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BUILDING THE BETTER
EBOOK AND BEYOND:
DESIGN THINKING TO
REIMAGINE THE MONOGRAPH
CNI 2016 – Fall Meeting
13 December 2016
...
THE EBOOK QUESTION
COLUMBIA
UNIVERSITY
LIBRARIES
2013-2015 E-Book Program
Development Librarian*
* E-Book Program Development Study: Results ...
JSTOR Labs works with partner publishers, libraries and
labs to create tools for researchers, teachers and students
that a...
WHAT WE LEARN, WHEN
User Input!
Who are they?
What can we
do that will
help them?
How should we
implement it?
How’d we do?...
labs.jstor.org/monograph
REIMAGINING THE MONOGRAPH
REIMAGINING
THE
MONOGRAPH
Can we improve the experience
and value of the long-form
scholarly argument?
Aug-Sep: User Resea...
USER RESEARCH
Ethnographies of six historians
Key findings:
• Diversity of activities and
approaches, each honed and
“owne...
WORKSHOP
Day-long workshop
Hosted at Columbia Libraries
Participants:
• Amy Brand, Director, The MIT Press
• Robert Cartol...
labs.jstor.org/topicgraph
TOPICGRAPH
Understand at a glance the topics covered in a book.
Jump straight to pages about top...
TOPICGRAPH: WHAT’S NEXT
Gather community and user
feedback
Further develop and refine topic
modeling approach
Explore inco...
REIMAGINING THE DIGITAL
MONOGRAPH: WHITE PAPER
Describing the project, process and principles
Released as a draft for comm...
(DRAFT) PRINCIPLES FOR THE
REIMAGINED MONOGRAPH*
1. The importance of great writing is a given.
2. The ideal digital monog...
WE’RE JUST GETTING STARTED
COLUMBIA
UNIVERSITY
LIBRARIES
User engagement
Technology culture
* E-Book Program Development Study: Results & Recommendat...
THANK YOU!
For more information:
web: labs.jstor.org
email: alex.humphreys@ithaka.org
twitter: @abhumphreys
web: library.c...
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Building the Better Ebook and Beyond: Design Thinking to Reimagine the Monograph

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Monographs are increasingly making the print-to-digital shift that journals started twenty years ago, yet many of the popular platform options for accessing scholarly books simply mirror the existing discovery structure for journals: books are presented as a sequential list of "journal article"-sized chapter files for downloading, a practice that "journal"-izes the book and arguably fails to take full advantage of the rich long-form argument that unfolds across chapters. JSTOR Labs, an experimental platform development group, convened at Columbia University a group of scholars, librarians, and publishers in October 2016. Together, they tackled this design question: if we applied data visualization and design thinking techniques to the existing corpus of digitized monograph files, how could we improve the discovery and user experience for scholars, students, and general readers? This presentation discusses the design principles and challenges that the expert group identified, demonstrates the working prototype created during a "flash build" at Columbia in November by JSTOR Labs, and explains how CNI attendees and others can take advantage of this openly available development. The lean, user-oriented product design process used for this project will also be outlined; a design process that any library or publisher can take advantage of for their own technology and innovation projects.

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Building the Better Ebook and Beyond: Design Thinking to Reimagine the Monograph

  1. 1. BUILDING THE BETTER EBOOK AND BEYOND: DESIGN THINKING TO REIMAGINE THE MONOGRAPH CNI 2016 – Fall Meeting 13 December 2016 Barbara Rockenbach Columbia Libraries @wilderbach Alex Humphreys JSTOR Labs @abhumphreys
  2. 2. THE EBOOK QUESTION
  3. 3. COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES 2013-2015 E-Book Program Development Librarian* * E-Book Program Development Study: Results & Recommendations
  4. 4. JSTOR Labs works with partner publishers, libraries and labs to create tools for researchers, teachers and students that are immediately useful – and a little bit magical.
  5. 5. WHAT WE LEARN, WHEN User Input! Who are they? What can we do that will help them? How should we implement it? How’d we do? 1. Create the sandbox 2. Research 3. Design jam 4. Select an approach 5. Refine approach 6. Release & measure
  6. 6. labs.jstor.org/monograph REIMAGINING THE MONOGRAPH
  7. 7. REIMAGINING THE MONOGRAPH Can we improve the experience and value of the long-form scholarly argument? Aug-Sep: User Research Oct: Workshop Nov: Build Prototype Dec: Release
  8. 8. USER RESEARCH Ethnographies of six historians Key findings: • Diversity of activities and approaches, each honed and “owned” by the participant • Strong preference for print or digital depending on use case, but obstructions often forced them outside of their preferred modes • Great variety in devices, programs, apps that accompanied work with the monograph
  9. 9. WORKSHOP Day-long workshop Hosted at Columbia Libraries Participants: • Amy Brand, Director, The MIT Press • Robert Cartolano, Columbia University Libraries • Seth Denbo, American Historical Association • Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Modern Language Association • Alex Gil Fuentes, Columbia University • Laura Mandell, Texas A&M University • Jason Portenoy, University of Washington • Barbara Rockenbach, Columbia University Libraries • Jevin West, University of Washington • Robert Wolven, Columbia University Libraries
  10. 10. labs.jstor.org/topicgraph TOPICGRAPH Understand at a glance the topics covered in a book. Jump straight to pages about topics you’re researching.
  11. 11. TOPICGRAPH: WHAT’S NEXT Gather community and user feedback Further develop and refine topic modeling approach Explore incorporating this tool into platforms at point of evaluation
  12. 12. REIMAGINING THE DIGITAL MONOGRAPH: WHITE PAPER Describing the project, process and principles Released as a draft for comment until Jan 31, 2017 http://labs.jstor.org/monograph
  13. 13. (DRAFT) PRINCIPLES FOR THE REIMAGINED MONOGRAPH* 1. The importance of great writing is a given. 2. The ideal digital monograph should allow different kinds of readers to navigate it in different ways. 3. Readers should be given better tools to assess the content of scholarly books quickly and efficiently. 4. Readers should be able to navigate more quickly to the portion of the book they are interested in. 5. Readers should be given better capabilities for situating a book within the larger scholarly conversation. 6. Readers should be able to ‘flip’ between sections of a digital monograph as easily as they can in a print book. 7. In an ideal world, readers would be able to work simultaneously with both a print and digital edition. 8. Books should be able to ‘travel’ easily from device to device. 9. Readers should be able to interact with and mark up digital books. 10. Readers should be able to interact with books in collaborative environments. 11. Ideally, digital book collections and aggregations would offer serendipitous discovery—the “library stacks” effect. 12. Digital scholarly book files should be open and flexible. * See Reimagining the Monograph white paper for details (labs.jstor.org/monograph)
  14. 14. WE’RE JUST GETTING STARTED
  15. 15. COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES User engagement Technology culture * E-Book Program Development Study: Results & Recommendations
  16. 16. THANK YOU! For more information: web: labs.jstor.org email: alex.humphreys@ithaka.org twitter: @abhumphreys web: library.columbia.edu email: brockenbach@columbia.edu twitter: @wilderbach

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