Thursday, September 06, 2007

What do you want to call it?

Some of us have always struggled to see textural works as books or journals and remember the shock and horror of many when all works were first referred to as ‘product’ or worse still ‘stuff’. But the reality is that it is hard to keep these fine lines of definition when the works themselves are being digitally exploded. Books have always come in many formats, or renditions and often belong to a series or have associated works. Today there are now many more digital formats and as with training course packs and reference works, they are now also being fragmented within the works themselves. Journals were always broken down into issues and articles but in the online world the referential linking to supplemental information is very real.

Ingram Digital Group, and Swets, a leading worldwide subscription services company, have announced a joint initiative which combines the features of Ingram’s MyiLibrary and Swets offers, to provide organizations a single access interface to manage both their journal subscriptions and eBooks.

It is clearly a step forward in breaking down the demarcation barriers between subscription and purchased product and the article and book worlds. We also see others such as Cengage (previously Thomson Learning EMEA) starting to combine their article and book offers within services such as BizEd Premier. Others, such as in the travel sector, are starting to combine multimedia not as an afterthought, but into the original design and development. We are clearly entering the world of stuff or whatever we want to call it.