Ground-breaking Computer Science Resource Wins 2021 UCT Open Textbook Award | Digital Open Textbooks for Development

“University of Cape Town Deputy Vice-Chancellor Lis Lange has announced that the 2021 UCT Open Textbook Award goes to Associate Professor Maria Keet for her groundbreaking resource, An Introduction to Ontology Engineering.

The award, which recognises outstanding open textbooks written by UCT staff and students, is an initiative of the DVC in collaboration with the DOT4D and carries a value of R30 000.

The UCT Open Textbook Award is a symbol of institutional commitment to supporting the production of open educational resources that promote social justice and innovation. In line with this approach, the award recognises open textbook development efforts that address any of the following areas: curriculum transformation, pedagogical innovation, inclusion of students and marginalised voices, disability access, relevance to local context, multilingualism and technical innovation….”

Ground-breaking Computer Science Resource Wins 2021 UCT Open Textbook Award | Digital Open Textbooks for Development

“University of Cape Town Deputy Vice-Chancellor Lis Lange has announced that the 2021 UCT Open Textbook Award goes to Associate Professor Maria Keet for her groundbreaking resource, An Introduction to Ontology Engineering.

The award, which recognises outstanding open textbooks written by UCT staff and students, is an initiative of the DVC in collaboration with the DOT4D and carries a value of R30 000.

The UCT Open Textbook Award is a symbol of institutional commitment to supporting the production of open educational resources that promote social justice and innovation. In line with this approach, the award recognises open textbook development efforts that address any of the following areas: curriculum transformation, pedagogical innovation, inclusion of students and marginalised voices, disability access, relevance to local context, multilingualism and technical innovation….”

Ground-breaking Computer Science Resource Wins 2021 UCT Open Textbook Award | Digital Open Textbooks for Development

“University of Cape Town Deputy Vice-Chancellor Lis Lange has announced that the 2021 UCT Open Textbook Award goes to Associate Professor Maria Keet for her groundbreaking resource, An Introduction to Ontology Engineering.

The award, which recognises outstanding open textbooks written by UCT staff and students, is an initiative of the DVC in collaboration with the DOT4D and carries a value of R30 000.

The UCT Open Textbook Award is a symbol of institutional commitment to supporting the production of open educational resources that promote social justice and innovation. In line with this approach, the award recognises open textbook development efforts that address any of the following areas: curriculum transformation, pedagogical innovation, inclusion of students and marginalised voices, disability access, relevance to local context, multilingualism and technical innovation….”

OpenStax and collaborators receive $1.13 million to develop free textbooks | Rice News | News and Media Relations | Rice University

“OpenStax and its 12 collaborators have received U.S. Department of Education funding to develop three new free, openly licensed textbooks for in-demand computer science courses. The books will be accompanied by comprehensive support, including educational technology and instructor training.

The textbooks, serving a sector of higher education that includes 2.5 million students, are expected to save students more than $110 million over five years….”

Open Position: Software Engineer, 18 month full-time or part-time. FTE Salary £24-35k depending on experience @ Open Book Publishers

One of COPIM’s consortial partners, Open Book Publishers, are looking for a software engineer who is enthusiastic about open source and Open Access initiatives, to join their small energetic team.

OBP is taking a leading role in developing open source infrastructure to support open access book publishing. They are presently:

responsible for the development of the Open Dissemination System and Archiving and Preservation services for open access books within the Research England and Arcadia Fund financed COPIM project

providing hosting services for a number of Open Access initiatives and projects

in the process of re-developing OBP’s own website to provide an open source and white label website for other Open Access book publishers to adopt

expecting to be involved in other similar initiatives over the coming months.

OBP are seeking a versatile software engineer to work alongside their existing development team across these development projects.

Part 1: Interaction in Context · Promoting and Nurturing Interactions with Open Access Books: Strategies for Publishers and Authors

“Web-based annotations of digital books enrich a scholarly text through overlays and filters that sit on top of the text in order to show additional commentary and feedback. Annotations—in short, a form of readerly or writerly interaction that consists of notes (in any medium) added to texts (of any medium)undefined—already have a long history in a print and manuscript context (e.g., marginalia, errata, rubrics), but the immediacy of two-way discussion between users is a notable feature of digital open annotations, both of comments at the bottom of a text and in-line text annotations. Bertino and Staines therefore liken annotation to a “conversation” between authors and audiences that was previously much less interactive [undefined]. In addition to this, for Tara McPherson annotations (of e.g., digital visual archives) may also facilitate a more “seamless integration of research materials and scholarly analysis” through a closer presentation between commentary and the object studied [undefined]. This is particularly useful in a scholarly communication environment where annotations enable discussions to take place in direct proximity to the material that is under consideration, for example with linguistic markup of text corpora….”

39 International Publishers Join Together for First Streamed Virtual Book Showcase in Support of UN’s COP26 Meeting

“39 International Publishers Join Together for First Streamed Virtual Book Showcase in Support of UN’s COP26 Meeting

Over 150 books focussing on climate change and sustainability from 39 German, French and English-language publishers can now be freely read, browsed and searched as part of an unprecedented and innovative virtual showcase, created in support of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.

Streamed through the Exact Editions platform, the showcase includes books from fiction, non-fiction and children’s literature genres that cover topics from air pollution and economics to biodiversity and agriculture. The collection of titles constitutes a comprehensive resource that aims to spread awareness about the need for urgent combative actions against the climate crisis across society….
 

Blind People Won the Right to Break Ebook DRM. In 3 Years, They’ll Have to Do It Again | WIRED

“IT’S A CLICHÉ of digital life that “information wants to be free.” The internet was supposed to make the dream a reality, breaking down barriers and connecting anyone to any bit of data, anywhere. But 32 years after the invention of the World Wide Web, people with print disabilities—the inability to read printed text due to blindness or other impairments—are still waiting for the promise to be fulfilled.

Advocates for the blind are fighting an endless battle to access ebooks that sighted people take for granted, working against copyright law that gives significant protections to corporate powers and publishers who don’t cater to their needs. For the past year, they’ve once again undergone a lengthy petitioning process to earn a critical exemption to the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act that provides legal cover for people to create accessible versions of ebooks.

Baked into Section 1201 of the DMCA is a triennial process through which the Library of Congress considers exceptions to rules that are intended to protect copyright owners. Since 2002, groups advocating for the blind have put together lengthy documents asking for exemptions that allow copy protections on ebooks to be circumvented for the sake of accessibility. Every three years, they must repeat the process, like Sisyphus rolling his stone up the hill.

 

On Wednesday, the US Copyright Office released a report recommending the Librarian of Congress once again grant the three-year exemption; it will do so in a final rule that takes effect on Thursday. The victory is tainted somewhat by the struggle it represents. Although the exemption protects people who circumvent digital copyright protections for the sake of accessibility—by using third-party programs to lift text and save it in a different file format, for example—that it’s even necessary strikes many as a fundamental injustice….”

 

The Results Are In of Our Open Access Survey

A few weeks ago, we sent out a survey to hear about your experiences with Open Access. In this survey we asked questions like, do you believe the scholarly community could do research more effectively if all scientific communication were freely available under an open access license? and, would you prefer if peer reviews were made open? We’re happy to present the results today which coincides nicely with the final day of Open Access Week 2021

Audiobooks Expand Specialist Monograph Accessibility and Use | Michigan Publishing

“The Google Text to Speech (TTS) program allows UMP to inexpensively create natural-sounding machine-read audiobooks in-house and distribute them both through the Google Play store and as a benefit to libraries that purchase the University of Michigan Press Ebook Collection. Over 250 UMP authors have already opted into the program, including some with open access titles. Coronavirus Politics is read by “Jill”, Gaming the Stage by “Mary”, and Just Vibrations by “Mike.” An ever-increasing number of U-M Press titles are available for purchase through the Google Play Store….”

The Internet Archive Transforms Access to Books in a Digital World

“In honor of Open Access Week, and particularly this year’s theme of structural equity, we wanted to highlight a project from the Internet Archive that is doing extraordinary work promoting access to knowledge. The bad news: that project is also under legal threat. The good news: the Archive, with help from EFF and Durie Tangri, is fighting back….

CDL allows people to check out digital copies of books for two weeks or less, and only permits patrons to check out as many digital copies as the Archive and its partner libraries physically own. Lending happens on an “own to loan” basis—if a digital copy is checked out to a patron, the physical copy is unavailable to other patrons as well. CDL does use DRM to enforce that limited access, but it is still true that anyone with an Internet connection can read digital versions of the great works of human history….”