27 September 2019

Reading on paper allows for deeper comprehension and retention, concentration, vocabulary building and memory, recent studies show. Intergraf calls on policymakers and educational organisations at EU and national level to ensure that print has its role in education.

Although the use of digital devices for reading continues to increase, new research reveals that readers’ comprehension is better when reading from paper. A meta-study of 54 studies with more than 170,000 participants has demonstrated that comprehension of long-form informational text is stronger when reading on paper than on screens, particularly when the reader is under time pressure.

The meta-study also found that digital environments continue to pose challenges. Readers are more likely to be overconfident about their comprehension abilities when reading digitally than when reading print, in particular when under time pressure, leading to more skimming and less concentration on reading matter.

Contrary to the widely held belief, the study finds that the screen inferiority effects of ‘digital natives’ have increased rather than decreased over time, regardless of age group and of prior experience with digital environments.

That is why Intergraf highly recommends prioritising print reading over digital reading in schools unless there is a proven learning advantage of digital. Inaction risks a degradation of students’ reading comprehension and critical thinking skills, which could hinder the development of educated, critical thinking citizens in our society for decades. For more information please read the summary position paper, here and the detailed position paper, here.

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Notes to Editor

Intergraf is the European federation for print and digital communication. We are a Brussels-based trade association representing employers in the European printing industry. Intergraf represents 21 national printing federations in 20 countries. Our primary task is to represent and advocate for the interests of the printing and digital communication industry in Europe, working with European Union to support the sector’s competitiveness through advocacy, information-sharing, networking and social dialogue. The printing industry in the 28 European countries comprises some 117,000 firms and employs around 637,000 people. The turnover in the printing industry is about € 85 billion. The industry throughout Europe consists mainly of small enterprises, as 90% of them employ fewer than 20 persons. For more information please visit 

For more information please contact:

Alison Grace
Communications & Policy Officer at Intergraf
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: +32 (0) 2 230 86 46