I had an interesting conversation with a researcher today. He wanted to talk about our decision to purchase research materials in ebook format. He has been taking advantage of the ebooks that we have purchasing in his research area and was full of enthusiasm for the convenience of being able to reading ebooks on his iPhone.
However, he said that our ebooks with a 7 day loan period were woefully inadequate in comparison to the titles in our print collections, for taking notes for research. Typically, he was finding that he was just starting to read an ebook when the loan expired (there is no reminder) and he was losing his notes. There is the capacity to save the notes as a text file and export them before the loan expires, but he felt that exporting small sections of work in separate files, was just adding another layer to managing his research. For him, print was the clear winner because he could scribble in the margins and keep the book pretty much indefinitely, thanks to our generous renewal policy.
Academic staff have very different needs in comparison to coursework students and this is something we need to work harder to address in our library, when we are purchasing in ebook format. Does your library offer EBL ebooks and do you have any suggestions for managing note taking?