The Scholarly Publishing Office of the University of Michigan Library (SPO)
In order to disseminate e-books effectively, the HEB houses and distributes the electronic files through a centralized electronic publishing space. A centralized distribution source, often referred to as an aggregation, can leverage economies of scale by creating one main distribution infrastructure. Thus individual sponsoring publishers and societies need not each develop similar but disparate distribution sources for their own electronic texts.
After carefully reviewing all options, the ACLS identified the University of Michigan's Digital Library Production Service (DLPS) as the most appropriate distributor for this collection, a role later taken over by the University Library's Scholarly Publishing Office (SPO). The desire to work with Michigan is based both on their experience and on their willingness to serve as a service vendor to a consortium of publishers. Since one of HEB's aims is to assist a spectrum of university presses and other sponsoring publishers in becoming electronically viable, we believe it is wise to rely on one central and neutral distributor from which all participants can draw.
SPO deploys the search mechanisms already developed by DLPS for such projects as Making of America (which includes approximately 8500 digitized full-text books) and JSTOR. It has customized its interface according to the designs and functions specified by the HEB Center. SPO thus demonstrates both flexibility and consistency in using a standard electronic format that is readily translatable into a variety of formats, and has created a standard that is both time-tested and cost-effective for HEB.
Titles are scanned at high resolution and then converted using multiple, collated OCR (optical character recognition). With its extensive experience in creating and distributing electronic texts, SPO works with the HEB Center to develop standards for formatting and advise on the development of the interface, searching, access, and usage logging mechanisms for its central publication space, as well
as on the development of specifications, production, and markup
of texts. SPO has also worked closely with HEB in implementing the DTD used for its XML-encoded titles.
For more information on SPO, see its website at http://spo.umdl.umich.edu.