Professional Publishing in the Digital Age: E-Books in Libraries

Simba Information - Reports
April 1, 2011
78 Pages - SKU: CURP2523106
Electronic books offer creative possibilities for expanding access as well as changing learning behavior and academic research. Content can always be accessible, regardless of time or place, to be read on PCs or on portable book readers. Books need never go out of print, and new editions can be easily created. One can carry several titles at once on a portable reader and, over time, build a personal library.

Professional Publishing in the Digital Age: E-Books in Libraries examines how libraries are turning to e-books to strike a balance between patrons’ demands for openness and convenience and publishers’ needs for financial self-sustainability.

Features such as full text searching, changeable font size, mark-up, citation creation, and note taking are enhancing usability. Print text can be integrated with multi-dimensional objects, sound, and film to create a whole new kind of monographic work.

The report examines questions such as:

  • What happens to e-book usage when barriers to inconvenience are removed?
  • When patrons can have easy access to scholarly e-books, what does their usage look like and what does this predict for the future of these types of resources?
  • Are these innovative models more or less fiscally sound than their traditional counterparts?
  • What will make e-books a viable part of academic library collections?
  • What features, rights, business models, hardware and software standards are needed to meet the goals of large academic library systems to support open scholarly exchange?

In addition, the report will include sections on the following:

  • Academic institutions' experiences with e-books and their thoughts about the future of e-books.
  • Discussion of the pros and cons of e-books from a librarian’s perspective
  • Comparative analysis of library e-book use by budget size
  • Comparison of e-book sales vs. print sales—sales cannibalization or reinforcement?
  • Estimate of professional e-book sales to libraries worldwide
  • Projected growth of e-book sales to libraries through 2015
  • Popularity of e-books by subjects: Social Sciences and Humanities, Scientific and Technical, Medical, Law and Business
  • Means of securing access and protecting copyright
  • Profiles of e-book platforms such as Questia, netLibrary and Ebrary

Simba’s Professional Publishing market figures are global in scope. It’s a global market. If you’re competing in one or all of these segments, the competition does not conform to lines on a map. This report, and the others in the series, is produced to help executives make decisions in this environment.

Simba has a knowledge base from almost 20 years worth of perspective on these markets. A static industry, it’s one that’s affected by rapid changes in technology, the economy, mergers, partnerships, public policy and library budgets, and requires daily attention to understand the trends and project the market’s direction. As the bedrock of its research collection, you can count on this attention to be paid by Simba Information’s team of analysts who set the industry standard on market intelligence for the professional publishing industry.



Additional Information

Stamford, CT - April 20, 2011 - Although consumer trade books get a majority of the attention, professional and scholarly books, which include the legal, scientific/technical, medical and business segments, hold 75.9% of the $1.76 billion U.S. E-book market. The latest market research report from media and publishing forecast firm Simba Information, Professional Publishing in the Digital Age: E-Books in Libraries, predicts library collection managers will set aside more of their budget for E-books over the next few years.

The clear advantages E-books offer librarians, including archiving and long term access, enhancements and features, usage statistics and cost savings, are pushing professional publishers to continue to work with the library community to fully develop this market. According to the report, surveyed library collection managers are expecting e-books to become a more significant share of publishers' and distributors' offering, with 60% indicating that in five years e-books will represent 11% or more of their library's acquisition budget.

"The professional market is unlike the trade book and education market; professionals need to be able to access content that is searchable and streamlined into their workflow," notes Dan Strempel, senior analyst at Simba Information and author of the study. "Librarians understand these needs, which can only be serviced on an electronic platform."

The current mindset of professional publishers is to replicate the print version of a book, which is creating challenges in the adoption of e-books, including the use of format standards like EPUB and establishing acceptable digital rights management.

"Some of the challenges are arising from disagreements between the publishers and the librarians: 69% of surveyed librarians had a negative opinion of digital rights management, specifically the limited length of access and no allowance for interlibrary loans," added Strempel. "However, it should be noted that most librarians are acquiring their e-books through third party vendors or aggregators and not directly through publishers."

Professional Publishing in the Digital Age: E-Books in Libraries provides an overview and financial outlook for e-books in the professional market defined by four key segments: legal, scientific/technical, medical and business. The report also discusses advantages, challenges, pricing models, usage, and platform providers, and analyzes e-book categories, major e-book publishers and e-book technologies.


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