JISC Guidance on eBooks

JISC Observatory have launched the draft version of a new report on eBooks in Education.

This report updates previous work researching the usage and adoption of ebooks within academic institutions and examines recent developments that are shaping how academic institutions can respond to growing interest in ebooks:

As ebooks become mainstream and the percentage of academic publications delivered as ebooks rises steadily, this report explains the importance of preparing for the increasing adoption and usage of ebooks in academic institutions. Specifically, this report: 1) introduces the historical and present context of ebooks; 2) reviews the basics of ebooks; 3) considers scenarios for ebook adoption and usage; 4) addresses current challenges; and 5) considers the future. This report also provides a glossary to help clarify key terms and a ‘References’ section listing works cited.

The preview version of this report is open for public comments from 27 September to 8 October 2012. A final version, taking into account feedback received, is scheduled for publication around the end of October.

See news item for more information and an opportunity to comment.

Alongside this report, JISC is developing further practical guidance.  Building on  JISC Collections ebook expertise,  the Digital Monographs Study and JISC Digital Media expertise, later this year we will be releasing Digital Infrastructure Directions guidance on the Challenge of eBooks in Academic Institutions.

The guidance is being co-designed with experts in the sector using a project development wiki.  The project covers the creation, curation and consumption of eBooks. There are many issues to unpick: the Bring Your Own Device (BOYD) trend, the role of libraries, changes in publishing and purchasing models, accessibility and access considerations and so on. We will make this a helpful tool for institutional managers to navigate the choices signposted in the JISC Observatory report.

Some prototype guidance will be available soon and we will be seeking input on how to ensure that it meets the needs of decision-makers in institutions. The guidance authors will be watching the comments on the JISC Observatory report preview to ensure that they address the challenges surfaced.

In summary please comment on the JISC Observatory Draft Report: Preparing for Effective Adoption and Use of eBooks in Education and watch this space for more!


Amber Thomas, JISC

2 thoughts on “JISC Guidance on eBooks

  1. Sarah Stamford

    James should be congratulated on such a clear, concise and useful report. Two comments – (1) surveys carried out here at Cambridge have repeatedly revealed that the major barrier to using ebooks is students disliking reading from screens for more than a few pages. They find it easier to read and to injest the information by printing off what they want. This applies to laptops/desktops and even e-readers like Kindles. It may be that we attract a more traditional type of student here, but it is noticeable that even medical and science students prefer heavy print textbooks to e-books. (2) I note a trend by publishers to move towards direct marketing of e-textbooks to students by-passing library sales. While this will protect the publishers’ revenue streams it’s unlikely all UK students will be able to afford to buy all the e-textbooks they need or will make HE education even more costly.

  2. Pingback: New New Report From JISC: Preparing for Effective Adoption and Use of eBooks in Education – Stephen's Lighthouse

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