Yesterday I had a wonderful conversation with Cynthia Cleto, Global eProduct Manager for eBooks, Springer. We discussed the Springer content, business models, and results of some usage surveys they have done. IMHO, it’s very informative and touches on some interesting eBook issues like DRM and Interlibrary Loan. Yes, I did just mention eBooks and ILL in the same sentence!
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.