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A librarians perspective on e-books Terry Bucknell Electronic Resources Manager 28 th June 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "A librarians perspective on e-books Terry Bucknell Electronic Resources Manager 28 th June 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 A librarians perspective on e-books Terry Bucknell Electronic Resources Manager 28 th June 2007

2 e-books at the University of Liverpool Jan 2004 – 6 OUP titles from Ovid – very low take-up Feb 2004 – declined to participate in NoWAL netLibrary agreement (funds, quality concerns) Oct 2005 – Safari (350 slots, havent grown collection due to business model) Oct 2005 – JISC ACLS History eBooks Project (affordable, critical mass, good take-up) Oct 2006 – ebrary Academic Complete (ditto but more so!) 2007 – began purchasing perpetual access titles from ebrary, several other collections (Referex, Knovel, Cambridge Companions Online)

3 A word about platforms E-journals –Tend to use publishers own platforms rather than 3 rd party agent systems (e.g. SwetsWise, EBSCO EJS) –Articles easily discovered through A&I databases, cited refs, Metalib (etc.) –Easy to link to articles through DOI or OpenURL E-books –Much less support for metasearching, DOIs, OpenURL –Strategy is to acquire as many books as possible on one platform for easy full-text searching across our entire e- books library

4 Models were using – 1 Subscription bundles where unit price is a fraction of purchase price Critical mass crucial to change user culture Cant afford to purchase a critical mass collection until demand / uptake has been proved As a pay-off for low unit price we accept: –No access rights upon cancellation –Might not get recently published titles –Titles come and titles go –We get what were given

5 Is a subscription bundle worth it? Our experience of ebrary Academic Complete October 2006 to May 2007 –Used over 70,000 times –Over 1,000,000 pages viewed –Nearly 50,000 pages printed –Over 35,000 pages copied –Nearly 16,000 e-books used (out of 31,000) –Quality as well as quantity (24 of the Top 50 are titles that we have in print) Has stimulated demand for e-books at Liverpool Has filled gap due to low levels of book acquisition in previous period of low budgets

6 Models were using – 2 Outright purchase for perpetual access – for something like the print price (hardback?) Single-user access is probably enough Typical usage of a title only lasts 8 minutes or so Were not talking about core textbooks here Full control over exactly which titles we want (and dont want) Expect latest titles to be available immediately

7 Models were using – 3 Safari model –Subscription for a fixed number of slots –Books occupy 0.5 to 2.0 slots –Swap titles once a month –Total rice varies according to number of slots and number of simultaneous users across the whole collection Whats the problem? –Dont have time to micro-manage swapping of slots –To grow our collection, need to pay for more slots and for more simultaneous users –Discourages customers from expanding their portfolio –That cant be good business!

8 A model we might use… Publishers selling e-books in bulk (Big Deals): Buy all titles published in one calendar year for: –Very significant discount –Free access to titles published in previous years Useful way to spend end-of-year surpluses Concerns –Might not be able to afford the offer in subsequent years –How many of the titles will we actually use? –How many would we have chosen to buy individually? –How much would we normally spend on this publisher? –No going back!

9 Dont reproduce the printed books model! Once borrowed, most print books sit unused for nearly all of the time (on shelf, under bed) e-books allow books to be quickly passed from one user to another So I dont like: –e-books checked out for fixed time periods –Limits on the number of times an e-book can be checked out in a year

10 The New Edition problem Sometimes an essential update that renders previous editions as useless (esp. Law, Medicine) Sometimes a minor amendment to drive more sales: –Extra chapters –Latest developments added to existing chapters –New pedagogical features Subscription model: –Subscription should be to latest edition (automated alerts to new editions are essential) –Option to continue accessing previous edition if required for low / no cost Purchase model: –Tough – need to buy new edition

11 The textbooks problem Research monographs –Only expect to sell single copy to a library Doesnt matter if it is a print or electronic copy Textbooks –Potential loss of multiple sales to students if licensed to libraries. Options: –Licence to library at high cost low take-up? –Licence to library at normal cost Risk multiple losing sales Students prefer to purchase print copy despite online access? JISC E-Books Observatory Project –Licence to students directly On Librarys chosen platform?

12 Organisational issues Policies about cataloguing of e-books New procedures for monthly additions / deletions of subscription bundles New procedures for ordering individual e-book titles: –Maximum efficiency (paperless) Generating demand –Would you like the e-book version of that? Managing demand –Sorry, we cant get e-books from that publisher –Sorry, were not paying another platform fee just to access 1 e-book

13 The University of Liverpool Strategy Student purchases? JISC E-Books Observatory Project Individual ebrary perpetual access purchases Publisher / aggregator subscription bundles Publisher purchased bundles (as funds permit) ebrary Academic Complete subscription bundle research / background reading } Purchase suggestions / recommended background reading { Core texts }

14 If I was a Publisher… Publish all titles simultaneously as e-books –Dont risk losing sales by not providing the specific books that customers want Sell e-books directly and via 3 rd party platforms –Dont risk losing sales by insisting on a platform Sell e-books in affordable bundles –Easier to grow income a little from many customers –Reduce need to market individual titles Once sales have tailed off (i.e. backlist) –Make available through low-cost subscription bundles –Cheap, high quality bundles encourage new customers to the e-books market, opens door to future frontlist sales Explore direct sales to students on 3 rd party platforms

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