College of DuPage’s human services program adopts open educational resources to lower textbook costs for students

“Eager to expand access to educational opportunities, the Human Services program at College of DuPage is taking advantage of the college’s Open Educational Resources (OER) program.

To date, more than half of all Human Services classes at COD utilize OER to make attending college more affordable for students….”

Will There Be Libraries in 25 Years?  | Time

“But just as the Web increased people’s access to information exponentially, an opposite trend has evolved. Global media corporations—emboldened by the expansive copyright laws they helped craft and the emerging technology that reaches right into our reading devices—are exerting absolute control over digital information. These two conflicting forces—towards unfettered availability and completely walled access to information—have defined the last 25 years of the Internet. How we handle this ongoing clash will define our civic discourse in the next 25 years. If we fail to forge the right path, publishers’ business models could eliminate one of the great tools for democratizing society: our independent libraries.

These are not small mom-and-pop publishers: a handful of publishers dominate all books sales and distribution including trade books, ebooks, and text books. Right now, these corporate publishers are squeezing libraries in ways that may render it impossible for any library to own digital texts in five years, let alone 25. Soon, librarians will be reduced to customer service reps for a Netflix-like rental catalog of bestsellers. If that comes to pass, you might as well replace your library card with a credit card. That’s what these billion-dollar-publishers are pushing.

 

The libraries I grew up with would buy books, preserve them, and lend them for free to their patrons. If my library did not have a particular book, then it would borrow a copy from another library for me. In the shift from print to digital, many commercial publishers are declaring each of these activities illegal: they refuse libraries the right to buy ebooks, preserve ebooks, or lend ebooks. They demand that libraries license ebooks for a limited time or for limited uses at exorbitant prices, and some publishers refuse to license audiobooks or ebooks to libraries at all, making those digital works unavailable to hundreds of millions of library patrons….”

Job: Publishing Officer (Scottish Universities Open Access Press). Fixed Term 2 Years, 1.0 FTE. Application deadline: Nov 3, 2021 | University of Dundee

We are recruiting for an exceptional individual to join us as a Publishing Officer (Scottish Universities Open Access Press) within our Research and Resources Division, LLC&CI to implement a new Open Access University Press for Scotland.

This post is to implement a new Open Access University Press for Scotland. A non-commercial press with shared ownership member institutions of the Scottish Confederation of University & Research Libraries. The scope of the platform will initially focus on monographs, set within a broader context of developing new library-led open access publishing services and initiatives.

Your priorities will include:

Regular reporting to Management Board of the press.
Establish and support editorial board and commissioning processes, and ensure scalability.
Embed academic-led advocacy strategy to engage potential authors.
Establish brand and marketing strategy, including support of events like book launches or publicity events.
Clearly document workflows covering stages of publications for various formats or options.

Please see the job description (available on the university’s website, accessed by the apply button) for full details of the duties associated with this role.

Who we’re looking for:

Evidence of strong communication skills both written and verbal with proven ability to build effective relationships..
Ability to talk through business and operational challenges clearly with partners at various experience levels.
Ability to liaise with a wide variety of stakeholders and authors and to demonstrate excellent support service skills.
Ability to plan own work and responsibilities over the short and medium term, with an awareness of longer-term issues, and meet deadlines.
Proven ability to work independently using initiative and judgement to deliver successful outcomes.

Please see the person specification for full details of the skills and experience required for this role.

We are one of the UK’s leading universities – internationally recognised for our expertise across a range of disciplines and research breakthroughs in multiple areas, including science, medicine and engineering, amongst many others. Conveniently located on the banks of River Tay, our main city-centre campus is at the heart of Dundee – an up-and-coming, friendly, compact and affordable city with a rich heritage in design and technology. We also have campuses at Ninewells Hospital and in Kirkcaldy which are easily accessible via local transport links.

For further information about this position please contact Hannah Whaley, Assistant Director, Research & Resources at h.whaley@dundee.ac.uk.

The diversity of our staff and students helps to make the University of Dundee a UK university of choice for undergraduate, postgraduate and distance learning. Family friendly policies, staff networks for BME, Disabled and LGBT staff, membership of Athena SWAN, the ECU Race Equality Charter and Stonewall as well as a full range of disability services, create an enjoyable and inclusive place to work.

Changes in Access to ClinicalKey | Dana Medical Library

“The University Libraries are disappointed to announce that ClinicalKey, a large collection of biomedical books and journals, will no longer be available to the UVM community, starting on Friday, October 22nd. Unfortunately, negotiations with Elsevier, the publisher behind these resources, came to an unfruitful conclusion. Our budget cannot bear the quadrupled price increase Elsevier proposed…”

Not Open For All: Accessibility of Open Textbooks

In order for open educational resources (OERs) to be truly open to all, they must be accessible to learners with disabilities, including those with visual, auditory, physical and cognitive disabilities. This study sought to determine the accessibility of a randomly selected sample of 355 open textbooks using a custom rubric based upon the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C’s) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), version 2.1, primarily at the Levels A and AA. Included books fell into one of four format types: HTML files/websites, PDFs, Microsoft Word documents and EPUBs. The average number of ‘fails’ – instances in which they ran afoul of a rubric category – across the whole sample was 5.93 and the median was 6, out of a total of 14 or 15 categories, depending on the format type. Overall, most of the books did not meet basic accessibility requirements, such as including alternative text for any images, properly coding/tagging any tables and following a logical heading order structure.

Michigan Publishing and ScienceOpen Begin a New Partnership Around the University of Michigan Press’ Open Access Books

University of Michigan Press is the flagship imprint of Michigan Publishing, publishing highly curated and peer-reviewed monographs in humanities and qualitative social sciences. Areas of particular focus are performing arts and media studies; classical studies; political science; American studies (especially disability and class studies); and Asian studies.

Making Open Access Book Funding Work Fairly: The Emergence of Library Membership Funding Models for OA Monographs | National Acquisitions Group

Covid-19 has thrown many aspects of university research culture into acute relief. As the reality of the virus dawned and campuses worldwide went into lockdown, publishers rushed to open their publications by removing paywalls. Physical collections became inaccessible and demand for openly accessible research skyrocketed. Many publishers made topical works and more general material openly available, through their own sites or collective platforms. Researchers, libraries and students worldwide keenly felt the benefits of such open access. However, the challenge now is to cement these open publication practices with sustainable business models.

In late 2020, COPIM, an Arcadia and Research England funded project, announced an innovative model to sustainably fund open access (OA) monographs, Opening the Future. This initiative is an attempt to use the window of opportunity opened by Covid and is designed to be part of a new infrastructure that will facilitate a more open future for scholarly comms.

The model harnesses the power of collective library funding: increasing collections through special access to highly-regarded backlists, and expanding the global shared OA collection while providing a less risky path for smaller publishers to make frontlist monographs OA. We introduced this model at UKSG and RLUK in 2021 but this is no ‘story so far’ conference presentation proposal. Since Opening the Future launched, we’ve seen several other collective library funding models emerge in quick succession, including MIT’s Direct 2 Open, Michigan’s Fund to Mission, and Cambridge University Press’ Flip it Open. In the same year, UKRI’s new policy was announced and it included OA requirements for
monographs. The landscape is changing rapidly – in this presentation we will appraise our model in the context of the changing environment.

The programme has had success since its launch. Within a few months the first publisher to adopt the model, CEU Press, had accrued enough library support to fund their first three OA monographs. Soon thereafter the initiative was recognised by the publishing community and nominated for an ALPSP Award for Innovation in Publishing. And in June a second well-respected publisher, Liverpool University Press, launched with Opening the Future. COPIM has now begun to turn its focus to the thorny problem of scaling up. But herein lies a tension.

OA monograph publishing needs to be sustainable not just for publishers, but also for libraries. Opening the Future was designed to be low-cost and simple, slotting into acquisitions budgets and existing library purchasing workflows. However, as we bring the programme to more university presses and libraries, how do we ensure we are not just adding to the OA labyrinth that libraries are attempting to navigate? How do we scale without increasing the administrative burden already on collections and scholarly communications teams, who are already picking through a tangle of transformative agreements, pay-to-publish deals, author affiliations, and legacy subscriptions?

In this session, we will engage the audience through these questions, as well as discuss the role of the programme in the wider policy landscape and how it is positioned alongside other emerging OA collective funding initiatives.

Our speaker:

Martin has appeared before the UK House of Commons Select Committee BIS Inquiry into Open Access, and been a steering-group member of the OAPEN-UK project, the Jisc National Monograph Strategy Group, the SCONUL Strategy Group on Academic Content and Communications, and the HEFCE Open Access Monographs Expert Reference Panel (2014), and the Universities UK OA Monographs Working Group (2016-). Martin is also an Executive Board Officer for punctum books, a Plan S Ambassador, and he co-founded the Open Library of Humanities.

@COPIMproject @Martin_Eve

Part of NAG Webinar Week 2021 #NAGWebinarWeek

Designing a useful textbook for an open access audience – Q and A with Filipe Campante, Federico Sturzenegger and Andrés Velasco, authors of Advanced Macroeconomics: An Easy Guide? | Impact of Social Sciences

Textbooks play an important role in defining fields of research and summarising key academic ideas for a wider audience. But how do you do this for an open access audience that is potentially unlimited? We talked to Filipe Campante, Federico Sturzenegger and Andrés Velasco¸ authors of the recently published LSE Press book Advanced Macroeconomics: An Easy Guide, about how the field has changed in recent times, what makes their approach to macro-economics distinctive, and what rationales and ambitions lie behind producing an open access textbook.

Reimagining the past and future of academic books: interview with Janneke Adema, author of Living Books | DARIAH Open

At DARIAH, recognizing and even celebrating the complexities of humanistic and artistic research practices has always been a heart of our interest. This includes connecting DARIAHns with fair Open Access players and showcasing, discussing innovations that are pushing the boundaries of what we can conceive as the scholarly monograph in the 21st century. The conversation below with Janneke Adema, author of Living Books: Experiments in the Posthumanities had started out as a twitter exchange that later we continued in the margins of the book. In this post, you can read its remediated, recontextualized version where the questions are not directly anchored in the introduction chapter of the book. We discuss how blogging helped her to rethink book publishing (of her own and of others); the fetishization of print books and how it relates to Zoom background, dynamic forms of publishing and many more. Enjoy!

[…]

 

The Paper-To-Pixels Workaround Activists Want To Use To Keep Libraries Online

“Decades after the recording industry decided, however grudgingly, to accept people ripping CDs into digital-music files, librarians have yet to get an equivalent signature on a permission slip to do the same with books. 

 

But the continued plagues of online disinformation and pandemic-forced closings or cutbacks of library services may breathe more life into a concept called Controlled Digital Lending.

“CDL” is not a format but a framework: After they scan one copy of printed book, libraries can loan one digital copy at a time, using digital-rights-management software to impede readers from duplicating it. …”

Next steps for the Open Book Collective

“Over the course of the COPIM project, Work Package 2 has been in the process of developing a new online infrastructural intermediary that can sit between scholarly libraries and OA publishers and other initiatives, to deliver new and more sustainable sources of revenue. As mentioned in our last report, the organisation that will support this intermediary now has a name: Open Book Collective (OBC).

The OBC will respond to the need for new forms of collaborative interaction between publishers, researchers, universities, and scholarly libraries by offering a contextual platform that supports the promotion of open access publishing activities and facilitates collective funding support. OBC will be a non-profit incorporated entity legally founded in the UK and we expect soon to be able to confirm its precise organisational form….”

US Senate Finance Committee Presses Publishers on Library Ebook Contracts

“Earlier this year, Fight for the Future — a group of technology experts, policy makers, and creatives — launched a tool called Who Can Get Your Book, meant to highlight the challenges of accessibility and availability of ebooks in public schools and libraries, rural areas, and other communities where these disparities create burdens to information. It is but one organization seeking transparency around ebooks from publishers, and now, the US Senate Finance Committee is pushing for more.

Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D., Oregon) and U.S. Representative Anna G. Eshoo (D., California) lead the latest charge, drafting a series of letters to the Big Five publishers to clarify their ebook contracts with public schools.

Ebook contracts are notoriously tricky. For libraries, who can purchase print books and own them through their natural lifespan, ebooks come with restrictions on a number of fronts. They aren’t owned by the library and instead are licensed: at any time, the books may disappear or come with circulation limits, and those licenses come at astronomical prices. In cases where licenses can be negotiated with better terms for the library, costs only grow….”