Revisions, Updates, and Technology Legacy

Since it is impossible to predict the future of the e-book, the History E-Book Project is designing the HistoryEbook web site to be versatile and flexible, and with the assistance of DLPS, all our files will be updatable and convertible to new media and formats. This is possible since we are working with standards that have served as the basis for electronic projects over several generations.

For the sake of scholarly communication, and for the sake of the streamlining production processes, individual e-books will only be updated when a new "edition" is warranted. A new edition essentially would require a revision of at least 20% of the material from the preceding edition, and the edition and the date of the edition would be clearly indicated on the HistoryEbook web site. With this in mind, authors and publishers will want to insure the sustainability of their initial efforts and avoid approaches that may be technically possible but that may become unmanageable within the quickly changing e-publishing environment.

As the History E-Book Project continues, we expect the HistoryEbook Library to grow, but as it grows it may also be consolidated with similar projects in the humanities to create a larger aggregate of e-books for scholars. This will also necessitate increased cooperation among learned societies to establish common approaches, widely shared search engines, electronic publishing standards, and style guides. Many of the future issues are open, because this project will develop in response to the needs of those participating in the project - the scholars/authors, the university presses, the learned societies, the readers and the libraries that serve them - and these needs will influence the ways in which the HistoryEbook Library will change and grow.

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Revised 1/16/2001