from the ACLS (American Council of Learned Societies) quarterly eBook Spring 2009 Newsletter:
The handheld era is now firmly upon us: the Kindle, Sony eReader, and iPhone have all become central to the publishing revolution that has transformed making, distributing, and reading books. Many university presses are already placing hundreds of titles into these devices with varying levels of success. But are these "trade" devices -- machines for reading books one-up-- of great value for scholarly communication and its infrastructure of networked information? Scholarly books "talk" to one another. So, must the scholarly monograph and journal article stay cross-searchable and aggregated on the web to remain the self-reflective and intertextual resources scholars expect? Much anecdotal information and opinion flies around daily on listserves, but few studies have yet addressed these questions.
HEB has just launched a limited experiment to test the capacities of handheld devices for digital monographs. How do handhelds fill the most basic requirements of scholarly online publishing: hyperlinks, pop-up notes, enlargeable color or b&w images, sound, video, databases, external
resources, and searchability and cross-searchability?
We'll be conducting our experiment over the summer and fall and reporting our results in a white paper to be published in early 2010.
As with our other HEB white papers this will be available free on our support site and as a download, and in hard copy for a modest fee.