Reading: E-textbooks: opportunities, innovations, distractions and dilemmas


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E-textbooks: opportunities, innovations, distractions and dilemmas


Tom Davy

Thomson Learning EMEA
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Based on a paper presented at the 30th UKSG Conference, Warwick, April 2007

Given huge advances in information technology over the past 20 years, why do students still use textbooks when there are much better ways to deliver courseware digitally?

This article explores the evolution of the textbook and examines why, despite huge investments by publishers, today’s students are spending less on textbooks and are not yet using electronic resources to replace them, relying instead on free handouts and Google. This is in stark contrast to the progress that has been made in professional markets where publishers like Thomson, Reed and Wolters Kluwer now derive the majority of their revenues from digital products and services.Academics, it is argued, need to embrace digital courseware solutions, librarians need to offer new services and market themselves more effectively, and publishers need to think beyond e-books to deliver superior learning solutions.

How to Cite: Davy, T., 2007. E-textbooks: opportunities, innovations, distractions and dilemmas. Serials, 20(2), pp.98–102. DOI:
Published on 01 Jul 2007.
Peer Reviewed


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