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Electronic Publishing Trends

This is an analysis of electronic publishing trends from the year 1970 to 2008 in the form of a chart. From the chart you can see, the term "electronic publishing" was unfamiliar to most people in 1970. Then from 1977, some people began to use it, and it gained great popularity from 1980 to 1985. The term experienced ups and downs since then. There are three prime times of the phrase, which appeared in 1985, 1988 and 1997 respectively, from its last heyday, the phrase has been used by less and less people.

Though the term "electronic publishing" is used by less people now, it doesn't necessarily mean that electronic publishing is on the decline. On the contrary, with more advanced E-books available, and with more people realize the importance of environmental protection, electronic publishing will surely gain more popularity in the future.

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Electronic Publishing

From the chart above we see rise and fall of the term "electronic publishing" in literature published between 1970 and 2008.


June 2015 Event! Transforming Institutional Publishing: Sharing Best Practices
May 18, 2015

June 29 sees the gathering of of a broad range of institutions at this one day conference in Brussels. IDPF are delighted to be co-organizers of this event alongside the Interinstitutional Digital Publishing Committee of the EU where delegates can look forward to an intensive day discussing challenges and opportunities that today's dynamic publishing ecosystem presents.

This one day conference is designed to be highly interactive, balancing presentations of best practices with discussion among presenters and the attendees. Attendees will learn about a variety of important standards and technologies, including EPUB 3, and hear how institutions (including government agencies, political, trade and charitable associations and other organizations that publish content but are not commercial publishers), large and small, are employing them to modernize their publication processes and better support accessibility and mobile devices. Most importantly, there will be ample opportunity to openly discuss the challenges and obstacles institutions face, and learn how other institutions are addressing them.

The conference will be of value to directors, executives, and managers of institutions and their publishing operations. Attendance will be strictly limited and by invitation only. Please see for details of how to apply for an invitation and related costs.

IDPF Members Elect Two New Directors, Return Four Incumbents to Board
February 9, 2015

Member organizations of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) have elected six board members, including two new directors and four re-elected incumbents. New directors include Graham Bell (EDItEUR) and Eoin Noble (Safari Books Online). Incumbent directors re-elected in this cycle include the elected Board President, George Kerscher (DAISY Consortium) as well as Garth Conboy (Google), Pierre Danet (Hachette Livre) and Cristina Mussinelli (Italian Publishers Association). IDPF Board members
 serve two-year terms, with annual elections for approximately half of the 14-member board. Reflecting the increasing globalization of the IDPF membership and the digital publishing industry, this election marks the first time since the inception of IDPF that a majority of the elected Board members are located outside North America. 

IDPF Solicits Member Feedback on Potential IP Policy Change
January 30, 2015
The IDPF Board of Directors is considering the merits of migrating from their current Intellectual Property (IP) Policy, which provides for RAND (Reasonable and Non-DIscriminatory) patent license commitments by members to adopters, to an IP Policy that would provide for RF (Royalty Free) patent license commitments. We consider it very beneficial that, to the best of our knowledge, no patent claims specific to EPUB have ever been asserted to date. While, given the increasing complexity of the global patent landscape, we can have no assurance that this will remain the case in the future, the IDPF Board believes that they should be doing everything they can to keep EPUB free to use, and that moving to a RF policy could mitigate certain risks.  Since developing a new IP Policy is time-consuming and expensive, and since we are already working to increase the alignment of EPUB with the overall Open Web Platform, the primary idea under consideration is to adopt the current IP Policy utilized by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), who develop HTML, CSS, and most of the other building-block specifications of the Open Web Platform.  The W3C policy, which has been stable for a decade, provides for a RF commitment, on a per-specification basis, by members who specifically participate in applicable working groups (rather than the IDPF's current default of a RAND commitment by all members). If a decision was made to proceed, the change could potentially be made as soon as the development of the upcoming EPUB 3.1 release during this year, although it might be more practical to migrate at a later date.
There are many points to consider in regards to this including the effort and cost to do a migration vs. the benefits we would receive, and the differing working group processes implied by the W3C's policy. The IDPF Board feels it's important that we continue to move rapidly to develop and enhance EPUB to meet the needs of the many constituencies who are adopting EPUB as the next generation portable document format, so we are also concerned to not create methodologies that would slow down the rate of standardization. 
Therefore the IDPF Board and leadership would like to solicit member feedback, pro or con, and of a legal and/or practical nature, regarding this potential change. Again the options currently on the table are status quo (no change) or adoption of the W3C IP policies wholesale (with W3C's blessing), so we primarily request feedback regarding these two options, although please feel free to make other creative suggestions. Please send all feedback to Bill McCoy, Executive Director, at If you are interested in volunteering for a task force to help finalize on and accomplish the change to W3C Policy (if it is decided to go that way), please also let us know about that.  Feedback from members and other interested parties is solicited by February 28, 2015.
The current IDPF IP Policy and related policies and procedures documents are available at: . The current W3C Patent Policy is available at:, and an FAQ about that policy is available at: .

EPUB 3.0 Published as ISO Technical Specification
December 21, 2014

EPUB 3.0 was recently published by the International Standards Organization as ISO/IEC TS 30135 (parts 1-7)
.  EPUB 3.0 was submitted to ISOi/IEC JTC 1 SC34 (Joint Technical Committee 1, Subcommittee 34, 
Document description and processing languages
) by the government of South Korea, in cooperation with the IDPF.
During the by-country voting and subsequent ballot resolution process, several dozen minor specification issues with EPUB 3.0 reported by ISO experts have been resolved in the latest revision of EPUB, EPUB 3.0.1, which recently became the current version of the EPUB Standard. The IDPF anticipates continued collaboration with ISO, with the expectation to submit 
to JTC 1 
a forthcoming EPUB 3.1 update as a prospective full International Standard. A Joint Working Group (JWG) for EPUB has been formed, presently including the ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC34, 
ISO TC 46/SC4 and IEC TC 100/TA 100

"IDPF is delighted with the active collaboration with ISO that has led to publication of EPUB 3.0 as ISO TS 30135, as well as improvements in EPUB 3.0.1" said George Kerscher, President of IDPF and Secretary-General of the DAISY Consortium. "An ISO designation for the EPUB Standard will further aid global adoption of EPUB, which is designed to deliver on key accessibility mandates".

"Korea NB has made concerted efforts to promote EPUB 3, including approval of EPUB 3 as Korean National Standard at the end of 2012 to support tbe digital textbook policy of the Ministry of Education, prior to submission as an ISO TS" 
said co-convenors of EPUB Joint Working Group (JWG), Dr. Sam Oh (Prof., 
Sungkyunkwan University)
 and Dr. Yong-Sang Cho. (Principal
 Researcher, Korea Education & Research Information Service - KERIS -  a branch of Korea Ministry of Education). 
Korea's digital textbook helped launch the EDUPUB alliance, and Korean stakeholders have continuously strived to improve EPUB standards for more interactive teaching and  learning environment based on digital textbook. We  firmly believe that EPUB will be adopted more widely and considered as a de-jure  standard, and look forward to collaboration with IDPF in the new Joint Working Group". 

Program Announced for EDUPUB Summit and Workshop (Feb 26-27)
December 19, 2014

The next gathering of the EDUPUB community will take place in Phoenix, Arizona (USA) on February 26 and 27, 2015. A preliminary program is now available,  and registration is open.  The summit will launch the implementation phase of EDUPUB, a cross-organizational initiative to develop  a comprehensive open platform for next-generation learning content based on EPUB 3, IMS standards for learning environment integration, and the overall Open Web Platform. Bookending the summit day (Tburs., Feb. 26) are co-located IMS Global Quarterly Meeting (Mon.-Tues. Feb. 23-24, open to IMS members only),  bootcamps for IMS Caliper Analytics and LTI standards (Wed. Feb 25), and an IDPF workplan meeting focused on the content-related aspects of EDUPUB (Fri. Feb. 26). The Wed, Thurs, and Fri events  A la carte registration is available, with a nominal charge of $250 for the Thurs/Fri EDUPUB events and $200 for the Wed Caliper/LTI bootcamps .A $50 discount for each event is available for members of EDUPUB partner organizations (BISG, DAISY Consortium, IDPF, IMS Global, Readium Foundation, W3C). Limited space is available so reserve your seat today and participate in the defining the open platform for education content.

Meeting objectives include:

Recap results to date of EDUPUB initiative Launch the implementation phase for EDUPUB compatible content and learning environment integration. Plan certification programs for EDUPUB content and learning environment integration Showcase current and upcoming EDUPUB compatible solutions Discuss the business equation for EDUPUB including how EDUPUB will enable a quantum leap in efficacy and scalability of next-generation digital content in learning environments Analyze remaining capability gaps and begin the dialog with industry experts/adopting organizations on the roadmap for future EDUPUB enhancements. Further development of EPUB EDUPUB profile and related development (EPUB 3.1)

The meeting is hosted courtesy of University of Phoenix at the Sperling Center (1625 Fountainhead Pkwy, Tempe, Arizona). 

New EPUB Proposed Specifications: Dictionaries and Glossaries, Previews, Multiple-Rendition Publications, Region-Based Navigation
December 18, 2014
The IDPF Board recently approved recommendations of the Dictionaries and Advanced-Hybrid Layout Working Groups to advance four modular extensions to EPUB 3.0.1 to Proposed Specification status. The four specifications are:
EPUB Dictionaries and Glossaries EPUB Previews EPUB Multiple-Rendition Publications EPUB Region-Based Navigation
A member and public review and comment period for each of these specifications is open through January 31, 2015, simultaneous with a final member IP review according to IDPF Intellectual Property policies, after which the final step according to IDPF policies would be a member vote to approve as Recommended Specifications. IDPF members may submit comments on any of these specifications via the EPUB Working Group mailing list, and members and the public are welcome to submit comments to IDPF CTO Markus Gylling on behalf of the Working Group chairs at

2015 IDPF Board Slate Announced, At-Large Nominations Open Through Jan. 16
December 18, 2014
The IDPF Board of Directors has announced a slate of five recommended candidates for the 2015 Board election, as recommended by its Nominating Committee
. The candidates are: Garth Conboy (Google - incumbent), Pierre Danet (Hachette - incumbent), 
George Kerscher (DAISY - incumbent, President), Cristina Mussinelli (Italian Publishers Association - incumbent), and Venu Prasad Menon (Ingegno Transmedia). 
Six seats will be filled in this cycle, including the elected Board President, so at least one "at large" candidate will be elected. Nominations for "at large" candidates are open through January 16, 2015. Any primary representative of an IDPF member organization is eligible to stand for election for a regular Director seat and/or for the designated President seat. Please send self-nomination statements to More information on the role and duties of IDPF Board members is available

Digital Learning Metadata Alliance Launched by Dublin Core, IMS Global and IDPF
October 24, 2014
The Digital Learning Metadata Alliance was launched today to facilitate cooperation on metadata standards to make it easier to find and use digital resources both within educational institutions and via the world wide web. is an umbrella project by which standards organizations with a stake in educational and learning metadata can coordinate and harmonize standards. Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI), IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS Global) and the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) are the founding organizations of the alliance. These three organizations represent over 600 organizations worldwide that are leaders in digital publishing, personalized education and digital learning technology.   The alliance is open to other standards setting organizations that wish to harmonize educational and learning metadata standards (inquiry via email
The goal of the collaboration is to ensure adequacy and consistency of metadata across a wide variety of consuming applications, such as library systems, learning platforms and Internet search engines. DCMI was recently asked to become the steward for the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI). Thus, DLMA will be able to further the evolution of LRMI in coordination with other key standards.
The cooperating organizations have agreed to hold special sessions and work activities to ensure coordination of their work. One initial incarnation of DLMA work is expected to be the metadata schema for EDUPUB, a initiative of IDPF, IMS Global, W3C, and BISG that is collaborating to enable learning content that is interoperable across reader platforms, web browsers and educational systems.

Candidates for IDPF Board Solicited - Apply to Nominating Committee by Nov. 21
October 23, 2014
The Board of Directors of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) has formed a 2015 Nominating Committee, which is soliciting candidates for Director positions. To be eligible, an individual must be or become the primary representative of an IDPF member organization. Interested parties should send a candidate statement by November 21  to Typically, a candidate statement would include a brief biography, and potentially reasons for running for the position and/or general vision or ideas for the IDPF. The Committee will also consider as candidates those current board members who wish to continue their service to the IDPF but whose term runs out this year.
The IDPF Board's core responsibilities include representing member interests in developing the vision and strategic plan for the organization and providing oversight and guidance to staff and volunteers carrying out the work of the organization. Being a board member of the IDPF entails a not insignificant commitment of responsibility and time. The Board and executive staff currently meet monthly via teleconference, and usually twice a year in a face-to-face meeting. Board time and expenses are not reimbursed. Prospective members should be leaders in their organizations and  have a clear understanding of one or more segments of the digital publishing industry. Familiarity with EPUB and related technologies is helpful; however specific technical expertise is not required. Board meetings are conducted in English with accommodations for non-native English speakers. Remote meetings are scheduled to facilitate participation across multiple time zones, presently at UTC 20:00 or 21:00.
Seven of fourteen seats on the IDPF Board will be elected in this cycle, for two-year terms, including the elected Board President. The Nominating Committee and IDPF Board anticipates recommending to the membership a slate of candidates. The slate will be selected to foster a diverse board  in the interest of providing representation across our global organization with members from all parts of the value chain. A subsequent call for open nominations will be made and elections are anticipated in January.
The 2015 IDPF Board Nominating Committee is comprised of board members Mark Bide (Chair), Paul Belfanti, Angela Bole, Liisa McCloy-Kelley, and Junichi Yoshii

IDPF@ BIBF Conference recap: a clarion call for an integrated global digital publishing ecosystem
September 2, 2014

Over 100 China publishing industry leaders convened in Beijing’s Crowne Plaza Hotel on August 29 at IDPF@BIBF, the first China event produced by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). IDPF@BIBF, held in conjunction with the 20th Beijing International Book Fair, focused on key issues and opportunities presented by the global expansion of digital publishing across segments of the traditional publishing industry (trade, reference, academic, scientific and education) . IDPF@BIBF was a “tremendous success” declared Mr. Liu Bogan, Vice President, China Publishing Group, in his closing remarks. Mr. Bogan also underscored a common thread running through many of the day’s talks: the strategic imperative for integration of the global publishing value chain through open standards and comprehensive platforms. Digital publishing supports a compelling need, in China and beyond, to increase reader access to compelling content. But it’s also critical to foster sustainable business models that will continue to make it profitable for authors and publishers to create and distribute that content across multiple channels. This critical need dictates increased integration: for “holding hands” across the industry and around the world. Another common theme of the day was the need to evolve from digitized editions to native digital content that takes full advantage of digital device capabilities, and which is already increasingly be created via “digital first” workflows rather than as a post-product of print production.

The rapidly evolving education publishing segment was a particular focus of IDPF@BIBF: in the day’s closing talks, Ryan Hunt, VP of Architecture and Solutions at Pearson, the world’s largest education publisher, and the CEO of Vibal Group, the Philippines market leader, showcased how their firms are reinventing themselves as technology companies as they innovate with digital content based on key open standards such as EPUB, HTML5 and the overall Open Web Platform (which were reviewed in depth by IDPF Executive Director Bill McCoy and Xiaoqian Wu of W3C Beihang University in their respective talks). The conference kicked off with a comprehensive region-by-region overview of global digital publishing market development from noted industry analyst Dr. Ruediger Wischenbart. IDPF@BIBF also featured case studies from executives Al Bertrand of Princeton University Press and Tom Christensen of Berkshire Publishing Group of how their firms are navigating the digital transformation in academic and reference segments by moving towards an e-centric model of content development. A compelling demonstration of the increasing role of interactivity in making content more engaging was provided by Joshua Seah, product manager at leading solution developer Metrodigi. And an engaging panel discussion between Copyright Clearance Center CEO Michael Healy and UK Publishers Association CEO Richard Mollett highlighted the enduring and evolving role of copyright in the digital age.

The complete program for IDPF@BIBF, with links to speaker slides, is available at With a multi-year cooperation agreement in place between IDPF and China Publishing Group, the BIBF organizers, additional IDPF events focused on the China market are planned for the coming year including an IDPF presence at BIBF 2015 as well as bilingual content by IDPF at BookExpo America 2015, where China will be the Guest of Honor.