"Format Shift: Information Behavior and User Experience in the Academic E-book Environment"

Daniel G. Tracy has published "Format Shift: Information Behavior and User Experience in the Academic E-book Environment" in Reference & User Services Quarterly.

Here's an excerpt:

This article seeks to understand information behavior in the context of the academic e-book user experience, shaped by a disparate set of vendor platforms licensed by libraries. These platforms vary in design and affordances, yet studies of e-book use in an academic context often treat e-books as a unified phenomenon in opposition to print books. Based on participant diaries tracking e-book information behavior and follow-up interviews and focus groups on troubleshooting and format shifting behaviors, this study seeks to provide a deep qualitative look at decisions that academic users make about formats when encountering e-books.

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The State of Digital Publishing in Canada 2017

BookNet Canada has released The State of Digital Publishing in Canada 2017.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

When it comes to unit sales of books in Canada, according to our quarterly consumer surveying, 18.6% of purchases in 2017 were ebooks. This is a slight increase from 2016, when ebook sales made up 16.9% of purchases. At the same time, the number of publishers producing ebooks also increased: 94% of publishers reported that they are currently producing ebooks, up 3% from 2016 (91%).

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Open Access and Monographs: Where Are We Now?

The British Academy has released Open Access and Monographs: Where Are We Now?.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The Academy argues that any future model for open access monograph publication needs to be properly funded with additional money. And a generous list of exceptions will need to be defined—for example 'crossover' books which merit submission to the REF but which also make an important contribution to the UK’s 'trade' publishing industry.

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"The Academic Book and Its Digital Dilemmas"

Paul Spence, Senior Lecturer in Digital Humanities at King's College London, has published "The Academic Book and Its Digital Dilemmas" in Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies.

Here's an excerpt:

Focusing in particular on the arts and humanities, this article asks how, and under what conditions, the digitally mediated long-form academic publication might hold a viable future. It examines digital disruption and innovation within humanities publishing, contrasts different models and outlines some of the key challenges facing scholarly publishing in the humanities. This article examines how non-traditional entities, such as digital humanities research projects, have performed digital publishing roles and reviews possible implications for scholarly book publishing's relationship to the wider research process. It concludes by looking at how digital or hybrid long-form publications might become more firmly established within the scholarly publishing landscape.

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"Congress Funds $5 Million Open Textbook Grant Program in 2018 Spending Bil"

SPARC has released "Congress Funds $5 Million Open Textbook Grant Program in 2018 Spending Bil."

Here's an excerpt:

In a landmark victory for the Open Education movement, the U.S. Congress has included funding for a $5 million open textbook grant program in the Fiscal Year 2018 omnibus appropriations bill unveiled today. This marks the first major investment by Congress explicitly in open educational resources (OER) as a solution to the high cost of college textbooks, and underscores that course materials are a significant factor in making higher education affordable. The FY18 omnibus is expected to proceed swiftly to votes in the House and Senate and get signed into law this week.

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"Nearly One-in-Five Americans Now Listen to Audiobooks"

The Pew Research Center has released "Nearly One-in-Five Americans Now Listen to Audiobooks."

Here's an excerpt:

Despite some growth in certain digital formats, it remains the case that relatively few Americans consume digital books (which include audiobooks and e-books) to the exclusion of print. Some 39% of Americans say they read only print books, while 29% read in these digital formats and also read print books. Just 7% of Americans say they only read books in digital formats and have not read any print books in the past 12 months.

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The Visibility of Open Access Monographs in a European Context: A Report Prepared by Knowledge Unlatched Research

Knowledge Unlatched Research has released The Visibility of Open Access Monographs in a European Context: A Report Prepared by Knowledge Unlatched Research.

Here's an excerpt:

This report explores the extent to which Open Access (OA) specialist scholarly books can be seen by the communities that might make use of them. It also identifies the key challenges that will need to be tackled in order to ensure that OA books are fully integrated into digital landscapes of scholarship; as well as the steps that need to be taken to achieve this goal. The report focuses on Open Access books made available by publishers and platforms that are part of the OPERAS network, which is focused on the development of European research infrastructure for the development of open scholarly communication. Specialist scholarly books are the core research output of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Ensuring that they are integrated into digital landscapes of scholarship will play a decisive role in the future of these disciplines, and their impact on the world. Identifying gaps in existing infrastructure and creating a roadmap to address them is vital groundwork.

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"Reimagining the Digital Monograph Design Thinking to Build New Tools for Researchers"

The Journal of Electronic Publishing has released "Reimagining the Digital Monograph Design Thinking to Build New Tools for Researchers."

JSTOR Labs, an experimental product development group within the not-for-profit digital library JSTOR, undertook an ideation and design process to develop new and different ways of showing scholarly books online, with the goal that this new viewing interface be relatively simple and inexpensive to implement for any scholarly book that is already available in PDF form. This paper documents that design process, including the recommendations of a working group of scholars, publishers, and librarians convened by JSTOR Labs and the Columbia University Libraries in October 2016. The prototype monograph viewer developed through this process—called "Topicgraph"—is described herein and is freely available online at https://labs.jstor.org/topicgraph.

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"Cost Estimates of an Open Access Mandate for Monographs in the UK’s Third Research Excellence Framework"

Martin Paul Eve et al. have published "Cost Estimates of an Open Access Mandate for Monographs in the UK's Third Research Excellence Framework" in Insights.

Here's an excerpt:

The recent ‘Consultation on the second Research Excellence Framework' (REF) in the UK contains an annex that signals the extension of the open access mandate to monographs. In the service of promoting discussion, rather than prescribing a forward route, this article estimates the costs of implementing such a mandate based on REF 2014 volume, taking the criteria signalled in the annex, and identifies funding sources that could support it. We estimate that to publish 75% of anticipated monographic submission output for the next REF would require approximately £96m investment over the census period. This is equivalent to £19.2m per year. Academic library budgets as they are currently apportioned would not support this cost. However, these sums are but a fraction of the total quality-related funding, Arts and Humanities Research Council and Economic and Social Research Council budgets. We close with a series of provocative suggestions for how the mandate could be implemented.

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"E-book Usage: Counting the Challenges and Opportunities"

Angela Conyers et al. have published "E-book Usage: Counting the Challenges and Opportunities" in Insights: the UKSG Journal.

Here's an excerpt:

This article summarizes how libraries and library consortia are acquiring and evaluating e-books, how usage statistics feature within library workflows, the issues faced in doing so and the resulting impact of these issues on understanding usage and informing purchasing of new titles. Discussions with publishers indicate how usage data are being used within the organization, the requirements of customers and the challenges involved in providing usage data for e-books. Assessing and evaluating e-book usage is a complex and challenging task with processes and workflows in development. A transition from print to e-books represents a significant change for libraries, and the availability of reliable usage statistics to support purchase decisions is vital.

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"Inconsistencies between Academic E-book Platforms: A Comparison of Metadata and Search Results"

portal: Libraries and the Academy has released and e-print of "Inconsistencies between Academic E-book Platforms: A Comparison of Metadata and Search Results."

Here's an excerpt:

This article presents the results of a study of academic e-books that compared the metadata and search results from major academic e-book platforms. The authors collected data and performed a series of test searches designed to produce the same result regardless of platform. Testing, however, revealed metadata-related errors and significant variation in search results that could impact the user experience. This article describes how other libraries could perform this type of testing and how this information could be used to inform the selection of e-books that are available on multiple platforms.

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Final Version: Reimagining the Digital Monograph: Design Thinking to Build New Tools for Researchers

JSTOR has released the final version of Reimagining the Digital Monograph: Design Thinking to Build New Tools for Researchers .

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

This new version retains much of the structure of the previous one, and it still includes the ethnographic user profiles showing how six scholars do research with print and digital monographs. It also includes minor changes throughout addressing both specific and general questions we received and clarifying many points. We have gone from twelve to thirteen principles for the reimagined monograph. Most significantly, we have added as an appendix a new landscape review of related projects, which helps to situate our work on this project amongst a number of other important initiatives.

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"Digital Public Library of America to Pilot eBook Lending in Fall"

DPLA has released "Digital Public Library of America to Pilot eBook Lending in Fall."

Here's an excerpt:

Planned for this fall, DPLA will be lending ebooks in what it hopes is a streamlined, non-proprietary and vendorless platform.

While ebook lending has grown fast among US public libraries, the process is not always seamless. Book discovery, borrowing, and consumption must happen within the provide'’s app or website. DPLA wants to create a process that isn’t as specific, and one that works with a broader range of content producers for better access to ebooks.

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"14 Million Books & 6 Million Visitors: HathiTrust Growth and Usage in 2016"

HathiTrust has released 14 Million Books & 6 Million Visitors: HathiTrust Growth and Usage in 2016 .

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The HathiTrust collection continues to grow steadily. As of January 1st, 2017, there are 14,816,187 volumes in the collection. Over one million volumes were added to the collection over the course of the preceding year, scanned from the library collections of 39 contributors. . . .

Within the HathiTrust certified trusted repository, 38% of the collection is available to users to access in full view, and the remaining 62% is made available in other ways: all users can search across and within those limited view books; researchers can now perform transformational, non-consumptive research within these books; and users with print disabilities can access the full text.

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"EPUB 3.1 Now Proposed Specification"

IDPF has released "EPUB 3.1 Now Proposed Specification."

Here's an excerpt:

Work on EPUB 3.1 began in October of 2015, with a goal of simplifying the format and better aligning with the Open Web Platform. . . .

The EPUB 3.1 revision also introduces a new accessibility specification and techniques document. Although developed as part of EPUB 3.1 and to provide guidance on making conforming EPUB publications accessible, these new documents are designed to be equally applicable to older versions of the specification.

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Self-Publishing in the United States, 2010-2015: Print and Ebook

Bowker has released Self-Publishing in the United States, 2010-2015: Print and Ebook.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

ProQuest affiliate Bowker reveals in its latest industry report that the number of authors who are opting to self-publish continues to rise, with a growth rate of 21% between 2014 and 2015 for print and Ebooks combined. ISBN registrations for self-published titles have grown more than 375% since 2010, climbing from 152,978 ISBNs to 727,125 ISBNs.

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Book Reading 2016

The Pew Research Center has released Book Reading 2016.

Here's an excerpt:

Between 2011 and 2016, the number of Americans who read books on tablet computers has increased nearly fourfold (from 4% to 15%), while the share who read books on smartphones has more than doubled (from 5% to 13%). The share of Americans who read books on desktop or laptop computers has also increased, although by a more modest amount: 11% of Americans now do this, up from 7% in 2011.

By contrast, 8% of Americans now report that they read books using dedicated e-reader devices—nearly identical to the 7% who reported doing so in 2011.

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