JISC national e-books observatory project: 2007 - 2010

Back in 2007 there was very little known about how e-books were being used by students in universities and colleges across the UK and even worldwide. The lack of market research and the fear of the ‘unknown’ was holding back the market. Publishers were unsure of how to price e-books for institution wide access and were therefore not making course texts available electronically and librarians were getting increasingly frustrated by this as they tried to provide equity of access to all their users.

The JISC national e-books observatory project undertook a wealth of research, analysing log data to learn about how users discover and navigate through e-books, exploring the attitudes of academics and students and assessing the impact of making course text e-books available via university libraries to thousands of students on print sales.

The observatory project gathered a huge amount of data by working with over 120 universities and collecting survey responses from over 52,000 students and academics.

We have synthesised the data gathered into reports and offer them up to you for further investigation. We are working to take forward the recommendations from the reports forward with UK publishers and the education community.

We hope that you enjoy learning more about our project and find the reports of use.

Caren Milloy
Head of Projects, JISC Collections