National e-books project makes taught course texts freely available
e-books for all…
National e-books project makes taught course texts freely available for 2 years
From today and for the next two years a collection of 36 taught course texts is being made freely available to all higher education institutions as part of JISC’s national e-books observatory project. The texts, chosen after extensive consultation over the summer, include some of the most popular texts in Business Studies and Management, Medicine, Engineering and Media Studies.
The aim of the national e-books observatory project is to make available a critical mass of freely available e-books in order to gather m'We hope that university libraries will all become involved in this innovative and exciting project as they as well as publishers have a great deal to gain.'uch-needed evidence on the use of a greatly under-used but potentially enormously important resource. Earlier this year, JISC invited publishers and e-book aggregators to submit proposals to help create this collection as the first step to studying the use of e-books to support taught courses.
In addition JISC is funding a deep-log analysis study to discover the precise ways in which the core e-books are used. From next January web questionnaires will follow up this level of analysis and return a wealth of qualitative information to give a rich and invaluable picture of user behaviour.
Publishers are collaborating on providing access to e-books via the MyiLibrary Ltd platform and Books@Ovid platforms. Funding by JISC to publishers via the aggregators will mitigate the risk of revenue loss caused by the possible impact on print sales.
Robert Kimberley of Ovid, one of the publishers to have submitted e-books for the project, welcomed its launch, saying: ‘We are delighted to be a part of this important project. Its commitment to increasing our understanding of the use of e-books is something that is especially welcome to us and Ovid is looking forward to seeing its e-books used in such far-reaching and innovative ways and for the long-term benefit of libraries, users and publishers.’
James Gray at MyiLibrary said that this ‘information will provide a considerable evidence base to help inform our decisions about the construction of e-books, their promotion to the community, to suggest how disciplinary differences might impact on their use. We hope this evidence base will also be of immense importance to university lecturers and librarians in their efforts to make available core reading list e-books that support HE taught course students.’
Hazel Woodward, University Librarian at CranfieldUniversity, and chair of the project’s advisory board, said: ‘e-books have enormous potential as a resource for students. But it’s fair to say that that potential has so far been untapped. The project will we hope have a major impact on the e-book publishing market and in time on libraries across the UK as they struggle to keep up with demand for taught course texts. We hope that university libraries will all become involved in this innovative and exciting project as they as well as publishers have a great deal to gain.’
For further information on the 36 titles now available to all HEIs, please go to: National e-books observatory project