During the meeting HEB was pleased to be able to report that we are currently in the process of creating handheld editions of an initial batch of around fifty titles from our online collection, slated for release in May or June. The books will be competitively priced and available for individual purchase from various online retailers. They will be the first of about 300 titles that HEB is placing into its handheld program in order to investigate the viability of this format for scholarly monographs and to test the efficiencies and costs of a replicable and scalable workflow. This project follows up on the findings of our survey and white paper devoted to the issue of scholarly monographs in handheld devices completed August 2010.
HEB discussed with subscribers and other interested librarians its prospective plans to offer titles for download to mobile/handheld devices. There is currently no provision for making downloadable titles available as part of a subscription package, since all content is already available to unlimited users online through our regular subscription terms. HEB sees the handheld as the digital equivalent to its POD (print-on-demand) program, that is, as another method of expanding its core online service to additional audiences and uses for those who desire such formats.
HEB also reviewed with librarians several new digital publishing initiatives currently in the planning stages or underway at various universities, university presses and other academic institutions. While many new publisher initiatives are planning the creation of extensive frontlist offerings for digital purchase, HEB remains committed to its role in providing an extensive, very reasonably priced, curated list of the highest-quality titles in the humanities that have passed the test of time and that will have greater assurance of access and use by library patrons. Through its rigorous peer-review process, coordinated with ACLS's seventy constituent learned societies, HEB will continue to offer the best of humanities scholarship in a single, not-for-profit platform for years to come.
Stay tuned for further developments on any of the above and keep up to date by visiting or subscribing to this blog.