All posts by NSR Editorial

Study points to students forgoing required learning materials due to cost; grades suffer as a result

Just in from Vital Source:

Raleigh, NC – A growing number of college students are choosing not to purchase textbooks and other required course materials in an effort to save money, according to a new study conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of VitalSource Technologies LLC.

The study finds 85 percent of the college and university students surveyed have either waited to buy course materials until after the first day of class or opted not to purchase the materials altogether – up five percent from a similar survey conducted in 2016. Nearly all (91 percent) of the students surveyed cite cost as the reason for not buying their books, and half admit their grades suffered as a result. Continue reading Study points to students forgoing required learning materials due to cost; grades suffer as a result

Introducing The Short Story Project: A whole new way to discover, curate and appreciate short stories

Literary short stories rarely, if ever, get a chance to make an impression on their own terms, as they are usually buried in print anthologies that get lost quickly in an ever-expanding universe of published content. When short stories are given a new life in digital format—not only by extracting existing texts and migrating them online but also by translating them into several languages and adding original audio elements to each—as is the case with The Short Story Project—their impact is undeniable.

Professional reviewer Michael Rogers here sheds light on this mighty new entrant into the digital publishing and library market. NSR is pleased to publish this review and we look forward to following TSSP’s progress and development in the months and years to come.—Ed.


Stories that cross the line

Launched in 2015, The Short Story Project (TSSP) hosts a wide selection of short fiction from noted international authors. The acclaimed site—nominated for the London Book Fair’s Literary Translation Initiative Award in 2016, among others—also co-exists as an app of the same name for Androids and iOS devices. It was founded upon the belief that “reading is an experience that can make a difference. An experience that enables reflection on the human condition, inspires empathy and encourages examination; that reading is more than a pastime; it is an activity that can serve as a bridge between people and cultures, a sounding board for voices and ideas.” This belief is evident in many details, including TSSP’s tagline (Stories that Cross the Line).

TSSP endeavors to promote that philosophy through the “lively, stimulating presence of short fiction in contemporary culture,” enabling the “voices of writers from across the world be heard and resonate.” It is the creation of Iftach Alony, an Israeli-born business man with a history of successful entrepreneurial ventures. Alony is the author of two novels (2009’s Thief of Dreams, and 2012’s best-selling Spare Parts), the short story collections, Garuda’s Gaze and Plagues (of Egypt) Now (2015 and 2017, respectively), as well as the poetry collections, Let the Thorns Die (2013) and Gravity (2014). He also is the founder and coeditor of Block Magazine, a producer of several travel-films, and has served as a judge for short story competitions and other literary endeavors. Continue reading Introducing The Short Story Project: A whole new way to discover, curate and appreciate short stories

Artificial Intelligence transforms discoverability of 17th and 18th century manuscripts using handwritten text recognition

Just in from Adam Matthew:

Adam Matthew Digital is the first primary source publisher to utilize artificial intelligence to offer transformative search capabilities with Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) for its manuscript collections.

The first new collection available with this enhancement is Colonial America, Module III: The American Revolution. Sourced from The National Archives UK, Colonial America offers access to thousands of documents on North America from 1606-1822. Described as an indispensable resource for researchers of the early-modern Atlantic world and winner of Library Journal’s Best Reference Award, scholars and researchers have clamoured for access to this material for years. Now for the first time, all handwritten documents within the entire Colonial America series are full-text searchable. Continue reading Artificial Intelligence transforms discoverability of 17th and 18th century manuscripts using handwritten text recognition

Canadian libraries and academic institutions join forces to give access to sources exploring Canada’s history

Institutions across Canada can now benefit from full access to Frontier Life: Borderlands Settlement and Colonial Encounters, a digital collection of primary sources offering a glimpse into Canada’s historic past.

Consortia Canada, Adam Matthew and 18 leading academic institutions have collaborated to open this content to libraries and educational institutions across Canada, including all library types: public, post-secondary, special, archives, museums and K-12 schools. The collaboration unlocks important primary sources to provide the broader community with a comparative view on the various colonial frontiers across the globe. Continue reading Canadian libraries and academic institutions join forces to give access to sources exploring Canada’s history

NSR’s Free to Read column has set new standards for publishers and libraries. A year since launching it, we highlight the best posts.

Since launching the Free to Read column a year ago and sponsoring the Free Reading Zones project (founded and run by NSR Director, Mirela Roncevic), NSR has morphed into a portal that no longer merely keeps up with press releases, emerging ebook and econtent technologies and new products and services for readers, publishers, and libraries.

It is now a place where ideas are shared about the future of books, publishing, and libraries, and a place where those of us who work with books come together to inspire each other, learn from each other, and bring out the best in each other through action. Continue reading NSR’s Free to Read column has set new standards for publishers and libraries. A year since launching it, we highlight the best posts.

NC LIVE Partners with Credo to provide users with a research tool to combat fake news

Just in:

Conducting research in the 21st century often means navigating fake news sites, biased media, and contradictory online information. Information literacy has emerged as a critical skill to achieve academic, professional, and personal success. Thanks to a partnership between the state’s library consortium NC LIVE and Credo Reference, Credo Online Reference Service will offer North Carolinians a starting point to find information about their research or personal topics of interest.

Credo provides background knowledge, illustrates relationships between topics, and cites the information they provide simply and consistently. North Carolinians won’t need to worry that what they are reading is bogus. Continue reading NC LIVE Partners with Credo to provide users with a research tool to combat fake news

De Gruyter will digitize the entirety of its backlist. All the way back to 1749.

De Gruyter has taken the decision to digitize the entirety of its backlist all the way back to 1749. The decision to make this significant investment to complete the prestigious archive was taken earlier this year and the digitization process will begin shortly.

Many treasures are among works to be digitized, including Noam Chomsky’s “Syntactic Structures” as well as versions of “Grimm’s Fairy Tales” to name but two. The project is expected to conclude in 2020 with 3,000 additional titles to be available by the end of 2017. Of those titles digitized during the rest of this year, up to one hundred of the most important series will have priority, to allow librarians to complete their holdings. Continue reading De Gruyter will digitize the entirety of its backlist. All the way back to 1749.

Odilo celebrates back-to-school season with the addition of Sesame Street titles

ODILO is celebrating the back-to-school season with a collection from their newest publisher, Sesame Workshop.

ODILO’s  eBook platform, content, and flexible lending models (One-Copy/One-User, Pay-per-Use, Simultaneous, and Subscription) help schools and libraries better serve their students, educators, and families. With a strong international presence, ODILO’s marketplace offers over one million titles in multiple languages from more than 3,500 publishers; subjects range from popular fiction and nonfiction to educational titles. Continue reading Odilo celebrates back-to-school season with the addition of Sesame Street titles

Alexander Street collaborates with indie film distributors to launch a new film collection for libraries

Just in:

Alexandria, VA – Indie films are synonymous with compelling viewpoints on historical events, insights into our current world, and innovative story-telling. Beyond that, they offer critical insights and profound perspectives on the human experience providing a new level of engagement for students with their classroom content.

Independent World Cinema: Classic and Contemporary Film, a new film collection from Alexander Street, a ProQuest company, provides streaming access to over 400 independent films essential for film studies, media studies and theater students. The films support research and learning in these fields yet have a wide range of applicability reaching as far as psychology, gender studies, and anthropology. Students will gain new insight and perspectives into their field in a format that they depend upon often—video. Continue reading Alexander Street collaborates with indie film distributors to launch a new film collection for libraries

Introducing Free Reading Zones to Brazilian librarians and publishers

NSR’s Mirela Roncevic, who launched the Free to Read initiative in 2016 and orchestrated the world’s first attempt to turn an entire country into a Free Reading Zone, will speak at the 10th International Seminar of Public and Community Libraries in Sao Paolo this coming October, with the goal of encouraging and inspiring librarians across Brazil to implement Free Reading Zones (in cooperation with publishers, technology companies, and private and government sponsors).

Since turning Croatia into a Free Reading Zone in December 2016 (read more about this No Shelf Required pilot here), Roncevic has been speaking publicly at a number of conferences about Free Reading Zones and the project’s potential to transform how books and knowledge are accessed inside and outside libraries and institutions. The goal and mission of the project is to celebrate the potential of digital books (and digital content in general) to equalize access to knowledge (in ways not seen before) and afford new opportunities for all in the book ecosystem, including librarians, publishers, educators, and readers. Continue reading Introducing Free Reading Zones to Brazilian librarians and publishers

The British Library provides access to over a million vintage images on Flickr

More and more copyright-free images and illustrations are available freely online without a library card. Many of these initiatives are driven by libraries and various other government institutions. As they should be.

The British Library’s archive on Flickr includes over a million free images and illustrations. They are drawn from 17th, 18th and 19-century books in the Library’s collection, located in the main building in London. The archive is divided into themes including, among many others, Women of the World, Decorations & Design,  Space & SciFi, Architecture, Portraits, Book Covers, Illustrated Lettering, Children’s Book Illustration, Technology & Industry, and Fauna.

For other sites offering free vintages images, consider also the following:

DPLA to launch a membership program

On September 1, 2017, DPLA will launch the Hub Network Membership program. According to DPLA’s announcement, “the program will create a closer, more formal collaboration between DPLA and the members of the Hub Network to achieve [their] common goals and is an essential step in providing a structure and framework to give Hubs a voice in the direction of DPLA.” Continue reading DPLA to launch a membership program

On big publishers embracing the textbook revolution

In an article for Fast Company, Steven Melendez writes:

“The digital revolution has been rocking the academic publishing applecart for years. Students bristling at the price of books—an intro biology text can cost hundreds—have been turning to alternatives like book rentals and e-texts.

Increasingly, there is a new challenge from the growing Open Textbook Revolution—and traditional bookmakers, after years of opposition and lawsuits alleging copyright infringement, are trying to get a piece of the action as their glossy hardbacks get tossed aside.

Open texts are free academic materials written by educators and professionals that are peer-reviewed and licensed to be freely downloaded…Thanks to investments by universities and private foundations, many of the free online peer-reviewed texts are on par with the big bucks’ books in terms of depth and production values—and they’re rapidly gaining traction.”

Read the full article here.

Ebooks in K-12 libraries: The options, the issues, the possibilities

This NSR original three-part series on ebooks in K-12 or school libraries (written and researched by Peyton Stafford, an expert on school library-oriented publishing ) is intended for school librarians who want a basic understanding of how ebook business models work in their world and how to make them work as much as possible to the librarian’s advantage.

The first article looks at business models and their importance, and then sketches out the main kinds of ebook business models that K-12 librarians have to deal with. The second article looks at the models in more depth and give examples of how they work in practice. It also discusses platform issues. The third article draws a few conclusions and points out some ways that librarians can skillfully use their knowledge of ebook business models to stretch their budgets and better serve their teachers and students.

After reading the three articles listed below, school librarians should be able to recognize the business model that goes with any particular ebook offering they may be evaluating. This will help them compare offerings so they can make wise decisions as they acquire and manage their ebook collections.

 

Elsevier has acquired bepress

Elsevier has acquired bepress, which, in the words of an insightful Scholarly Kitchen post, puts it in the position of being “a major if not the foremost single player in the institutional repository landscape.  This acquisition solidifies Elsevier’s efforts to “adopt and coopt open access.”

As we’ve seen in the publishing (and library) industry time and again, innovation either comes from outside or from the leaders among us ready to test a disruptive idea. Elsevier acquiring bepress (on the academic side) is very much in line with Penguin acquiring AuthorSolutions (on the trade side) a few years ago. That which disrupts (like open access and self-publishing) is at fiercely resisted by the biggest players… until it is eventually accepted and, more importantly, absorbed.

Read full press release below. For an in-depth analysis, NSR recommends the  Scholarly Kitchen  post .

Odilo solidifies its North American presence with new offerings and features

According to a recent press release, Odilo—a privately-held Spanish and US-based company that offers innovative ebook and econtent solutions for libraries worldwide—has seen notable growth in recent months, with 140% increase in new customers and close to a 500% increase in new publishing partners.

For those not familiar with Odilo’s suite of products, here are the newest offerings and features, which were highlighted at this year’s American Library Association conference in Chicago:

    • Over 18,000 Pay-per-Use (PpU) eAudiobook titles allow libraries to build an eAudiobook collection for a minimal investment. ODILO currently offers over 250,000 PpU eBooks, eAudiobook, and streaming video, with new titles ingested daily.
    • Streaming offline reading functionality allows end-users to read without an Internet connection or the ODILO app (available for iOS, Android, Windows, and Kindle Fire).

Continue reading Odilo solidifies its North American presence with new offerings and features

STM, trade and education industry leaders offer perspectives on digital transformation in publishing

Frankfurter Buchmesse‘s white paper, Industry Leaders’ Perspectives on the Digital Transformation Journey in Publishing, is based on interviews with leaders from the STM, Education and Trade sectors. The objective was to gain insights regarding five core elements in the digital transformation journey: Content Storage, Metadata, Content Agility, Discoverability and Collaboration. The interviews were conducted in early 2017 and include senior leaders holding “C-Suite,” Vice-President and Director+ positions.

The full PDF may be downloaded here. Some highlights below.

On how publishers are progressing with digital transformation

  • Half of the interviewees believe their current transformation efforts were ‘on par’ relative to peers in the publishing industry.
  • STM organizations cited significant investments in 3 of the 5 transformational areas over the past few years, bolstering their claim to “lead” the rest of the industry.
  • Conversely, over 30 percent of Trade and 50 percent  of EDU respondents feel that their companies are lagging the industry on the transformation journey.
  • 50 percent of publishers interviewed are looking for ways to replace declining revenues from print and advertising, with 41 percent  looking to new product options.

Continue reading STM, trade and education industry leaders offer perspectives on digital transformation in publishing

Meet RBdigital, a new app that makes audiobooks, ebooks and magazines available in one location

One of the most interesting products unveiled at this year’s American Library Association conference in Chicago (held in late June), was Recorded Books’ RBdigital app, which brings together three content types into a single application: ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines. RBdigital essentially merges two existing apps into one: OneClickdigital and Zinio for Libraries. With this move, Recorded Books raises the bar higher for all ebook players catering to libraries.

Press release below.

Recorded Books, an RBmedia company, has announced the launch of RBdigital™ — bringing together libraries’ top-circulating digital media into a single mobile app. The functionality in both OneClickdigital™ and Zinio™ for Libraries — two leading library lending apps currently in use by thousands of libraries around the world — is now seamlessly merged into the new RBdigital app.

“We’re proud to be the first to make audiobooks, magazines, and eBooks available in one location on mobile devices,” says Tom MacIsaac, Chief Executive Officer of RBmedia. “This new unified app provides the best mobile experience in the industry. With RBdigital, library patrons will find it easier than ever before to discover and access their favorite content on their smartphones and tablets.” Continue reading Meet RBdigital, a new app that makes audiobooks, ebooks and magazines available in one location

Ingram acquires Book Network Int’l Limited, international print and ebook distributor

With this move, Ingram expands its UK footprint. Full press release below:

NASHVILLE, TENN. June 30, 2017 – Ingram Publisher Services LLCan operating unit of Ingram Content Group, has acquired Book Network Int’l Limited (“NBNi”); an international physical and digital book distributor, based in the UK.  NBNi’s client service business will stand alongside Ingram’s wide range of digital, physical and print-on-demand solutions to create a premier global services offering. Continue reading Ingram acquires Book Network Int’l Limited, international print and ebook distributor

ALA and NSR will launch a new eCourse on ebooks in July; registration now open

ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions has recently announced a new iteration of its popular eCourse, Understanding E-Books: All You Need to Know Now and for the Future. NSR’s Mirela Roncevic will serve as the instructor for this 4-week facilitated eCourse starting on July 10, 2017.

More information below or on ALA’s site.


Estimated Hours of Learning: 24
Certificate of Completion available upon request

After completing this eCourse, you will understand:

  • The basics of how e-books function and their place in the current publishing marketplace
  • How e-books are currently being used in libraries, including circulation and lending policies
  • The key issues that librarians are likely to face with e-books in the future

The popularity of e-books exploded with the emergence of tablets and e-readers like the Kindle and has risen steadily ever since. For librarians, this growth has meant the development of a new area of service and content delivery. For the librarian who is new to e-books and e-readers, this can be intimidating. Where do you start? How can you learn what you need to know to provide the services that your patrons expect?

Mirela Roncevic has been involved with e-books and e-readers since their emergence, and in this new eCourse she’ll give you the foundation you need to make e-books work for your library and your career. Requiring no prior knowledge of e-books, this eCourse will sketch in their history while showing you how they function in libraries, exploring issues ranging from file formats to delivery mechanisms and lending policies and what they mean for libraries both now and in the future. Continue reading ALA and NSR will launch a new eCourse on ebooks in July; registration now open