Other memebers of the team:
Paula Smith (
Shubhash Wasti (
The pilot study on MP3 articles conducted at
Kathy Killoh points out that much research still needs to be done on this topic, but this pilot study is certainly one of its kind and carries great implications in the larger scope of things. MP3 articles present a new possibility for accessing knowledge and thus help widen the circle of people who can take advantage of this possibility. For example, MP3 articles can be helpful for people with reading disabilities. Users of mobile technology can also easily listen to MP3 articles on the run. In short, MP3 articles exploit modern technology and open up new accessibility avenues. After all, and at the risk of sounding redundant, we must remind ourselves that accessibility makes up a major part of the spirit of Open Access.
We have been used to the idea of audio-books for quite some time now, and MP3 articles might also someday become as popular as PDF files when it comes to accessing academic journal articles. These days, almost everyone is listening to MP3s on the bus or subway, but perhaps next time when you ask your friends what they are listening to, instead of “some popular music artist”, the answer might be “I’m listening to John Willinsky’s newest article on open access.”
~Summary of Presentation~
- A team of researchers from
- MP3 articles are available for download on the IRRODL web site
-IRRODL is an open access, peer reviewed e-journal that has been online since 2000
-IRRODL adopted OJS in 2005
-IRRODL’s editorial scope is international, and the vision is to narrow the digital divide by providing rigorously peer reviewed ODL (Open and Distance Learning) literature using a variety of technologies
-since June 2006, IRRODL content has been available also in MP3 format
-this pilot study is to collect some data on how, when, where and why readers are using MP3 articles
Selection of software: NeoSpeech Voice Text software
- issue of cost: for desktop use or for creating files to publish on the internet, this can create a big difference in pricing
- time it takes for conversion to MP3: 2 – 2.5 hours for 16 – 20 pg. articles
- editing for conversion:
Remove: references, citations, end notes, tables, graphs, figures, charts, etc.
Include: Front Matter, Coding for Heading pauses, table, image, chart descriptions
Code in extra pauses to indicate a new paragraph
- conversion challenges:
Symbols (e.g. >, *, etc.) are not always recognized by the software
Word tenses e.g. “red” to substitute past tense “read”
Brackets are ignored, need to code in a pause or a change in pitch
Acronyms: software would sometimes spell it out or read it as one word)
An online survey was also conducted by the MP3 research team, and selected portions of the results are included below:
Top 3 Geographic Origins of MP3 Downloads: 1) United States 2) Canada 3) United Kingdom
50% of respondents said they listened to MP3 articles on the PC/laptop, 41% on MP3 players
As for reasons why they listened to MP3 articles, responses ranged from "professional development", "education/study", "curiosity", "research", and others.
24% of respondents said they listened at home, 22% in the office, and 21% while commuting.
65% of respondents said they downloaded and listened to 1-2 articles.
- MP3 audio files are at the beginning of the “diffusion” curve (based on Everett Rogers’ Theory of Diffusion of Innovations)
- further research needs to be done
IRRODL – International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning