January 25, 2022

Research Article: “Worth the Wait? Using Past Patterns to Determine Wait Periods for E-Books Released After Print” (Preprint)

The following accepted for publication preprint is scheduled for publication in the January 2018 issue of C&RL (College and Research Libraries).


Worth the Wait? Using Past Patterns to Determine Wait Periods for E-Books Released After Print


Karen Kohn
Temple University


C&RL Website

From the Introduction

Since publication schedules vary, even between books by the same publisher, knowing how long to wait for an e‐book is difficult. A common practice is to decide on a standard amount of time that a library is willing to wait to see if an e‐book becomes available. Libraries that use approval plans set the length of their wait period for each subject profile. The length of the wait period can be decided based on overall publication patterns, the strength of the library’s preference for e‐books, and the value the librarians or users place on acquiring books promptly after publication. However, there is very little literature on publication patterns to help librarians select the length of their wait period in an evidence‐ based way. With the goal of providing data to help librarians make informed decisions, this paper presents and analyzes recent e‐book publication patterns by subject and asks, is there an optimal wait period that balances the desire to get books soon after publication with the desire to get as many as possible electronically?

Direct to Full Text Article (33 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.