eBook collections and platforms are popping up faster than daisies these days. New this month is the Palgrave Macmillan platform – Palgrave Connect. This is a collaborative effort from Palgrave and Nature and will include eBooks in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and business areas. About 4,000 eBooks are available with the launch.�
A really neat feature from Encyclopaedia Britannica – Content Widgets . I’m a big fan of widgets, particularly ones with nice visuals. They draw the users attention and can lead them to authoritative reference content. Here’s the official info from Britannica:
Check Out Britannica’s New Widget Feature!
Britannica Widgets are here, and with them you can instantly post an entire cluster of related Encyclopædia Britannica articles on your blog or Web site. Just follow the instructions and copy and paste the several lines of code associated with each widget as html into the appropriate place on your site. Any readers who click on a link will get the entire Britannica article on the subject, even if access to the article normally requires a subscription.
Widgets are an innovative way to share information on websites and blogs!
Here are a couple of samples (click for larger image):
The Britannica Newsletter “inside Britannica” states it is a feature of the Britannica Online Academic Edition. According to Lillian Terry, my Britannica Rep who sent me a nice email yesterday, this feature is also available in the Public and School online editions as well. Very cool, very cool.
Those of you interested in learning more about Follett and Overdrive should take a look at the recent Off The Shelf column in Booklist Online - E-book Distributors for the Public and School Library Markets. The article provides an overview of the content, features, and business models of both of these distributors.
NetLibrary, due to it’s recent transformation, has a feature article in the Nov. 1, 2008 Booklist issue (and Booklist Online)
Academic aggregators - ebrary, EBL, and Myilibrary – were featured back in May, 2008.
All articles are linked from No Shelf Required, just check out the articles link.
There is not a ton of information about the KDDI R&D Laboratories Inc. “Portable Viewer System” but what has been revealed is exciting. It’s A4 and can wirelessly receive images from devices like a mobile phone. The screen can display up to 4,096 colors and refresh in 12 seconds. I’m not sure whether e-paper means it’s a derivative of eink or some other screen technology.
Strangely the device is nearly completely controlled by the handset. It doesn’t seem a very practical interface, but it is a prototype.
by Jane Litte
Gale/Cengage has collected a growing list of 18 ways to increase usage of your ebook resources. They are listed below. Or, visit the site for the full story.
How to Increase Product Usage
Here are a few “best practices” as defined by your colleagues. Many of our customers have already discovered and implemented these ideas for increasing usage of electronic resources at their institution.
- Create a website that has a link to your electronic resources on the Home page.
- Keep links to databases, eBooks, journals, and magazines no more than 1 “click” away from the Home page.
- Register for AccessMyLibrary at http://access.gale.com/mylibrary/others/index.html.
- Create pathfinders for individual databases and have them accessible next to computers.
- Organize databases by subject and offer remote access.
- Place links to interesting content directly on your Home page. Gale InfoMarks (or durable URLs) navigate users directly to interesting content or current articles—bypassing the need to find a database or conduct a search.
- Use journal cover graphics on your Home page to take the user into a periodical database.
- Load MaRC records with URL’s to databases, eBooks, journals, and magazines
- Distribute product information material (user guides, search tips, etc) directly to your users.
- Use electronic databases to support curriculum through class assignments
- Integrate appropriate content into lesson plans.
- Market the library to teachers and work with them to create assignments using the product content.
- Offer library instruction and distribute product information and URL’s for parents or PTA
- Make library instruction mandatory for incoming students.
- Do not allow open web resources in bibliographies or works cited pages for assignments.
- Deploy a federated search engine
- Implement a journal locator application and linking through OpenURL
Have another suggestion? Would you like to learn more about what the Customer Resource Center can do for you?
Please call 1-800-877-4253 and ask to speak with your Client Relations Specialist today!
I sat in on a Credo Reference webinar earlier this week, to get a better idea of the new interface and discovered something that wasn’t visible to me in the trial. Credo has “Resource Links,” external links to a library’s other resources like the catalog, a metasearch tool, or a particular database. Libraries can set-up the resources in the very detailed administrative module, proxy server stuff and all!
This is a really cool feature as it allows users to start research in Credo, get an understanding of the topic and various perspectives, then continue that search for books or articles in other resources.
More information on this feature and how to set it up in the Admin module are available in a Credo document.
Credo has upgraded its interface. I got a quick trial so I could check out some of the features (old and new). Of course the best part of Credo is the ability to cross reference a search. This allows researchers access to definitions, people, places, and general overviews of their topic from multiple disciplines and sources, a fantastic way to start your research. Here are some highlights:
- over 3 million entries in 366 titles (and growing), all cross-referenced
- nice simple search screen – googlish, with options for advanced search and the concept map
- interface is available in six languages
- browse the collection by subject and title options
- search results have faceted results for subject, pub date, entry type, media, and person
- great multimedia features – audio files, video clips, flash, and dynamic table creation, images, and maps
- optional display of the “gadget tool” with easy access to definitions, people, locations, crossword answers, conversions, quotations, and holidays and festivals (each category has a search box)
- concept map is still there. I believe I had previously called this “brainstorming on steroids.” Nice visual and interactive way to search for concepts that are related.
- store/mark records – easily done with checkbox. ability to export saved results – email, save, print, or export for multiple citation management systems
- cite this source – APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA
- bookmark to social networking sites
- Content sensitive HELP with index to all HELP items
- customize for your institution
- download marketing materials
- lots of usage statistics
and a few snafus:
- faceted results are great, but no way to turn them off, and no breadcrumb trail of facets
- no breadcrumb trail to keep you oriented, but maybe you don’t want to be oriented in a cross referencing tool???
- odd search results with the concept map. my siberian huskies search kept displaying the map of a related person to huskies, maybe there just wasn’t enough content on huskies….
- I was using Firefox. After entering my search term and hitting the enter key my search would sometimes stop. Once I clicked search it was fine.
For more information, visit Credo Reference, and ask David to give you a test drive!
If you are uncertain what titles to purchase, ask for their recommended lists….compiled by several people in the reference reviewing field.
Attention public, school, and community college libraries.
Infobase, publisher for Chelsea House, Facts on File, Ferguson, and Bloom’s Literary Criticism will release it’s own eBook platform this Fall. However, titles will still be available from previously established interfaces.
Current titles and backlist titles will be available at launch (1800+) and forthcoming titles will also come in e version.
Looks like the business model is similar to GVRL – unlimited simultaneous access and an archival PDF copy of each title purchased. Which, leads me to believe this will NOT be a subscription product. No word yet on pricing.
I’m hoping to get a sneak peek at the interface in the next couple of weeks, so details on the interface bells and whistles to follow.
The new and improved EBL online reader is set to be launched on 23rd September 2008 and we’re inviting you to preview it…
The new reader features improved design and layout enhancements, and offers patrons these brand new features:
* Fast-loading image view as well as PDF view -the image view gives readers the ability to scroll through pages rather than turn them one at a time.
* Maximised Reading Space on Screen – we’ve minimised headers and frames so that the patron can virtually open the ebook in the whole browser screen, providing a more immersive reading experience.
* Detailed Access Permission Information – more detailed access information, including total and remaining print and copy permissions.
* Intuitive Print Tools – enabling printing by page, page range or chapter.
* Enhanced read aloud controls – read aloud can now be launched for any title from the online reader toolbar.
EBL’s new online reader uses standard Adobe Reader software – there is still no custom plug-in required.
Your patrons will continue to enjoy EBL’s other popular functionalities, such as adding and exporting notes, linking by chapter, and full-text search within the book.
The official launch of the new reader will be next Tuesday, September 23rd.
You can preview EBL’s new online reader here:
User name: ebltest1
User name: ebltest2
User name: ebltest3
User name: ebltest4
User name: ebltest5
User name: ebltest6
We encourage you to test the reader thoroughly before it goes live next week. If you are happy with the general performance of the new reader, we suggest that you make the switch before the official launch next week to ensure that all features are working within your library’s local authentication and network set-up.
There is no work required on your end to change to the new reader, simply contact email@example.com to request the upgrade. The existing reader will stay in place for the short-term so if your library does experience and teething problems with the new reader, we will be able to instantaneously revert to the old reader.
Until then, please feel free to preview EBL’s new online reader and provide us with any feedback. We’d love to hear what you think!
EBL Technical Account Manager