Reading group notes: eBooks

How to Make an eBook (Suzi) – How-to guide from Smashing Magazine. Clear and seems to do a good job of covering the most popular formats. Good for getting a grasp on the tech.

JISC e-book observatory project  (Suzi) – Survey by JISC written up in 2009, looking at use of e-books particularly by libraries and with reading done on computer screen. Good stats on quite how dissatisfied students are with short-loan collections, and on the expectation for e-books to be provided through the library.

How do e‐book readers enhance learning opportunities for distance work‐based learners? (Roger) – recent article from “Research in LT” (March 2011) . Small scale study.  Context: PG work-based DL progs. e-books/readers pre-loaded with materials piloted in response to 3 challenges, all of which they were found to effectively address: 1. need for flexibility about when and where to study for highly mobile work-based learners 2. limits of access to key readings e.g. in real libraries or accessible via campus computers 3. maximising benefits of learners’ limited and often fragmented study time. e-book readers pre-loaded with content in e-pub format given to 28 learners in 2009/10. Methodology used included cognitive mapping. All of the predicted benefits above were realised, in addition to cost-saving as students printed less out. Biggest issue was copyright restrictions which limited the ability to make other essential readings available.

Nielson Alertbox on information design for e-books (Suzi) – Essentially: write the content as though for print, create indexes and navigation as though for the (mobile) web. Kindle (at least) is still a bit rubbish for texts that involve jumping around rather than linear reading.

The line between book an internet will disappear, Hugh McGuire, September 2010 (Suzi) – The e-book / print book battle is a false one – e-books will become webpages by around 2015. e-Books currently defined by what you can’t do: link or deep-link to them, copy and paste, search them (especially, search a bunch of them at once). In short: e-books do not live on the internet. epub is just a website, bundled up into a thing. Books need APIs (see also: Google Books API and Open Library API)

Post-artifact books and Publishing, (Zak) Craig Mod

Suggested reading for the session