October 19, 2010
Cambridge Books Online, a Law eBooks Model for WEXIS?
With its new interface design and features, one has to ask, will we see anything similar to Cambridge Books Online from WEXIS for library acquisition of eBook content with IP authentication for access by library patrons? If so, in which formats? Library-acquired Cambridge Books Online edition titles are available in PDF for saving and printing at the chapter level.
The site, itself, serves multiple purposes including licensed access to acquired title by institutional users, sales to individuals and as platform for institutional holdings and account management with consortia and multi-site licence options available. Libraries can obtain MARC records with I believecan be linked to each acquired eBook for their online catalog, while patrons can also search all Cambridge Books Online editions via the site, click-thru to licensed titles, and when not an acquired title, recommend purchasing the title to the library or the searcher can purchase the title in hardcopy of Adobe eBook Reader format for personal use. With a big hat tip to No Shelf Required, here's a description of this feature-rich service
Cambridge Books Online contains Cambridge University Press's frontlist of 10,000 works in Humanities, Social Science, Science and Medicine. The Press is undergoing a thorough review of rights and will be adding thousands more books from its backlist, as well as most forward-going academic books. Cambridge UP will be migrating their existing and new reference titles in early 2011 but not its textbooks
Access to Cambridge Books Online eBook (and journal article) content is via institutional purchase and allows unlimited concurrent users. Users with institutional access will be able to view the general features and contents of the site by IP authentication. Guest users with IP access may register on the site to use features such as recommend books, save queries, and receive citation email alerts. See the FAQ for details.
The search engine simultaneously search eBooks and journal articles. Note the advance search feature option for searching by author, title, ISBN, keyword, etc. Researchers can also browse subject areas by subject tree navigation. Go here for Law.
Each book landing page includes the book cover image, bibliographic information and a tabbed display for the book description, table of contents, and references which are linked to Google Scholar searches. The Table of Contents links to front and back matter, the index, and each chapter, with pagination provided. Click on chapter titles for a tree-display of sections. Each chapter in the Cambridge Books Online edition of an eBook (but not each section within a chapter) is a separate PDF file that opens in a new window for saving and printing. For an example of a book landing page, see The Law and Ethics of Restitution by Hanoch Dagan.
While access to eBook content via Cambridge Books Online is based on institutional purchase, anyone can search Cambridge Books Online and at the book display level, can search library holdings via WorldCat and purchase the title in print or in Adobe eBook Reader format.
Sounds to me like a fairly feature-rich eBook delivery system for a not insignificant Campbridge UP inventory of frontlist titles that just might be the direction WEXIS should consider taking to serve individual and institutional buyers of eBooks. While I wouldn't expect WEXIS to be eBooking large multi-volume works this way, many single volume and small set doctrinal treatises, and general and state practice-oriented handbooks and desk-books could be. It would be one approach that solves the nasty problem of not wanting to share their subscriber base with Amazon and Apple. [JH]