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The second digital transition: to the mobile space – an analysis of Europeana

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According to industry estimates the mobile device (smartphone and tablet) will soon be the main platform for searching the Web and yet our knowledge of how mobile consumers use information – especially scholarly information, and how that differs from desktop or 'tethered' users – is imperfect to say the very least. This article aims to correct this through an analysis of the usage logs of a major cultural, multimedia website,, which started tackling the mobile challenge in 2011. The challenges of identifying mobile use – no easy matter – are described. The information behaviour of 150,000 mobile users is examined and compared with that for desktop users. The main findings are that mobile users are the fastest-growing user community and that their visits are very different in the aggregate from those arising from desktops. Mobile visits are information 'lite': typically shorter, less interactive, and with less content viewed per visit. Use takes on a social rather than office rhythm, with use peaking at nights and weekends.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2013-10-01

More about this publication?
  • Editor in Chief: Pippa Smart
    North American Editor: Judy Luther

    Learned Publishing is the journal of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, published in collaboration with the Society for Scholarly Publishing. The journal is published quarterly in January/April/July/October.

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    Learned Publishing will be moving to Wiley-Blackwell as of January 1, 2016. Please contact the publisher at for information on how to continue access to this title.
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