Science and Technology: Books & Ebooks

While some books continue to be published on paper, an increasing number of books are also available electronically. Because many areas of science and technology demand current information, the shift to the electronic format is important.

Read Maddison, Tasha (Winter 2014). E-resource discovery: a collection development strategy for engineering e-books. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, 75.

Electronic Books

When providing information sources to those with interests in science and technology, it's important to consider their format preferences. While it can be useful to read professional literature on the topic of e-books, it's equally important to remember that e-book use is changing rapidly. Rather than relying on older studies, use their approach to research design to help in planning your own local studies to determine user interests and needs.

Read E-Reading Rises as Device Ownership Jumps from PewInternet. This research is now more than a year old. Based on the data presented, can you predict the future of e-book use?

try itTry It!
Read two articles about e-book usage and preferences. Notice that one is from 2011 and the other is from 2014. How has the use of e-books changed nationwide during this time? What are the implications for these two studies? If you were conducting a study, what aspects do you think have changed over the last few years? What's likely to change in the near future?

Government Ebooks

The U.S. Government Bookstore provides access to books for download and purchase. Although there’s a charge for print publications, there are many ebooks that can be downloaded for free or at a low cost at http://bookstore.gpo.gov/ebooks.

The College Preparation Checklist is a free ebook exploring ways that youth can prepare for college.

For librarians and students seeking ebooks specifically, include the term “ebook” in the search of the Catalog of U.S. Publications. The ebooks can be downloaded free of charge on various ebook reading devices. Most books can be downloaded in the ePUB, MOBI for Kindle, PDF, or iBook format.

Although most of these ebooks aren’t designed for children, many free books would be of interest to teens and adults. For instance, NASA has produced books like Dressing for Altitude by Dennis R Jenkins at focusing on the history and design of aviation pressure suits.

Crime Scene Investigation from the National Forensic Science Technology Center provides the technical specifications that serious teen researchers are seeking. This easy-to-follow guide is the same one used by law enforcement agencies.

Marijuana Facts for Teens from the National Institute on Drug Abuse National Institutes of Health addresses frequently asked questions (FAQs) about marijuana. The highly visual format will be attractive to young adult readers. The book concludes with online resources teens can use for more information.

When Your Parent Has Cancer: A Guide for Teens from the National Cancer Institute provides useful information for young adults who are dealing with cancer in their family. The easy-to-read visual format includes background information, useful facts, checklists, charts, key vocabulary, comic sequences, and activities.

Nail Gun Safety: A Guide for Construction Contractors from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor provides students in building trades and other industrial arts and technology courses recommendations for proper use of nail guns to prevent worksite injuries.

The Health Consequences of Smoking-50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General (2014) published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The Catalog of U.S. Publications can be overwhelming. When working with the individual disciplines, consider going directly to government agency publication pages for ebook availability. Many of these publications are produced by the GPO. For instance, explore NASA ebooks. Earth as Art is an ebook that shows patterns and colors of the land and sea through satellite imagery.

Many National Park Service publications are being turned into ebooks such as Bears of Brooks River.

try itTry It!
Browse the books available through the U.S. Government Bookstore. Also, explore ebooks in the Catalog of U.S. Publications. Try some other government websites. Are ebooks common or uncommon? Can you see any trends?

E-Book Databases

Books24x7. Contains hundreds of "best-of-breed" books from the world's top publishers such as MIT Press, Microsoft Press, Osborne/McGraw-Hill, Que, Sams, Sybex and Wiley. New books are included. Available through IUPUI. Many of the books are in the areas of technology.

Books@Ovid. Includes full text, references, updates, and graphics from some of the most respected sources in medicine, nursing, and pharmacology. A searcher can choose to run a search in one text, selected texts, or all texts. Available through IUPUI.

SpringerLink E-books. Access to over 12,000 titles in the subject areas of science, technology, mathematics, medicine and nursing. Note: If book is available to IUPUI users, the box to the right of the title will be in green. Available through IUPUI.

ScienceDirect provides access to full-text electronic books. Available through IUPUI. Some examples include

try itTry It!
Go to the Books24x7 or Books@Ovid collection. Seek out a work in a very specialized area. Then, do a Wikipedia search on the same topic. How is the level of depth in the book different than what can be found in an encyclopedia? Share the book citation and your thoughts.

try itTry It!
Browse Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicle Technologies for Improved Environmental Performance (2014) from ScienceDirect. How might reading an entire book be more or less useful than reading a few articles? What's the advantage of books as information sources?

Many database publishers have created sets of electronic books that can easily be searched. Examples include:

try itTry It!
Skim a text from Access Medicine or AccessSurgery. Use the search tools to search within the book. Compare the experience of searching within a print and electronic book.

Explore examples of e-books in the area of health through LibGuides:

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