I attended the American Library Association MidWinter Conference in Seattle, Washington January 26 -29th. While there, I was able to speak with several eBook companies about new features and services. Below you will find a list of companies (alpha order) and new features complete with links for more information.
Last week, ProQuest announced a definitive agreement to acquire EBL. I had a chance to interview two of the primary individuals involved in this acquisition, Kari Paulson, President of EBL, and Kevin Sayar, Senior Vice President of ProQuest. Kari and Kevin discussed with me how the acquisition plans developed, what customers can expect in the next 18 months, and how customers can relay feedback to both companies.
ProQuest has done it again. Just two years after the acquisition of ebrary, they announced today plans to acquire EBL. EBL, a global ebook aggregator, was founded in 2004 and offers over 300,000 titles in their collection. They have long been a competitor for ebrary, offering similar monograph content to academic and special libraries worldwide.
Library customers of ebrary and EBL can expect business as usual until the conclusion of the approval period. After that however, the tides will change. Responding to specific questions from No Shelf Required, Kevin Sayar, Senior Vice President, ProQuest Workflow Solutions, said, “Until the approval period is over, ProQuest/ebrary and EBL will operate as separate companies with their respective content and acquisition models remaining the same. Customers for both companies will not experience any changes at this time. ebrary and EBL shared around 200 publishers, and have most of the big ones in common. There are some publishers that ebrary has and EBL does not and vice versa, so respective customers could potentially gain more content upon the deal closing.After closing the deal, the best features of EBL and ebrary will be combined on a single platform after approximately 18 months. At this point the timeline is a target and is subject to change.” Continue reading →
YBP Library Services and Ebook Library (EBL) have announce that they have combined their unique strengths to create the first demand-driven approval plans. With this announcement, followed by developments to come later, the two companies will use the accurate, book-in-hand descriptions from YBP’s approval process with the malleable patron-driven tools of EBL to offer a unique just-in-time approach to delivering books for their customers. Here is how the service works.
Libraries can use YBP ‘s approval capabilities to indicate the books that they want, or do not want, to see, but rather than receive the titles as an automatic book or as a slip, they can designate them DDA (demand-driven acquisition). When a book fits the rules for a DDA title, YBP alerts EBL, and EBL delivers a url that goes into the bibliographic record. YBP sends the records to the library, which puts them in the OPAC. When a patron finds an interesting record, the url links them out to their EBL site. There, the student or faculty member has five minutes to browse the book and metadata before deciding whether they need to check it out. Continue reading →
Yesterday, I joined a panel of publishers, aggregators, and archiving agencies to discuss the issue of eBook archiving. I had to set the stage for libraries, which was quite easy – we are in fear of losing our content to which we no longer have control of since it is housed on someone else’s server in another part of the country/world. How do we guarantee that the content we purchased will remain accessible to us and our end users? We need to work on a solution….and fast.
Rebecca Seger from Oxford University Press presented the publishers perspective, highlighting things OUP has done, and challenges facing publishers.
OUP has journals archiving in place with portico, CLOCKSS, and LOCKSS. OUP’s first trigger event happened in 2009. Their policy is publicly available on the OUP site.
Ebook archiving at OUP is done via publisher archiving and a dark archive. They keep a repository in PDF format. But, OUP cannot archive the proprietary versions created by the aggregator partners like ebrary, EBL, Ingram, EBSCO.
OUP feels the obligation to preserve the Oxford Scholarship Online version for library customers. They also offer the option of providing XML data to purchaser for local archiving (as she described was being done at OhioLINK.)
Some challenges: Archiving options are limited for ebooks as not everything available for journals is available for ebooks, yet. Additionally, defining the trigger events has proven to be much more difficult. Continue reading →
ebrary announced today the launch of the much awaited patron driven acquisition model. It’s been a couple of years in the making, received considerable testing, and was grown from librarian demand and suggestions. A brief history:
ALAMW Conference, 2009. ebrary hosted a session to discuss patron driven acquisitions and many librarians were there to offer suggestions.
Yesterday at the LJ/SLJ eBook Summit I had the pleasure of moderating a panel discussion of the acquisition models of eBooks for academic libraries. We chatted about business models, workflow issues and their opportunities and challenges, the pros and cons of electronic access,and the future of eBooks. I was pretty busy doing my moderating duties and didn’t get a chance to summarize the program, but luckily some folks at LJ did. Here is what they had to say: Continue reading →
If you had top executives from 4 academic eBook aggregators in the same room, what would you ask them? Seriously, I need to know. One of the Lively Lunch sessions at the XXX Annual Charleston Conference is an open forum with academic eBook aggregators from ebrary, EBL, Ingram, and NetLibrary. I’m looking for suggestions on questions to ask these individuals. I’m moderating and want to make this as informative and interesting as I can! Continue reading →
I’m not sure how I didn’t find this earlier, but thanks to a colleague, Erik Christopher, I am now aware of the JISC eBook comparison chart. It is available on the JISC site at http://www.jisc-adat.com/adat/adat_ebooks.pl and offers a comparison of up to 7 different eBook platforms including: Credo Reference, NetLibrary, ebrary, EBL, MyiLibrary, Dawsonera, and Taylor and Francis eBookstore. Over 50 functional features are compared with basic Y/N responses including search, access control, search results, linking, restrictions, exporting, etc. All data is supplied by the vendors. They are obviously missing some reference eBook databases, so I hope Gale, SAGE, ABC-CLIO, Oxford, Rosen, and others can hop on board this chart. If anyone is shopping for eBook platforms, or if publishers are considering launching an eBook site, this is a great place to go for ideas and industry standard features.
They also offer a comparison chart for scientific databases.
A blog discussing the news and issues surrounding eBooks, for librarians and publishers.