Availability of e‐books in science: case study of University of Delhi

Suresh Jindal (Central Science Library, University of Delhi, Delhi, India)
Ankur Pant (Defence Scientific Information and Documentation Center, DRDO, Ministry of Defence, Government of India, Delhi, India)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Publication date: 30 May 2013



The purpose of this paper is to determine whether a sufficient number of e‐books is available in science streams from different publishers to satisfy the need of an academic library to develop an e‐book collection based on its collection development policy. This study aims to identify e‐book equivalents for print books acquired by Central Science Library, University of Delhi.


This study provides the in‐depth quantitative analysis according to title‐by‐title selection of e‐books from various international publishers compared to the recommended books for different science courses of the University of Delhi. The study was conducted following that of Price and McDonald which shows that around 30 per cent of print books have e‐book equivalents. The data collected were analyzed by using a simple method of calculation and percentages were calculated to interpret the results of the study.


The results show that only about 17per cent of print books have e‐book equivalents available from different publishers, fulfilling only 9‐15 per cent of the requirements of most of the courses – something that does not match the library's collection development policy.

Research limitations/implications

The present study is based on the books recommended in the curriculum of different science courses of the University of Delhi for the academic year 2009‐2010. According to subject‐wise distribution of e‐books variation of about 2 per cent in the findings occurred, as some books are mentioned in the curriculum of more than one course. This study provides some constructive suggestions which may help librarians to explore ways to spend the budget for collection development of e‐books in a more appropriate way.


As this paper is based on in‐depth quantitative analysis of availability of e‐books according to need of a particular academic library, generalization about availability of e‐books cannot be made. However, it contributes to trace the growth of e‐books and suggests some alternatives to develop e‐book collection. Further studies can be done for different library settings to find out their need for and availability of e‐books.



Jindal, S. and Pant, A. (2013), "Availability of e‐books in science: case study of University of Delhi", The Electronic Library, Vol. 31 No. 3, pp. 313-328. https://doi.org/10.1108/EL-12-2010-0159

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