access a large number and variety of titles, and to present of content with a reasonable degree of
fidelity, accuracy, accessibility, and uniformity across various platforms.
The specification itself is based on HTML and XML, and is designed to allow publishers and
authors to deliver their material in a single format. It describes a set of common, minimal
guidelines which strive to reflect existing content format standards.
The chief reason for using The Open eBook Publication Structure is to attempt to capture a slice
of the emerging eBook market. The more eBooks that exist, the more likely that the reader
platforms that support standard formats will become ubiquitous. Companies that distribute
eBooks may also offer more in the way of guarantees about tracking electronic documents and
managing rights and licensing than most publishers may be able to manage on their own.
Netlibrary has a collection of over 3500 free eBooks.
The Open eBook Forum (OeBF), an association of hardware and software companies,
publishers, authors and users of electronic books, is the primary source of information about this
Brown University's Scholarly Technology Group (STG), in conjunction with NuvoMedia, Inc,
makers of the Rocket eBook, have developed the Open eBook Validator, a free service that
enables authors and publishers to quickly and easily test their publications for conformance with
the Open eBook Publication Structure Specification.
Proprietary standards are privately owned, developed and maintained specifications that have
been created by commercial companies.
Proprietary standards for electronic publication such as Adobe Acrobat and iPIX usually consist
of two components: an authoring tool that exists as a commercial product, and a freely
distributed viewing tool, frequently in the form of a plug-in for web browser software. The
authoring tool can include hardware as well as software, and is frequently expensive. Users of
proprietary authoring tools and client tools are sometimes also expected to pay licensing fees to
What proprietary standards claim to offer potential users is an extension of the capabilities of
basic electronic publishing formats. Acrobat (or PDF) documents, for example, retains exact
page layout characteristics, including font formatting. other proprietary standards might offer
increased document security, 3-dimensional panoramic photography, and so on.