The university library is going to make new study documents (PDFs) available in such a way that the texts are searchable and suitable for highlighting and adding annotations. In the coming weeks, some 19,000 old documents will be adapted as well. The University Library is taking the measures mainly in reaction to a proposal by political student party Novum.
According to an inquiry made by Novum, lots of students still print their digital study texts. They do so because they dislike on-screen reading. In addition to the impossibility of searching and highlighting, the scanned texts are sometimes of poor quality, skewed or contain shadowed edges. Novum deplores this situation, because digital texts allow students to use search techniques and analyse the literature better. “It also saves printing costs, which easily exceeds one hundred euros a year,” says initiator Nils Reimer, University College student and a member of Novum. “And it enables students to read their texts everywhere, on a tablet or a smartphone, without having to carry big stashes of paper.”