Relevant trends/issues


Identify and document relevant trends within the current ebook and HE landscape

Issues and trends

Our work will, in particular build upon a work already underway by JISC TechDis. Their report ‘Preparing for Effective Adoption and Use of eBooks in Education’. (TechWatch Preview  JISC 2012, is currnently available in preview draft form

Here are some preliminary thoughts. Feel free to add

Sustainable biz models

Consistent metadata for management (bibliographical control?)

How do I know easily what I’m permitted to do with the content? (e.g. copy/paste/re-use/ print etc)

What tech standards? (epub kind of stuff)How do I know what is available and under what terms ( a collection development issue?)How do I cite the resource?
How do I know what content I can reuse (and under what terms)Buying ebooks for large numbers of students, so unlimited access models and good DRMHow do I know its quality? (e.g. peer review, provenance etc))
e-textbooks- functionality of platformsmobile access


Here’s how it looked in 2008 (EDUCAUSE). From:

Mark R. Nelson, “E-Books in Higher Education: Nearing the End of the Era of Hype?” ECAR Research Bulletin, vol. 2008, issue 1 (January 8, 2008).  EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research (ECAR)

Highlights of E-Books in Higher Education:

The issues

  • What is an e-book?
  • Recent E-Book Developments
  • Overcoming Adoption Barriers
  • Developing Standards for Portability and IP Protection
  • New E-Reader Software and Devices
  • Cultural Acceptance

Enabling trends

The article identified the following key enabling factors for the required shift:

  1. Within five years [so that’s 2013] , today’s K–12 students will be showing up at colleges and universities with substantively different cultural attitudes towards ebooks than today’s students.
  2. A commercially viable e-reader will be on the market.
  3. New learning technologies are nearing the tipping point of maturity
  4. Standards for e-books are emerging
  5. IP issues will be mostly resolved either through technology (DRM) or business models.

Questions to address

The article said the key questions to ask are:

  1. What are the cultural and technical barriers to adoption of e-books on our campus? In what ways might we work to overcome them?
  2. How can our institution position itself for a future with e-books? What competencies will be required of IT? Libraries? College stores? Faculty? University presses?
  3. How are e-books currently used on our campus? What other forms of digital content are being used, particularly by faculty in the classroom?
  4. Are students aware of the e-book offerings available to them through the campus library, college store, or other sources?
  5. Does our campus have a clear and consistent interpretation of or policy concerning copyright and fair use across all departments (academic and non-academic)? Does the interpretation or policy consider digital content or e-books specifically? Do all departments understand and comply with this interpretation or policy? Do our students?