Academic Libraries

The Approval Plan: A Sorting Hat That Discovers the Right Books for the Right Libraries

At a time when academic libraries are investing more time and resources experimenting with models that place user demands at the center of library acquisitions (via such models as DDA), there seems to be confusion and misunderstanding about which methods compete and why. Publishers and libraries spent a significant amount of time pitting the print book against the ebook in the early years of digital reading—at the time very few were pointing out that there was no real competition between the two formats to begin with, at least not to the extent that one should cancel out the other. Similarly, librarians have been tempted to decipher the maze of book and ebook buying models as a zero-sum game, i.e., that some models must clearly stand in opposition to others.

While it could be argued that some ebook models do, indeed, encourage ownership while others encourage access (making it easy to distinguish between purchasing and subscribing to provide access), or that some models encourage purchase of a whole book while others ask for micro-transaction payments based on use, such arguments become problematic when applied to methods of discovering and acquiring content that were intentionally designed to adapt to the changing needs of libraries over time rather than to compete with new models. Nowhere is this confusion more evident than in the case of the Approval Plan—the many decades-old method that thousands of academic libraries around the world use to discover and acquire scholarly books.

Has the Approval Plan stood the test of time, many now ask, as some libraries move away from buying to own to embrace the access-based services. Does the complex process of profiling (books and libraries), which stands at the core of Approval Plans, still make sense in the age of advanced technologies that track user activities in order to provide proof of what is needed without guess-work or prediction? Does the emphasis on thoughtful curation rather than on the immediate—and perhaps momentary—demand of the user put libraries at risk of developing collections that won’t be used? Not only has the Approval Plan stood the test of time as a highly effective book buying tool—especially with the integration of ebooks—it has evolved with libraries consistently and to the point where it may not even be appropriate anymore to consider it a ‘traditional’ method. In fact, there are more Approval Plans running in academic libraries today than ever before. How is it possible, one wonders, that a method used to support buying scholarly books for over half a century continues to adapt so well to new technologies and not appear outdated? Continue reading The Approval Plan: A Sorting Hat That Discovers the Right Books for the Right Libraries

ProQuest’s mission to keep up with the high and growing demand for Chinese-language content

According to a press release, ProQuest recently surveyed academic librarians about their needs regarding non-English language content. The results demonstrate a strong interest in making Chinese-language content available to address the needs of researchers:

  • 47% of respondents purchase Chinese-language content.
  • Nearly 30% say Chinese-language content is among users’ most requested non-English language content
  • 24% say they are not adequately supporting patrons’ needs for Chinese-language content.
  • When asked what non-English digital format resources they would like to offer, 30% said frontlist ebooks and 25% said backlist ebooks.

From the same press release:

ProQuest is collaborating with Asian Studies scholars, librarians and Chinese-language publishers to offer a selection of Chinese- language ebooks, enabling libraries to provide resources demanded by researchers. The growing collection spans thousands of titles available on the Ebook Central®, ebrary® and EBL platforms. The platforms’ multi-language interfaces accommodate readers of traditional and simplified Chinese, and other languages. Continue reading ProQuest’s mission to keep up with the high and growing demand for Chinese-language content

In time for Women’s History month, Gale releases Women’s Studies Archive

Gale has just announced the first collection in its new Women’s Studies Archive. The archive is the third offering in an effort to publish material that supports diversity studies and provides historical context around current topics. This archive follows recentl launches of Gale’s Archives of Sexuality and Gender (the largest digital archive of LGBTQ History and Culture) and the American Civil Liberties Union Papers (ACLU).

Women’s Studies Archive: Women’s Issues and Identities traces the path of women’s issues from past to present—pulling primary sources from manuscripts, newspapers, periodicals, and more. It captures the foundation of women’s movements, struggles and triumphs.

Full press release below.


As we celebrate Women’s History Month, Gale, a Cengage company, has launched a new archive on women’s studies that explores the many contributions of women throughout history.  Part of the growing Gale Primary Sources program, the Women’s Studies Archive represents Gale’s focus on publishing material that supports diversity studies and provides historical context around current topics. Continue reading In time for Women’s History month, Gale releases Women’s Studies Archive

University Press Scholarship Online continues to grow, Princeton and University of Illinois now on board as partner presses

Oxford University Press (OUP) has just announced the addition of two new partner presses to its growing University Press Scholarship Online (UPSO) platform: University of Illinois Press and Princeton University Press. 

The University of Illinois Press will go live on UPSO in April 2017. Illinois Scholarship Online site will launch with 350 titles across a range of subject areas including sociology, music, history, society and culture, film television & radio, and literature.

Princeton University Press will be joining UPSO in October 2017.  The Princeton Scholarship Online site will go live with over 400 titles across the humanities and sciences with strengths in Biology, Classics, Economics, History, Literature, Mathematics, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, and Sociology.

Comprising over 23,000 titles in 31 subject areas, UPSO is available to university libraries around the world. Participating presses include, among many others, OUP, British Academy, Chicago University, Cornell, Fordham, MIT, NYU, Stanford, and Yale.

SAGE Video grows with two new collections: Sociology and Criminology & Criminal Justice

SAGE Publishing has announced that it has expanded SAGE Video, its library of streaming videos across the social sciences, to include two new collections: Sociology and Criminology & Criminal Justice. Hosted on SAGE Knowledge platform and designed to enhance research, teaching, and learning at all levels, the new collections contain 115 hours+ of streaming video content each, more than 65% of which is exclusive to SAGE.

SAGE Video collections are developed in partnership with academics, societies and practitioners, including many of SAGE’s own authors and academic partners to provide cutting-edge teaching and research-oriented video.

For more information, visit the SAGE Video information page or visit the SAGE Video platform directly. Sign up for a trial of SAGE Video here. Continue reading SAGE Video grows with two new collections: Sociology and Criminology & Criminal Justice

More ebook choices for OASIS users

OasisProQuest has just announced it has joined forces with De Gruyter to make De Gruyter’s 26,000 ebooks (from over 15 international imprints) available for purchase through the OASIS® system. This prompted us to revisit OASIS—ProQuest’s free web-based system for searching, selecting, and ordering print and electronic books for academic libraries—and provide a quick update on its growth.

Indended for academic, corporate, and government libraries, OASIS (Online Acquisitions and Selection Information System) supports multiple ordering and selection workflows for print and ebooks, including approval plans, firm orders, standing orders, demand driven acquisition, EDI ordering and MARC ordering. It now provides libraries with access to over 1.5 million unique ebook titles and 25 million print titles. Continue reading More ebook choices for OASIS users

ProQuest’s new white paper explores obstacles and opportunities in managing collections (print and electronic)

ProQuest white paperThe white paper, titled “Obstacles and Opportunities: Ebooks, Print and the Impact of Choice on Libraries and the Users They Serve,” explores the complexities of balancing print and ebooks, highlighting opportunities for collaboration between librarians and content aggregators. Focusing on the U.K. higher-education book market, the paper combines commentary from U.K. librarians with global data to draw attention to the complexities of managing book collections in multiple formats, focusing on:

 

  • Similarities between managing print and digital books.
  • Collection management obstacles—and opportunities—introduced by ebooks.
  • How librarians can work with content aggregators like ProQuest to simplify the management of collections comprised of content in multiple formats.

Continue reading ProQuest’s new white paper explores obstacles and opportunities in managing collections (print and electronic)

Academic libraries are shrinking, while content is growing. How did we get here?

New ZeoliAcademic library staff has been shrinking for 2 decades, while the quantity of scholarly content has grown exponentially.  In the 1960s Richard Abel & Company began the Approval Plan service as a systematic approach to help libraries manage the volume of new books published.  Libraries rely on vendor services (i.e., companies catering to libraries) to discover and acquire much of scholarly content.  Since the 90s, libraries have also depended on vendors to provide shelf-ready services for print books, customized cataloging, to manage financial transactions electronically, and to maintain online interfaces to support collection development and acquisitions processes.  Ebooks brought another layer of labor and complexity to library workflows.

Ebooks elbowing their way into the landscape

Within a decade of their birth, ebook aggregators entered mainstream library collecting.  Initially, the ebook appeared as just another format or manifestation of the print book; the library choice expanded beyond paper or cloth to include ‘e’ versions (in many cases PDFs).  Technology changed this: ebook models have upset the balance in traditional library collecting and continue to challenge traditional understandings not just of collection development, but of the role of the academic library.

The ebook aggregators’ business models exist outside the realm of print books – except as a distribution model on which to piggyback for just as long as necessary (think ‘the scorpion and frog’ fable).  The business of the aggregator is to sell ebooks, not books.  Aggregator ebook platforms are designed for this purpose.  Each is different from the others in design (technical as well as strategic):

  • User interface & experience
  • Library acquisition models
  • Library control of patron access
  • Publisher control over: 1) Library acquisition models; 2) License terms for each model; and 3)  ‘Triggers’ to purchase and loan (Patron-Driven Acquisitions – PDA / Short-Term Loan – STL / Evidence-Based Acquisitions – EBA)

‘Standards’ in the industry exist only to the degree necessary for one company to compete with another (‘not-for-profits’ are not exempted!).  Focus has been split 3 ways:

  • Competition to win market-share
  • Sustainable development of the market
  • Alternatives to ‘unsustainable models’

To a large extent, the futures of libraries and publishers live at the margins of these considerations. Continue reading Academic libraries are shrinking, while content is growing. How did we get here?

Newly-released Gale Researcher supports critical thinking; enables faculty-librarian collaboration

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Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, has launched Gale Researcher, a new research platform and curriculum tool designed to help students connect to citable content aligned to introductory college courses. The Researcher enables librarians to customize and curate curriculum-aligned content to support student research. Below are the subject areas covered (and as described here):

Topics include coverage of the Puritan Tradition, Colonial Period, present day, and more.

Topics include Chaucer, Jane Austen, Dickens, and more.
Topics include the U.S. court system and structure, the history of the U.S. criminal justice system, police and law enforcement, and more.
Topics include econometrics and forecasting, labor economics, fiscal and monetary policy, and more.
Topics include the foundations of morality, appearance and reality, Plato, and more.
Topics include the U.S. Constitution, the culture of governance and politics, campaigns and elections, and more.
Topics include memory, gender and sexuality, cognitive elements, and more.
Topics include the origins of sociological thinking and perspective, social structures, the role of a family, and more.
Topics include the Revolutionary War, Slavery and the Old South, the Great Depression, and more.
Topics include coverage of historical development in ancient, medieval, and modern periods, and more.

 

Full press release below: Continue reading Newly-released Gale Researcher supports critical thinking; enables faculty-librarian collaboration

Gale launches American Fiction Archive, affirms its position as literary content leader

American Fiction GaleAn interesting new electronic resource has just been released by Gale: American Fiction, 1774-1920. This “new digital archive” in Gale Primary Sources program comprises over 17,500 works of literature, including novels, short stories, travel accounts, and sketches (“many of which have never before been available online”), all brought together to support research in U.S. history and literature.

Gale is no stranger to literature resources. Its other products include Literature Criticism Online, Literature Resource Center, and the well-known Dictionary of Literary Biography. Given the interdisciplinary nature of today’s research as well as the capabilities of today’s technologies, one can’t help but wish that at some point, in the-not-so-distant future all this wealth (and breadth) of literary content will eventually blend into one mega resource on all things American literature.

Pre-register for a trial here. Full press release below. Continue reading Gale launches American Fiction Archive, affirms its position as literary content leader

Abu Dhabi University Teams Up with Boopsie to Develop Mobile App

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Abu Dhabi University and Boopsie,  a platform-as-a-service provider, announced this week they have joined forces to develop an app for growing user demand for library mobile apps in Middle Eastern universities. According to the press release (below), 81% of mobile owners between the ages 16-34 now own smartphones in the Middle East.

Working closely with Abu Dhabi University, Boopsie developed a library-branded native mobile application that provides researchers with access to content from such aggregators and publishers as EBSCO and Elsevier. Continue reading Abu Dhabi University Teams Up with Boopsie to Develop Mobile App

Academic E-Books: Publishers, Librarians and Users

Suzanne M. Ward, Robert S. Freeman, and Judith M. Nixon are the editors of a forthcoming book from Purdue University Press. The description of the book is below.  I got a look at the pre-pub copy and it’s  full of useful information.  I was particularly interested in the chapters that focused on how ebooks are being used in academia.
Book Description from Purdue University Press site:

Academic E-Books: Publishers, Librarians, and Users provides readers with a view of the changing and emerging roles of electronic books in higher education. The three main sections contain contributions by experts in the publisher/vendor arena, as well as by librarians who report on both the challenges of offering and managing e-books and on the issues surrounding patron use of e-books. The case study section offers perspectives from seven different sizes and types of libraries whose librarians describe innovative and thought-provoking projects involving e-books. Continue reading Academic E-Books: Publishers, Librarians and Users

Knowledge Unlatched Announces Launch of Round 2 Collection

Following on from its highly successful Pilot concluded last year, Knowledge Unlatched is delighted to announce the launch of its second collection.

If at least 300 libraries from around the world pledge their commitment by 31 January 2016, 78 new Humanities and Social Sciences books will be made free for anyone in the world to read on
an Open Access basis. Continue reading Knowledge Unlatched Announces Launch of Round 2 Collection

Knowledge Unlatched Launches Round Two of Open Access Monographs

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We’re back by popular demand! We’re very excited about the prospects for scaling up. In this second round 25 publishers submitted 155 titles to a long list for the Round Two programme. This is double the number of publishers from our Pilot and trebles the number of title submissions. In addition to our 297 charter member librarians another 130 pre-registered their interest once the Pilot project closed at the end of last year.

The pledging period for the shortlist of 80 books (currently being selected by the Library Collections Task Force) will begin in October.

The above flyer we prepared for the June AAUP and ALA conferences on the differences between the first and second rounds. Many of the technical and workflow issues have been resolved. Nevertheless, there will be more to do after this second round. The community seems very willing to work with us to resolve these outstanding issues, which is terrific.

ProQuest Completes Acquisition of Coutts Information Services and MyiLibrary

ANN ARBOR, Mich., June 1, 2015 — ProQuest has completed the acquisition of Coutts Information Services and MyiLibrary from Ingram Content Group. ProQuest is beginning to integrate assets such as Coutts’ expertise in collection development, broad catalog of print and digital titles, and platforms that include not only MyiLibrary but OASIS as well. They are being added to ProQuest’s Books unit, which encompasses the widest selection of ebooks supporting research and a rapidly evolving technology framework for discovery, access and management of book content. ProQuest’s vision is to combine these collective strengths, creating an integrated workflow for print and digital content that will save librarians time and provide a superior book experience for end users.

Continue reading ProQuest Completes Acquisition of Coutts Information Services and MyiLibrary

Knowledge Unlatched releases use data on pilot collection

From the Knowledge Unlatched site:

Summary

In March 2014 Knowledge Unlatched started to unlatch books in its Pilot Collection, making them available to anyone in the world to read or download for free on a Creative Commons licence. This was the culmination of a behind-the-scenes process of loading the titles onto our partner host platforms: OAPEN and HathiTrust. The books became live on the OAPEN platform first – followed soon after by HathiTrust. The final book in the Pilot Collection was published and made OA on 2 September 2014.

You can view a list of Pilot Collection titles and download them via the KU collections website here.

OAPEN Statistics

The period covered by the data below is from 11 March 2014 to 31 March 2015. As well as the OAPEN statistics, which use COUNTER-compliant methodology to count each book download, the HathiTrust figures below count views per page. The KU Pilot Collection has also been uploaded to the Internet Archive. The Internet Archive’s website does not indicate a starting date to their reporting period.

ProQuest and Google collaborate with full text indexing

ANN ARBOR, Mich., March 24, 2015 – ProQuest will enable the full text of its scholarly journal content to be indexed in Google Scholar, improving research outcomes. Work is underway and the company anticipates that by the third-quarter of 2015, users starting their research in Google Scholar will be able to access scholarly content via ProQuest.

“At ProQuest, we design our solutions for ease of access for our end-users and customers. That often means teaming with other providers of research tools to make our solutions more valuable and compatible,” said Kurt Sanford, ProQuest CEO. “Our relationship with Google is the latest example of actions we’re taking to make it simple for researchers to access content in their libraries no matter where they start their research.” Continue reading ProQuest and Google collaborate with full text indexing

Knight Foundation’s News Challenge on Libraries awards $3 million to 22 projects that reinvent libraries

CHICAGO – Jan. 30, 2015 – The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today named 22 projects as winners of the Knight News Challenge on Libraries, awarding the recipients a share of $3 million for their ideas.

The projects will provide new tools and approaches that leverage libraries as a platform to build more knowledgeable communities.  They propose a range of ideas from library-driven toolkits that communities can use to share and archive their histories online to digital platforms that improve access to education and information in developing countries. Eight of the winners will receive investments of $130,000 to $600,000, while 14 early-stage ideas will receive $35,000 each through the Knight Prototype Fund, which helps innovators take media and information projects from idea to demo. Continue reading Knight Foundation’s News Challenge on Libraries awards $3 million to 22 projects that reinvent libraries

Introducing ProQuest Ebook Central, a new integrated ebook platform

ANN ARBOR, Mich., January 30, 2015 — ProQuest unveiled the name of its eagerly anticipated new ebook platform: ProQuest Ebook Centralâ„¢. Launching in mid-2015, ProQuest Ebook Central will integrate key elements from both ebrary and EBL – Ebook Library, along with all-new functionality, delivering a next-generation experience for researchers and librarians around the globe.

“We selected a simple name that captures the essence of what this platform will be: the ‘go-to’ source for ebooks for both researchers and librarians,” said Kari Paulson, vice president, market development, ProQuest. “ProQuest Ebook Central will have the widest selection of quality content and the most acquisition options in an intuitive, user-friendly platform that simplifies the workflow for both librarians and patrons. It will be the complete solution that our customers and their users want.” Continue reading Introducing ProQuest Ebook Central, a new integrated ebook platform

ProQuest, UM, Oxford team to provide 25,000 early books as open access text

ProQuest, University of Michigan Library and Bodleian Libraries are making the full text of 25,000 books printed between 1473 and 1699 available as open access content. These are works from the seminal ProQuest database Early English Books Online and transcriptions are care of the Text Creation Partnership (TCP). Details are in the news release below and at the link. Continue reading ProQuest, UM, Oxford team to provide 25,000 early books as open access text