Slow and steady. That’s how we’ve been improving Unglue.it, turning it into a better place to find free ebooks. A lot of that work has been invisible; our new APIs are being used by organizations like New York Public Library to offer ebooks that deliver value without draining acquisition budgets. We’ve also installed tools that ebook creators will be able to use to better understand how their ebooks are being used. We’ve improved our data model to support relationships between works. So for example, when Peter Suber’s book on Open Access is translated into another language, links between the works are displayed on the unglue.it page. Similarly, Richard Herley’s The Stone Arrow is linked to its sequel, The Flint Lord. And have you noticed that author names are clickable?
Our biggest effort over the last year has been the expansion of our database of free ebooks. Two big sources are worth noting:
- Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB). DOAB has been tracking books written by academics and published with peer-review, often by university presses. Any book that’s in DOAB now has a page in Unglue.it, and it’s labeled as such. We’ve added a DOAB facet so you can restrict your browsing to books from DOAB You can use the DOAB label as a mark of quality and know that a book is being relied upon by scholars, scientists, and researchers.
- Project Gutenberg. Project Gutenberg is the oldest and largest collection of public domain ebooks. Through GITenberg, we’ve been exploring ways to make this collection more discoverable and maintainable. So far, we’ve loaded about 5,000 ebooks from GITenberg into Unglue.it. GITenberg allows programatic access to the ebooks, unlike Project Gutenberg, so Unglue.it can do things like send them to your Kindle. You can use GitHub to suggest improvements to these books, and to their metadata. And we’ve added a Project Gutenberg facet to help you browse these books.
For both DOAB and Project Gutenberg, your Unglue.it “Faves” help us rank the books, and help other ungluers (and our library partners) know which of them to pay more attention to.
We have a lot improvements to make. Don’t hesitate to make suggestions, either in the comments here or by email to unglue.it support. Another way you can support Unglue.it is to put our featured ebook widget on your website.