With the advent of the internet and growing popularity of Wikipedia, traditional library reference tools have experienced a decline in use. As a result, many reference publishers began producing electronic books or converting traditional print multi-volume titles to online databases. While this has been a valiant effort, much of the content still goes undiscovered due to limited access from subscription costs, firewalls, passwords, and lack of indexing in search engines.
A new book from IGI Publishing, the first in the Advances in Library and Information Science (ALIS) series, discusses the myriad issues with e-reference discovery in libraries. The 23 chapters explore the topic in academic, public, and school libraries as well as from the publishers perspective. The book is available in print or e formats. E formats offer the ability to purchase individual chapters. The first ALIS newsletter featured the preface and 8 selected chapters from the book. Continue reading E-Discovering Reference
During the TOC Conference I got a demo of iFactory’s new platform, PubFactory from Tom Beyer, Director of Publishing at iFactory.
PubFactory is an online publishing platform for publishers or libraries that is xml based, and supports ePub, DocBook, TEI, and NLM Journal formats. They also support ONIX and RDF for metadata and PDF (metadata and full text searching/viewing). Continue reading PubFactory
Last month I posted a link to a survey about interactive online reference features. The survey was used to gauge the interest in 30 different interface features, ranging from video and sound to course packs, Web 2.0 features, and sharing materials. The results of the survey were used during a presentation at the Charleston Conference on November 6, 2009. The presentation was titled “Interactive Online Reference” and was presented by Tom Beyer from iFactory and myself. The slides from our presentation are available here, and do include the results of the survey. Overall, the respondents favored all 30 features, as everything received greater than 50% approval. But, there were definite favorites, which are listed. During our presentation, we used audience response systems to tally the interest of the attendees. The results of those impromptu surveys are also included in the slides.
The January 2010 Booklist will include a summary of the presentation and survey in my Off The Shelf column (which I will post of course), and the full paper will be available in the 29th Annual Charleston Conference Proceedings sometime in 2010. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
I’m writing to ask for 10 minutes of your time to complete a survey about online reference databases. I’m trying to gauge interest in a variety of features offered in online reference databases (think GVRL, Credo, SRO, ORO, ABC-CLIO, etc). My results will be used in a presentation I am co-presenting at the Charleston Conference in a couple of weeks. I’ll be co-presenting with Tom Beyer, the Director of Publishing at iFactory. iFactory created Sage Reference Online, a variety of Oxford products, and more. My part of the presentation takes Tom’s wild ideas and put them into perspective, hopefully using the data collected from this survey to determine if the features could work.
Thanks so much for your time and please feel free to forward this to your colleagues. Results will be posted on the blog at a later date.
The survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=H0KH_2bkK7ZaeY1qWKZvzi8A_3d_3d
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.