The Center for History and New Media at GMU’s One Week, One Tool initiative has released Anthologize:
Anthologize is a free, open-source, plugin that transforms WordPress 3.0 into a platform for publishing electronic texts. Grab posts from your WordPress blog, import feeds from external sites, or create new content directly within Anthologize. Then outline, order, and edit your work, crafting it into a single volume for export in several formats, including—in this release—PDF, ePUB, TEI.
ePUB support means that, among other things, Anthologize is a drop-dead simple way to collate openly licensed content from blogs around the web, remix it, and push out to iBooks on the iPad. Many congrats to Dan’s group for another awesome tool.
NetLibrary, OCLC’s (Connecting people to knowledge through library cooperation) eContent division, announced the results of a recent survey that identified an increasing trend in the acquisition of eBooks by academic and public libraries. (Thanks to DigitalKoans)
Nearly 300 libraries responded to the survey highlighting key issues in perceptions and usage of eBooks currently and going forward within the UK.
Although the survey indicates significant planned increases in the acquisition of eBooks for both academic and public libraries, other key themes born out of the survey findings provide valuable insights into what is driving usage and collection development in these two key sectors.
A massive 85% of public Libraries responding to the survey indicated that they were most interested in developing fiction eBook collections despite recent research that suggests eBooks are most often used for reference purposes. Possibly this trend is being fuelled by the growth in take up and availability of eBook reading devices among public library users such as Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s Reader. Similarly a rise in the usage of MP3 players could be attributed to the fact that 65% of publics also indicated an intention to further develop their eAudiobook collections:
Of the academic libraries who responded to the survey, half indicated that their use of eBooks was to support their core reading lists in various subject areas – the main ones being Business / Management (13%), Medicine / Health (9%) Education (6%) and Engineering (5%).
Janneke Adema, a researcher on Open Access Academic Publishing, in her blog, Open Reflections, draws attention to the changing trend in students’ reading practice of eBooks. Excerpts:
As the preliminary research results of the eBook Observatory project show, people are reading books on their computers. For it shows that more than 53 per cent of eBook users only read from the screen, regardless of age group!
Reading attitudes are changing however. In Europe some interesting initiatives are taking place concerning eBooks and their usage. JISC, the UK based Joint Information Systems Committee, recently launched the JISC National eBooks Observatory Survey for which they placed e-textbooks into 120 UK universities. With over 20.000 responses to their survey, this makes it one of the largest eBook surveys ever undertaken. At a presentation about this project at the London Book Fair of this year, David Nicolas, a member of the eBooks Observatory research team, said that eBooks have reached the tipping point. The reading behavior of students is changing as they are much less reading the whole book online as they are viewing the book. This means that the whole book is no longer the unit of consumption in an online environment but rather chapters or even paragraphs.
One of the most heard objectives against eBooks (let alone against Open Access eBooks) is that nobody is going to read a whole book from a screen. Especially in the Humanities, where long stretched arguments are laid out over hundreds of pages, scholars and students will prefer a solid hard copy over reading from the screen.