The project timeline at a glance
1. January 2007: Project Start up
The project commenced at the beginning of January 2007.
2. January 2007 to September 2007: e-books selection and licensing
A tender was issued and invited publishers to submit titles for inclusion in the project. 6 bids were successful in moving through to the final stage of marking – the national e-books observatory consultation. The 6 bids equated to a total of 136 e-books; 7 media studies e-books, 29 engineering e-books, 42 medicine e-books and 58 business and management e-books. UK universities were invited to identify their top titles.
36 course text e-books were licensed for two years at a total cost of £600k; from September 2007 to August 2009 and made freely available to all higher education institutions. 26 of the e-books titles were on the MyiLibrary platform and 10 were on the Ovid platform. 127 higher education institutions participated in the project, receiving free access to the 36 course texts e-books.
3. September 2007 to February 2008: Embedding and promotion
Institutions required time to integrate the MARC records into their catalogues, Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) and reading lists. This period focused on promotion and embedding.
JISC funded the creation of the National E-book Observatory Catalogue Records (NEOCaR). This source of records, hosted at EDINA, allowed all institutions to download ALL the MARC records for the e-books in the project in one go.
JISC Collections provided a range of information to librarians to help them promote the e-books to their staff and students and held 13 workshops with 250 librarians from 131 different institutions.
The workshops provided an opportunity for JISC Collections to inform librarians of how the final selection of course texts was made, the prices paid, the challenges faced in the licensing and the MARC records. The main focus of the workshops though were to discuss the current and future provision of course text e-books and the role of the library.
4. January 2008 to December 2008: Deep log analysis
In order to further assess the impacts and the usage of the e-books, JISC Collections funded a deep log analysis study. This study started in January 2008 and ran for a full year ending on the 31 December 2008 and provided unique deep log data. This data provided quantitative information about users in the four subject areas, their behaviours and patterns of use. Qualitative survey data was also collected to inform the development of e-books for the taught course user and promotional methods.
The Deep Log Analysis was carries out by CIBER at UCL.
5. January 2009 to June 2009: Deep log analysis report
The deep log analysis study team analysed all the data and together with JISC Collections provided reports and briefing papers.
6. August 2009 – November 2009: Final reports
The final reports for the deep log analysis study (including the user surveys, focus groups, print sales analysis) were completed and reviewed by the JISC e-books working group. The final reports are all available online.