Relax and enjoy it

Michael Jensen, Presses Have Little to Fear From Google, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 8, 2005. discussing the strategy of National Academies Press (hat tip, Open Access News):

Every new book we published was scanned and made navigable online, free, at the same time it was available for sale. To our delight, we found that page images with searchable text behind them actually seemed to increase sales, not replace them with online reading….For the last few years, I’ve heard (mostly older) scholars and librarians moan, “If they can’t Google it, it doesn’t exist for these kids.” That’s a reality publishers should be loath to deny… If the new digitally driven scholars can Google an essay or book, then they’ll use it for further research. If they can’t, they may well not….I can speak only for myself, not my press, but in general I think that it’s in the best self-interest of scholarly publishers to relax a bit about how we respond to intellectual-property issues raised by digitization plans like Google’s. We need a bit more trust, so that we can take advantage of the new capabilities of a networked society….Google is offering something marvelous, if imperfect; its model is more likely to help more people find library resources and publishers’ works than anything else on the horizon.

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One Response to Relax and enjoy it

  1. Pingback: Giving away digital books increases sales « Curt’s Comments

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