What’s new in ebooks: a platform roundup

It’s been a busy few months in terms of ebook platform refurbishments, so we thought it was time to pause and review some of the changes (and hopefully improvements) that have been implemented by providers.

Hebook

ACLS launches new, improved platform

ACLS Humanities E-Book (HEB) is a US-based digital collection of over 5,400 seminal books in the humanities and related social sciences. Books in the HEB collection have been recommended and reviewed by scholars and constituent learned societies of the American Council of Learned Societies.

ACLS Humanities E-Book collection has been available to Cambridge users on a somewhat clunky, old-fashioned platform for some time, but is now accessible on a brand-new platform powered by Fulcrum, offering the following new features:

  • A more visually compelling and modern site, with a browsable catalogue that is easy to navigate.
  • ‘Read online’ format for all titles in a new e-reader that includes features like pageturner and scroll views, an always-present table of contents, and citation and search widgets. The reader also aims to meet WCAG 2.0 AA accessibility standards.
  • An enhanced e-book home page that provides quick access to the table of contents, reviews, metadata, and statistics, as well as easy access to the e-reader and chapter downloads. (Note that due to the large file size of chapter pdfs, we have found that chapter pdfs can be slower to download than on other ebook or ejournal platforms, and therefore ‘Read Online’ is recommended for rapid browsing or skimming the text).

Links for ACLS titles in iDiscover now redirect to the new platform, as does the platform link on our ebooks LibGuide.

ACLC Humanities is updated annually. Here is a list of the 259 new titles added in August: ACLC-new_titles_Aug_2018

Brill Online Books and Journals to move to Brill.com on November 30th

BrillcomBrill has been beavering away on Brill.com, a new platform to replace the existing Brill Online Books and Journals. All of our purchased content is being moved to the new site ready for November 30th, when the legacy site will be taken down, but the vast majority of our content is already there, so you can take a peek before November 30th if you wish.

According to Brill, the benefits of the move include:

  • The new platform consolidates information about print and online publications on one single page, rather than on separate sites, as before.
  • A fresh, crisp, uncluttered design.
  • The site works well on all types of devices.
  • DOI links will be available at the chapter level as well as the book title level.
  • Easier ebook ordering for site administrators.

We are assured that our ebook links in iDiscover will point to the new site from December, but please contact ebooks@cambridge or the UL’s English Collections team if you see anything that doesn’t work.

Manchester Medieval Sources Online now on Manchester Hive

MMSOThe 36 titles within the ‘Manchester Medieval Sources Online‘ collection from Manchester University Press are now available on Manchester Hive, MUP’s new online platform. The platform offers:

  • Easy browsing of available titles with abstracts.
  • Clear and intuitive design.
  • DRM-free PDF downloads for each chapter or section as well as full book downloads in either HTML or PDF.
  • Full book downloads include hyperlinks, making navigation through the text easier (from TOC to content and from content to footnotes).
  • Handy citation and sharing tools.

MARC records for all 36 titles within the collection are in iDiscover and now point to the new platform.

VLeBooks: new platform, more publishers, better accessibility

VLeBooks

Not a platform redesign, but a brand new aggregator platform for us, VLeBooks offers a broader range of publishers (including trade publishers) and improved accessibility for print-disabled users. For more information, see our recent blogpost.

All of these platforms are available on and off-campus to members of the University via our ebooks LibGuide or via links to individual books in iDiscover. Off-campus access is via Raven (VLeBooks requires a Raven login on and off campus).

As usual, please contact ebooks@lib.cam.ac.uk if you have any questions about these platforms or any other aspect of ebook provision at the University.

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Italian ebooks – an update

For several years now we have had in place a facility whereby readers can recommend Italian language ebooks – and in fact also English language ebooks published in Italy – through iDiscover.

The Torrossa platform operates rather differently to other ebook platforms we work with, in that we have added catalogue records for all of the platform’s ebook content to iDiscover, but the first user to be interested in accessing any given title has to make an explicit recommendation through the Torrossa site. This Patron Driven Acquisition scheme allows us to expose users of iDiscover to many potentially useful titles whilst only purchasing those for which there is ‘patron demand’.

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VLeBooks: a broader range of publishers and improved accessibility

The ebooks@cambridge team is pleased to announce the addition of a new ebook aggregator platform to our suite: VLeBooks. VLeBooks complements our existing offering of ebook aggregators in a couple of key ways:

VLeBooks app

Opening up access to trade publishers

VLeBooks is provided by Askews & Holts Library Services, a library supplier with a history of servicing the public library sector which has more recently branched out into academic library supply. It sells ebooks from a wide range of publishers, including –  thanks to its public library origins – trade publishers such as Penguin and Harper Collins. Titles from trade publishers crop up fairly frequently on reading lists, particularly in the Humanities, and until now we have been unable to provide users with ebook versions of these titles through our existing vendors. Here is a sample of Penguin titles we have purchased recently and which are available now on VLeBooks (click the covers for access – Raven required on and off-campus):

Berger  Postcapitalism  Haidt  Pinker  Misbehaving  Fourth revolution

More accessibility options

Another area where VLeBooks seeks to differentiate itself from other aggregator platforms is by offering users a number of ways in which they can change the platform itself or the online reading experience to adapt to their individual needs. Options include different coloured text overlays, easy zooming and switching on or off platform accessibility options such as large or dyslexic fonts, link highlighting and high contrast.

Platform accessibility settings:

Accessibility options

Platform with high contrast and dyslexia font option switched on:

High contrast

Example of overlay colours (more available):

Overlay1  Overlay2  Overlay3  Overlay4

We would be interested in hearing how our print-disabled users get on with these features, so please contact ebooks@lib.cam.ac.uk if you have any feedback.

More things to note

VLeBooks offers the usual features common to other aggregators such as Ebook Central and Dawsonera, such as the option to add notes and bookmarks, export citations and search the text. Additionally, an in-built dictionary allows you to look up the meaning of words and phrases. Downloading for offline reading is available for up to ten days depending on title/publisher; an Adobe ID is required plus Adobe Digital Editions for PC/Mac or the free VLeBooks Reader App (available for IoS and Android) for use on mobile devices.

For librarians

For the librarians amongst you, VLeBooks sells a new kind of access model for some of its titles, based on the concept of replacement of a worn-out print copy. A limited number of electronic ‘issues’ is purchased, beyond which we will need to buy a new ‘copy’ for continued access. This contrasts with the idea of ownership in perpetuity which characterises most of the ebooks we have bought in the past. On the face of it this looks like an unattractive idea (with some management implications to grapple with – thank goodness for expiry notifications), but it does allow us to offer ebook access to those Penguin ‘paperbacks’ which would otherwise only be available to students in print, and the price of individual copies we have bought so far is low. If you have any trade titles on your lists, do get in touch so that we can check availability.

How to access VLeBooks

VLeBooks is available on and off campus via this link. Records for individual titles are in iDiscover. A Raven account is required for both on and off-campus access.

Further help

As usual, please contact ebooks@lib.cam.ac.uk for further assistance with this or any other ebook platform.

New ebooks – September 2018

Here is a taster of the titles added to the ebooks@cambridge collection during September. These titles were purchased by, or on behalf of, department and faculty libraries within the University of Cambridge and by the University Library.

A complete list of ebook purchases is available to Cambridge library staff to download from the ebooks@cambridge section of the Cambridge Libraries Intranet.

All of the titles can be found in iDiscover. Alternatively, click on the cover image to access the title via our authenticated links.

Arts & Humanities

Engl1  Engl2  Engl3  Engl4  Engl5  Engl6 Ital1  Mus1

 

Humanities & Social Sciences

Afr1  Educ1  Educ2  Educ3  Educ4  Hist1  Hist2  HPS1  HPS2  Law1  POLIS1  POLIS2  POLIS3  POLIS4  POLIS5  Soc1  SAS1  Educ5  Hist3 Hist4

Business & Management

Bus1  Bus2  Bus3  Bus4  Bus5  Bus6  Bus7  Bus8

Science, Technology, Engineering & Medicine

Comp1  Comp2  Comp3  Gen1  Med1  Psych1

New ebooks – August 2018

Here is a taster of the titles added to the ebooks@cambridge collection during August. These titles were purchased by, or on behalf of, department and faculty libraries within the University of Cambridge and by the University Library.

A complete list of ebook purchases is available to Cambridge library staff to download from the ebooks@cambridge section of the Cambridge Libraries Intranet.

All of the titles can be found in iDiscover. Alternatively, click on the cover image to access the title via our authenticated links.

Arts & Humanities

AMES1  Art1  Art2  Italian1  Ling1  MML1 Phil1  Phil2  Phil3 Phil4

 

Humanities & Social Sciences

Arch1  Education1  Education2  Education3  Hist1  Hist2  Hist3  HPS1  Law1  Lib1  POLIS1  POLIS2  POLIS3  Soc1  SAS1  Education4  Education5  Hist4  POLIS4 Hist5

Business and Engineering

Business1  Business2  Business3  Business4  Engineering1  Business5  Business6  Business7

Science and Medicine

Genetics1  Maths1  Medicine1  Medicine2

Karger ebooks now available

karger larger

The UL, the Moore Library and ebooks@cambridge are pleased to announce that Cambridge University members now have access to all frontlist and backlist series and non-series ebook titles published by Karger.

Karger Publishers is a globally active medical and scientific publishing company dedicated to serving the information needs of the scientific community with high-quality, and in some cases award-winning, research-level texts covering primarily life and clinical sciences, alongside a variety of titles of particular interest to the history of science.

Our turnaway figures from Karger are high (between 800 and 1000 over the last 3 years), indicating a significant level of interest from Cambridge researchers across a wide variety of Karger’s ebook series. We will therefore initially be providing access through an Evidence-Based Acquisition scheme, whereby all Karger ebooks are made accessible to Cambridge users. At the end of the Evidence-Based scheme, most-used titles will be selected for purchase in perpetuity. In this way we will be able to meet our users’ immediate needs as well as build our research-level collections in the biological and life sciences for the future.

Here is just a very small sample of titles now available. Click on the covers to access the titles directly:

Burns  Pulmonary medicine  Drugs from the sea  nobel prize  Language  Paul Klee  Chronic constipation  Neurologic  plant genomes  Glaucoma  Frontiers in eating  Vet

All Karger titles can be found in iDiscover or on the Karger platform, and are available on and off-campus.

This acquisition was funded collaboratively by the UL, the Moore Library and ebooks@cambridge. As usual, please contact ebooks@lib.cam.ac.uk with any questions about this platform.

Enhanced access to Peter Lang monographs

Peter Lang

The ebooks@cambridge Service and the University Library is pleased to announce that free, perpetual, full-text access is now available to a defined collection of over 1,350 Peter Lang research monographs. These titles were published since 2010 and have been purchased in print by the University Library. Along with their Open Access monographs the total of accessible ebook titles on the Peter Lang platform numbers just over 2,200.

Peter Lang publishes research monographs predominantly in German and English and some other European languages across all disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences including;

  • Art
  • Economics and Management
  • Education
  • English Language and Literature
  • Film and Performance Studies
  • German Language and Literature
  • History
  • International Law
  • Linguistics
  • Media and Communication
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Romance Languages and Literature
  • Sociology
  • Theology

Univesity of Cambridge registered users have access to all titles dispaying a green unlocked padlock green iconand also to those displaying a yellow unlocked padlock icon (the Open Access titles) yellow icon.

You can access the full text in html or PDF format for reading online or by downloading chapter PDFs. Please click on ‘Expand All’ under the Table of Contents section at the foot of each book page to open up the chapter access. All accessible titles are searchable in iDiscover and are available with unlimited concurrency both on and off campus (via a Raven login for non open access titles).

There is a publisher-supplied user guide with information on searching, browsing, and citing references which you can access from here.

Jean Barois     Der Zweite Weltkrieg im polnischen und deutschen kulturellen Gedächtnis    Santiago de Compostela     Transatlantic Poe

aristotle on the meaning of man     hearts and minds     Les littératures du Maghreb et d_Afrique subsaharienne     Metalinguistic perpsectives on germanic languages

Please contact the ebooks team on ebooks@lib.cam.ac.uk if you have any questions or feedback.

New ebooks – July 2018

Here is a taster of the titles added to the ebooks@cambridge collection during July. These titles were purchased by, or on behalf of, department and faculty libraries within the University of Cambridge and by the University Library.

A complete list of ebook purchases is available to Cambridge library staff to download from the ebooks@cambridge section of the Cambridge Libraries Intranet.

All of the titles can be found in iDiscover. Alternatively, click on the cover image to access the title via our authenticated links.

Arts & Humanities

Div1  Div2  Film1  Italian1  Italian3  Music1 Music4  Music5  Music6 Phil1

 

Humanities & Social Sciences

Education1  Education2  Education3  HPS1  HPS2  LatAm1  POLIS1  POLIS2  POLIS3  POLIS4  Education4  Education5  Education6  Education7  Education8  POLIS5  POLIS6  Education9  Education10 Education11  Education12  Education13

Business & Management

Business1  Business2

Statistically speaking, how popular were our ebooks in 2017?

The ebooks@cambridge team have collated the ebook collection usage statistics for the calendar year 2017. Last year over 56,000 academic ebook titles were consulted across nearly 60 platforms. Cambridge librarians can download the whole dataset from the Usage statistics section of the ebooks@cambridge intranet site, but a brief summary of the findings is also presented in this post.

4,035,929 hits were recorded on ebooks…

Lets have a look at how these hits were distributed:

give up 4

Ebook usage spiked in 2017, there was over a 22% rise on 2016 figures, after a couple of years of levelling out. The graph below illustrates the growth in our ebook collection usage since 2012, during this 6 year period there has been a rise of over 284%:

hits 4

October was once again the standout month where our ebooks were working the hardest (over 617,000 hits), followed closely by November. September was the sleepiest month for our ebook collections but they still attracted over 138,000 hits:

months

Platform highs

Our most popular ebook platforms are well used generally because there are large numbers of ebook titles hosted on them (including titles which appear on sometimes multiple reading lists), covering a wide range of subjects.

The 5 ebook platforms with the highest usage were:

  • MyiLibrary* (896,162)
  • Dawsonera (662,853)
  • Cambridge Core** (626,680)
  • Ebook Central (469,381)
  • SpringerLink (347,544)

*MyiLibrary is now no more, as of April 2018 all owned titles migrated to Ebook Central.
**These figures exclude Cambridge Companions, Histories, and Shakespeare Survey titles.

Some of the ebooks platforms which have seen the highest increase in usage don’t necessarily host large numbers of ebook titles or receive many thousands of hits; for example Manchester Medieval Sources Online (MMSO) is included but only offers a very small focused collection of well respected titles. The number of hits on MMSO in 2017 was 549, so relatively few, but this was a very substantial increase in hits from the 2016 usage figures, hence MMSO’s inclusion in the list below.

The 5 ebook platforms/collections with the highest rises in usage were:

  • Ebook Central (+3319%)
  • Manchester Medieval Sources Online (+2514%)
  • JSTOR (+1941%)
  • University Press Scholarship Online (+485%)
  • Cambridge Companions (+391%)

Platform lows

Some of our ebook platforms host only one or two titles, or the ebooks are of very niche interest, for example the Italian-language platform Torrossa, Kotobarabia which hosts Arabic content, or Nomos where only one title has so far been purchased. Just because these ebook platforms receive fewer hits does not mean that the titles hosted on them are less valuable; bearing this in mind the five platforms with lowest usage were:

  • Nomos (7)
  • Kotobarabia (27)
  • IEEE (73)
  • Brepols (100)
  • Torrossa (114)

There are a wide variety of reasons for falls in usage, course and reading list changes, maybe a previously well used title is replaced by another, and sometimes publishers change how they count usage statistics. Here are the five platforms which saw the greatest usage declines:

  • Ovid (-74%)
  • English Historical Documents (-59%)
  • IOP Science (-38%)
  • Oxford Textbook of Medicine (-30%)
  • Wiley Online (-23%)

 

And finally, the top 20 ebooks for 2017 embrace a wide range of subjects…

Click on the links for authenticated access, on and off-campus:

  1. Oxford Scholarly Authorities on International Law* (17,877 hits)
  2. The Economics of Money, Banking and Financial Markets (17,183 hits)
  3. Brain Gender (15,901 hits)
  4. Chicago Manual of Style (14,561 hits)
  5. Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist’s Companion (14,469 hits)
  6. Bach’s Well-tempered Clavier: The 48 Preludes and Fugues (12,129 hits)
  7. Organizational Behavior Global Edition (12,125 hits)
  8. Research Methods in Education (10,435 hits)
  9. Commentary on Lysias, Speeches 1-11 (10,212 hits)
  10. Glaciers and Glaciation, 2nd edition (9,002 hits)
  11. Ponto de Encontro: Pearson New International Edition (8,824 hits)
  12. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (8,812 hits)
  13. Kicking Away the Ladder (8,441 hits)
  14. Classroom-based Research and Evidence-based Practice : A Guide for Teachers (8,262 hits)
  15. Operations Management (8,150 hits)
  16. Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Approach (7,578 hits)
  17. Saul Kripke (7,176 hits)
  18. The Good Research Guide: For Small-Scale Social Research Projects (7,082 hits)
  19. Principles of Neural Science, Fifth Edition (7,060 hits)
  20. The Psychology of Language : From Data to Theory (6,821 hits)

*Considered an individual title by the publisher, but is actually more like an electronic resource, giving access to various titles. We have included it though as the number of hits it received seems to stand alone and is not the sum of the hits for the titles which appear on OSAIL.

Want to know more?

Download the complete spreadsheet of usage statistics for 2017 from the Usage statistics section of the ebooks@cambridge intranet site, or contact ebooks@lib.cam.ac.uk.

 

New ebooks – June 2018

Here is a taster of the  titles added to the ebooks@cambridge collection during June. These titles were purchased by, or on behalf of, department and faculty libraries within the University of Cambridge and by the University Library.

A complete list of ebook purchases is available to Cambridge library staff to download from the ebooks@cambridge section of the Cambridge Libraries Intranet.

All of the titles can be found in iDiscover. Alternatively, click on the cover image to access the title via our authenticated links.

Arts & Humanities

Engl1  Engl2  AMES1  MML1  Arch1  MML2

Humanities & Social Sciences

Afr1  Educ1  Educ2  Educ3  Geog1  Geog2  SAS1  Afr2  Hist1  Hist2  Hist3  Educ4  Educ5  Geog3  Afr3  Educ6  Educ7  Soc1  Hist4 Soc2  Geog4  Educ7

Business & Management and Engineering

Eng1  Bus1  Bus2  Bus3