Transition from Print to Electronic: Ebooks on the Same Path as EJournals

Yesterday I posted about ebooks and what some of the librarians attending the Springer LibraryZone Virtual eBook webinar discussed.  Today I saw a post on liblicense from Scott Plutchak comparing the transition and the situation to what librarians experienced when journals transitioned from print to electronic. 

Interesting.  I have to admit that just never occurred to me.  But Scott brought up some excellent points saying just like now with ebooks, librarians were very frustrated and up in arms when journals started becoming much more electronic.  Just think, the official version of BMJ isn’t the print any more, it is the online journal.  PubMed citations for BMJ journals no longer include page numbers, just the doi.  Did anybody see that coming when ejournals started going big? 

I wouldn’t say our experiences with ejournals are all rosy now, nor do I think Scott would say that.  But they certainly were a lot bumpier back then.  (“Back then”…. it almost sounds like I am talking about the days before automobiles and talkie films.)  Basically we are farther along in the online process with ejournals than we are with ebooks.  In a few years perhaps much of the issues and confusion over content, ILL, access, etc. will have been worked out a little bit. 

It is an interesting thought, and I am wondering what other librarians might think about the comparison of print journals to ejournals and print books to ebooks.

One thought on “Transition from Print to Electronic: Ebooks on the Same Path as EJournals”

  1. There have always been issues, even when it was just print journals and books. Having the materials in electronic format solves some of the issues and creates new ones. But I think that the main roadblocks regarding eBooks will smooth out in time just as they have for eJournals.

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