SAGE Reference is offering free access to SAGE Reference Online until May 15th of this year. Simply register for free access to over 50 encyclopedias and hundreds of handbooks in the social sciences. Access includes The Encyclopedia of Journalism, which received an Honorable Mention for the Dartmouth Award this year.
Caught this presentation link on Twitter from Liza Daly at Three Press Consulting. Liza gave a presentation recently on designing eBooks for 2 epub reading engines rather than designing eBooks for 99 different readers (and counting). What is a reading engine you ask? According to slide #7, “A reading engine is the part of the ereading software that actually places text on the screen. It’s the most basic, primitive, component of any ereader.” Her presentation focuses on designing eBooks for 2/3 of the popular epub reading engines – Adobe Reader Mobile SDK (RMSDK) and WebKit. Liza says that thinking about reading engines can really simplify issues around eBook design.
Liza has also designed her own ereader – the Ibis Reader. With Ibis, you can read epub books on a computer or mobile device and your content is stored online, so you can access it anytime.
Alexander Street Press announced today that American History in Video will be open access during the month of April. AHiV includes over 4,000 complete newsreels and documentaries from PBS, History Channel, and more. The interface offers a number of search and browse options as well as technical features like searchable transcripts, visual TOC, and clip and share tools. For more information please visit Alexander Street Press.
Mike Sweet, CEO of Credo Reference, gave me a tour of the new Credo Topic Pages yesterday. What a great tool they are for background/overview information on 10,000 different topics! The stimulus for creating the Topic Pages was context. A University of Washington study on how students research in the digital age found that students struggle to find context for the masses of information available to them in the digital age. Enter Credo’s Topic Pages. The pages are designed to offer context and vocabulary, subject orientation, and pathways to further exploration of the topic. The pages include simple definitions, encyclopedia entries, tag clouds showing the vocabulary of the topic, images, and a title list of the most common references from subject encyclopedia articles (all part of the Credo Reference content). Sharing the topic page content via social tools, links to the library’s chat/IM service, and article citations via EasyBib are included as well, and that’s just the basic topic page. (side note, have you heard of EasyBib? 16 million students are using it….probably some of yours) Continue reading Credo’s Topic Pages – a great place to start your research!
ebrary launched a natural disaster and extreme weather information center last week. The information center was created using ebrary’s DASH (data sharing, fast) API and includes a collection of publicly available PDF files and Word docs. Every word on every document can be searched and content is also organized by broad categories like floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc. ebrary’s InfoTools is also available with the information center. For more information, see the press release.
Received a press release from OverDrive announcing many enhancements to the OverDrive interface and digital content offerings. The announcements were made today, just shy of the start of the Public Library Association Conference in Portland, Oregon. Those attending the PLA Conference should stop by the OverDrive booth(2347) for demos of all these new features. My favorite is “Open eBooks” – DRM free eBooks in EPUB and PDF formats which can be downloaded and read on nearly all EPUB enabled devices. Here are just a few things mentioned in the press release: Continue reading OverDrive offers DRM free EPUB & PDF and much much more
There is some great news for librarians wanting their reference content to be searchable on one common interface. ABC-CLIO has added 250 titles to the Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL). The titles are either ABC-CLIO, Greenwood, Praeger, or Libraries Unlimited imprints and cover history, humanities, and general interest topics. The addition of the ABC-CLIO titles takes the tally of publishing partners for GVRL close to 50 I believe (Nader, please correct me if I’m wrong). For those who want to search the full text of reference content in one platform, having 50 publishers and nearly 5,000 titles to choose from is looking really good right now. More information can be found on Gales’ Re:sources blog.
I received a nice email from De Gruyter about their e-dition service. De Gruyter e-dition makes over 60,000 backlist titles from De Gruyter’s 260+ year publishing history available for purchase. This includes titles no longer available in print and titles that would otherwise not be converted to digital format. At a customer’s request, a formerly unavailable title will now be available both in electronic format (exclusively for libraries and institutions) and/or as a hardcover reprint. Where retro-digitization of material is required, the title will be delivered to the recipient within a maximum of ten weeks.
More information is also available on the De Gruyter web site.
eBook aggregator EBL (Ebook Library) just announced the addition of 10,000 new titles in recent weeks, taking their title count to nearly 130,000. Due to several enhancements to their production process they are now processing new titles even more quickly than before. They now offer a New Title Alert service for librarians and end users. The optional service will notify you via email when titles in your subject area are received. 50 subject areas are currently available and cover the Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities.
Wow, big news from OCLC and EBSCO yesterday. NetLibrary and several FirstSearch databases were purchased by EBSCO. This is very exciting news for eBooks I think. Soon, the 170,000 plus NetLibrary eBooks (and audiobooks) will be indexed and available on the EBSCOHost platform, as well as remaining on the NetLibrary platform. No word yet if the eBook content will be a separate database or be indexed within other EBSCO databases. One can only hope for the ladder to increase the discovery and use of eBooks. The full press release is online. Hopefully the EBSCOHost platform will be more printer friendly!