Research

  • 2019 – towards the end of this year we will commence the next phase of the research

    • Discovering a ‘good read’: Pathways to reading for Australian teens
    • Funded by the Australian Research Council through its Linkage Projects Scheme
    • Our partners include Queensland University of Technology, University of Canterbury (Christchurch), the Australian Copyright Agency, the Australian Booksellers Association, the Australian Publishers Association, the Australian Library and Information Association, and the School Library Association of Victoria.
  • 2018 – the Australian Copyright Agency Cultural Fund extended its funding support for the ongoing program of research

  • 2016 – we conducted a Pilot Study: Teen Reading in the Digital Era: Platforms, Access and Diversity

    • Support from the Australian Copyright Agency Cultural Fund allowed us to survey and interview over 500 teenagers in WA and Victoria.

Findings

Scoping Study

  • There is a clear link between reading for pleasure and school and later work outcomes.
  • Teenagers are reading, but their reading choices are diverse, and mediated by cultural contexts, social influences, place, conditions of access, as well as individual factors.
  • Two factors characterize changes in reading practices: increased dependence on digital technologies, together with the social turn in reading, involving the collaborative selection of and advice about texts. But it is by no means certain that avid readers prefer digital texts, and some devices change the nature of immersion in reading.
  • Recreational reading faces increased narrative competition from screen texts, and thus literary, screen and online fandoms overlap. This has implications for Australian literature and literary culture.
  • There also appears to be little Australian research on genre preferences in long-form reading (books) or the effects of author or publisher interactions with readers.
  • Survey research dominates studies of teen reading, which suggests that there is a need for richer qualitative research projects that will better account for the various kinds of reading.
  • We lack Australian studies of reading for various purposes in different geographical locations and social environments. Diverse contexts affect reading preferences, practices, access and impacts on adolescents’ reading choices.

Pilot Study

A brief Snapshot Report of findings were circulated to participating schools and stakeholders. Snapshot Report March 2017