Book publishers want to conduct market research in conjunction with universities to get a better idea of the demand for e-books in UK higher and further education.
A report from the Joint Information Systems Committee e-book working group says publishers want to know whether to concentrate on depth in key subject areas or to opt for breadth across a range of subjects.
Authors Hazel Woodward and Louise Edwards state that it would be wrong for the Jisc's Distributed National Electronic Resource to shape its collection around what is available. Instead it ought to "map need and acquire content on this basis".
It appears that in the short term, demand for e-books centres on reference works, short-term collections and key subject areas such as law and business studies.
But the paper states that myriad issues need to be resolved before an e-book strategy can be produced. The varying business models of publishers and aggregators will make it difficult for the DNER to reach agreements that meet all needs.
The paper states that it will take time for academics to integrate e-books into their teaching.
Shaping a Strategy for e-books: An Issues Paper by Hazel Woodward and Louise Edwards for the Jisc/DNER e-book working group can be read at: