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E-Books Survey Given at JSM

1 October 2009 886 views No Comment
Series Acquisitions Editor Sara J. Murphy staffs the SIAM booth during this year’s JSM in Washington, DC.

Series Acquisitions Editor Sara J. Murphy staffs the SIAM booth during this year’s JSM in Washington, DC.

Every year at JSM, those staffing the ASA-SIAM series booth offer a short survey to obtain attendee feedback on issues relating to the series. This year’s survey asked demographic questions and then focused on respondents’ use of electronic books (e-books). Of the 201 survey-takers, 73 (36%) had used an e-book for professional purposes within the last 12 months. Only 11 (5.5% of total respondents) purchased the e-book; the remainder either used a copy that belonged to another person or library or received a free download.

Thirty-six of 146 people (25%) said they would consider using e-books for work-related purposes in the future. Reasons why respondents were not interested in using e-books included that they can be hard to read, don’t provide a means to make marginal notes, are hard to transport since you need a computer to access them, and have limited accessibility.

For those respondents who answered that they have used or would use e-books for professional purposes, some benefits of the format were the ease of searching, accessibility from multiple locations, cost being sometimes lower than printed books, and that e-books are environmentally friendly.

The board and council of SIAM, the organization that handles the production details of the books in the series, have recently approved a proposal to begin an e-book program, and the vendor search is ongoing. Survey respondents’ feedback about e-books will be a valuable resource as the details of the program are determined. Keep an eye on this column for more news about the e-book program and how it will affect the ASA-SIAM series.

As always, if you are working on a book project and are interested in submitting a proposal, contact Series Acquisitions Editor Sara J. Murphy at murphy@siam.org.

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