Based on a paper presented at the UKSG seminar ‘E-book: the new serial?’, The British Library Conference Centre, London,Wednesday 9 November 2005
E-books are not new but they are part of a sea-change in academic delivery that is altering both publishing and the way that teaching and learning are carried out. Publishers appear alarmed by this and have tended to cling to print as if producing publications in one format were their main purpose.This paper argues strongly that it is not. E-resources have migrated from being on the fringe of academia to establishing themselves as mainstream, and publishers seem barely aware of the resulting shift in resource requirements. If they do not become more alert to this, they are in grave danger of being by-passed. At the same time, librarians and academics should acknowledge that there is a very important role for publishers to play, that academia would be much the poorer without their services, and that, inevitably, there is a fair price to be attached to these.