May 23, 2022

Article: Evidence Provides More Options for E-Book Acquisition

Here’s a review of a number of approaches to e-book acquisition by Carolyn Alderson from Jisc Collections published by Research Information.

From the Article:

The early business model was very straightforward – collections of e-books were packaged as a dataset which meant that “must have” content was easily accessible. Key resources such as Oxford Reference Online, Literature Online, EEBO, The Shakespeare Collection and Grove Music Online work well in this format.  But once the budget has been spent on core collections it becomes a real struggle for libraries to prioritise e-book acquisition decisions.


There are so many unknowns and variables, but interesting things are happening now. For instance Jisc Collections has just reached an agreement with Alexander Street Press, offering its streamed video content via a really interesting EBA model. The Scottish Higher Education Digital Library (SHEDL) has pioneered EBA and has much to teach the sector about its potential, for other closed consortia that want to do something similar.

SHEDL’s experience shows that libraries and purchasing groups find that EBA offers an affordable and reliable way to start building e-collections that clearly reflect the needs of their users. The books that get used (and therefore purchased) are likely to map very closely to course requirements, so it’s extremely practical. And for library users it opens up the prospect of a very rich vein of content being available to explore during the course of the contract.

Read the Complete Article (881 words)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.