On May 11 – 12th the IDPF will hold its Digital Book 2009 Conference in NYC. The theme is “an eBook Stimulus plan for Publishing.” More information is available on the conference website. Looks like there will be some sessions on DRM, ePUB, XML, and a presentation from Google on the Book Search program. Anyone attending? If so, consider posting your comments here on the blog.
The Copyright Clearance Center is sponsoring a webinar on April 14th called, The Authors Guild, AAP, Google Settlement: What Authors & Publishers Need to Know as May 5th Approaches. More info here.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009 12:00 pm
Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -04:00, New York)
Tuesday, April 14, 2009 5:00 pm
GMT Daylight Time (GMT +01:00, London) Continue reading
From the wired.com blog
Sony Adds Half a Million Public Domain Google Books to Reader
By Charlie Sorrel March 19, 2009 | 5:36:39 AMCategories: Books
Sony has inked (e-inked?) a deal with Google to bring half a million public domain books to its Reader e-book device, but surprise! Being a Sony service it looks to be awkward to use and no better than just grabbing the texts from Project Gutenberg.
Google has been scanning and textifying public domain texts in its attempt to organize the world’s information, and now they’ll be available for Sony’s e-book reader. This initiative, while certainly laudable as a way to get free books properly formatted for the device, really shows up the Sony Reader and its lack of a wireless internet connection.
First, you need to go to the Sony eBook Store and grab the PC software. Then you can search from the comfort of your own computer the half million books Sony has grabbed from Google. Then you need to sideload the content onto your Reader.
Worse, try going to the eBook site to find the Google link. You’ll have to scroll around. Sony’s web designers have decided to make the word “Google” appear only in jpeg form, so no quick page-search to find it.
Oh, Sony. It’s a nice try, but we think you already lost this one. The Kindle is currently the iPod of e-book readers, and while it doesn’t do everything, what it does do it does right. Plus, you can download any of Project Gutenberg’s free books, or even Google’s, directly, even on the beach. If you really want to read Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility”, that is.
Product page [Sony]
I love widgets. Last week at the Charleston Conference I was on a panel discussing “bridging the google gap.” I was to discuss ways libraries were bridging that gap through reference services. Widgets was one of my answers.
Widgets can be embedded on multiple library web pages, course management systems, facebook, teacher/faculty websites, anywhere really! Caution, my web designer friends always remind me to have one ONE search box on a page, otherwise it gets confusing.
There are many eBook/eReference vendors who provide widgets. I’ve got links to some of them below. If you know of others, send them my way and I’ll post.
Credo Reference – Search the entire Credo collection with their widget. Some libraries have put the search widget on a reference page, as a starting point. Now that Credo links to other sources through their “resource links” feature, users can start with traditional reference sources and move to journals or other databases of your choosing. For a look at this feature, check out the Watne Memorial Library . You might also be interested in an informal review of the new Credo interface.
Gale/Cengage – GVRL in particular. I am fond of this widget because you can establish subject collections of sets of titles. Once you have the collection established, it can be placed in the widget and only those titles searched. This is a fab idea for subject guides/pathfinders, or for class assignment links.
Reference Universe – RU searches the indexes, TOC, and list of articles of both print and electronic reference titles. Using your online catalog, they will connect the user to a reference source. The widget opens up your entire reference collection. St. Mary’s College of California has a great example of this widget. Be sure to click on “reference.”
This morning I “attended” the Springer webinar on eBook usage. It was very informative and obviously focused on Springer content, but it did confirm some of my suspicions about eBook usage. Here are some highlights:
They use COUNTER, as do most other eBook publishers/aggregators. COUNTER is incredibly detailed with usage stats….are you using yours to investigate usage and trends? why not?
2007 – over 25 million eBook chapter downloads, the numbers for 2008 thus far are higher. I’m seeing this in my eBook usage from various aggregators and publishers.
Handbooks had the highest number of downloads, textbooks were next in line, followed by reference works. Most of my eBook collection is reference, so that gets the highest use, but I do have a ton of Springer titles, and stats show my users are finding the handbooks and textbooks.
The older eBooks were still used a lot, older defined as 2005 and 2006.
Springer confirmed a couple of things from the ebrary student and faculty eBook surveys:
- students want more eBooks in their subject areas – yeah, who wouldn’t!
- faculty prefer electronic material over print
How do you drive usage to your eBooks? Discoverability is the key.
- Are you cataloging ALL of your eBook titles with MARC records in the catalog? The SuperBook Project from the University College of London confirmed that cataloged books get 2 times as much traffic as non-cataloged books. Makes sense to me.
- Do you have link resolvers in place to drive users from A & I services to the eBook titles?
- Are the eBooks you own indexed in google? According to Springer, 2/3 of their eBook visits came from google – that’s any part of google, not just scholar. Check with your publishers and aggregators to see if they allow google to index the eBook metadata or fulltext. And if they do….how are those users getting to the eBook via your library?
eBook usage internationally is big – I’m hearing this from most publishers. Springer compared eBook usage to eJournal usage. Internationally, Hong Kong and Munster had approximately 51% journal and 49% eBook usage but U.S. libraries had more of the 80/20 breakdown.
The webinar was hosted by Wouter vander Velde, eProduct Manager, eBooks, Springer
Wouter had a lovely powerpoint with the charts/stats available, but I haven’t heard from him if I can share that on the blog. If you would like to see it, you could probably email him.
At ALA Annual in Anaheim ABC-CLIO hosted focus groups for academic reference librarians to discuss the changing face of electronic reference books and hear what they had to say about what they hoped to see for the future of these products.
Here are the items we discussed and the general feedback we received. We encourage all readers of the No Shelf Required blog to post comments or questions – we want to hear what you have to say too!
Is print reference still viable?
It was generally agreed that print reference is still viable. Whether or not the librarian would purchase the print version depended upon the subject of the title and if their budget prohibited purchasing the electronic version. However, nearly half of the 20 attendees said they are no longer buying print reference at all.
What comes first, the book or the eBook?
As stated above, most answered that they would purchase the eBook and not the print, so the question for them was moot. Others stated that they would be inclined to purchase an eBook version of a title prior to the release of a completed print version if subsquent updates were provided and the final print version would be available within 12 – 24 months. The original release of the eBook version would have less content than the print, but both versions would be identical by the time of print publication.
- Unlimited simultaneous usage & remote access
- Export to citation programs
- NO plug-ins
- Open to Google and federated searching – access to all eBook platforms through one search engine
- Make ordering easier by offering eBooks via the usual print distributors
Purchase vs. Subscribe
Here’s a snapshot from the ALA Presentation – A View from the Top.
Left to right:
John Barnes, Gale/Cengage, Rolf Janke, Sage, Sue Polanka, WSU, Michael Ross, Britannica, Casper Grathwohl, Oxford
To start the session, each of the panelists was asked:
Will we have reference in 10-15 years? If so, what will it look like?
Their responses were:
John Barnes – Yes, but in a different form – digital and more interactive. The transformation is already happening. The first step is to get our collections online, which we are doing now. This might help to ease the “if it isn’t online it doesn’t exist” philosophy of researchers
Rolf Janke – Yes, but google and other web based vendors might share the stage with us. 5 years ago google was a threat, now they are partners.
Michael Ross – Yes, but the vocabulary will change. We won’t have collections or series, ‘search’ will become ‘find,’ and there will be more birthing of products online. Reference will need to become unbound – in a more transparent environment that address the needs of a variety of people.
Casper Grathwohl – We are not dying, we are knowledge factories. All of us, including Wikipedia, have a place in the environment. The information is there, we need to determine how to define it and add value to it, and there is no lack of ideas on which direction to go.