Category Archives: Academic Libraries

ACLS Humanities eBook Experiment (and survey) (HEB)

ACLS Humanities E-Book is conducting an experiment on the delivery of its online humanities titles. Since its inception, HEB has combined page-image books with XML books to create a seamless structure for searching and browsing within both technologies. HEB’s collection of over 1,700 books now includes over 1,600 books in the page-image format. We have created XML versions of 20 of these books andhave launched versions side-by-side online for comparison at _http://www.humanitiesebook.org/xml-backlist-exp.html_. Overall results will be made available in Fall 2008 and in a subsequent White Paper.

For more information on the experiment and survey please contact:

Eileen Gardiner, Ph.D. E-MAIL: egardiner@hebook.org
Ronald G. Musto, Ph.D. E-MAIL: rgmusto@hebook.org
Directors ACLS Humanities E-Book
633 Third Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10017-6795
TEL: 212-838-0641,
FAX: 212-838-7812
Visit our web site at http://www.HumanitiesEBook.org

JISC eBooks Project

From the Joint Information Systems Committee (UK). This is one of the largest studies known on eBooks.

What is it?
The national e-books observatory project will assess the impacts, observe behaviours and develop new models to stimulate the e-books market, and do all this in a managed environment.

More info and survey results available at: JISC http://www.jiscebooksproject.org/
check out the results of the deep log analysis study of student ebook usage

YBP eBook Advisory Group

Yankee Book Publishing created an eBook Advisory Group which includes librarians from a variety of colleges and universities from across the U.S. and Canada. YBP seeks to develop an integrated approval plan of print and electronic books that incorporate the needs of its customers into the development of the system. Items under discussion include workflow, duplication, approval preferences, returns, slip plans, etc. Shortcomings critical to the integrity of the text that were identified include missing chapters, images, and accompanying materials.

SUNY Press to Offer Electronic Editions of Frontlist Books for just $20.00

From LJ Academic Newswire:

SUNY Press To Offer Electronic Editions of Frontlist Books With the launch of its new DirectText (DT) initiative this week.

SUNY Press has become the first university press in the United States to offer electronic editions of its frontlist titles. With monographs becoming increasingly expensive, often exceeding $75, SUNY Press officials say the new program is aimed at getting content into more readers’ hands. Under the program, SUNY Press’ frontlist titles will be available for download for just $20 directly from the Press’s web site.

Users can download and print PDF versions. A free preview option allows one to view the table of contents, the first two pages of each chapter, and an index of DT titles before purchasing. Dan Flynn, Director of Sales and Business Development at SUNY Press told the LJ Academic Newswire that making chapters or portions of SUNY Press books available for sale is also being planned. To download a book, the purchaser of a DirectText book must register with PublishersRow.com, the program’s vendor, to get a username and password, which places the book in the purchaser’s “bookshelf.” Users may register up to three computers to access a book in their bookshelf, Flynn explained, (for example, their home, work computers and a laptop). “The registered computers may view the DirectText book for 180 days online, may download the book as a PDF document, and may print all or portions of the book.” Press director Gary Dunham, who joined SUNY Press in January of this year, said the DT initiative is about “creating instant access to just-published scholarship” at an affordable rate. “If you want a prestige, jacketed cloth edition, you can still have it,” Dunham said, “but affordability and immediacy are really the cornerstones of this program.” The DT initiative went live on March 30 with 20 titles. Approximately 50 titles will be available by the end of June, and an additional 60 will be available by the end of the year. Dunham says press officials will evaluate DT seasonally. “We look forward to its evolution,” he said.

Now that’s what I call a business model! Wow – price less than print, available before print, browse before you buy, and soon purchase only the chapters you need. (sp)

Interview with Rolf Janke, Publisher, SAGE Reference

Each month, noshelfrequired will feature an audio interview with an Ebook publisher, aggregator, or distributor. Interviews will be about 10 – 15 minutes in length.  The first interview is with Rolf Janke, Vice President and Publisher, SAGE Reference.

It is best to save the file on your computer first, then listen.

April 2008 – Rolf Janke, VP/Publisher, Sage Reference

Reference Universe – Paratext

Reference Universe.
Nov. 2003.
Paratext
REVIEW. First published November 1, 2003 (Booklist).

Reference Universe
Here is a database that librarians will really appreciate. We have spent countless hours selecting, storing, and carefully weeding our reference collections. But patrons would rather search on the Internet, and get any old answer, than use our pride and joy, our reference collections. Reference Universe has taken article titles and indexes from more than 2,000 reference works “from both major and minor reference publishers.” These entries have been compiled into a user-friendly database that covers topics from a wide variety of disciplines. It is searchable by singular or plural forms, word variants, exact phrase, or exact words. It also includes searches by all of the words and any of the words. Searches can be limited by publication date and by number of hits (the default being 1,000). A Browse Mode allows users to browse for books by publisher, title of work, subject, or Library of Congress classification number or to browse the Reference Universe index of terms.
After searching, the system presents a list of reference titles in relevancy-ranked order. Besides the title, the brief display includes publisher and date and the total number of index entries or article titles containing the term. There are also links to the local catalog, a full-text e-book version if it is available, article titles and index terms, and a fuller bibliographic record. The full record in turn links to other reference books on the subject, other reference books by the author, the record in MARC format, and a review from ARBA Online, available to subscribing libraries. A notes field generally contains brief bibliographic information. As of this writing, Paratext plans to add reviews and publisher links and has installed a prototype that will automatically indicate whether a library owns a title that appears in a list of results.
Do you remember First Stop: The Master Index to Subject Encyclopedias, published by Oryx Press in 1989? Reference Universe has a similar idea but with a modern interface. Titles indexed seem to have good recency, and keeping the electronic version up-to-date will be easier than updating a printed version. General searches will produce many hits. It may take discernment to determine which subject encyclopedia is best for a particular query, but because this is a librarian’s tool, finding the best references for a patron shouldn’t be a problem.
This metaindex is an exciting product that will get a lot of use at reference desks in both public and academic libraries and also has uses as a collection development tool. Highly recommended.— Jack O’Gorman

XReferplus – Credo Reference

Xreferplus – (Credo Reference)
First published November 1, 2006 (Booklist).

Xreferplus is an online reference service with more than 2 million entries from more than 207 reference titles. With a focus on ready-reference content, Xreferplus includes subject-specific dictionaries, biographical data, statistics, quotations, and audio and image files from more than 50 publishers. There are two subscription options, Xreferplus 100 and Xreferplus Unlimited. The former allows libraries to select 100 titles from the collection and drop or add titles as needed. The latter is the entire collection, which, beginning in 2007, will grow by 300 titles per year. Available as optional add-ons to either collection are specialist reference titles such as Blackwell Psychology Handbooks. Xreferplus can also be accessed through the Gale Virtual Reference Library.
What makes Xreferplus unique is the cross-referencing—or Xreferences—across titles, disciplines, and publishers. Added to that are the data-visualization search capabilities of the Xrefer Concept Map (which is like brainstorming on steroids), 180,000 pronunciation audio files, thousands of images, dynamic table functionality, a chronology builder, and an interactive world atlas for an “Xtreme” ready-reference experience.
Xrefer’s newest feature, the Chronology Builder, is currently available in one title (The Marcquarie Encyclopedia of Australian Events), but other titles will be on board in three to six months. This feature uses the major subjects of the title to highlight noteworthy events in chronological order. Users may add or remove columns and compare the chronology of various subjects, for example, correlating population growth to recessions and booms. The dynamic table functionality is currently available in three titles (Census, World Factbook, and UN Stats). Again, users may use this tool to create, customize, and sort data within each title. The library administration system allows customization with library logos and links, provides usage statistics, and offers promotional and educational materials. Xreferplus is available as a subscription database with a cost of $2,425 for the 100 package and $3,638 for the unlimited package. Specialist Reference titles are priced separately and may be added to either package. – Sue Polanka

Oxford Reference Online

Oxford Reference Online
First published November 1, 2006 (Booklist).

Oxford Reference Online (ORO), a scholarly reference database, contains more than 100 quick-reference titles in nearly every field. Two collections are available, the core collection, containing the more than 113 quick-reference titles, and the premium collection, containing the former plus in-depth entries from the Oxford Companion series, the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, illustrations, maps, tables, time lines, bibliographies, and external Web links. Users can search or browse ORO on three levels: the entire collection, a subject area (e.g., economics, history), or a single reference title. Quick and advanced search are available along with several browsing options. Quick search searches for matches in entry headings first. If none are available, ORO’s intelligent search feature widens the search to full text and finally to pattern and stem searching (various spellings and word prefixes and suffixes). The Widen Search feature may be user initiated on the results pages. Advanced searches allow search limits to full text, entry headings, people, and dates. Limits to a specific subject area and type of search (standard, Boolean, or pattern) are also included. Individual entries include full text and illustrations if available, links to see also references within the title, browse next and previous entries, an e-mail option, and the entry citation in modified MLA format. Options for printing, exporting, or selecting the style format are not yet available. Once users begin to navigate away from the results page, it is difficult to get back. A cross-referencing tool allows users to highlight a word in the full text and locate this word in other ORO titles. Oxford is currently working to add more cross-book-linking features.
Several special features are found in the Premium Collection: a time line of twentieth-century events with links to individual entries; political, physical, or locator maps from around the world; external Web links at the subject or book level; and illustrations from visual dictionaries. A downloadable browser search box provides easy access to the collection. ORO is a subscription collection; titles are not owned by the library. Pricing is $2,900 for the Premium Collection and $2,275 for the Core Collection. Concurrent user pricing is also an option. Add-on collections for Western Civilization and Literature are available for additional fees. Libraries that wish to own content should investigate Oxford’s Digital Reference Shelf product. – Sue Polanka