The challenge of ebooks in academic institutions-project starts

Today we kick off our ebook project for the JISC: ‘The challenge of ebooks in academic institutions.’ The project will run through August, September and October 2012. The project web site (wiki) has been set up and is organised around the key tasks or strands of the project. It’s only day one of the project so the wiki is sparse.  We have made a start on pulling a few references together with extracts to indicate why we think they are relevant to our project. If you have any suggestions do get in touch. There is also a page on the project team.  Some of our team worked together on a previous project on ebooks – ‘The Role of Metadata in the Discovery, Selection and Acquisition of e-Books’ –in the context of patron (or demand) driven acquisitions (PDA/DDA).
The definition of ebooks for our project is inclusive and indeed a neat definition may provide elusive. JISC ask that our work ‘should cover all forms of digital books including epub format, online books, etextbooks, wiki-based books, open textbooks, digital monographs, open educational resources and other forms of campus-based publishing’.
The purpose of the project is to help institutions navigate what is a very complex environment. The headline themes given to us by the JISC are creation, curation and consumption. One of our first tasks will be to take those themes and help define the key challenges institutions currently face. From there we can begin to articulate current and emerging solutions to these problems from across the sector.  In this way we will help orientate senior institutional managers and support institutions in the effective adoption and deployment of ebooks and ebook technology. Of course the end game, so to speak, is to improve the quality and impact of teaching, learning and research and meet increasing staff and student expectations.
If you’d like to work with us as an institutional ‘stakeholder’ do let us know. We’ll be holding our first project workshop in August or September. (We are currently working out dates and a venue). Indeed if you have any comments or suggestion at all do get in touch with me, Ken Chad: Tel +44 (0) 7788727845 Twitter @kenchad


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