferences and Behaviors. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 41, 301-311 (2015)