ebrary Introduces Isaac; Launches Custom Collections; Announces Perpetual Access Model; Distributes Via Blackwell’s; Partners with BookSurge

Jan 11, 2005


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ebrary, an information services and technology provider, has introduced a new enterprise, server-based technology that is designed to improve the way ordinary documents in the Portable Document Format (PDF) are viewed, distributed, and shared. ebrary has also announced Custom Collections, introduced a perpetual access model, announced a distribution agreement with Blackwell's, and partnered with BookSurge on a print-on-demand offering.

Code named "Isaac" and currently in beta with several academic institutions, ebrary's new server-based technology enables libraries to create and share Remote Collections of PDF content within the institution, with peer institutions, or on the Internet. Additionally, it allows them to create Virtual Portals that integrate PDF documents from Remote Collections, their institutional repository or CMS, as well as existing subscription databases. Isaac is designed to provide access to books, journals, case studies, reports, theses, dissertations, or any document in PDF. The new server-based technology integrates all the PDF content an institution owns, with the PDF documents it produces, with the PDF content it borrows and leases, while protecting copyrights through a variety of access controls. The robust technology is delivered via a Web-based administrative user interface that contains a library's brand.

Similar to ebrary's DCP, Isaac features the ebrary Reader and InfoTools. The ebrary Reader optimizes online viewing of PDF documents by serving one page at a time instead of the entire file in ebrary's Exchange Data Format (EDF). Like PDF, an EDF document maintains the exact appearance of the original document. Unlike PDF, EDF documents feature advanced research capabilities and word-level interaction through ebrary's customizable InfoTools. By selecting words in a current document, students, employees, patrons, and staff can use InfoTools to access information from other EDF or PDF documents, digital databases, and resources on the Web.

Isaac includes the following features: Ability to create Remote Collections of PDF content that can be shared within an institution, with peer institutions, and on the Internet; The ebrary Reader; InfoTools that provides customizable utilities such as text highlighting and annotating, automated citations when content is copy/pasted or printed, links to bibliographic references, refined or in-depth search of document, and creation of an electronic bookshelf; Full-text search, browse, and indexing; Automated PDF submission through a "drag and drop" tool; User access controls that allow librarians or system administrators to determine which groups of patrons or peers can access Remote Collections; User access controls that allow students, professors, and librarians to determine what types of content are stored within their own local collections through the My Isaac user interface; and Reporting tools that show how content is being used. Isaac will be available in Q3 2005.

ebrary has also announced the availability of subscription-based Custom Collections. Librarians may now pick and choose individual titles from ebrary's collection of full-text books, reports, maps, and other content from academic, STM, and professional publishers. ebrary licenses database collections--largely comprised of full-text books--in multiple subject areas including business & economics, humanities, social & behavioral sciences, engineering & applied sciences, science & mathematics, and medicine & allied health. With Custom Collections, librarians may now subscribe to specific titles within a single genre, or across the entire ebrary repository. All ebrary content databases are distributed via its Dynamic Content Platform (DCP), which features the ebrary Reader and InfoTools. The ebrary Reader optimizes online viewing of PDF documents by delivering one page at a time in ebrary's proprietary Exchange Data Format (EDF). Like all content databases delivered through ebrary's DCP, Custom Collections feature bookshelves, which store links to highlights, annotations, and bookmarks, creating a dynamic archive of research that can be stored online or printed. They also feature full-text search and browse, automatic bibliographical citations when text is copied or printed, and other research tools. ebrary's DCP integrates with a library's workflow through MARC records - which ebrary provides at no cost - and the customizable InfoTools menu. Furthermore, ebrary will offer select titles under a separate, perpetual access model beginning in June 2005.

ebrary has announced a strategic partnership with Blackwell's Book Services that is intended to make ebrary products more accessible to domestic and foreign library markets. In addition to an existing partnership that provides previews of ebook titles via its Collection Manager system, Blackwell's will now resell ebrary's DCP to libraries in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand. ebrary's DCP combines a selection of full-text books and other content from publishers with software for online viewing and researching.

BookSurge, a provider of inventory-free international book distribution with print and sales facilities in nine countries, and ebrary have announced the joint development of a print-on-demand offering, initially focused on the library market. The initiative aims to enable libraries throughout the world to purchase content in print, without astronomical shipping costs or lengthy waits for delivery. Under terms of the agreement, BookSurge will integrate its Global Publishing System (GPS) with the ebrary Dynamic Content Platform (DCP). Libraries that subscribe to ebrary's DCP will have the option of enabling patrons and staff to purchase select ebrary titles in print through BookSurge's international print-on-demand facilities.
(www.blackwell.com; www.booksurge.com; www.ebrary.com)

For More information, Please see ITI's Newsbreak: http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb050110-1.shtml