Workplan 2: Draft Table of Contents

Technical Landscape Exemplars and Recommendations

Author: Liza Daly <liza@threepress.org>
Date: Time-stamp: <2011-03-25 10:25:49 liza>
Description: Draft of technical landscape paper for JISC

Executive summary

Introduction

  1. Audience for this work
  2. Discussion of focus
  3. Why digital publishing now?

Note

"Why digital publishing now" will include a graph of digital book sales showing hockey-stick growth

Historical perspectives

Structured markup and academic authoring

  1. TeX and LaTeX
  2. SGML and other hypertext

Early digital book marketplaces and failures

  1. Format proliferation
  2. Lack of distribution mechanism
  3. Form-factor issues (displays and size)

Digital book landscape today

Marketplace successes

  1. Introduction of Kindle
  2. Formalization of EPUB/OEB
  3. Digital distribution precedents (other media)
  4. Proliferation of mobile devices

Note

To include sales data, trends, and international growth

Unexpected outcomes

  1. Sharp decline in retail print book business
  2. Migration of authors towards self-publishing or digital-first publishing
  3. Scramble to allocate rights from out-of-print/pre-digital works
  4. Decline in quality of product due to outsourcing and inexperience

Hardware considerations

  1. Screens: electronic ink and high-resolution displays
  2. Form factors: laptops, tablets, phones
  3. Wireless connectivity and purchase

Ebook format technical characteristics

  1. Page-based formats
  1. PDF
  2. Accessibility implications
  3. Device suitability
  4. Authoring tools
  5. Position in the academic marketplace
  1. Reflowable formats
  1. Mobipocket/AZW
  2. EPUB 2
  3. Accessibility implications
  4. Device suitability
  5. Authoring tools
  6. Internationalization and localization

Note

Charts comparing formats (PDF, Mobi, EPUB) appropriate here

  1. Future formats
  1. EPUB 3
  2. HTML5
  3. Scholarly HTML
  1. Academic considerations
  1. MathML and SVG
  2. Monograph content
  3. Stability of works
  4. Citations and linking
  5. Workflow and conversion: costs and tooling

Persistent challenges in digital book distribution

  1. Standardization versus innovation
  2. Design and usability
  3. Use in educational settings
  4. Copyright and law
  1. Google Books
  2. Digital rights management
  3. Territorial rights and ownership

Note

To include data from existing Kindle/ereader pilots in academic settings

Qualities of a successful digital distribution platform

  1. Discovery and purchase
  2. Negotiating rights
  3. Consumption
  4. User-generated content: annotations and sharing
  5. Sustainable outcomes

Note

To include specific projects to monitor that would be of interest to the target audience

Appendices

Glossary

Note

To cover general terminology in digital publishing as well as specifics about devices

Exemplar ereaders

  1. Electronic ink devices
  2. Mobile phones
  3. Desktop computer software
  4. Cloud-based
  5. Tablet computers
  6. Other potential entrants

Acknowledgments

This entry was posted in Workpackage 2 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Workplan 2: Draft Table of Contents

  1. Theo says:

    Initial comments:

    – Have a look at #scholarlyhtml for the future formats section. This is something that Peter Sefton is working on presently with a number of others, with momentum from the Beyond the PDF workshop.

  2. Liza Daly says:

    Thanks for the pointer!

  3. Sales data is going to be key, showing the growth rate of the market is a key diagram (closer to the first page the better).

    Re Unexpected outcomes, would students wanting to publish their theses be a possibility based on Theo usecase work? <– if we have real evidence.

    Alongside format technical characteristics are we going to have some user quotes about advantages/disadvantages of how it appears on different devices, e.g. "I like reading my professors book on the bus on my iPhone, etc" ?

    The whole what is an eBook device is an interesting one – a phone is 5" a tablet is 7" ? color/bw, etc. Will look forward to how we classify these things and some common industry standard terms for talking about the difference in these devices. Giving the community a language to use is significant here, perhaps a glossary somewhere?

    IPR key in this space, though I would imagine some recommendations around what JISC needs to do re IPR to lower barriers for authors movement to ePUB?

  4. Liza Daly says:

    Thanks David, this is helpful feedback.

    Alongside format technical characteristics are we going to have some user quotes about advantages/disadvantages of how it appears on different devices, e.g. “I like reading my professors book on the bus on my iPhone, etc” ?

    Good to know, I will try to solicit direct feedback from students.

    Giving the community a language to use is significant here, perhaps a glossary somewhere?

    Great suggestion.

    what JISC needs to do re IPR to lower barriers for authors movement to ePUB?

    What high-level topics would be appropriate here? Creative Commons? Should I touch on the issues around the Google Books (non)-settlement?

  5. xpeter says:

    One of the biggest issues is tooling. “Workflow and conversion: costs and tooling”

    We still have a situation where most of thewords in Academia written in Word – and there is a disconnect between Word and the web. Words make their way to the web via publisher processes, or as PDF. This will impact on epub and other web-based book formats. One of the most promising leads here is with Microsoft Research, Alex Wade – are you listening?

    Then there’s LaTeX where there is a different disconnect. Any individual LaTeX community should be able to tool-up to make web content, but there is no generic solution.

    ptsefton