Report: JSTOR E-Book Event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

On July 31, Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art hosted a day-long event in which administrators from JSTOR spoke of their new e-book initiatives, librarians described their e-book programs, and publishers described their e-book plans.
Pat Moriarty (JSTOR: Director, Institutional Participation & Strategic Partnerships) described their current e-book collection as being 27 thousand titles from 62 publishers.   Most use is in history followed by literature.
John Lenahan (JSTOR: Associate Vice President, Institutional Participation & Strategic Partnerships) pointed out that one could have integrated searching between JSTOR’s periodical content, and their e-book collections. They are partnering with OCLC to provide MARC records, and they have negotiated with publishers to allow chapter length ILL.
Jeff Carroll and Melissa Goertzen (Columbia University Libraries) described Columbia’s growing e-book collection, now representing over 25% of the libraries’ overall books budget.
Denise Hibay and Rebecca Federman (New York Public Library) noted that they are focusing their e-book purchases on front lists, not retrospective, and on humanities and social sciences rather than sciences. They have now formed an e-workflow committee within the libraries to iron out workflow issues. They added that they are very concerned that they maintain their role, in the research collections, as a print repository within a national context.
John Lenahan (JSTOR) returned to describe their offering of 13 subject collections in the humanities and social sciences. The DDA (Demand Driven Acquisitions) model is offered, whereby a library can limit by price and/or publisher and/or subject area(s), and purchase is triggered by six chapter views OR by four chapter downloads. All use below these triggers is free.
Jennifer Carroll (University of New Hampshire) spoke of their participation in the Boston Library Consortium’s DDA program through YBP and e-brary.
Ross Day (Watson Library, Metropolitan Museum of Art) described the unusual situation of museum libraries. How is FTE configured? They have 500 curatorial staff, so is that 500 FTE?   They tend to purchase electronic or print based upon which format is published first.   So far, he has found no serious objection by his user community to e-books.
Frank Smith (JSTOR: Director, Books at JSTOR) introduced representatives from two academic publishers:
Brad Hebel (Columbia University Press) pointed out that CUP has been publishing electronic titles for a long time, e.g. Granger’s Online. They produce around 160 new titles per year, and e-book represents 20% of their revenue.
Fred Nachbaur (Fordham University Press) explained that FUP imprints are distributed by Oxford University Press, and he emphasized that the costs of producing ebooks are NOT considerably less than print. Their titles are available in Project Muse and will be available in JSTOR.

Q/A to the publishers:
Open Access for e-books? The publishers said that it is difficult to come up with an Open Access model that works for e-books, because publishers still need to cover costs. Business models for e-journals and e-books are different: one pre-pays to subscribe to journals so publishers collect money up front, then they can e-publish the content, but with eBooks, publisher spends money up front to produce content then must recover as much as possible with sales.
E-books for classes? Presses do monitor use of packages and titles where there is unlimited access. They generally try not to, but if a book is suddenly needed for a class and 60 students are accessing it instead of buying the title, that negatively affects revenue, so presses have been known to pull the title from e-book collections.

3 thoughts on “Report: JSTOR E-Book Event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

  1. Thanks for this summary of the JSTOR e-book discussion at the Met. It was announced at some point during the day that copies of the PowerPoint presentations would be sent to all the participants, some of whom expressed interest in receiving them to augment their own notes. Will those PowerPoints be made available? It would be extremely useful to have them, as they contained a great deal of helpful information. With thanks, Anya Szykitka, Associate Editor, Brooklyn Museum

  2. Here it is from Pat Moriarty of JSTOR:

    Dear Colleagues,

    I hope this message finds you well.

    I wanted to reach out to thank you for taking the time to attend our forum about the Books at JSTOR program. I hope you found it useful! You can find a copy of each presentation at the link below:

    Your institution will receive a savings based on the number of archive collections you license on any eBooks purchased through title-by-title selection, Demand-Driven Acquisition, or customized subject collections. We also offer predefined subject collections with additional savings. More information on the Books at JSTOR program is also available on our website.

    I would be happy to provide a platform preview, do a holdings comparison, or provide customized recommendations for your library. Please let me know if you’d like to set up a time to discuss your library’s interest in eBooks.


    Pat Moriarty

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