JISC has recently released preliminary results of one of the largest investigations ever undertaken into the usage of e-books by students. The results provide useful lessons for all of us and suggest that unlimited use models are the way to go. This data will help information providers and librarians alike clarify what is needed. JISC’s view is that current e-book models are not working for librarians.
During the last two years, the JISC national e-books observatory has collaborated with universities in the UK, gathering real time evidence on how course text e-books are actually used by students and teachers. The project
commenced in 2007 with the licensing of 36 course text e-books for students on business management, media studies, engineering and medicine courses. These e-books were selected by the higher education community and made available free of charge to all users in UK higher education. 127 universities, 76% of all higher education, participated in the project and worked with JISC Collections and CIBER at University College London on the deep log analysis study.