E books in academic libraries - a briefing paper
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Briefing paper for staff / colleague circulation on growth of eBooks and prospective issues / suggestions for an academic library

Briefing paper for staff / colleague circulation on growth of eBooks and prospective issues / suggestions for an academic library

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  • 1. eBooks in academic libraries- a briefing paper 2010
    Terry O’Brien
    Deputy Librarian, WIT Libraries
    August 2010
  • 2. “By the year 2020, 40% of UK research monographs will be available in electronic format only, while a further 50% will be produced in both print and digital. A mere 10% of new titles will be available in print alone by 2020” (British Library 2005)
    This is probably an underestimation
    eBooks – the future is now
  • 3. In the above report, CIBER – the Centre for Information Behaviour and the Evaluation of Research at UC London, refer to the “inexorable rise of the eBook” and “a student population, hungry for digested content”
    According to CIBER, print sales will fall sharply as electronic publishing matures and consumer demand grows
    By 2017, eBooks will be the default format for textbooks, scholarly books and reference works
    Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future
  • 4. Up to now a relatively low uptake of e-books
    Why?
    • Too few e-books
    • 5. High pricing and complex pricing models
    • 6. Bundling solutions did not meet needs
    • 7. Complex licensing issues, digital rights management (DRM)
    • 8. Multiple formats and platforms
    • 9. Uncertain market
    • 10. Lack of key e-texts
    • 11. Discoverability - poor marketing by libraries
    This is all changing …
    Some background
  • 12. Significant growth in eBook adoption by libraries is expected in next couple of years
    Usage of eBooks is a different issue!
    eBooks are no longer a new technology, although the market is evolving quickly
    The argument over print versus technology is a philosophical one at this stage
    eBooks, eReaders are (very close) mainstream
    The consumer market is exacerbating expectations in the academic library sector
    Adoption and usage
  • 13. Here to stay, but print books also for the forseeable future, the internet has meant growth in all book sales because of increased visibility
    Adoption and usage of eBooks on the rise, practically all Irish academic libraries are now using eBooks
    Enable on-campus access, remote access, 24/7 access, multiple campus access and concurrent use
    Enhanced user experience, functionality: searching, saving, cross-referencing, OCR, cut and paste, look inside, chapters, rough cuts, Tables of Content, paragraphs, hyperlinks, favorites, EndNote compliant
    More accurate usage metrics, monitor flows can measure page turns and type of usage
    eBooks are …
  • 14. Publishers
    Students
    Librarians
    The market - consumerism
    Space
    Cost
    Convenience
    Accessibility
    Environmental
    Peaks in demand (exam time & semesterisation)
    Distance, off-campus and part-time learners are very important user groups
    eBook - Demand drivers
  • 15. eBooks offer chapters, paragraphs, sentences etc as units of consumption
    According to CIBER this appeals to digital consumers and students who prefer bite size chunks of information
    eBooks are not read sequentially and this is part of their actual appeal, sometimes called ‘dipping’
    eBooks tend to be scanned not read, eBooks are not read cover to cover in the traditional sense
    Cover to cover reading preference remains for print
    No theft of eBooks
    Usage
  • 16. Most frequent use of eBooks relates to textbooks and reference research
    eBooks for ‘use’ (specific) more than ‘read’ (cover to cover)
    eBook usage tends to be stronger amongst undergraduates and academic staff. Postgraduates and researchers veer more towards monographs, conference proceedings, journals
    There is evidence to suggest that men are greater users of eBooks and that business students are more likely to use over any other subject discipline (JISC Studies, 2009)
    Usage II
  • 17. eBooks best ‘support learning activities in certain subjects where information is structured in relatively discrete blocks and where a premium is placed on currency’ e.g. business, law, computer science (UCG, eBook seminar, May 2010)
    UK market still quite small – according to Publishers Association £150m in 2009, of which 80% academic-professional, but the growth of the iPad, Kindle and Smartphones will increase this dramatically
    Amazon already report eBook sales superseding hardbacks in certain categories (The Guardian, 2010)
    Cost and availability of readers is prohibitive although iPad and Amazon Kindle recently launched in UK/Ire
    According to CourseSmart (US), sales of textbook downloads rose some 400% from 2008-2009
    Usage III
  • 18. Offline viewing is possible with some suppliers
    eBooks can be linked and incorporated into VLEs
    Digital Rights Management (DRM) has been an issue but publishers and aggregators are tending to solve this problem at point of access and through control monitors
    Individual publishers will have different agreements with aggregators but from an end user perspective – fair usage and copyright educational exemptions generally apply to printing and downloading
    Copyright rules apply to eBooks
    Usage IV
  • 19. Quick overview
    Positives
    Negatives
    Demand
    Simultaneous/concurrent users
    Off campus/remote access
    Content versatility – search and scanability
    eBook fully index'able
    Space – no shelving
    Reduced back-end work
    No repairing or covering
    Can be easily integrated
    No physical security issues
    Offer convenience and flexibility
    Complexity
    Licensing
    Software
    Reading screens
    DRM
    Locating actual eBooks
    Confusion - platforms
    Cost
    Turnaways
    Pace of change in consumer market is rapid
  • 20. Workflow changes in terms of acquisitions
    Offer portability, convenience, instant access, simultaneous usage
    Potential for longer-term cost savings and flexible usage by more users
    Established eJournal adoption (primarily through databases) will aid familiarity
    Development growth has mirrored adoption of e-journals
    Physical book sales are as yet increasing despite eBooks
    Impact
  • 21. When eBooks are purchased, one of the main issues relates to ensuring usage. This is best achieved by -
    • Incorporating full MARC records and subject headings into the library catalogue. Most aggregators supply these
    • 22. Making eBooks available directly through library catalogue rather than separate resource lists
    • 23. Marketing and promotion is essential - library website, staff contacts, alerting, institutional and dept. publicity
    • 24. Place eBook links into VLEs and reading lists, this can also apply to parts of books and chapters
    • 25. eBook access can also be achieved through other pathways such as link solvers, A-Z listings and federated search
    • 26. Digital visibility is also increased through abstract and keyword searches in search engines
    Discovery
  • 27. In most cases the license agreement is with the aggregator (on behalf of the publisher)
    The academic library model is similar to that used for databases – registered staff and students have access on campus and (authenticated) off-campus
    eBooks are generally bought in perpetuity meaning access/ownership is forever (though may not be the case with bundles)
    The license normally allows for concurrent and multiple (though not unlimited) users
    DRM imposes certain printing, copying restrictions again dependant on the publisher
    Multiple suppliers may mean multiple licensing agreements
    Licensing
  • 28. Direct cost approx. up to 20% higher than physical book cost, although higher cost usually relates to concurrent usage and it may be that certain titles are actually cheaper
    Ownership models vary but generally cost is direct
    Some aggregators charge an annual platform fee – normally a moderate payment irrespective of number of titles bought
    Others charge a monthly fee, some use token or slot systems
    Cost may be offset by indirect cost savings - less back end work required, less multiple copies required
    Most publishers now offer a pay per title model with no minimum order requirements
    Bundle and subject packages are available but don’t necessarily represent value or efficiency
    Packages do generally involve discounts
    Fees & ownership
  • 29. Dawsons
    Coutts(MyiLibrary)
    EBSCO(formerly NetLibrary)
    Swetswise
    Ebrary
    Safari
    Coutts and Dawsonera score best in surveys and are most widely used. EBSCO are new to the market and Safari, although strong on IT, have had some negative comment because it uses a token system and monthly fees. Ebrary are strong on collections and open access, Swetswise offer total procurement and acquisition solutions
    Main vendors / aggregators
  • 30. 18,000 + active publishers, 1/4m + titles
    Simultaneous, multi-user access, no turnaways
    Full-text and subject searching
    Full DRM
    No plug-ins or readers necessary – viewed as flowable text via jpeg format
    Flow control measures
    Highly recommended
    Multiple authentication access – IP on, EZ proxy or ATHENS off-campus
    MARC records
    VLE and bibliographic software compliant
    No minimum order requirement, widely used in academic libraries
    COUNTER usage reports
    Annual platform charge – c. €500
    Dedicated OASIS catalogue
    Coutts – main details
  • 31. 130,000 + eBooks
    OPAC ready MARC records
    COUNTER usage reports
    No minimum order
    No platform fees
    Use ‘access credit’ system
    DRM – online and download
    Perpetual access
    Offer rental model
    Bib software compliant
    Does not allow IP authentication – password required
    EZ proxy for off campus
    One-off hosting fee but not a subscription service
    Widely used
    Printing, copy limited at 5% across the board
    Dawsonenter dedicated catalogue
    Dawsonera – main details
  • 32. Many publishers offer eBooks directly, without the aid of aggregators, and through their own platforms, some of which include –
    Direct Publishers
  • 40. Google Book project may have a major impact on eBooks
    Google eBookstorelaunched December 2010
    Print on demand such as Springer’s MyCopy and Coutts Lightning Source
    Free or ‘open access’ eBooks
    Tablets, Smartphones, Notepads becoming increasingly ubiquitous
    eReader market – developments post-iPad could change
    Colour screens and better display technologies
    Other developments
  • 41. Some publishers such as Cengage are appealing directly to students by offering rentals or purchase of eTextbooks, eChapters, student packages and freebies - CengageBrain
    Overdrive type services. Overdrive are a digital products distributor who offer integrated digital library reserves. Primarily used by public libraries as focus is on downloads to individual user devices. Very impressive
    WhisperNet - wireless delivery system for the Kindle that allows user to download books without the use of an outside internet provider
    PDA – ebrary pushing patron-driven acquisition meaning patrons decide what eBooks library should have. Allows real-time updating ebrary PDA
    Other developments II
  • 42. There are many free eBooks available on the web but many are of limited value
    Can add volume to a collection but how widely used is questionable and in terms of textbooks, quality is variable
    Gutenberg does give access to many classics outside of copyright and in a variety of formats
    Google Book project may change the landscape and has potential to be an amazing resource
    Although a somewhat useful resource, are not a replacement for a proper demand driven eBook collection
    Some contain advertisements, nearly all in pdf format, lack of integration into catalogue makes ‘discovery’ difficult
    Many publishers give some free access for branding or marketing purposes
    Free eBooks
  • 43. Some of the best known and most widely used include –
    BookBoon (all in pdf)
    eScholarship from University of California
    Project Gutenberg (classics)
    Google Books (subject to publisher agreements, incl. previews )
    Wiley’s Dummies.com (incl. video’s, chapters, how to’s etc.
    Free eBooks
  • 44. eBooks are generally accessed in two broad ways by academic libraries – Download or Streamed (Flowable text)
    In most basic form, eBook is a downloadable pdf form (often cannot be saved)
    Many academic libraries currently use flowable html to view / stream books from a hosted server (connection required). The book is then ‘viewed’ and used subject to DRM. Also enables multiple types of access
    The download model is a little bit more difficult because of ownership issue. Public libraries overcome this by using services such as Overdrive which enable expiry of books based on pre-defined loan dates etc.
    Consumers are currently buying books that they download and personally own
    Accessing eBooks
  • 45. Downloads work on e-readers and smartphones. Reading device is what controls the reading experience
    Flowables work on pc’s and tablets. The platform performs the other functions.
    From user perspective, full ownership gives more security. Flowable approach is more vulnerable, more control and DRM to publisher (but this probably suits academic libraries better at the moment)
    Streamed books enable enhanced metrics – no. of book titles, cost per use, cost per title used, age books used
    Aggregators use COUNTER compliant statistics http://www.projectcounter.org/
    ePub format – free open industry standard for eBooks (not supported by Kindle)
    Accessing eBooks
  • 46. The eReader market is very fluid and is evolving rapidly
    In academic libraries context, computers remain primary tool for downloading, storing, retrieving
    eReaders market aimed mainly at casual reader but publishers are focussing more on getting content to students via eBook model
    eReaders represent what students in future will expect - portability, cost-effective, access at any point in time, flexible not static content
    The eReader consumer market (leisure, recreation etc.) has exacerbated user expectations but requirements of academic libraries and their users is different (i.e. research and study purposes) to the commercial market
    eBooks and eReaders
  • 47. Theft of books reduces but theft of eReaders a problem?
    All support pdf save for iPad but there is an app for that which will convert pdf to ePub
    Swopping eBooks between eReaders will be difficult
    Content compatibility across platforms is a real problem – Adobe ePub, Kindle AZW, iPad (Educause, 2010)
    Some eReaders cannot be used in the dark due to electronic ink / electronic paper displays (EPDs)
    eReaders can hold up to 1500 books, may have ‘Text to speech’ functionality and the Kindle 2 for example has a ‘Read aloud capability’
    Commercial eReaders have made huge improvements to screen, text, readability, electronic ink technology, energy efficiency but remain prohibitively expensive
    Commercial eReaders
  • 48. Some commercial eReaders available include -
    • Kindle DX (Amazon)
    • 49. Kindle 2 (Amazon)
    • 50. Nook (Barnes & Noble)
    • 51. iPad and iPhone (Apple)
    • 52. Sony Reader Touch (Sony)
    • 53. Opus (Bookeen)
    • 54. iLiad (IREX)
    PDA’s can also read eBooks but do not have electronic ink display
    Convergence of eReaders with more general-use devices (smartphones, pda’s, notepads, tablets etc.)
    Dedicated eReader & eBook devices
  • 55. Likely that money spent on eBooks will not be in addition to print books but a compliment or replacement. In other words print book budgets will decrease as eBook budgets increase. However some separate initial investment may be required to begin an eBook collection
    Ideally for us – eBooks that can be viewed (streamed) and/or downloaded onto a variety of formats is preference
    Develop site license model for loaning digital texts to multiple users simultaneously
    CIBER/JISC studies - - eBook needs to be placed in broad context of scholarly information provision “e-books are being dropped into an already crowded information environment”
    Mainstream penetration - consumer appetite for digital content consumption growing rapidly
    Some issues to consider
  • 56. eReaders a separate issue, will need monitoring over next years but no real evidence yet that our users will use eReaders to access library material i.e. eTextbooks
    In time all library content – journal articles, books, texts may be delivered to eReader or smartphone devices
    Problem of how best to “read” the eBooks a library invests in– the solution for now comes from the aggregators platforms rather than eReaders
    Quandary for libraries - “invest in proprietary eBook files that only work on a limited number of devices or on non-proprietary file formats supported on a number of eReaders” (Educause, 2010)
    Some more issues to consider
  • 57. Set up accounts with aggregators semester 1 2010
    Avoid multiple formats and platforms where possible
    eBook budget part of wider acquisitions budget
    eBook should be treated as an eResource in terms of management
    Purchase next 100 books in eBook form and monitor costs, usage and effectiveness
    Recommendations for WIT Libraries I
  • 58. Thereafter purchase eBooks not for sake of it, but only if quality and demand established
    Avoid buying subject collections for now, bulk eBook collections are simply not read or used
    Dispense with all multiple copy purchasing unless completely unavoidable
    Purchase individual titles
    Look at specific suppliers for specialist areas
    Develop a hybrid acquisitions approach to books
    Recommendations for WIT Libraries II
  • 59. Books vs. eBooks – Does One Have to Win?
    http://www.pdviz.com/books-vs-e-books
  • 60. Highwire Press 2009 Librarian eBook survey
    Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future, (CIBER, UCL) 2008
    eBooks - Costs and Benefits to Academic and Research Libraries (Springer.com White Paper)
    eBooks – The End User Perspective (Springer.com White Paper)
    The Book http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOorZQLsmuA&feature=related
    Some further reading