Oxford Scholarship Online

Scholarly literature in philosophy from Oxford University Press. At the University of Fribourg you have currently access to 517 e-books out of a total of 1’533 in philosophy published by Oxford University Press. This access is the result of our buying packages over the past few years. These packages cover everything categorized as philosophy by Oxford University Press published on their online-Platform between 2008 and 2012. We recently closed a gap in this collection, adding the publications from 2010 (meaning the e-version was published in 2010; usually this coincides with the year of publication of the book). In 2010 books by David Chalmers, Jaegwon Kim, Galen Strawson and many others were published at Oxford University Press.

Oxford Scholarship Online is, of course, useful because it provides quick online access to the texts. The first version you see is the html version to be read online. Furthermore you can download pdf’s. Unfortunately you have to download each chapter of a book individually. Also, the quality of the layout of these pdf’s, their overall readability, is quite worse than the layout and readability of the book in paper, or a scan you would have made yourself of the book in paper. So, it has its critics, see e.g. here .

Whatever you think of these criticisms, please note, that we do have many of the books of our OSO collection still in paper version, here in Fribourg or in another institution of RERO.

From 2015 onwards we will buy individual e-books by a “pick&choose” method for the library, thus, at least for the time being, not continue buying whole packages or bundles. We may add, archival bundles of years before 2008, since their prices drop quickly and are quite reasonable. We will also still buy books from Oxford University Press in paper. It will be necessary for us to evaluate this policy later on, also taking into account problems of accessibility to e-books. At the moment many potential users do still not know how to access our e-books or that they even exist. There are still problems of visibility of our electronic resources in general, and e-books in particular, at the University of Fribourg.

Please leave your thoughts on the subject in the comments below!

About Gian-Andri

Subject librarian for philosophy at the University of Fribourg. PhD philosophy, Fribourg 2007; CAS scientific librarianship, University of Zurich 2013.
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