Tag Archives: GVRL

Ebook Models in K-12 Libraries, Part 3—Choosing Ebook Platforms

This is the third in a series of  articles on ebook  models in K-12 or school libraries. The first article was about why school librarians would want to know about anything as abstract as an ebook business model (hint: knowing the basic models will help you choose the best products to meet your library’s goals). The second article examined the four basic models and boiled them down to their simplest levels. One treats ebooks like printed books. One treats ebooks like journal articles. One treats ebooks like books in a bookstore. One treats ebooks like shared resources. Today’s article will show how to use these basic concepts to select the best kinds of ebook products for your library.

Some issues to keep in mind

Before going further, let’s look at some of the issues that come with ebooks in school libraries. We want to have these in mind as we consider how to create a combination of products with different ebook business models. These issues involve three areas: the supplier’s platform and business model, assuring that the ebooks are used to support the educational goals of the school, and bridging the digital divide.

To begin with the platform and business model issues, we need to understand what an ebook platform is, and why it is important. We already know what a business model is and how the four kinds of business models affect school libraries. The platform is the specific technology that an ebook supplier uses to provide ebooks. It includes a web-based interface for student use. It may include apps that make the books readable on mobile devices. It will have an administrative interface or dashboard for you to use so you can control loan periods, track usage, etc. It may also have a teacher interface so that teachers can assign reading to students, and then monitor their progress. If you need to select and purchase individual ebooks before your students can read them, it will also include a book ordering function. In other words, the platform supports everything you, your students and your teachers do with ebooks. Without the platform, you cannot use the ebooks. Continue reading Ebook Models in K-12 Libraries, Part 3—Choosing Ebook Platforms

Gale enhances accessibility and usability in GVRL, InfoTrac and InContext products

Farmington Hills, Mich., Feb. 5, 2015 — In response to extensive user testing and usage data, Gale, part of Cengage Learning, will introduce a number of enhancements to its most widely-used product lines – GVRL, InfoTrac and In Context, including the optimization for mobile devices through responsive design. The adoption of a common design and toolset across all products will provide a unified experience as researchers move from one resource to the next, while other changes will enhance accessibility for those with disabilities and increase usability overall for desktop and mobile researchers. Continue reading Gale enhances accessibility and usability in GVRL, InfoTrac and InContext products

Gale expands products and services, STEM content added to GVRL

Gale hosted a webinar on the new products and services they have launched a couple weeks back, but I didn’t get to attend.  Below is a press release summarizing some of those initiatives.  Lots of new ebook collections were announced, including many with STEM monograph content for GVRL.

Farmington Hills, Mich. – March 3, 2014 – Gale, part of Cengage Learning and a leading publisher of research and reference resources for libraries, schools and businesses, today announced expanded product and services initiatives, new publishing program and the addition of industry-leading STEM content from partners. These updated strategies and partnerships usher in a new era of resource development that will help libraries and their users thrive in today’s education landscape. Continue reading Gale expands products and services, STEM content added to GVRL

Gale announces new Usage-Driven Acquisition model for GVRL

Earlier today Gale/Cengage announced a new business model for the Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL).  The model is “Usage-Driven Acquisition” (UDA) and is based on evidence-based decisions – you only buy what you use.  The press release states, “Unlike options currently offered by other e-book providers, this new purchase model will allow libraries to purchase e-books based on actual usage, allowing libraries to perform evidence-based collection development.”

The model works like this:

1. DEPOSIT. Deposit your funds with Gale.
2. ACCESS. Post a link and widget for GVRL to your website.
3. USE. We’ll pull your usage and let you know which titles were used most.
4. OWN. Your funds will be applied to the titles used most.

I spoke with Nader Qaimari, Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Gale/Cengage about the new model.  Below is an excerpt of our Q and A. Continue reading Gale announces new Usage-Driven Acquisition model for GVRL

GVRL adds 200 new children’s reference titles from Encyclopaedia Britannica

Nice to see new preK-6 content added to the GVRL interface, especially EB titles.

Farmington Hills, Mich., October 23, 2013 — Gale, part of Cengage Learning and a leading publisher of research and reference resources for libraries, schools and businesses, today announced the addition of nearly 200 new children’s reference titles from revered publisher, Encyclopaedia Britannica, to its Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) ebook platform. GVRL delivers reference content and series non-fiction from more than 100 publishers to all types of libraries. The addition of these new titles brings the total eBooks available on the platform to more than 8,000, with over 500 from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Continue reading GVRL adds 200 new children’s reference titles from Encyclopaedia Britannica

Reference Universe Displays eReference Brands

Paratext announced another new enhancement to the Reference Universe service, namely, you’ll now find your library’s e-reference collections more clearly branded within your library’s Reference Universe query, making it easier for you to focus in on the resources you value the most.

In addition to showing your entire collection in a single view–ebook as well as print–Reference Universe now displays your ebooks based on specific collections, e.g. Oxford’s Digital Reference Shelf; Gale’s Virtual Reference Library; Oxford Reference Online; SpringerLink; Wiley; Blackwell Reference Online; CQ Researcher; CREDO Reference; etc.

This new display feature will considerably increase the visibility and awareness of these valuable e-resources, helping both improve your patrons’ research experience and ensure that you get the most out of your e-reference subscriptions.

Reference Universe indexes new content, adds API’s for discovery systems

Reference Universe, from Paratext, has added links to several popular reference works including:

  • full text links to CQ Researcher, 1991- present, over 800 citations
  • many new titles in CREDO Reference including over 2 million citations to 389 CREDO Reference titles
  • 1000+ titles from Gale’s Virtual Reference Library from 2008-2009 are also being loaded into the system this month, bringing the total number of citations in Reference Universe to more than 25 million

Additionally, Paratext has developed and is testing APIs that send Reference Universe data dynamically to many discovery layers, allowing all your patrons to see the results of a Reference Universe (RU) query alongside your other relevant results.  This access has the potential to truly bring your reference collection front and center, while losing none of the benefits of our native search interface.  Please contact Eric Calaluca directly for more information on these developments (ericc@paratext.com).

250 ABC-CLIO Titles Now Available Through GVRL

Gale, part of Cengage Learning, recently announced a partnership with ABC-CLIO to distribute select titles from ABC-CLIO’s eBook collection through Gale Virtual Reference Library.  Directed toward users of public and academic libraries, nearly 250 eBooks have been selected from a variety of disciplines including history, humanities, current events and general interest.  These titles introduce resources from ABC-CLIO and Praeger to Gale’s collection, expanding upon Gale Virtual Reference Library’s existing list of ABC-CLIO imprint eBooks from Greenwood, Linworth Publishing, and Libraries Unlimited.  Great news for libraries trying to combine reference content into one searchable interface.

Publishers beef up on eBook offerings

Today’s LJ Academic Newswire reported on Database Marketplace 2010.  They listed several new interfaces and features from eBook publishers.  For the full story, visit the LJ Academic Newswire. Continue reading Publishers beef up on eBook offerings

ABC-CLIO content now on GVRL

There is some great news for librarians wanting their reference content to be searchable on one common interface.  ABC-CLIO has added 250 titles to the Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL).  The titles are either ABC-CLIO, Greenwood, Praeger, or Libraries Unlimited imprints and cover history, humanities, and general interest topics.  The addition of the ABC-CLIO titles takes the tally of publishing partners for GVRL close to 50 I believe (Nader, please correct me if I’m wrong). For those who want to search the full text of reference content in one platform, having 50 publishers and nearly 5,000 titles to choose from is looking really good right now.  More information can be found on Gales’ Re:sources blog.

Gale and Infobase Announce eBook Deal for GVRL

Middle and High School librarians looking for eBooks will be happy to hear that over 250 titles from Facts on File and Ferguson Publishing will now be available through Gale’s GVRL platform.  The titles will cover the areas of careers, teen health, global warming, and science.  For more information and a list of titles please visit www.gale.com.

Baker & Taylor partners with Gale/Cengage to sell eBooks

Received a press release from Gale/Cengage today. Baker and Taylor will now distribute the GVRL e-book collection, Lit Crit, and the Directory Library.  B&T is the first wholesaler to sell GVRL.  See the full press release below.

Continue reading Baker & Taylor partners with Gale/Cengage to sell eBooks

Survey – online reference databases

NSR Readers,
I’m writing to ask for 10 minutes of your time to complete a survey about online reference databases.  I’m trying to gauge interest in a variety of features offered in online reference databases (think GVRL, Credo, SRO, ORO, ABC-CLIO, etc).  My results will be used in a presentation I am co-presenting at the Charleston Conference in a couple of weeks.  I’ll be co-presenting with Tom Beyer, the Director of Publishing at iFactory.  iFactory created Sage Reference Online, a variety of Oxford products, and more.  My part of the presentation takes Tom’s wild ideas and put them into perspective, hopefully using the data collected from this survey to determine if the features could work.

Thanks so much for your time and please feel free to forward this to your colleagues.  Results will be posted on the blog at a later date.
Sue

The survey:  http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=H0KH_2bkK7ZaeY1qWKZvzi8A_3d_3d

eReference Platforms – The good and bad features

I spent Monday with several librarians in a discussion on the future eReference platform.  I’m referring to products like Credo, GVRL, Sage Reference Online, Oxford Scholarship Online, etc.  Our discussion revolved around platform features, good features and not so good features.  I’m going to list some highlights of the discussion below, but would really like to have input from others about features you and your end users want and expect. Continue reading eReference Platforms – The good and bad features

Gale’s Encyclopedia.com wins CODiE Award for Best Online General Reference Service

Farmington Hills, MI, June 5, 2009 – Gale, part of Cengage Learning, today announced that Encyclopedia.com (http://www.encyclopedia.com) was named the 2009 CODiE Award winner for Best Online General Reference Service. The Software & Information Industry Association’s (SIIA) 24th Annual CODiE Awards, the only peer-reviewed honor in the industry, celebrate achievement and vision in software, education technology and digital content.

Continue reading Gale’s Encyclopedia.com wins CODiE Award for Best Online General Reference Service

Widgets Increase Use of eReference Collections

From the Gale/Cengage RE:sources blog, May 2009

Widgets pack a wallop

Results from K-12 school, academic and public libraries confirm that usage soars when you add the ability to search all or part of your Gale Virtual Reference Library collection with a widget. Comparing the number of user sessions before and after the addition of a widget on the pages of a high school in Minnesota, a college in Texas and a public library in Ohio, Mark Springer, a data analyst from Gale, documented gains of 178%, 167% and 140% respectively. Read more results like these in the RE:sources blog next week.

Results of widgets in three libraries

GVRL Pricing via YBP

Concerning my previous post on Gale/YBP, I had a chance to talk with John Barnes at Gale/Cengage regarding the pricing of GVRL titles through the YBP service.  According to him, GVRL prices will remain the same using various tiers, based on FTE.  Within the next month, YBP will load all of the Gale patron data into their system and this data should indicate each library’s tier level.  While searching YBP for GVRL titles, the title price, based on your library’s tier, should be displayed.  Thanks to Nader Qaimari from Gale/Cengage for commenting with the same.

YBP Customers can now Purchase Gale Titles

Great news from Gale/Cengage and YBP (Baker & Taylor).  GVRL, LitCrit and Gale Directory titles can now be purchased through YBP services.  This is wonderful news and comes on the heels of the recenet B&T and ebrary partnership.  Clearly publishers and aggregators are finally working together to make purchasing ebooks as seamless as the print book.  It’s about time!  What is unclear in the press release is the pricing of Gale titles.  Typically these are sold on a Tier model, based on FTE.  I’ll post more once I hear about the pricing.

Reference Publishers Debate Single Platform

On the Friday of the ALAMW Conference, the Independent Reference Publishers Group met for a panel presentation/discussion on using one single platform to host all reference content.  It was an interesting discussion.  I’ve summarized the panel in my notes below.

Independent Reference Publishers Group Meeting

Friday, January 23, 2009

Representatives from the following organizations were in attendance: Choice, CQ Press, Omnigraphics, Sharpe, ifactory, Sage, Salem, Neal Schumann, ABC-CLIO, Rosen, Credo Reference, Serials Solutions, NISO, Booklist, CHOICE, Wright State University.

The theme of this meeting and panel discussion was instituting a single platform for electronic reference content. Sue Polanka from WSU started things off with her wish list and each publisher had a chance to respond.

Sue Polanka – Wright State University

One day I’d like to purchase/license all of my reference content, regardless of publisher, and load it on the platform of my choice for the best cross searching available. This platform could be an existing one, like GVRL, Credo, ebrary, EBL, NetLibrary, etc. or some shareware, something developed by libraries. Benefits to patrons and librarians include: Greater access, more content, single search interface for ease of use and discoverabilty, easy to implement in library instruction and on web sites. These systems need to have unlimited simultaneous use, 24/7 access, with no DRM or other restrictions on downloading or printing, the most multimedia available during today’s expensive economic times and an actual ebook price, up front, would be appreciated.

Todd Carpenter – NISO

One platform has barriers to interoperability and they are bigger than technological, as in political and economic. [barriers shouldn’t prevent us from trying to do this. IRPG would be a good venue to discuss this. Seems like publishers would want to do this for reasons of – more exposure, and less cost of producing pricey interfaces – has anyone ever heard of epub or the IDPF? SP]

Peter McCracken – Serials Solutions

Federated products are often a starting point for research and therefore have an opportunity to have a reference role. The current design doesn’t work best for the patron since they get mostly articles. Somehow relevance needs to be a factor to assign tags to reference and get them to the top. We need to use field mapping more effectively. [I prefer a pre-indexed approach since federated products tend to be slow. Publishers/aggregators should take advantage of all metadata and tag reference items appropriately. If federated products are used, the reference content should be faceted as “overview material” or “background information.” SP]

Rolf Janke – Sage Reference

Publishers still have an infrastructure that supports print publishing.  The infrastructure is a difficult component to downsize in favor of doing more digital publishing. Print is a one size fits all model yet e publishing is not so, publishers have a multitude of business models, interfaces, features, etc.  The concept of a one size fits all platform for all publishers content is way ahead of its time, publishers currently could never agree on a standard business model. Pricing standards could help, but are not likely. [Gee, these must be the political and economic barriers that Todd was referring to? Looks like publishers could learn about collaboration from libraries. SP]

Ron Boehm – ABC-CLIO

Publishers need to invest in new things while maintaining our print production, which is expensive for publishers, particularly in these bad economic times. Right now we need to do both [e and p] or we would lose half of our business. The best strategy for ebooks is to have unlimited access. Ron supports the idea of publishers working with multiple aggregators or distributors to have reference content available in a multitude of platforms, but doesn’t recommend the libraries/consortia maintain their own platform. [Ditto on unlimited access and multiple aggregators. OhioLINK has been maintaining its own platforms for years. It’s a great system when you want to make enhancements and don’t have to wait on other companies or the majority of users to agree. SP]

E-Reference Ratings from LJ

LJ just released E-Reference Ratings, “an evaluation of nearly 180 subscription based electronic resources in 14 subject categories.”  Of course, many of these are eBook platforms like Britannica, Credo, GVRL, Oxford, and Sage.   There was no category for eBooks, instead you’ll find them listed under the various subject categories.

Products were reviewed by a team of 8 reference experts and included 7 criteria:  scope, writing, design, linking, bells & whistles, ease of use, value.  Resources were given a star rating, 1 to 4 stars to indicate * poor, ** satisfactory, ***good, ****excellent  A brief paragraph also accompanied each resource.

According to LJ, “Because we know that online resources continually grow and evolve—a list of this nature can date quickly—E-Reference Ratings, which made a print debut in the November 15th Reference Announcements issue, will find its permanent home and reach its full potential on our web site. We intend not only to keep up with these ever-changing products (adjusting the ratings as necessary) but also to expand the number of databases in each category and venture into new ones. We hope to hear from all parties—librarians, publishers, and vendors—about how we can keep this tool thriving and make it even more useful.”

Congrats LJ!  This was no small feat.�