Library e-books acquisition project completed

Posted on 20/05/2013

Staff from Royal Holloway’s Library have successfully completed a project aimed at demystifying the complexities of e-books acquisition for the benefit of libraries in the M25 region.

The Jisc-funded EBASS-25 (E-Books Acquisition as a Shared Services in the M25) was led by the Royal Holloway team of Dominic Tate, project manager, Anna Grigson,  Amy Warner and Kim Coles on behalf of the M25 Consortium of Academic Libraries, a collaborative organisation with 58 members that works to improve library and information services within the M25 region and more widely across the East and Southeast.

The aim of EBASS-25 was to deliver a series of linked reports and guidelines forming a navigation tool for consortia seeking to embark on collaborative purchasing of e-books with particular reference to the Patron Driven Acquisitions approach (PDA). The project carried out a wider review of the e-books landscape to contextualise the PDA approach, reviewed PDA options and other relevant models and considered consortial uses of the patron driven approach in the UK and elsewhere. The project also investigated how consortial PDA purchasing can fit with national initiatives, for instance model licences, and purchasing consortia agreements.

The results have been published online offering guidelines on procurement, systems integration and interactions with publishers at:

The review identified four e-book purchasing models - rental, usage, purchase, and evidence - that offer particular opportunities and benefits, depending on circumstances. An animated video to explain these models was produced as a helpful reference  (see

Other named partners in the project were Kingston University, Science Museum (on behalf of the Museum Librarians and Archivists Group), JISC Collections and Sero Consulting Limited.

Demystification complete, the next step is to consider the possibility of working with Jisc Collections and other institutions to deliver some e-book acquisition on a shared service basis.


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