Friday, July 30, 2010

Trends in E-Publishing

Since few months, I was glued with the thinking to write something for this web space of mine. Though, one or other thing has been keeping me busy in my library. At present, new academic session has just started and visits of various publishers’ representatives are also accelerated. Though, recession has made its impact on every walk of life and publishing industry has not been spared from it. Publishers are always been the front runners to adopt and execute new ideas with state of the art services. They are the trend setters in terms of mode of publications and providing various new services. The new trends are not only helpful for the end user but also are quite interesting too. One can derive easily some lines towards the trend in which this industry has been moving ahead. Here are the few points I would like to discuss, which I feel are setting up new ways of marketing in publishing industry.

Trends in Print Publishing Industry (For Books):
  • Providing complementary copy of latest edition to the concerned faculty members.
  • Providing soft copy of instructor manual (PPT instruction file) to the faculty members. 
  • Customized publishing: Publishers are printing one customized volume for the contents which normally appear in 2-3 different volumes. Yes, involvement of copyright issues is there, so publishers are customizing their own publications. 
  • Expert talks: Publishers are arranging a talk of author, on the book written by him/her. It is a sort of workshop for the readers to introduce them about the book and its features. 
  • Alerting all library professionals and faculty members through mailing lists. 
  • Most of the publishers are coming out with low price edition for their original products, especially in the case of textbooks.

Trends in Print Publishing Industry (Journals/Magazines):
  • Publishers are offering gifts on subscription/renewal. 
  • Bulk purchase on discounted price also being offered.
  • Most of the journals/magazines are offering online access with print.
  • Print versions are generally being replaced with online.
Trends in Electronic Publishing:
E-Publishing has an advantage to disseminate information in various formats and form of documents, viz. e-books, e-journals, e-newsletters and e-reports etc in more dynamic or interactive manner within a fraction of second. This is one of its core advantages, other than the cost saving in publishing and has tremendous capacity of data storage.

Apart from above qualities of e-publishing or e-resources, following practices are also being commonly used by publishers.
  • They are offering Print + electronic format of the subscribed contents. 
  • Article based procurement is also possible. Publisher will charge for the articles downloaded during one year. 
  • Most of the publishers offer ‘COUNTER’ compliance usage statistics for the subscribed products.
  • To facilitate the end user, publishers are offering login IDs and passwords to access the contents from home apart from IP based access. “Athens” and “Shibboleth” services for off campus access are also being offered. 
  • Publishers are making end user aware through various training and awareness programmes. 
  • Provision of consortia based subscription.

E-publishing under Open Access:
Open access comes as a revolution in electronic publishing. Most of the publishers are now participating in this revolution by one or other way.  The few basic reasons to participate in the Open Access are:
  • Publication gets wider reader base as well as publicity.
  • It is also a way of social service. Publishers by offering one or more journal/s as open access, contribute in social development or development of humanity.
  • Authors are also inclined towards writing for open access because of its wider circulation.

Trends in Information Access:
Offline access (Through CD ROMs, etc.) has already been diminished. The benefits of online access are more than the offline, so, publishers are fully concentrating on providing access to end users over the Internet. Few access modes are being discussed below:

Login ID/Password: This access is beneficial for an individual user or within a small group of people. Though, it can be passed on to anyone and usage statistics can not be assessed user wise, in case of more than one user.

IP based access: This mode of access is generally adopted by big institutions. Most of the consortium subscription is based on access through IP range of the institute or member institutions. Analysing usage of member institutions becomes very easy. Though drawback of this mode of access is, users can access subscribed contents within the decided range of IPs only.

Third party access mode: This mode of access gives flexibility to access the contents from anywhere over the Internet. In this, a unique ID and password is given to every authorized user. Usage statistics can be obtained easily for every ID independently. These days, services of Athens and Shibboleth are commonly used for this specific purpose.

There are various other issues related to e-publishing are need to be discussed, like copyright issues, technical aspect of e-publishing, Economics of e-publishing etc. The discussion on these will be taken care in due course of time.


  1. Thanks for sharing, I will bookmark and be back again

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  2. Hi there and thanks for this interesting and important post. This is the information I was looking for. I like the way things are being executed and discussed here.

  3. This post is really nice and informative. The explanation given is really comprehensive and informative. I am feeling happy to comment on this post.

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  4. Great post! Thanks you so much for the share. It is indeed a helpful one.

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