The Online Books Evaluation Project at Columbia University Final Report
From winter 1995 to autumn 1999, the Online Books Evaluation Project at Columbia University explored the potential for online books to become significant resources in the academic world. The Project analyzed (1) the Columbia community’s adoption of and reaction to online books; (2) the relative life cycle costs of producing and owning online books and their print counterparts; (3) the implications of traditions of scholarly communications and publishing and marketplace reactions for online books. This report encompasses all of the project’s analyses, in most cases incorporating data for the period ending June 1999. It includes a discussion of our methodology as well as findings on the following issues: (1) developments in environmental factors in general and at Columbia; (2) use of the online books; (3) users’ reactions to the books in their various formats, from surveys and individual and group interviews; (5) costs of publishing and maintaining print and online books in a library; (6) scholarly communications issues; and (7) college and university librarians’ reactions to the concept of online books.
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