Publishing practices are making ebooks unaffordable, unsustainable and inaccessible to libraries. We call for urgent regulation of the market

Support the #ebookSOS campaign

In 2020, three academic librarians in the UK ( Yohanna Anderson , Gloucestershire; Caroline Ball, Derby; Rachel Bickley, London Met) launched the #ebookSOS campaign, in response to the frustrating unavailability, high prices and restrictive licences of ebooks during the Covid-19 lockdowns. The campaign published an Open Letter, calling on the UK parliamentary Education Select Committee, to launch an investigation into the unfair sales, pricing and licensing practice of academic publishers. Meanwhile, librarians across the UK crowdsourced details of the prices they were being charged by publishers and the unfair licencing restrictions they faced. The data, which can be viewed here, starkly illustrates the nature of the crisis.

Due to the Education Select Committee declining to investigate (blog post containing response available here), the worsening of the crisis and the increasing global attention the #ebookSOS campaign has been attracting, we have now archived our original Open Letter and are pivoting to a more international focus.

The #ebookSOS campaign now serves as a wider call to awareness and action regarding the practice of publishers, within the UK and internationally. Please considering adding your name in support of the campaign and our call for fair sales practice, copyright reform and governmental support for libraries, education and research in regards to digital content.

Signatures are welcome from across the globe, both from individuals and representatives of organisations – click here to add yours!

Urgent action is needed now.

*Data use notice : The list of signatures on this open letter is NOT to be used for marketing purposes.