Blogging the ebooks landscape

Over the next few weeks we plan to blog a series of posts covering some of the main topics surround the creation, curation and consumption of ebooks in teaching, learning and research.

There’s little doubt about the growing use and importance of ebooks within universities.

Statistics compiled by the University of York, for example, show that the number of ebooks provided by the library has increased massively: by 22,878 in 2010/11 to a total of 576,689 in 2011/12.

One of the reasons for this rapid and exponential growth is that they provide access to library collections 24/7, every day, off-campus, for students and researchers and from their preferred device.

However, research by Jisc, Jisc Collections and others has highlighted the barriers that pose serious challenges to institutions who wish to exploit the potential of ebooks and ebook technology.

A recent Jisc project “The challenges of e-books in academic institutions” by Ken Chad has produced a number of case studies to illustrate how ebooks are created and managed by institutions and analysed the ways in which ebooks are used.


In a series of blog posts we‘ll try to give an overview of the current ebook landscape based on the work of the project and by adding further relevant content.

Each post will describe a particular topic and highlight challenges, lessons learned and emerging trends. Some of the topics we’re thinking of covering are:

  • Patron Driven Acquisition
  • Campus based publishing
  • ebooks and the role of the library
  • Beyond the pdf
  • Licensing and legal issues
  • Preservation of ebooks
  • Impact – the usage of ebooks and the student experience

We’re also going to include examples and links to further resources for each topic.

Stay tuned for more on new purchasing models for ebooks later this week!