The selection, acquisition and promotion of e-books at Cranfield University

  • Jordan James

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Economic and Social Studies


The purpose of this study is to investigate the efficacy of collection management and promotional techniques of e-books at Cranfield University. The aim is to investigate the selection, acquisition and promotion of e-books at Cranfield University. The objectives are to determine and describe the nature of the e-books collections held within the library; to establish and evaluate the different methods used by academic libraries to select e-books; to investigate publisher and aggregator business models used within the library and examine the issues surrounding the licensing and archiving of e-books; and to examine the promotion and marketing strategies of ebooks in academic libraries. The dissertation is a qualitative case study of Cranfield based on primary research
gathered from semi-structured interviews with three librarians at the university. A literature search was conducted to analyse current opinion in the field on the issues being investigated. The secondary sources gathered from the literature search were compared with the results from the interviews. The dissertation follows a thematic approach where each of the three principal areas: selection and acquisition; business models and licensing; and promotion are discussed independently in separate chapters. The data gathered from the interviews showed that selection is mainly carried out by librarians. Reading lists are the most significant selection criteria. There are a variety of business and licensing models available which are considered to be complex. In addition, suppliers also have a variety of archiving practices. The most common techniques used to promote e-books are the library catalogue, library website, reading lists and email. The selection and acquisition of e-books has a number of associated challenges for collection management. The majority of challenges are related to the variety and complexity of e-book business and licensing models. The e-book business is still relatively young and there remains uncertainty surrounding business models and practices. More promotion is needed to alert users to e-books. A multifaceted approach is the most effective promotional technique as it has the ability to reach the most users
Date of Award2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorRaymond Edward Lonsdale (Supervisor)

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