Monday, September 24, 2007

FREE full-text Berkshire encyclopedias

I do not usually like to give free plugs to commercial vendors of history products. However, I appreciate that Berkshire is giving a free preview of many of their new products including Global Perspectives on the United States and the Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History.

Two questions. How long will this free trial last? And, is cut and pasting possible from the e-text? One of the benefits of electronic sources is that quoting from a document is easy. However, when publishers lock a .pdf file down so that transferring text is hard without downloading a program from a Warez site, it defeats one of the major points of online access. Being able to copy text should be obvious for end users. If it is hard, not obvious, or not possible, I would recommend that the librarian not purchase the resource. I may appreciate having online access to these resources but I am going to be seriously annoyed if I have to print out and then re-type text to quote and cite when I am writing.

From an e-mail forwarded to me by a librarian on campus:

Our quiet launch of FREE full-text searchable versions of a number of our recent bestselling title last week is already being picked up by bloggers, and I thought I should rush a note to friends and colleagues who have been following Berkshire’s story. These editions are available through innovative European company, Exact Editions, and we are offering them completely free for a limited trial period, no login required. This is a new step for a book publisher and we are doing it to show our library customers the richness of Berkshire’s small, high-quality list of reference publications on global topics. Here’s where to go:

Peter Suber at Open Access News writes: “I don't normally blog promotional offers of temporary free access. But this is the first time I've seen that strategy used for books, as opposed to journals, and . . . I'd like to see more book publishers try this, in part to help authors and readers, even briefly, and in part to test the waters of OA publishing.”

Berkshire publications are recommended for academic, school, and public libraries, and we’re eager to expand our range of contacts in all these types of library as we have a thrilling range of 2008 publications focusing on China and sustainability—key topics for the future!

Please take a look, and we’d be most grateful if you would forward this e-mail to other reference librarians who might not be on our small (and very select!) mailing list.

Warm regards on a beautiful New England autumn day, Karen.

Karen CHRISTENSEN 沈凯伦 c.e.o., Berkshire Publishing Group 伯克夏出版集团 ( +1 413 528 0206 Skype: karen_christensen 8 Blog:

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