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

  • Cancellations made by Wednesday, March 13, 2019 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 conference.

  • If you have not received your Login Instruction e-mail by 10 a.m. (ET) on the day before the virtual conference, please contact the NISO office at nisohq@niso.org for immediate assistance.

  • The NISO registration model assumes one computer in use per site (one registration = one computer in use for a group).  You may have an unlimited number of staff from your institution/organization view the live broadcast from that connection. Those unable to listen in to the live broadcast will be able to listen to the archived recording included in the cost of your registration.  Please contact NISO (nisohq@niso.org) if you have a particular need for additional access to the live broadcast at your institution.

  • If you are registering someone else from your organization, either use that person's e-mail address when registering or contact nisohq@niso.org to provide alternate contact information.

  • Speaker 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.

For Online Events

  • 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.