Category Archives: Interfaces/Platforms

eReference Platforms – The good and bad features

I spent Monday with several librarians in a discussion on the future eReference platform.  I’m referring to products like Credo, GVRL, Sage Reference Online, Oxford Scholarship Online, etc.  Our discussion revolved around platform features, good features and not so good features.  I’m going to list some highlights of the discussion below, but would really like to have input from others about features you and your end users want and expect. Continue reading

Swetswise Webinar Summary

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. Continue reading

EDUCAUSE eBook Webinar tomorrow

Short notice, but this one looks good and it’s FREE – EDUCAUSE E-Readers and E- Textbooks: Current Reality and Future Possibilities.  Speakers include Jon T. Rickman and Roger Von Holzen from Northwest Missouri State University. Hopefully they will go into more detail on their pilot program, which was in an EduCause article earlier this year.

Abstract:  This seminar will initially address the current state of e-reader devices and their functionality as platforms for the delivery of e-textbooks, as experienced by Northwest Missouri State University in its 2008–2009 pilot study. The presenters will then explore the full capabilities of e-textbooks for online, blended, and face-to-face classes, along with key practical considerations with respect to costs, infrastructure, and academic issues.

DailyLit Tips and Tricks

Have you tried out DailyLit?  It’s a great ebook site that sends daily installments of books via email or RSS feed.  Here are some tips and tricks they suggest.  TIPS AND TRICKS ON DAILYLIT

Here are some useful tips you may not know that can help make DailyLit even easier to use:

—Customize: You can completely customize the delivery date, time, format (HTML or plain-text), and length (normal, 2X, or 4X) of your installments. Click on “Advanced” while you’re signing up for a book or click on the “Manage Your Book Settings” link at the end of any installment—then click on “More” next to the name of the book you want to edit.

Continue reading

New Interview with Tom Beyer, iFactory

iFactory is an web development company in Boston.  They have developed Sage Reference Online, Rosen’s Teen Health & Wellness, and several Oxford University Press products.  NSR got to talk with Tom Beyer, Director of Publishing at iFactory about eBook interfaces and the future of eBooks.  Tom and 15 other interviews are listed on the NSR interviews page.

Infobase Publishing Launches Widgets

Infobase Publishing (Facts on File, Chelsea House, Ferguson Publishing) has just launched search widgets for their eBook platform.  See the press release here.

The widgets search only the eBook content that your institution has access to.  From the press release, “Infobase Publishing is pleased to
announce the launch of our new account-specific eBook Search Widgets, designed to expand access and promote usage within your institution. These customized Search
Widgets will allow users to search all the eBooks to which you have access from Infobase Publishing.”

Charleston Conference – eBook preconference program

The Charleston Conference has announced their pre-conference program. There is one on eBooks – Wednesday, November 4th.

eBooks: Not Just Another Binding

Time: 9 am – 4 pm
Cost: $125

Speakers: Keith Powell, Head of Acquisitions, The UC Irvine Libraries ; Lisa Sibert, Electronic Resources Acquisitions Librarian, The UC Irvine Libraries; and Holly Tomren, Electronic Resources and Metadata Cataloger and Interim Head, Monograph Cataloging, The UC Irvine Libraries; Other speakers TBA – but will include representatives from Springer,Ingram Digital, and the Publishers Communication Group. Continue reading

eBook Standards – summary of NISO/BISG program

Last Friday at ALA I was part of a NISO/BISG panel on the changing standards landscape.  There were many speakers, each discussing various aspects of eBook standards like business models, ISBNs, epub, DRM, and the standards and features needed by librarians (which was my part).  I’ve summarized my presentation here and would welcome additional suggestions and ideas from librarians.  Sue Continue reading

Grzimek’s transformed to interactive, media-rich online product


A press release from Gale concerning Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia is below.  I suspect this transformation from multi-volume print sources to interactive subscription based “databases” will be the norm from here on.  I really hope they have animal sounds, you never know when you might need to have lions roaring in your office.

Farmington Hills, Mich., July 10, 2009 – Gale, part of Cengage Learning, today announced the transformation of Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia into an interactive, media-rich online interface. This new digital version will be available this fall. Continue reading

Gale’s PowerSearch 2.0 launched with several new features


Farmington Hills, Mich., June 24, 2009 – Gale, part of Cengage Learning, today announced the launch of PowerSearch 2.0, an enhanced version of the original PowerSearch platform which provides the library community comprehensive access to authoritative reference, periodical and primary source information, providing greater “power to the user.”

PowerSearch 2.0 simplifies browsing through Gale’s more than 20,000 publications, providing the ability to search across more than 150 million documents. The new interface provides users a Web-like experience and includes added features that will appeal to and empower library patrons, students and other researchers. Continue reading