ATG Article of the Week: Unpacking Books: E-books have matured but questions remain about digital rights, access models …

by | Apr 18, 2012 | 0 comments

Unpacking Books: E-books have matured but questions remain about digital rights, access models and what a scholarly e-book really means today.

image credit: Research Information

We first noticed a blurb about this article on the Book Business website but the full article was published by Research Information in their April-May release.    The article is a collection of brief interviews by Sian Harris in which “nine experts weigh in on scholarly publishing and ebooks.”  (In fact, anyone attending the Charleston Conference in the last few years will recognize names like Ken Breen and Scott Wasinger from EBSCO,  Kari Paulson at EBL and Springer’s Wouter Van der Welde.)

A few of the key issues touched on include: DRM (digital rights management), Print on demand, interactive apps, mobile devices, HTML5 and EPUB 3, patron driven acquisitions, metadata management, and mixing and merging different acquisition models.

However, these interviews are fascinating not only because they address issues related to ebooks.  They also offer a sense of the various approaches being taken by leading publishers in developing and implementing their ebook programs.  Admittedly, it’s a work in progress for everyone and there is no one right answer.  Regardless, it’s good to see an article that offers various perspectives on such crucial concerns.

The only thing that is missing in the librarian’s perspective.  Where do librarians stand on publishing efforts like this?  Have librarians had enough input in these publisher approaches?  Are the solutions that publishers are pursuing the most useful for students and faculty?  Has enough research been done to determine patron needs?    Let us know what you think?

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