In a study of more than 10,000 students in 21 countries, Diane Mizrachi, the Social Sciences and Undergraduate Instruction Librarian at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has found that students overwhelmingly prefer print to electronic reading material.
Mizrachi was recently in Doha to deliver a Gloriana St Clair Distinguished Lecture in 21st Century Librarianship at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. She is one of the coordinators of the Academic Reading Format International Study (ARFIS), a project that investigates the attitudes and behaviours of university students toward academic readings on paper and onscreen. Researchers in 19 countries gathered data from nearly 10,000 students in the first round of ARFIS. The second round includes 15 more countries, including Qatar.
ARFIS found that 80% of participants reported that they retain information better, focus better, and highlight and annotate text more effectively when reading in print. Students do, however, report that factors such as accessibility, cost, complexity of the reading and its importance to the course affect their actual behaviours. The results of the study are surprising given the widespread use of digital content.
Check this link for more information about ARFIS.