eBooks- the View from SOAS


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eBooks- the View from SOAS- Joanna Tate
An overview of current subscriptions and practises at the School of Oriental and African Studies, by Joanna Tate, Subject Librarian - Politics and Economics

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  • Dawsonera: Course readings purchased from Dawsonera since May 2008. 548 titles purchased. Cambridge Online: August 2010 purchased approx. 300 books from Cambridge Books Online following a successful free trial. Librarians selected titles according to topic and citation on reading lists. Reference books: Encyclopaedia of Islam & Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public and International Law ; Japan Knowledge China: Chinamaxx
  • Catalogued. Print record has additional link to e-version. Students would like to be able to see a list of all titles that are available.
  • Dawsonera - credit system. Many books have not been consulted at all this year. Only a couple have been used significantly i.e. credits nearly completely used up (comparative : an introduction and neoliberalism). Need to find out why. Do we have sufficient print copies and students prefer print? Do students object to using the platform? Have we bought the wrong titles? Cambridge Ebooks – asked for SOAS only books stats but not yet forthcoming
  • Informally at Enquiry Desk & training sessions Formally via annual e-resource usage survey. Question about e-books has been included since 2007 Question Would you like the Library to purchase electronic books? If so, are there any particular books or subject areas you think we should look at? Yes, good idea– lots of requests for core texts but noy available Difficult to find & use Not aware Must be accessible (esp for screenreaders) Good idea because in my experience demand exceeds supply for critical course books. However, I prefer to read the printed page where at all possible I definitely prefer hard copies. Any E-book would have to be printed out, the search options are most unsatisfying. Besides, E-books are inconvenient for the eyes. "E-books are a great idea, but Dawsonera's electronic books are a nightmare to use. They can't be read on some of the computers at SOAS, because they require special Adobe Reader plugins that are not installed. Moreover, Dawsonera's security mechanism doesn't allow to read a book unless you're connected to the Internet. This makes these e-books significantly less useful than the paper versions, which can be read anywhere. SOAS should find a way to make books available as e-books without imposing restrictions on them that aren't imposed on the paper versions.
  • Restrictions on printing: individual pages have to be printed & restrictions on total number of pages that can be printed Restrictions on length of time text can be downloaded: (increased from 3 days to 7 in response to user feedback)
  • User/patron driven selection: concerns over budgeting; role of subject librarians? Change book selection model for multiple copies of course readings: One print & one e-copy only? Not until users happy with e-book platforms.
  • eBooks- the View from SOAS

    1. 1. eBooks –The View from SOASJoanna Tate 16 June 2011
    2. 2. Coverage• Dawsonera• Cambridge Online• Reference books• Collections of electronic books from China• Preferred purchasing model: one off purchase, not subscription
    3. 3. Awareness
    4. 4. Usage StatisticsDawsonera• Works on credit system• 70 books with no usage at all• Only 2 titles been used significantlyCambridge ebooks• 5416 downloads since Aug 2010• Need for better stats from CUP
    5. 5. FeedbackInsert Wordle!
    6. 6. Positive Comments• Dawsonera – Whole book can be downloaded at once – Wide range of books available• Cambridge Books Online – Chapters can be downloaded and stored locally for indefinite time – Whole chapters can be printed – PDFs are accessible from ebook readers e.g. Kindle
    7. 7. Dawsonera Problems• Restrictions on printing• User must be online to read downloaded text• Restrictions on number of downloads• Restrictions on length of time text can be downloaded• Not compatible with e-book readers e.g. Kindle or iPhones
    8. 8. Cambridge Books Online Problems• Users can see all content not just subscribed.• Includes journal content as well• Confusing for users
    9. 9. Future• Follow developments of NetLibrary on EBSCOhost• User/patron driven selection• Change book selection model for multiple copies of course readings?• Oxford Scholarship - one off purchase options?
    10. 10. Any questions?