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The UK academic vision for e-books JISC national e-books observatory project Liam Earney Collections Team Manager Caren Milloy JISC Collections Project Manager TEXTBOOKS TEXTBOOKS

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jisc national e books observatory project

JISC national e-books observatory project

Liam Earney

Collections Team Manager Caren Milloy

JISC Collections Project Manager















The need for a new vision

a new study
A new study

A feasibility study on the acquisition of e-books by HE libraries and the role of JISC

  • Ignorance in the HE sector of what e-books are available
  • Low awareness within HEIs of the value and relevance of e-books
  • Poor understanding by library staff and publishers of each others needs
  • Complexity of access routes to aggregators or publishers platforms
  • Too few e-books are available
  • Available e-books are not up to date or relevant to UK users
  • Pricing models are not appropriate
  • Publishers are not making the right textbooks electronically available on the right terms
the vision for e books in uk education
The Vision for e-books in UK education

The UK education community will have access to quality e-book content that is of high relevance to teaching, learning and research across the broadest range of subject areas. Flexible business and licensing models will support a diversity of needs, allowing users to do what they want when they want and how they want. All e-books will be easily discoverable and consistent standards will allow all content to be fully integrated into library, learning and research environments.


How do I find out whether the books I want are available in e-format, which publishers are offering them and what platforms they are available on?

Steps required: Take the lead in initiating and establishing the feasibility of such a catalogue


I am a librarian and the students enrolled at my institution can be part time, full time, distance learners, on campus, off campus, in a partner institution, working in research lab, working on a project with a business or overseas. Isn’t the term remote access irrelevant?

Steps required: Explore new models with publishers and aggregators and create forums for discussion


If all e-book platforms have different standards and levels of functionality how in the world are we meant to know all this, communicate it to our users and integrate the e-books with library systems and emerging technologies?

Steps required: Communicate benefits of standards compliance and monitor emerging standards


If we can’t let more than one student access an e-book at a time, or if a user can’t copy a section of text into an assignment or if a student can’t access the e-book direct from a reading list or course area within a VLE how are we meant to encourage enough use of the books to justify the cost?

Steps required: Develop access and licensing models in line with how users actually utilise e-books

web 2 0
Web 2.0

As format becomes less relevant to users and they simply see it all as stuff that helps their learning and research, how do I as a librarian ensure that it is presented in a way that helps them find what they want when they want it?

Steps required: Explore and harness the skill sets of the future

business models
Business Models

I want flexible e-book agreements that allow me to pick the titles that my institution needs, sometimes I just want to buy a chapter of an e-book.

Steps required: Partner with the e-books industry and the library community to experiment with alternative business models


My institution is pushing forward a policy on its own repository and the use of JORUM, what are the implications of this for my e-book licenses and what about archival access?

Steps required: Monitor the progress and impact of institutional repositoriesand national repositories


If users see content as ‘stuff’ and are used to searching in the online environment and flicking from one link to another selecting content of interest as they go, I worry that they will not reference properly and that plagiarism may increase.

Steps required: Raise awareness and require content providers to incorporate the submission of content into Turnitin as part of the model licence.


There is a demand for core reading list e-books in my institution but these are not being made available and when I ask publishers why they say that there is no evidence of the demand and thus they are reluctant to make these e-books available. But if they don’t make the core titles available online then users are not as interested and therefore the level of demand seems low.

Steps required: The national e-book observatory project

the first step
The first step
  • license collections of e-books that are highly relevant to UK higher education taught course students in four discipline areas:
    • Business and Management studies
    • Engineering
    • Medicine (not mental health or nursing)
    • Media Studies
  • achieve a high level of participation in the project by making the e-books available on the publishers own platform (where appropriate) and on a variety of e-book aggregator platforms.
  • evaluate the use of the e-books through deep log analysis and to asses the impact of the ‘free at the point of use’ e-books upon publishers, aggregators and libraries
  • transfer knowledge acquired in the project to publishers, aggregators and libraries to help stimulate an e-books market that has appropriate business and licensing models
how will it work
How will it work?
  • Tender deadlines – 23rd April 2007 and 10th May 2007
  • Evaluation and Consultation – May – July 2007
  • Awarding of bids – 31st July 2007
  • Signing of two year licenses –September 2007
  • Delivery of e-books on platforms – September 2007
  • Promotion and Integration – September 2007 to December 2007
  • Deep log analysis – 1st January 2008 – 31st December 2008
  • Analysis and writing up – January - March 2009
  • Next steps – April 2009 – August 2009
advantages and benefits
advantages and benefits
  • Provide an in-depth understanding of how e-books that support UK higher education taught course students are actually used in teaching and learning
  • Enable publishers, libraries and aggregators to assess the demand for core reading list e-books
  • Enable all parties to measure the effect of ‘free at the point’ of use e-books on the buying behaviours of students.
  • Enable libraries to measure the benefits and potential costs of providing core reading list e-books to students
  • Inform the creation of appropriate business and licensing models
  • Inform the promotion of e-books within an institution
  • Raise awareness generally of e-books throughout the academic community
  • Stimulate the e-books market in a managed environment
the future
The future

Collaboration and sharing

thank you
Thank you

Thank you for listening