NISO Virtual Conference: Experts on E-Books

Wednesday, October 5, 2016
11:00 - 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time)

System Requirements:

  • NISO has developed a quick tutorial, How to Participate in a NISO Web Event. Please view the recording, which is an overview of the web conferencing system and will help to answer the most commonly asked questions regarding participating in an online Webex event.
  • You will need a computer for the presentation and Q&A.
  • Audio is available through the computer (broadcast) and by telephone. We recommend you have a set-up for telephone audio as back-up even if you plan to use the broadcast audio as the voice over Internet isn't always 100% reliable.
  • Please check your system in advance to make sure it meets the Cisco WebEx requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that your system is properly set up before each webinar begins. 

About the Virtual Conference

The growth of digital books in the broader market has slowed.  But it has settled at a significant portion of the popular book market. Ebook packages of scholarly monographs and the availability of ebooks collections available for the library market continue to increase, as publishers become more comfortable with offerings via library channels.  While the market for ebooks matures, the systems for managing delivery of ebooks continue to develop.  While dominant players remain, other entrants are providing innovative solutions for publishers and libraries. During this virtual conference, we will explore the changes taking place in the marketplace for electronic books and how those developments are impacting the availability of digital books for patrons.  In addition to business trends, the interconnected issues of content forms, platforms and devices for accessing ebooks will also be covered.  


11:00am – 11:10am – Introduction
Todd Carpenter, Executive Director, NISO

11:10am - 11:45am  Laying the Groundwork: Platforms, Devices, & Interfaces
Confirmed Speaker: Jacob Wilcock, Director, Publishing Technologies, Atypon 

The market for e-books and digital content is continually evolving and adapting, while simultaneously becoming increasingly global in terms of its interdependence and reach. Many determinants of this evolving and decentralized information environment are beyond the control of any one actor, institution, or organization and rely on interoperability between content providers, technology enablers, and eBook distributors to deliver engaging e-book experiences to end users.

While traditional print publishing was in the control of publishing houses and the reading experience mostly standardized, the shift to digital publishing diversified the publishing industry and allowed for new players to enter the market, position, and differentiate themselves.

The quest for market share, revenue, and relevance in this new reality has had both positive and negative effects on the user experience and accounts for many of the challenges that must be addressed for the market to achieve sustainable growth.

In this dynamic and maturing marketplace, there is significant scope for scholarly publishers and libraries to act as the architects of their own future, review their strategies, and adapt to the digital transformation and expectations of their users.

Jacob Wilcock works with a wide range of publishers to adapt Atypon's technology offerings to the changing needs of the publishing market. Before joining Atypon, he founded ReConn, an analytics startup specializing in research grants management. He holds two degrees in Information Systems from Carnegie Mellon, where he also lectured in Aviation Safety.

11:45am - 12:15pm  Reader Usage and Behavioral Data: Observing Readers in Their Natural Habitat
Confirmed Speaker: Andrew Rhomberg, Founder, Jellybooks


Publishers never knew if book buyers were actually reading their books. This is changing now. Amazon, Apple and Google have hoards of ebook reading data, but don’t share them. Jellybooks is changing that and enabling authors and publishers to collect reading data by embedding tracking software inside ebooks to record reading data on 3rd party reading platforms. The approach is similar to a “Google Analytics for ebooks” and hence Jellybooks has been called “Moneyball for Publishing” by the New York Times. The data tracking is totally transparent to the reader who is in control of the process. Managing data privacy is actually the easy bit. Publisher fear about data-based decision making replacing gut-instinct is the more challenging frontier. The times are changing though and more and more publisher are putting reader analytics and audience insights to good use in their operations.

Andrew is the founder of London-based Jellybooks, a start-up focused on reader analytics and measuring audience engagement. He previously worked at txtr, Skype Reciva, Here (Nokia/gate5) and Shell. He holds a science Ph.D. from MIT. Follow him on Twitter at @arhomberg or @Jellybooks.

12:15pm- 1:00pm Content Presentation: What Jane Saw: Because Some Scholarship Cannot Fit Inside A Book?
Janine Barchas, Professor of English, University of Texas - Austin

Join Professor Janine Barchas from the University of Texas as she walks you through her digital reconstructions of two museum spectacles witnessed by Jane Austen (in 1796 and 1813). She will explain how this visualization project, which proved “bigger than the breadbox of an article” and yet so different from the traditional scholarly book, came about. She will also give us a peek in to the VR project that is next for What Jane Saw.

Take a look before the talk at:

Janine Barchas is Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of Matters of Fact in Jane Austen: History, Location, and Celebrity (Johns Hopkins, 2012) and the creator behind “What Jane Saw” ( , 2013). Most recently, she is co-curator of the exhibition “Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen, and the Cult of Celebrity” currently at the Folger Shakespeare Library through November 6.

1:00pm - 1:45pm Lunch

1:45pm - 2:15pm Making The Metadata Work 
Chip Nilges, Vice President for Business Development, OCLC

Download the OCLC White Paper Referenced by Chip Nilges: Success Strategies for Electronic Content Discovery and Access 

In the print world, metadata carries only part of the discovery and accessibility “payload.” A user looking for a print title needs only enough metadata to find the record describing a book that meets his or her needs and where it is on the library or bookstore shelf. In the digital world, the demand on metadata is far greater, because the entire process of finding, evaluating, choosing, and often “consuming” the book happens online. The Web has also created many new channels for book discovery and many different business models for selling it. Each channel and each business model carries with it new requirements for metadata and how it’s shared to support discovery, acquisition and access.

While the metadata needs to do more for electronic media, and do it in more places, this doesn’t mean that traditional practices for creating and using high quality print title metadata have lost value. However, traditional practices need to be augmented in a variety of ways to support new business models and new types of usage.

This presentation will outline best practices for ebook metadata management based on OCLC’s experience in working with the world’s leading publishers and global libraries to support digital workflows.

Chip originally joined OCLC in 1994. In his career with OCLC, he has managed OCLC reference and interlibrary loan services and has led a variety of new product planning efforts, including QuestionPoint and Chip became Vice President of Business Development in 2007. Chip and his team manage OCLC’s commercial partnerships with publishers, consumer Web sites and library service providers. Chip also manages acquisitions for OCLC and sits on the professional board of CLOCKSS (Controlled Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe). He holds an MBA and MA in Literature, both from The Ohio State University.

2:15-2:45 Business Models: New Challenges & New Opportunities.
Luke Swindler, Collections Management Officer. Collection Development, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

The speaker has confirmed that he will be addressing the following:

  • Trends in E-books Acquisitions & Collections Matrix
  • E-Books Impact on Traditional Library Resource Sharing
  • Demand/Patron-Driven Acquisitions Challenges & Solutions
  • Changing Collections Goals & Changing E-Books Licensing Needs

2:45-3:15 The Integrity of the EBook The EBook as a Scholarly Work in an Ephemeral Medium
Alistair Morrison, ScienceDirect Senior Product Manager for Books, Elsevier

The value of books in academic research depends to a great extent on values and conventions that have evolved through the history of print publishing. The transition to eBooks may turn out to be as significant a change as the introduction of the codex or the printing press. As professionals devoted to the creation, curation, and discovery of online book content, we have to discern what should be preserved and what should change among those print-based values and conventions. For publishers, the questions are especially acute. As we move to a medium that is (perceived to be) almost free of cost how do we define and defend the value of our work? Can we fully embrace the new technology and preserve what makes eBooks books?

Alistair Morrison, M.A., M.L.S., is the senior ScienceDirect product manager for online books and reference works. He has twenty-five years of experience in traditional and online publishing. His focus is currently on improving researchers’ productivity on ScienceDirect through content enrichment and taxonomy-based features.

3:15 - 3:30 Break

3:30pm - 4:30pm Case Studies Each of the following speakers is allotted 30 minutes for their presentation & is asked to discuss the following:
● Rationale for specific project, approach, pilot, initiative
● Outline current status
● Unforeseen challenges in exploring this area
● Accomplishments/Successes

3:30 - 4:00 Project/Case Study I -- OpenStax
Confirmed Speaker: Richard Baraniuk, Founder, OpenStax


OpenStax is a non-profit initiative of Rice University that aims to improve both the access to high-quality educational experiences and learning outcomes. Building on 17 years of experience in open education resources (OER), OpenStax is publishing a library of free, open, professional-quality textbooks for the most highly enrolled college courses. Over the past four years, OpenStax textbooks have been adopted at 27% of all degree-granting colleges and universities, saving 1.5M students $145M. This talk will overview the past, present, and future of OpenStax as we move towards sustainability and introduce an adaptive learning platform to deliver customized instruction to students.

Richard Baraniuk is the Victor E. Cameron Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University and the Founder and Director of Connexions ( and OpenStax ( He is a Fellow of the IEEE and AAAS and has received numerous awards for his research in signal processing and machine learning. For his technology-enabled education projects, he has received the C. Holmes MacDonald National Outstanding Teaching Award from Eta Kappa Nu, the Tech Museum of Innovation Laureate Award, the Internet Pioneer Award from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, the World Technology Award for Education, the IEEE-SPS Education Award, the WISE Education Award, and the IEEE James H. Mulligan, Jr. Medal.

4:00 - 4:30 Project/Case Study II -- Knowledge Unlatched
Judy Luther, President, Informed Strategies; Consultant to Knowledge Unlatched

Knowledge Unlatched is a collaborative effort by libraries and publishers that offers a path to open access for ebooks. Designed initially to provide open access arts and humanities books KU is a global initiative that has succeeded in unlatching over 100 books that have averaged an amazing 3000 downloads per title across 175 countries. Building on the success of the Pilot and Round 2 KU is expanding the number of titles available with KU Select 2016. KU’s evolution will be discussed along with challenges unique to open content and plans for sustainability through future growth.

Judy Luther is President of Informed Strategies which offers consulting services that maximize the value of digital content for all stakeholders. Her work with Frances Pinter, founder of Knowledge Unlatched, was instrumental in developing a successful model for collaborative funding of Open Access scholarly books.

* * * * * * * * *

4:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Roundtable Discussion 
Moderated by: Todd Carpenter, Executive Director, NISO


SAVE! Register for multiple events.

If paying by credit card, register online.

If paying by check, please use this PDF form.

Registration for the live broadcast closes on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern.

Registration Costs

  • NISO LSA & Voting Members
    • $185.00 (US and Canada)
    • $225.00 (International)
  • Non-Member
    • $245.00 (US and Canada)
    • $285.00 (International)
  • Student
    • $80.00

Additional Information

  • Cancellations made by Wednesday, September 28, 2016 will receive a refund, less a $35 cancellation. After that date, there are no refunds.
  • Registrants will receive detailed instructions about accessing the virtual conference via e-mail the Friday prior to the event. (Anyone registering between Monday and the close of registration will receive the message shortly after the registration is received, within normal business hours.) Due to the widespread use of spam blockers, filters, out of office messages, etc., it is your responsibility to contact the NISO office if you do not receive login instructions before the start of the webinar.
  • If you have not received your Login Instruction e-mail by 10 a.m. (ET) on the Tuesday before the virtual conference, please contact the NISO office at for immediate assistance.
  • Registration is per site (access for one computer) and includes access to the online recorded archive of the conference. You may have as many people as you like from the registrant's organization view the conference from that one connection. If you need additional connections, you will need to enter a separate registration for each connection needed.
  • If you are registering someone else from your organization, either use that person's e-mail address when registering or contact to provide alternate contact information.
  • Conference presentation slides and Q&A will be posted to this event webpage following the live conference.
  • Registrants will receive an e-mail message containing access information to the archived conference recording within 48 hours after the event. This recording access is only to be used by the registrant's organization.