"The Relationship between University Presses, E-Book Vendors, and Academic Libraries: A Platform Theory Analysis"

We investigate the relations among university presses, academic libraries, and e-book vendors, by examining university presses’ perceptions of academic libraries and e-book vendors, and presses’ perceptions of themselves and the university press community. Findings are drawn from one-on-one interviews with 19 participants from 18 different university presses in the United States during 2020–2021. We observe a market structure for HSS e-books where most presses were satisfied with Big Four e-book vendors, including Project MUSE, EBSCO, ProQuest, and JSTOR, and lacked strong incentives to search for new e-book vendors. We find that most presses often treat libraries, including the one from the same institution, as their customers with limited interactions; findings also show university presses’ varied self-imaging, along with a shared perception about the collegiality of the university press community.


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Author: Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Charles W. Bailey, Jr.