This article has been updated to include comment from EBSCO.
EBSCO Publishing (EBSCO) released its first subscription ebook collection. The aptly named eBook Academic Subscription Collection supplies nearly 70,000 full-text ebooks on academic subjects from business to science and engineering to the humanities. It is offered on an annual subscription basis with unlimited access to the content, and each title is offered with unlimited, simultaneous users. “The hope is to avoid having an ebook that is ever checked out, which just doesn’t jibe with the way people view electronic content,” EBSCO spokesperson Kathleen McEvoy told LJ.
Pricing is based on full time enrollment. Additional titles will be added to the package each month at no additional cost.
Of course, libraries can also still purchase titles from EBSCO’s nearly 300,000 ebook offerings for their permanent collections. Patron-Driven Acquisition and short-term lease options are “only a month away at the most,” said McEvoy.
The move comes shortly after OCLC transferred to EBSCO the rights to license publisher-owned databases that were previously available through OCLC’s FirstSearch reference service, such as Anthropological Index, Anthropological Literature, Anthropology Plus, Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, Chicano database, FRANCIS, Heritage of the Printed Book (formerly Hand Press Book), History of Science, Technology and Medicine, Index to 19th-Century American Art Periodicals, and Russian Academy of Sciences Bibliographies. This completes OCLC’s transition out of the role of content reseller, which began in March 2010, when EBSCO acquired the NetLibrary Division of OCLC and the rights to license a number of publisher-owned databases available through FirstSearch.