By Ken Chad. HELIbTech briefing paper No. 4. 28th March 2018
A recent report for the Society of College, National & University Libraries (Sconul) listed ‘students as customers’ as one of the five top 'transformational’ trends that will impact libraries over the next ten years. These student consumers are not all happy and one reason is the rising cost of textbooks and the lack of availability from libraries. The briefing paper looks at the textbook market and moves to digital and more interactive learning. It analyses new approaches to textbook provision including Open Textbooks and the rise of e-textbook platforms.
Click here to get a copy
eBooks Co-Design Report.Ian Chowcat,David Kay and Owen Stephens for SeroHE (www.serohe.co.uk) working with Amy Devenney and
Graham Stone (University of Huddersfield). 31 March 2014
As part of the Jisc Co-Design programme, the KB+ project team, supported by the University of Huddersfield, undertook a consultation exercise to identify and assess the pain points relating to eBooks as reported by academic libraries and their users.
Feedback from the 2012 Jisc Library Management programme (notably from EBASS25) and through the JUSP and Knowledgebase Plus (KB+) services confirmed that libraries have continuing and even increasing concerns across the processes involved in the selection, management and delivery of e-books, relating both to back-of-house functions and to the end user experience. Jisc and SCONUL therefore agreed to undertake a study under the Co-Design programme, running from October 2013 to February 2014, in order to:
E-Book Platforms for Academic librarians. By Audrey Powers. February 2014 (Originally published in the journal Against the
A very useful survey that covers lot of issues including:
DRM, business models. Types of ebook packages, Patron or Demand Driven Acquisitions, user features, admin features, discovery considerations, usage data and a analysis of the “Ideal Academic ebook ecosystem”
Ebook lending platforms
Ebook aggregators. including a comparison of Ebook Library, ebrary, EBSCO eBooks, MyiLibrary
Commercial publisher E-Book platforms
University Press ebook platforms
The challenge of ebooks in academic institutions. JISC project. 2012
This is a project to develop a Digital Infrastructure Directions Report for institutions on meeting the challenge of ebooks. It is a collaboration between JISC Innovation, JISC Collections, JISC Digital Media. The project is being managed by Ken Chad Consulting Ltd.
The Role of Metadata in the Discovery, Selection and Acquisition of eBooks JISC Project Summer/Autumn 2011
There is much interest from librarians, publishers and vendors in user (or 'patron) driven approaches to the acquisition of ebooks by libraries in Higher Education.Our work contributes to the evidence base to help libraries and publishers better understand the requirements of patrons and develop affordable library-delivered e-books.
The report is available.
The project web site includes:-
Stakeholder interviews (librarians, publisher, intermediaries, students)
The JISC ebooks universe 2012
Lists the (mainly JISC) work taking place around digital books in all their forms: open textbooks, digital monographs, epub, web-based books. The listing covers
•Legal (Licensing, IPR, DRM)
•Technology and Standards
Ebooks and public, academic and research libraries. July 2013
A CILIP briefing paper that sets out some of the legal, strategic and technical problems that arise from the addition of scholarly and trade ebooks to library collections, together with possible solutions. Ebooks are now available from libraries in all sectors but the briefing focuses on public libraries and academic and research libraries.
No Shelf Required No Shelf Required is a useful blog designed to track developments in all areas of e-books. It is moderated by
Sue Polanka from Wright State University Libraries. Here is an extract from the About section on this blog (5th December 2011)
'No Shelf Required® is a blog about eBooks, loosely defined to discuss eBooks, audio books, and other digital content found in libraries as well as the technology needed to read and listen to this digital content. Electronic reference interfaces are another popular topic of conversation. The blog is designed to inform librarians and publishers of the happenings in the industry, from a variety of perspectives, and give them an opportunity to discuss eBook issues.'
There is an interesting article (21st june 2010) on 'patron driven ebook acquisition from Eric Hellman (blog)
He's a snippet from Eric's blog entry..
'Libraries dealing with ebooks have to reconcile their mission of providing access with their limited and declining budgets. One model for doing this is known as “Patron-Driven” (PDA) or “Demand-Driven” (DDA) Acquisition. In this model, the library offers access to a huge menu of content, but only pays for material actually used by patrons. Since 50% of print material acquired by academic libraries never gets used, this results in a 50% cost savings (or 100% increase in bang for the buck, assuming you have bucks)'.
and he concludes
'In researching this article, I was surprised to realize how profoundly the role of the library is changed by the switch to just-in-time acquisition. eBooks don't go out of print the way print books did, so libraries don't need to plan for future needs in their current acquisitions'.
Global eBook Monitor from Bowker Market Research tracks e-book usage in early 2012 across 10 countries with surveys of a minimum of 1000 respondents in each. The Bowker press release includes some interesting information on which countries are adopting e-books most rapidly and also which genres are most popular where. Full country reports may be purchased from them.
. August 2010
During June 2010, Eduserv undertook a brief online survey, targeted primarily at the UK higher education sector, looking at current and future institutional attitudes to e-books, with a particular emphasis on e-book budgets, purchasing and associated decision making. This report summarises the findings of that survey. The survey resulted in 111 responses (from 87 unique institutions), 61% of which were from HE and 20% from FE. Nearly all respondents were from Library or Learning Resources departments.
Andy Powell summarised the findings on the Eduserv eFoundations blog and points from the blog are copied below:
•The drivers for adopting e-books do not currently seem to be coming from faculty, with 2/3 of respondents suggesting that none or less than 10% of course modules at their institution currently recommend or mandate the use of e-books.
•Uptake across subject areas is variable, with business and management, social sciences and health and medicine apparently making more use of e-books than other disciplines.
•Distance learners are generally seen as an important user group for e-books. In addition, 'demand from students', shelf space', 'cost savings', 'convenience of access', 'accessibility' and 'coping with peaks in demand' were all given as drivers.
•A significant growth in the use of e-books is predicted over the next two years, with 77% of respondents thinking that use of e-books double or more than double.
•However, budgets are not predicted to rise in line with this (not surprisingly). Coupled with the lack of a separate 'e-book budget', a growth in spending on e-books seems likely to impact on budget for other resources (particularly print books).
•In terms of suppliers, Coutts and Dawsonera are currently the most widely used.
New opportunities for libraries to get involved!
(7th March 2012)
Major textbook publishers have been making their content available as e-editions for the enduser mobile market for sometime. Some major players in this area are Wiley , Elsevier , McGraw-Hill and Pearsons
They use the VitalSource platform. Now, publishers and vendors are hoping to extend this to HE institutions b
y selling e-books licences and coursepacks at the rate of one per student that may be loaded either on their ta
blet PCs or their laptops. They see an opportunity in the advent of the 6K to 9K per annum university
fees. At present they are approaching faculty directly to sell at department level. Some players in this arena are:
An interesting article by a University of Leeds student on a similar subject.
'E-book readers: what are librarians to make of them ?'
By Karl Drinkwater. SCONUL focus 49 2010
A recurring thread in many library mailing lists in recent years has been e-book readers and, more specifically, what are library services meant to do with them? In July 2009 on LIS-SCONUL, Bournemouth and Staffordshire Universities said they were experimenting with e-book readers;1 in October 2009 on LIS-E-RESOURCES City University London and the University of Rome said the same thing,2 with similar messages appearing on the CoFHE (CILIP’s Colleges of Further and Higher Education group) list3 and LIS-LINK.4 So this subject keeps resurfacing. The devices have been around for a long time.
(December 9th 2011)
There have been more recent developments on the E-Books/e-reader front. A new version of the digital publishing standard EPUB, EPUB 3 was approved as the recommended specification in October 2011 by the idpf (International Digital Publishing Forum). This standard promises far more flexibility and interactivity than previous versions which were built around handling text, making it a more attractive vehicle for academic publishing. Some of the enhancements of the new version are: support for MathML, improved navigation within the text, the ability to incorporate sound and video within a document. This could enable more interactive features particularly in medical texts and also in books discussing computer programs where examples may be invoked and run from within the text. Most major e-readers cannot accommodate the full potential of EPUB 3 therefore look out for new versions of these too. For a good overview of this see the slide presentation from one of the seminars at Online Information 2011 by Sandeep Dhawan, Head of Business Development & Delivery, Datamatics Thinking and planning the EPUB3 way
There is a posting from Eric Hellman on the technology, economics and pricing trends of e-books readerx
'For eBook Reading Devices, More is Less.' Friday, 27th August 2010
He says: 'I've been interested in two intertwined questions: “How low will prices go?” and “How will reading devices evolve? In my previous look at reader prices I showed a graph of historical pricing versus time and predicted that we'd see $25 e-readers in 2014; here's an updated graph. In this version, I've connected the pricing for particular devices to help unravel the tangle of lower prices vs. more features. What you can see is that the cheapest devices continue to get cheaper; we're on track to see $50 devices in 2012. At the same time, we see a a full range of devices emerging, with full color, video and gaming capable devices like the iPad occupying a price point of about $500 and adding functions instead of cutting price'.