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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.


EPUB Extensions for Indexes, Dictionaries, Advanced Layout Approved
August 26, 2015
Five modular extensions to EPUB 3.0.1 have been approved as final Recommended Specifications.  The specifications include:
EPUB Indexes 1.0 
EPUB Dictionaries and Glossaries 1.0
EPUB Previews 1.0
EPUB Multiple-Rendition Publications 1.0
EPUB Region-Based Navigation 1.0
IDPF membership organizations voted overwhelmingly in favor of approval, with no specification receiving more than one "no" vote or two "abstain" votes. More information about these specifications and other IDPF current work is available at

IDPF To Open European Headquarters in Paris
August 24, 2015

The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) will later this year formally launch a new European headquarters in Paris, France. IDPF Europe will be co-located with European headquarters for the affiliated Readium Foundation (, hosted by a newly created European Digital Reading Lab (EDRL). EDRL has been formed with the support of the French government and industry stakeholders, with  1.5 million Euros of incremental funding already committed. The overall goal of the iniitative is to promote EPUB and Web technologies for publishing, fostering open standards and open source development in order to improve availability, accessibility, and interoperability of digital publications. The European Digital Reading Lab will be located in central Paris within the facilities of Cap Digital, an innovation and business accelerator dedicated to the development of the digital economy in France and the Paris region. EDRL has already begun to recruit key staff, beginning with its CTO.

IDPF at Beijing International Book Fair 2015
August 10, 2015

Following on from last year's highly successful event, IDPF@BIBF is a one day conference on August 28, 2015 at the Beijing International Book Fair, focusing on the general trend of digital publishing and readers. Industry experts will look at the current market situation and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. Speakers include experts from Amazon Kindle China, People's Oriental Publishing and Media Group, Ingram, Pearson Education, China and IDPF Executive Director Bill McCoy who will also host the afternoon session and present closing remarks. The opening presentation will be given by Dr Ruediger Wischenbart (Owner Content and Consulting) on The many faces of ebooks around the world. Interested parties should contact Ms Yani Zhao via for ticket information.  For an overview of 2014's hugely successful conference see

The full program includes:


9:00-9:30 Registration

9:30-9:45 Welcome remarks 

9:45-10:10 Dr. Ruediger Wischenbart - Owner Content and Consulting

The many faces of ebooks around the world: A market analysis of major international ebook markets

10:10-10:35 Xiao Wei - President and General Manager, E-surfing Reading Culture Communications Co., Ltd 

Era of Digital Reading 4.0: Content Interconnection Creates a New Reading Ecology

10:35-11:00 Bill McCoy - Executive Director, IDPF

Reaching Readers with Digital Content: a Global Perspective

11:00-11:25 Yu Hong - Vice President of Amazon Kindle Marketing

Reading Data Analysis in the Digital Reading Era

11:25-11:50 Robert E. Baensch - Director, Publishing Program, SUNY Global Center, New York

Costs and Income for Different Forms of E-publishing: Robert E. Baensch´╝łDirector, Publishing Program, SUNY Global Center, New York

12:00-13:00 Lunch Break

13:20-13:45 Vincent Cheah - Senior Product Manager, Cengage Learning Asia 

Digital Archives Case Study - Full Text Search within Primary Source 

13:45-14:10 Liu Wenna - Director of the Lifestyle Books Editing Department, People's Oriental Publishing & Media Co

WeChat Thinking of Publishing & Media Organizations

14:10-14:30 Tea Break

14:30-14:55 James Guan - VP of Pearson Education, Great China

Educational Publishing Case Study

14.55-15.20 Karen Christensen, CEO Berkshire Publishing Group

Why a CEO Should Write Code

15:20-15:35 Li Chaodong -  Chairman, Nanjing SSQR Digital Technology Co., Ltd.and Jinglun Culture Media Co.,Ltd.

Forms and Prospects of Compound Publishing

15:35-16:00 Bill McCoy, Executive Director IDPF

Closing remarks


Call for Review: EDUPUB Profile for EPUB, Open Annotations in EPUB, EPUB Distributable Objects, EPUB Scriptable Components
July 30, 2015
The Board of Directors of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) has unanimously approved elevation of five specifications of modular extensions to EPUB to Draft status with a call for member and public review. The specifications, developed by the IDPF EPUB Working Group, include:
EDUPUB Profile for EPUB 1.0, a semantically-enhanced profile of EPUB 3 for e-textbooks and other learning content Open Annotations in EPUB 1.0, which defines an interoperable content model for annotations in EPUB based on W3C Open Annotations
EPUB Distributable Objects 1.0, which defines a general model for creating, transporting, and integrating sub-elements of EPUB  publications
EPUB Scriptable Components 1.0 and EPUB Scriptable Components Packaging and Integration 1.0 which define an interoperable model for creating, transporting, and securely supporting interactive content in EPUB  publications
Member and public comments on the draft specifications are solicited through August 28, 2015. IDPF members may submit comments via the EPUB Working Group mailing list. Public comments may be submitted via email to IDPF CTO Markus Gylling.
These specifications have been developed as part of the EDUPUB Initiative, a collaborative effort between organizations responsible for developing, maintaining, and facilitating the implementation of standards important to education. The EDUPUB Alliance currently includes IDPF, IMS Global, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the Book Industry Study Group (BISG),
 DAISY Consortium, and Readium Foundation. 
NOTE: much of the functionality defined in these draft specifications is intended to support requirements for all types of content. Annotations, distributable objects, and embedded scriptable components are not specific to learning content thus review of these specifications is explicitly requested from all IDPF members and other parties interested in the enhancement of the EPUB standard. While the EDUPUB profile specifically aims to support the needs of learning content, there are elements of this profile that may be of broader applicability, such as its Content Structure section.
In related news, BISG today announced publication of Getting Started With EDUPUB, a non-technical guide for understanding the EDUPUB profile of EPUB.

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