Long Form Content: Ebooks, Print Volumes and the Concerns of Those Who Use Both

Virtual Conference

It’s a muddled area for libraries, content providers and readers. Long-form content has traditionally been contained in printed volumes both for reasons of consumption as well as convenient access. With the arrival of ebooks, some aspects of engaging with long-form content became a bit easier – searchability, mobility, etc. Still, neither form seems to fully satisfy. Each user learns his or her own best practices for reading and referencing book content. Is it any wonder then that those whose scholarship relies on long-form content are suspicious of proposed changes to book production, delivery and access?

This virtual conference will consider from a variety of perspectives issues associated with creation, publication, and distribution of The Book. Speakers may explore metrics of usage (downloads, duration of reading session, etc.) as well as questions of reader behavior, assignment of metadata, and long-term access to licensed digital content.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Catherine Ahearn, Senior Product Editor, PubPub, MIT Knowledge Futures Group
  • Tzviya Siegman, Information Standards Lead, Wiley
  • Jaclyn Kovach, Product Manager, ASTM
  • Kara Laufer Levesque, Digital Content Project Manager, ASTM
  • Kathryn Conrad, Director, The University of Arizona Press
  • Melissa Milazzo, Product Manager, Science & Technology Books, Elsevier
  • Gina Donato, Director, Content Transformation, Elsevier
  • Kevin Hawkins, Assistant Dean for Scholarly Communication, University of North Texas Libraries 

            This Virtual Conference Includes a Training Thursday Session, scheduled for March 28

Event Sessions

12:00 p.m. - 12:15 p.m. - Welcome


12:15 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. - Creating and Producing Stand-Alone, Long Form Content


This presentation will offer an overview of how PubPub, in partnership with the MIT Press, has supported long-form content. PubPub is an open access, open source content platform that supports work across genres, including books, journals, conference proceedings, and notes from research groups. This multiplicity serves as both a challenge and an asset in determining how to best format and support long-form work. Catherine will focus on two books, Frankenbook and Data Feminism, when discussing considerations such as reader engagement, content design, goal-setting, and open access publishing models. Underlying these questions is MIT Press’s ultimate goal of offering more support and services to authors and readers and PubPub’s goal of being a venue upon which these services can be provided for the effective communication of ideas, research, and learning.

12:45 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. - Challenges and Opportunities with Producing Diverse Content


ASTM International is a Standards Development Organization that has been in existence for over 120 years. In addition to print and PDF downloads, we have an online platform, ASTM Compass®, that hosts ASTM content as well as Third Party Content. Some of the main content types that we host are standards, books, and journals – this content can vary in size, structure, and complexity. We strive to provide subscribers with the best user experience, accessibility, and additional tools as possible. With long-form content, additional challenges are posed. Our discussion will focus on the types of long-form content that we host, XML experiences with that content, the structure vs. flexibility balance, and overall challenges and opportunities.

1:15 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. - Creating Accessible Content


This presentation will offer an overview of accessibility. We will cover the basic definition of accessibility and the standards that define it. We will talk about the business, social, and legal obligations around accessibility. We will discuss practices for getting started on an accessible workflow and resources, testing, and tooling for accessibility.

1:45 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Break

2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. - The Library and the University Press


University presses are the top publishers of long form content in many academic disciplines and the demand for print books continues even as new forms and formats offer advantages to both content producers and content consumers. How do presses adapt to meet today’s needs and prepare to tomorrow’s? This session addresses how one press is leveraging new products and platforms to meet evolving needs including enhanced e-books and hybrid formats.

2:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. - Rewriting the Book: Long-Form Content for the Digital Age


Gina Donato

Director, Content Transformation for Education, Reference & Continuity

With the advent of ebooks and online platforms, long form content is more readily available to users than ever before. Unfortunately, this vast information ecosystem can be overwhelming, and users may struggle to find authoritative, relevant, and quick answers to their questions.This talk will demonstrate how to rethink the creation of long-form content by combining upstream efforts at the point of authoring with machine learning technology to give users a new way to discover and engage with long-form content.

3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. - Monitoring Usage of Open Access Long-Form Content


Kevin Hawkins

Assistant Dean for Scholarly Communication
University of North Texas Libraries

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation recently funded a study of the landscape of usage data for open-access scholarly monographs and an investigation of the viability of creating a data trust for sharing of usage data among stakeholders in the publishing ecosystem. In spring 2019, the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) will publish a final white paper that takes into account feedback from the community during a consultation period.  This presentation will provide a summary of the main findings and proposals of the forthcoming white paper.

3:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. - Roundtable Discussion

Additional Information

  • Registrants will receive detailed instructions about accessing the archived recording within one business day. Due to the widespread use of spam blockers, filters, out of office messages, etc., we ask that you contact the NISO office at nisohq@niso.org if you do not receive these instructions in a timely fashion. This recording access is only to be used by the registrant's organization.

  • Speaker presentation slides are posted to this event webpage following the live broadcast.

For Online Events

  • You will need a computer in order to view the broadcast; audio should feed through your device’s speaker or attached headset.

  • If you have questions or concerns regarding this registration, please contact NISO headquarters via email to nisohq@niso.org. We appreciate your interest and hope that you will gain valuable insight from our speakers.