ORCID

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8566-4444

Abstract

The University of Michigan Press, with support from the Mellon Foundation, asked John Lavender, of Lavender Consulting, to conduct a review of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Humanities E-Book collection (HEB) following its launch on Michigan’s new Fulcrum platform. ACLS-HEB is an online collection of over 5,400 high-quality humanities books from over 100 publishers. Now that the market for e-books has matured, part of the review was a comparative study of e-book platforms run by publishers, university presses and e-book vendors; 17 platforms were selected. The review looked at the key features offered by each platform, how they handled searching, content delivery, displaying results, ability to view and download and other key features, there was no attempt to judge the value of the content. Following this review, Michigan Press felt that it would be beneficial to share the results with the wider community. As well as being of interest to publishers, the review will also be relevant for librarians making purchasing decisions and vendors selling e-book services.

In addition to synthesizing the results of the e-book platform review, this paper presents a librarian’s perspectives on e-book assessment criteria. Courtney McAllister, Electronic Resources Librarian at Yale University’s Law Library, describes the importance of attributes such as accessibility compliance, library branding, and metadata. Library collections are shaped by a plethora of concerns and criteria. This paper seeks to outline some key elements to consider as part of e-book platform decision-making.

DOI

10.5703/1288284317162

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COMPARISON AND REVIEW OF 17 E-BOOK PLATFORMS

The University of Michigan Press, with support from the Mellon Foundation, asked John Lavender, of Lavender Consulting, to conduct a review of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Humanities E-Book collection (HEB) following its launch on Michigan’s new Fulcrum platform. ACLS-HEB is an online collection of over 5,400 high-quality humanities books from over 100 publishers. Now that the market for e-books has matured, part of the review was a comparative study of e-book platforms run by publishers, university presses and e-book vendors; 17 platforms were selected. The review looked at the key features offered by each platform, how they handled searching, content delivery, displaying results, ability to view and download and other key features, there was no attempt to judge the value of the content. Following this review, Michigan Press felt that it would be beneficial to share the results with the wider community. As well as being of interest to publishers, the review will also be relevant for librarians making purchasing decisions and vendors selling e-book services.

In addition to synthesizing the results of the e-book platform review, this paper presents a librarian’s perspectives on e-book assessment criteria. Courtney McAllister, Electronic Resources Librarian at Yale University’s Law Library, describes the importance of attributes such as accessibility compliance, library branding, and metadata. Library collections are shaped by a plethora of concerns and criteria. This paper seeks to outline some key elements to consider as part of e-book platform decision-making.