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

Published: April 1, 2011 - 78 Pages

Table of Contents

  • Methodology
  • Executive Summary
  • E-Books and Libraries
    • Introduction
    • Advantages of E-Books for Libraries
      • Archiving and Long-Term Access
      • Enhancements and Features
      • Usage Statistics
      • Cost Savings
    • Challenges E-Books Present to Libraries
      • No Standard Format
      • Digital Rights Management
      • No Title by Title Acquisition
      • Coordinating Staffs and Workflow
    • Pricing Models
    • Measuring E-Books in Libraries
      • Table Growth of Electronic Materials in ARL Member Libraries, 2005-2008 ($ in thousands)
      • Table Monograph Spend in ARL Libraries 2005-2008 ($ in thousands)
      • Table E-Book Title Output in Key Professional Subjects, 2008-2010
    • Professional E-Book Platform Providers
      • NetLibrary
      • Gale Reference Library
      • Ebrary
      • Safari
      • Other Players
    • User Experiences
  • Professional E-Book Category Analysis
    • Introduction
      • Table 2010 Bestselling Professional Books Price Analysis, By Percentage Share
    • Professional Book Pricing in a Consumer Market
      • Table Professional Book Categories by Total Growth, 2010
      • Table Top 10 Bestselling Architecture Titles, Amazon Kindle, 2010 (out of 35 total)
      • Table Top 10 Bestselling Architects & Architecture Titles, Sony Reader, 2010 (out of 74 total)
      • Table Top 10 Business & Investing Titles, Amazon Kindle, 2010 (out of 72 total)
      • Table Top 10 Business Titles, Sony Reader, 2010 (out of 53 total)
    • Category Growth
      • Table Top 10 Computers & Internet Titles, Amazon Kindle, 2010 (out of 44 total)
      • Table Top 10 Computer Titles, Sony Reader, 2010 (out of 59 total)
    • Professional Book Categories
      • Table Top 10 Law Titles, Amazon Kindle, 2010 (out of 36 total)
      • Architecture
      • Business
        • Table Top 10 Law Titles, Sony Reader, 2010 (out of 39 total)
        • Table Top 10 Medicine Titles, Amazon Kindle, 2010 (out of 34 total)
        • Table Top 10 Medical Titles, Sony Reader, 2010 (out of 35 total)
      • Computers
      • Law
        • Table Top 10 Politics & Current Events Titles, Amazon Kindle, 2010 (out of 56 total)
        • Table Top 10 Politics & Government Titles, Sony Reader, 2010 (out of 42 total)
      • Medicine
        • Table Top 10 Psychology & Counseling Titles, Amazon Kindle, 2010 (out of 60 total)
        • Table Top 10 Psychology Titles, Sony Reader, 2010 (out of 37 total)
      • Politics & Government
      • Psychology
        • Table Top 10 Reference Titles, Amazon Kindle, 2010 (out of 52 total)
        • Table Top 10 Reference Titles, Sony Reader, 2010 (out of 35 total)
        • Table Top 10 Science Titles, Amazon Kindle, 2010 (out of 48 total)
      • Reference
      • Science
        • Table Top 10 Science & Nature Titles, Sony Reader, 2010 (out of 42 total)
        • Table Top 10 Social Science Titles, Amazon Kindle, 2010 (out of 36 total)
      • Social Science
        • Table Top 10 Social Sciences Titles, Sony Reader, 2010 (out of 48 total)
  • Major Professional E-Book Publishers
    • Introduction
    • Key Players
      • Springer Science+Business Media
        • Table Revenue Growth, Leading Professional E-Book Publishers, 2009-2010 (Ranked by estimated 2010 professional e-book revenue; $ in millions)
      • Reed Elsevier
      • John Wiley & Sons
      • Wolters Kluwer
      • McGraw-Hill
      • Thomson Reuters
      • Informa
      • Pearson
      • Thieme
      • Oxford University Press
    • Challenges and Trends
      • Digital Rights Management
      • Piracy: No Worries
      • Device and Format Proliferation
      • Pricing: Subscription vs. Purchase
      • Advanced Features a Selling Point
      • Free Information vs. Premium Content
  • E-Book Technologies
    • Introduction
    • The Evolution of E-Book Formats
    • The Platforms
      • The Personal Computer
      • Mobile Phone or PDA
      • Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch
      • Apple's iPad and Other Tablets
      • Dedicated Reading Devices
        • Table Select Current U.S. E-Book Reading Devices, by Launch Date
    • Future Devices
    • The Most Popular Devices Today
      • Table Devices Used to Read E-Books, 2008-2009
  • Forecasts and Conclusions


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.

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