Ebrary is one of Stockholm University Library’s most used multidisciplinary databases for e-books. In 2014, our library account with Ebrary was used for approximately one million downloads by students, teachers and researchers at the university. Ebrary will in the future change name to Ebook Central and the database will be upgraded to a new version.
Last week Stockholm University Library met ProQuest, which operates Ebrary, during one of their information days in Sweden. We took the opportunity to give feedback and to discuss future improvements. The library has received internal feedback on features that users want to see improved, which we shared with ProQuest. One desired improvement is to be able to highlight in PDFs, which is not possible today since the PDF originally is made from an image.
The name change from Ebrary to Ebook Cenral will be done at the same time as the database will be upgraded to a new version. New features will be added and the database will have a new interface. As some of the desired improvements are included in the new upgraded version, the library has expressed a wish to be migrated in an early stage. According to information from ProQuest our account will be upgraded before Christmas, which is very positive since other clients have to wait much longer for the migration.
How do they know what the users want?
We took the opportunity to ask how they collect feedback before for future development, and how they've done it so far: ProQuest has a special collaboration with an American university with which they are working with focus groups, consisting of the researchers and students, to see how the product is used and what problems users encounter.
Would you like to give feedback directly to ProQuest on Ebrary, you can enter the database and click on the ”Send feedback” button.
News in the updated version
In the new version the layout will be simplified to make it easier for the user. This is two areas of improvements that we have asked ProQuest to answer:
Notes and highlights are not possible in some e-book services, and the users don’t want it to disappear when the book is returned. How will it be in the future in Ebook Central?
Answer from ProQuest: Notes and highlighting are possible online in three different colours but offline highlighting is not possible. Notes are possible online and offline. Online notes are kept in the personal bookshelf (and can be exported at any time). Offline notes are kept within the Adobe Digital Editions environment (or Bluefire Reader app if the user is on a mobile device) and notes are not kept past the expiration date of the book. It’s possible for users to export those notes as well so they don’t lose them.
TIP! To keep your notes and highlights remember to save them to your computer, your mobile device or mail them to yourselves before the expiration date of the downloaded book.
Users want to see improved printing possibilities as to the quantity of pages. How will it be in the future in Ebook Central?
Answer from ProQuest: With Ebook Central, the users will be able to print up to 40% of any book in one session. They can print another 40% when the session is renewed every 4 weeks. This means that within a 500 page book, 200 pages of this can be printed. There are some publishers that have different restrictions - Taylor and Francis is one example and they currently only allow 60 pages of printing.
This is what it will look like on the new ProQuest Ebook Central which we will be upgraded to before Christmas:
DETAIL PAGE SHOWING CHAPTER DOWNLOAD OPTION
DOWNLOAD SCREEN GIVES YOU CHOICE OF WHICH CHAPTER YOU’D LIKE
OPEN PDF AND IT WILL APPEAR IN PDF ON BOTTOM LEFT OF SCREEN (USING CHROME AS BROWSER)
APPEARANCE OF PDF AND RESIZING/POSITIONING OPTIONS
FACILITY TO SELECT TEXT AND RIGHT CLICK TO COPY, AND USE CTRL+F FUNCTION TO FIND KEYWORDS