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Poetic Media Lab Launches "Reader Study"

After a year of study design and platform development, the Poetic Media Lab launched its first reader study in July. Hosted on an open-source platform they built at, Reader Study allows researchers to upload texts, create pre- and post-reading questions, and break participants into different cohorts to empirically ask how different readers engage with literary texts. Using digital annotation affordances, recruited participants are able to log on and read novels or fiction from their own home, highlighting and digitally annotating parts of the text that they find meaningful.

When aggregated and qualitatively coded, these annotations will help literary scholars and instructors of literature and close reading better understand the relationship between reader, text, and meaning. With the rise of digital annotation in text technologies and in classroom learning technologies, the study also probes important questions like how digital and social annotations change the literary and interpretive experience.

To learn more about the project, or to try out the Reader Study software, you can contact the primary investigator, Brian Johnsrud, at