E-Texts

From ElateWiki


Electronic texts (e-texts) and books (e-books) are publications that are being used in some online courses. These may be created by e-book software, or they may be built using existing site-authoring tools.

Contents

E-Text / E-Book Conventions

These electronic texts often keep the conventions of books like titles, chapters, forewords, afterwords, and in-text graphics. Many keep their pagination, too.

They also bring in additional features enabled by various coding methods that enable interactivity, simulations, annotation, and multimedia. E-books are known for their content richness. They are also known for their portability. They are broadly searchable through textual means.

E-books tend to be easier to update. For authors who want to customize a text, it would seem much easier to have their own authored e-book which they may revise for different learning circumstances and readers.

Many also look to electronic books to save on paper and natural resources.

Academic Library Needs

University libraries have been adding e-books to their collections. The avoidance of the need to re-shelve resources alone saves a lot of staff time. Librarians say that they prefer perpetual access, which protects against the possibility of massive changes if particular content providers and vendors are changed.

Librarians have to make long-term decisions about the value of electronic publications in terms of content providers, costs, records maintenance, and end-user satisfaction. E-books that are in non-proprietary formats have the greatest usability. It is important that these books may be deployed on various platforms (websites, data repositories, digital libraries, and learning / course management systems, to name a few).

Some e-books are sold as parts of packages and series, and others may be purchased singly.

Digital rights management (DRM) may limit the broader usability of e-books.

Readers' Perspectives

Readers may more easily highlight and annotate some electronic texts. E-texts consist not only of books for sale, but also many that are digitized and in the public domain.

Free electronic books may be a kind of "bridge" to the paid contents, according to some librarians. Some sites that offer free e-books include the following:

Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page

Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts: http://infomotions.com/alex/

The University of Texas Libraries "Electronic Books" section offers many links to e-book sites: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/books/etext.html.

With or Without Digital Readers

E-texts may be read on any computer. Many work with mobile devices. Others require electronic devices to support the reading.

See Also

Amazon's Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Kindle-Ereader-Family/b?ie=UTF8&node=6669702011

Sony Reader: http://www.sony.com/electronics/digital-paper-notepads/dpts1

References