Sunday, January 31, 2010

Media Week 3 (Vol 3): Elsevier, Gale/Questia, Legal Improvements,

Elsevier Launches Next-Generation Digital Learning Platform (Elsevier Press Release):

Accessible offline or online through Elsevier's market-leading Evolve portal, Pageburst is Elsevier's new platform for accessing a much wider array of features and functionality for its digital textbooks. Pageburst is easy for faculty and students to access and use and is delivered through the device most college students already have - a computer.

Elsevier's community of health education experts designed Pageburst to enhance the way health professions students think, learn, and study. For example, students will be able to create personalized study guides and instantly link content within the text to expert definitions and descriptions in dictionaries and other Elsevier reference works. They will also be able to view a video or animation within the context of applicable textbook content to help clarify complex concepts. Additionally, students can increase retention and easily learn terms that look alike, sound alike or are hard to pronounce by clicking a button to hear the correct pronunciation and meaning.

Fully integrated collaboration tools within Pageburst will help students gain and share knowledge through personal learning networks that connect students, instructors, and user groups directly from within the content. Both students and instructors can embed notes and links directly into textbook content. Additional features include interactive quizzes and activities that can be submitted to an instructor's virtual grade book.

Pageburst is web-based, so it can be accessed anytime, on any device with a supported web browser. Students can also download their content to their desktop or laptop computers to study offline. Unlike other e-Book platforms, Pageburst is at one time: (1) interactive, (2) with book content available both on-and-offline that (3) will be available to the student over the course of their lives after a single purchase. Students can also download an iTunes application that syncs highlighted material along with accompanying notes with their iPhone or iPod Touch, enabling quick, anytime access to the information they need most.

Student to Save Money by Using Pageburst vs. Print Textbooks

Unlike the average undergraduate student seeking deeply discounted content for one semester, health professions students are more likely to retain their textbooks for future classes and to reference in professional practice. Still, Pageburst users will save up to 20 percent off the print price on each title, plus benefit from the suite of electronic enhancements. The nation's approximate 1.2 million nursing and health professions students often purchase several books per semester, and on average more than half of those books are Elsevier titles. With the digital textbooks on Pageburst, that means students can not only save substantial dollars, but also benefit by cross-referencing multiple books on one integrated platform. Titles purchased on Pageburst do not expire; they can be downloaded to a user's hard drive and accessed indefinitely.

More than 550 of Elsevier's most-used book titles are available on the platform, including Potter's Fundamentals of Nursing, Chabner's Language of Medicine, and Lewis's Medical Surgical Nursing.

At Digital Book World this week Verso presented interesting market research on 'avid readers' and the market for eBook readers: (Verso Presentation)

Long inside view of the new Westlaw, Lexis & Bloomberg Platforms (ABA Journal):
Both companies claim to be creating a legal research experience that will mimic the ease of use their customers have come to expect from the leading Internet search engine, Google.

The updated services come not a moment too soon, since the Mountain View, Calif.-based search engine has just gotten into the legal research business. In November, the company announced that its Scholar search engine now contains more than 80 years of U.S. case law from federal and state courts, as well as U.S. Supreme Court decisions dating back to 1791—all of it free.

Like a handful of smaller legal research companies that mostly serve solo practitioners and smaller law firms, Google built its service by aggregating the case law made available on the Internet by courts nationwide in recent years. Those companies have been slowly but surely nipping at the heels of West and LexisNexis at the low end of the market, where customers are most price-sensitive. With Google joining them, that price pressure is likely only to grow.
Peter Warwick, chief executive of Thomson Reuters’ legal unit, allows that “the demand for legal services is less, so that helps to drive what goes on in legal research. Clearly we are impacted by that as a whole, which is to say that there isn’t the same underlying rate of growth in our business as there was a year ago.”

Warwick’s eye is on the prize of increasing market share. To accomplish that goal, he says, his company must make sure it is offering a product that lawyers want. “There’s less growth in the market than we’ve seen for a number of years,” Warwick says, “but the need for the type of products and services that we have has never been stronger.”
At the biggest law firms, the companies may be testing the limits of how much information beyond pure legal research content is too much. Fried Frank’s Rine may have already reached her limit. “It’s a challenge. You have to make such an investment in these products. And they keep adding more and more content, often duplicating what’s included in other services we already subscribe to. But we don’t necessarily need all that content, and we can’t continue paying different vendors for the same information,” she says.

The excellent book by Denis Lehane, Shutter Island gets the graphic novel treatment (Paste) and is also an upcoming movie directed by Martin Scorsese.

From the @twitter this week:

Some controversy in library land this week with Ebsco having gained exclusive access to some magazine content. How much seems debatable and following 'open-letters' from other vendors Ebsco defends itself (ResourceShelf)

EBSCO has many agreements with many publishers, and is very open about the fact that our databases include dramatically more unique content than other aggregators. We think publishers choose to work with EBSCO because we listen to their concerns and attempt to find solutions that work for the publisher and for libraries. Publishers appreciate that we respect the value of their content and do not sublicense their content to free websites that compete with libraries and each publisher’s core business.
While Gale is correct that ongoing full text for Forbes will be available via some EBSCOhost full-text databases and not Gale’s; their depiction of the way this happened is not accurate. In fact, Forbes told us that they received multiple bids from library market aggregators and simply decided to go with EBSCO.

Elisabeth Murdoch: ‘Borderline Piracy May Be Our Best Outlet’ PaidContent
“Fans remain the best salesmen of our content, even if that behavior is on the borderline of piracy. Danger of the new world is that we must concede that we’ll lose some control,” Murdoch, who owns TV producer Shine, said in a speech to the NATPE TV conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday. That must take us to “the borderline of piracy”, she said, according to Broadcasting & Cable.
The head of the Interactive Ad Bureau Randall Rothenberg delivers an 'iRant' against the iPad. (MediaPost)

In the iPad's case, Rothenberg takes issue specifically with its lack of support for Adobe Flash, a core element of much online display advertising. Ad executives interviewed Wednesday also cited the iPad's lack of Flash as a drawback but welcomed the device's larger screen size as a plus for mobile marketing. But the iPad still is not as bad as Amazon's Kindle, "more akin to a company town, with everything from access to product offerings to pricing tightly managed." Increasingly, "degree of openness" will be the key differentiator among all the walled gardens springing up around the Web, he argues. Netflix streaming is fairly close, Boxee is more open. But overall, fragmentation is growing.

In an interesting move, Gale has acquired Questia: (Press Release)
Gale, part of Cengage Learning, has acquired the assets of Questia Media, Inc., a leading provider of information and educational resources to students through its and products. Questia provides a premium subscription-based online information service that gives users access to more than 76,000 books from 300+ publishers and millions of articles from journals, magazines and newspapers.

“Questia has developed excellent products for learners and educators, with quality content and unique technologies created specifically for college students, professors and high school students,” said Patrick C. Sommers, president, Gale. “The business has a solid subscription base and is developing unique applications to extend its reach to users around the world.

“Questia will further broaden Gale’s extensive content base, by adding information from tens of thousands of scholarly books selected from leading publishers to support learning in high school and college. In addition, it will enhance Gale’s offerings with new research and productivity tools, lesson plans and professional development for the classroom,” said Sommers.

“But perhaps most importantly, Questia will expand our depth and reach to users who begin their search for information on the Web,” said Sommers. “A major focus at Gale is reaching users wherever they do their research and connecting them with high-quality content and the resources of their library. We see considerable synergy with Gale’s HighBeam, and AccessMyLibrary services, as well as our library products, and we look forward to the expansion of content and services that will result from this combination of resources.”

1 comment:

eLearning said...

Nice blog post. Hope you are doing well. There's a lot of improvements. keep up the good work.