The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

JISC e-book business model trials to begin this fall

Since 2007, the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) in the UK has been working on a national e-books observatory project to learn more about the impact of e-books and to develop new models to stimulate the e-book market. From November 2007 to December 2008, students at 127 universities in the UK were given access to 36 science, technology, and medical e-textbooks. The results from the study showed that giving students access to e-texts may not have an effect on print sales.

According to a posting on the JISC website, the committee is now exploring the co-existence of e-textbooks and paper textbooks, and evaluating potential business models. Trials will be conducted this fall to access the sustainability of offering access to e-textbooks via aggregated platforms or publisher-specific platforms, determine the impact that e-access via libraries has on the sales of print textbooks, and determine if online access through libraries improves sell-through of existing adoptions. During the trials, students will be given a variety of access options including complete e-textbooks, chapters, short-term rentals, and the ability to purchase the print version. The trials will run through May 2010 and a final report of the results will be published in August 2010.

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