I attended a Swets webinar about efficiently acquiring R & D eBooks for the library. I got a quick glance at the Swets interface, due to launch this January. They will have eBook title metadata and TOC loaded with ISBNs (and ISBN13) from a variety of publishers (no list available just yet). Search features look simple enough (quick/advanced) as do the ordering features (shopping cart). Vendors for particular titles and/or collections were listed with a set price for “one-off” purchases (title by title) and collections. They offered concurrent user purchases (3, 8, 10, etc.) with a set price for each option which is quite nice. A participant asked about archiving/perpetual access to eBooks she purchases. Swets answer – publishers decide if books are available as a subscription or perpetual access. Those that offer perpetual access, the publisher will host the eBooks perpetually. Can you get a copy for yourself or for a 3rd party to host? – that’s up to the publisher. Doesn’t sound like Swets will be in the archiving business, but then they aren’t hosting the content, the publishers are. I asked about MARC records, mentioning the lack of quality of freely available MARC records provided with eBook purchases. Again, that is the publishers, they provide the MARC records from a variety of sources……let’s just hope the publishers follow the existing MARC standards.
Swets will not be an eBook aggregator, they will not be hosting the eBook content. Swets can sell almost everything a publisher has, with content hosted on the publisher site whereas an aggregator (like ebrary, EBL, Ingram, NetLibrary, etc.) will get only certain titles and host on their own site.
They did a quick survey of the attendees as far as eBook readiness, those Q & A’s are below:
Who selects eBooks for purchase?
- 79% Information Professionals
- 12% end users – researchers
- 0 – researchers – non research
- 21% all of the above
What % of your resources are eBooks?
- 79% – 25% or less
- 15% 25 – 50 %
- 9% 50 – 75%
- 0 – 75% or more
Does your library have a strategy and budget for adding ebooks?
- 56% yes
- 44% no