Week 12
It’s still work in progress of course but here is some initial ‘food for thought’:-
User motivations
User aren’t motivated to make a PDA of course –so in a sense that questions is misguided. We do rehearse the *general* motivations for using ebooks.(See the Report page) and of course these are important is justifying PDA.

Of course a basic level of metadata is required for discovery. A number of the librarian at the workshops stressed the importance of metadata (over full text for example) in precision. There remains some concern about the quality of basic metadata there is evidence sense is that this may be lessening. For example the publishers stakeholder interviews showed how metadata is now much more embedded in the ebook publication process whereas before this was less so. (of course the publishers interviewed may be example fo best practice). No doubt the previous work of JISC (eg the ebook observatory project) has helped reduce the problem of poor ebook metdata.

Discovery is enhanced by the addition of TOC and abstracts and sometime this metadata is on the ebook platforms but not the library catalogues. It was interesting that at one university we spoke to some subject librarians were concerned about the enhanced discovery such metadata had enabled. This is because it put ebooks higher up the results lists than printed material (for which there was not TOC and abstract data).
Overall though the key question I think in terms of discovery is how ebook metadata flows into the new Discovery services like Primo and Summon. A NISO group is about to be formed around the ‘Open discovery’ initiative that kicked off at ALA. This isn’t focussed on ebooks per se of course but it will be important and, in my view, JISC will need to be in the loop on that. It looks likely that ebook metadata, (like e-journal *article* metadata) will increasingly bypass the library catalogue and go straight into the centralised discovery indexes maintained by ExLibris, Serial Solutions, EBSCo etc. They will also of course also index the full text. That will further marginalise the library catalogue which, at present, is still the number one library discovery route for ebooks.

Evaluative metadata
We haven’t found evidence of the use or value of ‘evaluative’ metadata. It’s anecdotal but a remark from a university we interviewed was pertinent. Their view is that students ‘select’ ebooks on the basis of a brief record. They don’t think they even look at the full record. So whilst one can think of a case for evaluative metadata (and maybe a much more extensive interaction with the user at the point of ‘selection’) the real value of this remains uncertain. Its value of course would be to help solve the common problem of PDA at the moment—ie the money runs out.

Here is where we have identified a key role of metadata for *libraries*. Metadata is used to deny service to users. Libraries use metadata to profile the ebooks going into the catalogue and/or they use metadata to remove ebook records from the catalogue so they can’t be discovered and so selected. All this is very cumbersome and sometimes very staff intensive. If (when) ebook *discovery* moves increasingly to discovery services then it looks like the role of the link resolver may be increasingly important and as means of ‘profiling’ the collection. We have some more work to do in teasing all that out.