What is an E-Book?


by John Yinger
March 2005


As I use the term, an e-book is a book-length manuscript that is posted on and available through the internet.

One of the advantages of an e-book is that it can be updated and revised as new material becomes available. It is also possible, of course, that some of the internet links in an e-book change over time or become unavailable. It is essential, therefore, that any e-book include a date and/or version number, and this information should be included whenever the e-book is cited.

To recognize these possibilities, each e-book on this site (1) includes a version number and associated date, (2) has two-part chapter numbers (section, chapter) so that additional chapters can be added to a section without re-numbering all the chapters in the book, and (3) includes an appendix that indicates the date each version was first posted and explains the differences between versions. To minimize re-numbering when new chapters are added, the chapters within a part are placed in chronological order, from earliest to latest.

The e-books posted on this site combine previously unpublished material written by me combined with links to articles of mine (many of which are co-authored) that are posted on the internet.  In many cases, these articles are accessible only to people who have access to a subscription service, such as http://www.jstor.org/.  The relevant subscription services are virtually always available through a university library, so university faculty members should have no trouble gaining access to these chapters.  The table of contents for each e-book on this site indicates which subscription service, if any, is required for access to each chapter.

All previously unpublished material in the e-books posted on this site is copyrighted by John Yinger.