We first noticed a blurb about this article on the Book Business website but the full article was published by Research Information in their April-May release. The article is a collection of brief interviews by Sian Harris in which “nine experts weigh in on scholarly publishing and ebooks.” (In fact, anyone attending the Charleston Conference in the last few years will recognize names like Ken Breen and Scott Wasinger from EBSCO, Kari Paulson at EBL and Springer’s Wouter Van der Welde.)
A few of the key issues touched on include: DRM (digital rights management), Print on demand, interactive apps, mobile devices, HTML5 and EPUB 3, patron driven acquisitions, metadata management, and mixing and merging different acquisition models.
However, these interviews are fascinating not only because they address issues related to ebooks. They also offer a sense of the various approaches being taken by leading publishers in developing and implementing their ebook programs. Admittedly, it’s a work in progress for everyone and there is no one right answer. Regardless, it’s good to see an article that offers various perspectives on such crucial concerns.
The only thing that is missing in the librarian’s perspective. Where do librarians stand on publishing efforts like this? Have librarians had enough input in these publisher approaches? Are the solutions that publishers are pursuing the most useful for students and faculty? Has enough research been done to determine patron needs? Let us know what you think?
Tom is originally from Brooklyn N.Y but has spent his entire professional career in South Carolina, most recently as Head of Reference Services at the College of Charleston. As part of the Against the Grain and Charleston Conference team, he serves as the associate editor of the print ATG as well as the co-editor of the webpage. Tom’s conference duties include coordinating the Penthouse Suite interviews as well as the conference poster sessions.
He received his MLS from the University of Buffalo, SUNY and a second master’s in public administration from the College of Charleston and the Univ. of South Carolina. His wife Carol and he live in downtown Charleston and she is an artist and a tour guide offering historic walking tours of the city.