This issue focuses on online books, and I’m delighted to offer a few words of welcome for you, our readers.
Within the next five years, Elsevier’s Science & Technology Books division will go from having less than 5% of our list available in an electronic format to over 80% of our front and backlist titles available online. This huge shift comes directly from demands of our customers who, having seen the benefits of e-formats for journal articles, now want those same benefits in longer consolidated information formats delivered exactly the same way.
Indeed, the very concept of a “book” is radically shifting away from the traditional view of a bound tome sitting on a shelf to a large database of consolidated, thematic content. This year at Elsevier in the S&T division we will be experimenting with this format and plan on releasing a series of high-level academic “books” in electronic format only. These books will be available on our ScienceDirect platform and to selected third-party content suppliers.
We will of course be very interested in this format and how it works for you. In addition, we will launch a series of interactive “learning products" that contain information delivered by traditional books but in an online format developed specifically for the professional training market. I look forward to sharing our progress with these initiatives in the near future.
I hope you enjoy this new issue of Library Connect and look forward to your feedback in the coming months.
Jim Donohue, Managing Director, Science & Technology Books, Elsevier, Oxford, UK
Q & A Snapshot with Jim Donohue
Q: What were you doing before joining Elsevier in May 2006?
A: I have held a variety of senior management positions at places like Simon and Schuster, Times Mirror, NetDoctor, Oxford University Press and most recently Augsburg Fortress, a well known academic theological press. I have worked in the US, the UK and Denmark and have traveled extensively in Europe, Africa and South America.
Q: What industry trends are you watching?
A: I am watching and hopefully responding to the development of electronic delivery of content and e-learning, particularly in North America.
Q: What's the best part of your job?
A: The people I work with and the customers I work for.
Q: What is your favorite book?
A: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. When I was a teen I read this book (the first novel I ever read), and it has resonated with me all my life.
Q: What are you reading now?
A: The Piano Tuner, the first novel from Daniel Mason, a young American writer. It is set in Southeast Asia and involves a physical as well as emotional journey. I guess because I like to travel so much and know how profoundly travel changes everything about how you see yourself and others, I was really drawn to this novel.