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Evaluating Academic Ebook Platforms from a User Perspective

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June 17, 2015
NISO Virtual Conference: The Eternal To-Do List: Making Ebooks work in Libraries

Evaluating Academic Ebook Platforms from a User Perspective
Christina Mune, Academic Liaison Librarian, San Jose State University

Published in: Education
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Evaluating Academic Ebook Platforms from a User Perspective

  1. 1. Christina Mune & Ann Agee June 17, 2015 2015 NISO Virtual Conference
  2. 2. • Grant from California State University • Part of “Affordable Learning Solutions” – a campaign to save students money on textbooks • High use of library ebooks as part of that project • Fellow librarians & faculty concerned about spending funds on hard-to-use,
  3. 3. • ABC-CLIO • ACLS Humanitie s • Cambridge Books • CRCnetBA SE • EBL • ebrary • EBSCO • Emerald • Gale Virtual Reference • IGI-Global • Oxford Reference Online • Palgrave Connect • Safari Tech • Sage • Springer • Wiley Online
  4. 4. • Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act of 1973 • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines – WCAG 2.0 • Voluntary Product Accessibility Template – VPAT • Various user studies regarding usability and preferred ebook features
  5. 5. Layout Page Reflow (content changes to fit the device being used) Text Resizing  Zoom (range, increment) Text Adjustments Font Size  Font Color  Background Color  Font Style  Letter/Line Spacing Search/Navigation Table of Contents  Navigation  Full-text Search  Hyperlinks  Specify page number Page forward and back  Chapter/section forward and back Annotation Highlighting  Bookmarks  Text Notes  Audio Notes Text-to-Speech eBook content is readable by JAWS/VoiceOver  Text-to-speech available Adobe ReadAloud (Only for PDF documents) can read document Speed Adjustment  Voice Adjustment Language Support Dictionary  Pronunciation  Thesaurus Media Support Alternative Text for Images (Can read caption and alternative text correctly) Alternative Text for Tables (Can read caption; recognize and read column and row headings; navigate in natural reading order to read cell contents) Printing/Exporting Platform-specific account or Adobe Digital Editions account required in addition to University sign-in Section/Chapter/Percent of book that can be printed/downloaded
  6. 6. Available online at libguides.sjsu.edu/ea p
  7. 7. Content formats Text Adjustments Search/ Navigation Annotation (Notes) In-Platform Text-to- Speech Feature JAWS & Voiceover Compatible Language Support (Dictionary, Thesaurus) Printing Downloading ABC-Clio Embedded HTML Font Size ToC, Text Search Bookmarks, Text Notes (individual login req'd) N Y Dictionary By Chapter/ Section None ACLS Humanities IMAGE, PDF, TXT, XML Zoom (IMAGE format only) ToC, Page Forward/Back, Specify Page # None N TXT, XHTML N Per Page, Limit Unknown 10 Pages (PDF format) Cambridge Books Online HTML (specific titles), PDF None ToC, Text Search None N Voiceover Only N By Chapter/ Section By Chapter/ Section CRCnet Base PDF Zoom ToC, Text Search, Page Forward/Back, Specify Page # None N Y N By Chapter/ Section By Chapter/ Section EBL EPUB, PDF Font Size ToC, Text Search, Page Forward/Back, Specify Page # Text Notes Y N Dictionary By # of Pages (checkout req'd) Entire Book (checkout and download to Adobe Digital Editions req'd; not all titles available for checkout) ebrary FLASH Zoom, Font Size ToC, Text Search, Page Forward/Back, Specify Page # Text Notes (individual login req'd) N N Y By # of Pages, Limit 60 60 Pages (PDF format); Entire Book (checkout and download to Adobe Digital Editions req'd; not all titles available for checkout) EBSCO PDF Zoom (PDF) ToC, Text Search, Page Forward/Back, Specify Page # Text Notes N JAWS only Dictionary Varies By Title Varies By Title Emerald eBook Series EPUB, HMTL, PDF Zoom (PDF) ToC, Text Search None N HTML N By Chapter/ Section By Chapter/ Section (PDF format); Entire Book (EPUB format, checkout and download to Adobe Digital Editions req'd) Gale VRL FLASH, HTML Zoom ToC, Text Search, Page Forward/Back, Specify Page # Bookmarks Y TXT Dictionary Current Page By Current Entry; MP3 Download Available IGI-Global HTML, PDF Zoom (PDF) ToC, Text Search, Page Forward/Back, Specify Page # None N JAWS only N By Chapter/ Section By Chapter/ Section Oxford Reference Online HTML Font Size ToC, Text Search Text Notes (Individual login req'd) N Y N Current Page None Palgrave Connect EPUB ("Mobile Download"), Kindle ("Send to Kindle" feature), PDF Zoom ToC, Text Search, Page Forward/Back, Specify Page # None N Y N Current Page or Section (PDF download req'd) By Chapter/ Section or Entire Books (EPUB format); "Send to Kindle" Feature Safari Tech Embedded EPUB, FLASH, HTML Zoom ToC, Text Search, Page Froward/Back None N EPUB, HTML N Per Page, Limit Unknown None Sage Knowledge HTML, PDF Zoom, Font Size ToC, Text Search None N JAWS only N By Chapter/ Section By Chapter/ Section Springer HTML (partial), PDF Zoom ToC, Text Search, Page Forward/Back, Specify Page #, None N Y N Unrestricted for HTML or PDF formats (download req'd) Entire Book (PDF format) Wiley Online PDF Zoom (PDF) ToC, Text Search None N Varies by title N Current Chapter By Chapter/ Section (PDF format)
  8. 8. 16 15 9 5 2 4 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 Usability
  9. 9. 16 1 9 7 6 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 Accessibility Features
  10. 10. Text-to-Speech Results Platform JAWS Compatible VoiceOver Compatible Adobe ReadAloud Compatible In-Platform Text-to-Speech ABC-CLIO Yes Yes No PDF Available No ACLS Humanities Yes (TXT, HTML) Yes (TXT, HTML) No No Cambridge Books No Yes No No CRCnetBASE Yes (TXT, HTML) Yes Yes No EBL No No No Yes ebrary No No No No EBSCO Yes (TXT, HTML) No No PDF Available No Emerald Yes (HTML) Yes (HTML) Yes No Gale Virtual Reference Yes (TXT) Yes (TXT) Yes Yes IGI-Global Yes No No No Oxford Reference Online Yes Yes No PDF Available No Palgrave Connect Yes Yes Yes No Safari Tech Yes (EPUB 3, HTML) Yes (EPUB 3, HTML) No PDF Available No Sage Yes No Yes No Springer Yes Yes Yes No Wiley Online Yes (varies by title) Yes (varies by title) Yes (varies by title) No
  11. 11. 13 11 2 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 JAWS (Windows) Voiceover (iOS) Text-to-Speech Feature Screen-Reader Compatibility
  12. 12. 1 10 8 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 Entire Title Chapter/Section Per Page(s) Print Capability
  13. 13. 6 9 2 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Entire Title Chapter/Section Per Page(s) Download Capability
  14. 14. Vendor VPAT Accessibility Statement None ABC-CLIO X ACLS Humanities X Cambridge Books X CRCnetBASE X EBL X ebrary X EBSCO X Emerald X Gale Virtual Reference X IGI-Global X Oxford Reference Online X Palgrave Connect X Safari Tech X Sage X Springer X Wiley Online X
  15. 15. • Content most commonly displayed in PDF format (11) or HTML (9). EPUB sparingly used (4). • PDFs are not always accessible. Within a platform, different publishers or titles may have less-accessible formats than others – OCR, watermarks, etc. • Screen reader performance can be affected PDF formatting, user’s operating system, browser type, and browser version. • Very few platforms actually offer a proprietary text-to-speech service (EBL, Gale Virtual
  16. 16. • Single publisher platforms (such as Gale, Palgrave, and Springer) offer more features and more flexibility compared to aggregators. • All the platforms tested allow at least limited printing of ebook content. Only Springer allowed printing of entire title after download. • Few platforms allow for complete download of a title. Chapter/section downloads more common. • Publishers provide extra features, especially printing and download functionality, for users willing to create personal accounts.
  17. 17. Christina.Mune@sjsu.edu @bibliopathic Ann.Agee@sjsu.edu @halcyon15

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