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JISC Collections | Slide 1 Peaceful coexistence? Library –delivered e-textbooks and traditional student purchases Paul Harwood JISC Collections.

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Presentation on theme: "JISC Collections | Slide 1 Peaceful coexistence? Library –delivered e-textbooks and traditional student purchases Paul Harwood JISC Collections."— Presentation transcript:

1 JISC Collections | Slide 1 Peaceful coexistence? Library –delivered e-textbooks and traditional student purchases Paul Harwood JISC Collections

2 This Briefing Session Provide some background to the trials currently taking place Place the trials in the wider context of the development of e-textbooks and associated initiatives Describe the trials themselves Describe the next steps Try and leave some time for discussion at the end | Slide 2

3 JISC Collections 3 Background and Context The trials follow-on from the well publicised JISC National e- book Observatory work ( In particular, the Library Collection Management Report produced by Chris Armstrong and Ray Lonsdale, which addressed issues around library access to e-textbooks, pricing models (E-book Collection Management in UK University Libraries, March 2009)

4 JISC Collections 4 Quotes from librarians in the Armstrong/Lonsdale Report: How they use e-versions “It’s useful to be able to have the e-books, I’m afraid really as a back-up rather than a core” “…but we find that if they’re desperate and all the copies are out on loan, they’ll soon go to e-books…just sheer force of the situation will do it” “….providing the extra access for short periods of time, or while the courses are running, so that you are providing supplementary access for things that are on reading lists”

5 JISC Collections 5 Quotes from librarians in the Armstrong/Lonsdale Report: E-books: What’s missing? “Just the major textbooks. It’s still the major textbooks, whichever platform” “..the kind of material they probably want is the textbook kind of thing that publishers aren’t yet releasing to the libraries in e-book format” “with my subject area, I don’t tend to find e-textbooks”

6 JISC Collections 6 Quotes from librarians in the Armstrong/Lonsdale Report: Pricing models “Yes, they’re complicated, they’re inconsistent, because some give you unlimited user access, some say no you can have five only and other ones will say you can buy individual titles whilst others say you’ve got to buy five or nothing” “I just feel that their models haven’t been designed in discussion with librarians – I mean normally when you have a product that you are trying to sell to somebody, you go out and talk to them and find out what they want” “…and then you’ll get other suppliers offering a totally different model, for example, so many credits and they’ll be renewable annually”

7 JISC Collections More recently…… The RIN report of March 2010 “Challenges for academic libraries in difficult economic times” said: “The scope for further simple efficiency savings is small, and so librarians are having to think more strategically about the squeeze on book budgets, and how to meet the student demand for core texts. E-books could help ease this problem, but publishers’ policies on pricing and accessibility are inhibiting take-up” | Slide 7

8 JISC Collections 8 In summary Many librarians want to be involved in providing access to e- textbooks, even if, in some cases, it is simply to provide a back-up for the library print copies Librarians in the report felt that so-called ‘core’ textbooks are not available for them to purchase in electronic form Librarians in the report are confused by the various pricing models put forward by publishers and aggregators

9 JISC Collections Landscaping Survey Ahead of the trials, a brief Landscaping Survey was undertaken to review the current textbook situation in the UK HE It was designed to see how the market worked, what publishers might already be doing with regard to offering e-versions of textbooks, to find out if libraries, publishers, aggregators might participate in some trials, help formulate ideas for the trials etc Interviews with librarians, publishers, aggregators A report was provided to JISC Collections and made public in April last year 9

10 JISC Collections 10 landscape survey – key findings Unlike monographs and journals, which are purchased by libraries, a ‘student pay’ model is the established model for textbook sales in print form, accounting for between 70-90% of publisher textbook revenue in the UK It was very difficult to arrive at UK sales figures because of difficulties in defining a textbook. According to the PA, undergraduate spending on books in the UK was £219.5m in 2006/7. According to Nielsen BookScan, sales of ‘academic specialist nonfiction’ were £197m in 2008 In contrast to the US, there is a great deal of diversity in the approach to learning in UK universities, making it difficult to define a ‘core’ textbook. A textbook might be required reading / core text at one UK university, but supplementary reading at another Publishers reported that overall revenue from print sales was either static or increasing but that, in some cases, unit sales are declining

11 JISC Collections 11 landscape survey - key findings Librarians reported that spending by students on textbooks is declining and that students are increasingly looking to the library to provide access Around 33% of textbook sales are through Amazon and Amazon Marketplace making it difficult for publishers to track ‘sell through’ (sales) at individual institutions Demand from UK lecturers and students for access to e-textbooks has not been high Lecturers themselves are key figures in determining what students read and the format they use Whilst some publishers are already offering e-access to textbooks, as with print, student-pay models are the norm, including new collaborative services like CourseSmart Landscape report at: report-public-version16-4-09.pdf

12 JISC Collections | Slide 12 “What’s happening in the the wider world of e- textbooks?”

13 JISC Collections Now includes content from 14 publishers including founding partners: Cengage, McGraw-Hill, Pearson, Wiley, Bedford, Freeman & Worth

14 JISC Collections 14 Bookshops? Sales & Marketing?

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33 JISC Collections 33 The trials Designed to test some of the views expressed by librarians re the availability of core e-textbooks and associated pricing and access models To explore through the trials whether there are potential pricing models for e-textbook provision that could be acceptable /usable to both libraries and publishers To see whether core e-textbooks made available by a university library can co-exist with /support the current business model of individual purchases made by students; or whether the library could play an increasingly leading role in e-textbook provision When students have access to e-textbooks, to see what the impact is ( eg on print sales, and the choices of e-access and print that students might go for etc)

34 JISC Collections 34 The trials - process Seek participation by all the major textbook publishers, a range of UK HEIs and established aggregators for a full academic year Persuade publishers to commit core textbooks to the trials Match the participants for each of the four trials that were agreed on following our landscape report, based upon the textbooks that participants agreed to use and the particular interests of the individual organisations taking part Secure their commitment and participation for the duration of the trial, their agreement to provide certain data and to help with the compilation of the final report

35 JISC Collections 35 Principles underpinning the trials Existing ‘adopted’ textbooks to be used wherever possible Access provided by the library at each institution Unlimited concurrent user model wherever possible and unless otherwise specified by the library Libraries to continue to order/retain any print copies taken Publishers to provide a theoretical price for each institution at the outset of the trial, but no actual charges to be applied.

36 JISC Collections | Slide 36 Trial 1 Assessing the sustainability of offering access to e-textbooks via aggregated platforms and/or publisher-specific platforms under a range of access models Background  Many libraries have indicated that the ability to provide access to textbooks adopted at their institution via aggregated platforms, or publisher-specific platforms, would be welcomed.  However, key unknowns include what publishers would charge for different levels of access, and to what extent these costs would represent value for money for libraries in terms of overall usage and user feedback.  One leading textbook publisher has reported that making core textbooks available on a limited concurrent user basis has not had a negative impact on print sales, and a number of other publishers have expressed interest in exploring this in a trial situation. Aims  To assess whether offering access to e-textbooks via e-book aggregators and/or a publisher-specific platform under a range of access models is sustainable from the point of view of all stakeholders.

37 JISC Collections | | Slide 37 Trial 2 Libraries participating in offering students a range of access options Background  Offering a wide range of access options to libraries (including session-based and limited concurrent user) and students (including pay per use, print only, e-only and print/e-bundles, access to individual chapters) will enable a number of interesting issues to be explored. For example, what do students want if they have a choice, and how can libraries help? Aims  To assess whether a hybrid model is sustainable from the point of view of libraries and publishers, and to inform library strategy and budgeting by understanding more about the access preferences of students.

38 JISC Collections | Slide 38 Trial 3 What impact does offering e-access via libraries have on print sales of textbooks, and what do students want if they have a choice? Background  Because of the difficulty in tracking sell through for adopted titles, as a result of the rise of online booksellers in particular, it is hard to get clear evidence of the impact on print sales which will result from e-access through libraries. Also, if different access options are available to students, what do they choose?  A trial involving a custom textbook only available from the campus bookshop will enable us to test these issues in as scientific a way as possible to inform library and publisher strategy.  One publisher we interviewed for this study has expressed interest in participating in a trial of a custom textbook which is required reading for a 2nd year undergraduate course with 200 students. No e-version has ever been available and, as the print version has only been available through the campus bookshop, precise sales figures are available going back several years.  The idea would be to offer limited concurrent user access via the library, and also to offer students the choice of purchasing e-only access (via a download) or a print/e-bundle in addition to print in the campus bookshop.  The aim would be to include other custom textbooks and institutions in this trial. Aim  Through excellent historical sales data, to establish what impact the availability of limited concurrent user online access via the library has on the print sales of an adopted textbook, and also to provide evidence about which options students prefer if they have a choice.

39 JISC Collections | Slide 39 Trial 4: Does making online access available through libraries improve sell-through of existing adoptions? Background  This trial looks at whether there might be spin-off benefits for publishers in providing e-access to adopted textbooks via libraries – for example might it lead to increased sell through of the print edition? If so, publishers may be more willing to make e-textbooks available through libraries, and also to take this into account when setting pricing.  One of the publishers we interviewed would be interested in investigating this in a trial at institutions where there is a history of low sell through and, given that the risk is relatively low, other publishers may also be interested in participating. Aim  To establish whether offering access to adopted textbooks through the library via aggregated platforms has spin-off benefits for publishers such as improving sell through of the print edition.

40 JISC Collections The participants | Slide 40 University of Bath University of Birmingham University of Greenwich University of Leicester University of Newcastle Upon Tyne University of Northampton University or St Andrews University of Surrey UCL UWE Cengage Learning CUP McGraw-Hill OUP Palgrave Macmillan Pearson SAGE Wiley-Blackwell Dawson EBL MyiLibrary

41 JISC Collections Timeline June/July 2009 Work with partners to ensure access is available for the start of the academic year. Liaise with partners over progress with activities schedules agreed at kick-off meetings. Obtain theoretical pricing from publishers September 2009 to June 2010 Commence all trials. Monitor usage, book sales Student questionnaire  July 2010 Workshop to review findings. Round table discussion on mutually acceptable pricing August 2010 Present final report. | Slide 41

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54 JISC Collections What options are there for affordable access via the library? Rental to cover key periods of heavy use (prior to exams and course assessments) A basic library version, compared with a student edition which offered greater functionality A consortial arrangement with an organisation like CourseSmart which would maintain the student purchase model but with the consortia as the intermediary/channel Others? | Slide 54

55 JISC Collections What are the other factors to consider? Impact of the possible increase in student tuition fees? (Review being undertaken by Lord Browne of Madingley) and the student as customer The future of the e-textbook in its current form? Delivery of chunked-up content via the VLE with no library involvement? An acceptance that in the current economic climate, libraries simply will not be able to meet the demand for e-textbooks? | Slide 55

56 JISC Collections Thank you for your attention | | Slide 56

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