Managment committee (STSM manager) of COST-ACTION IS 1404:
Developments in basic reading skills are a matter of urgent concern, and literacy is a key factor in the EU’s growth strategy (Europe 2020). Research shows that the amount of time spent reading long-form texts is in decline, and due to digitization, reading is becoming more intermittent and fragmented. In international reading assessments (TIMSS/PIRLS [2006; 2011]; PISA [2009, 2012]), students from Asia, Canada and Oceania outperformed European students on several measures. In Europe, one in five lacks adequate reading skills. There is much speculation about the cognitive implications of digitization, and empirical evidence indicates that affordances of screen devices might negatively impact cognitive and emotional aspects of reading. The goal of this Action is to improve scientific understanding of the implications of digitization, hence helping individuals, disciplines, societies and sectors across Europe to cope optimally with the effects. Based on a multidimensional, integrative model of reading, and combining paradigms from experimental sciences with perspectives (e.g., diachronic) from the humanities, the Action will develop new research paradigms, and metrics for assessing the impact of digitization on reading. These metrics enable the development of evidence-based knowledge of paper and screen reading, and provide guidance for practitioners, policy makers, publishers and designers.