“Evidence provides more options for e-book acquisition” is an analysis and opinion piece written by Carolyn Alderson of Jisc Collections. In it Ms. Alderson touches on various approaches that libraries are taking to purchase ebooks with a particular focus on evidence based acquisitions (EBA). While she mentions early packaged collection like “Oxford Reference Online, Literature Online, EEBO, The Shakespeare Collection and Grove Music Online” and discusses patron driven acquisitions, her main concern in this article is EBA.
Ms. Alderson first writes about “the EBASS25 pilot”, led by Royal Holloway on behalf of the M25 Consortium of Academic Libraries that “explored both the PDA and evidence based acquisition (EBA) models. In that discussion she also offers a brief, but helpful definition of EBA as a model where “libraries pay an up-front fee for a particular collection that interests them. The content is then made available and usage recorded via COUNTER statistics. After six months or a year the consortium then buys books, based on use, up to the value of the up-front fee.”
However, as Ms Alderson continues it becomes clear that EBA is very much a work in progress with publishers like Elsevier, Cambridge University Press, and SAGE experimenting with the model and consortia like Scottish Higher Education Digital Library (SHEDL) being early adapters. She also mentions that Jisc Collections has its own experience with an “interesting EBA model” as they recently reached “an agreement with Alexander Street Press, offering its streamed video content” via evidence base acquisitions.
If you don’t know much about EBA and want an informed introduction this post is well worth a look. In fact, Ms Alderson’s observations along with the useful links she provides will be appreciated by anyone interested in recent developments in ebook purchasing.