Tuesday, July 18, 2006

More good news on the ebook front

Last week Marie Newman posted here about the digital return of Rice University Press. Now I'm finally getting around to adding this, posted on the same day at info NeoGnostic:

Springer is launching its own e-book platform ... a publisher finally getting a clue about e-books. Some bullet points:
  • Mixed content: journal articles, e-books (reference works, textbooks, monographs, atlases), and an e-book series organized into 12 subject categories.
  • Pricing that is highest for larger research-intensive organizations and scales down from print list price to 66% less than list price (consortial pricing is available and encouraged!).
  • An ownership model for libraries. You buy it, you own it. Put it in a repository, print a preservation copy. You sever the relationship with Springer and they will give you the XML files, including metadata, or let them continue to host the content for a very small annual fee.
  • Standards compliance: COUNTER compliant usage statistics; title and chapter level digital object identifiers; metasearch compatible with Z39.50 and SRW/SRU access; linked references in OpenURL format.
  • Available online in HTML and RSS format, or downloadable as a PDF
  • Partnerships with middleware providers are maintained. If you want to buy it from netLibrary, eBrary, Myilibrary, EBL, go ahead.
  • A usable (albeit beta) search interface, that even has Guided Navigation powered by Endeca
  • And finally...wait for it...wait for it...
    No Digital Rights Management
Color me optimistic. I would not be surprised to see significant changes in other publishers' pricing and licensing structures coming along pretty soon. After all, everyone who can afford Making of Modern Law has already bought it, and I'm not interested in considering it under the present, anachronistic "just in case" licensing model.

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