Category Archives: Subscription Services

Cengage’s new e-textbook subscription service seems reasonable, but the question lingers: Who needs textbooks anymore?

As reported by Inside Higher Ed (IHE) on December 5, 2018, Cengage has just introduced a Netflix-like subscription service giving students access to e-textbooks (in Cengage’s digital portfolio) for one set price, regardless of how many materials they use.

According to IHE, the new service, called Cengage Unlimited, “will give students access to more than 20,000 Cengage products across 70 disciplines and 675 course areas for $119.99 a semester. For 12 months’ access the price is $179.99, and for two years the price is $239.99. For students taking three or four courses a semester with assigned course materials from Cengage, the subscription could offer hundreds of dollars of savings a year, versus buying or renting the products individually.” [Read the full article here.]

As stated on Cengage’s site, this is “the first-of-its-kind digital subscription that gives students total and on-demand access  to all the digital learning platforms, ebooks, online homework and study tools Cengage has to offer – in one place.”

For added context, over 2,000 institutions in the United States reportedly assign Cengage materials in more than 10 courses; some 1,400 institutions assign Cengage materials in more than 20 courses; and some 600 institutions assign Cengage materials in more than 50 courses.

Given these numbers and given the steep price of educational materials, a Netflix-like subscription for course materials sounds logical. But, as Nate Hoffelder points out in The Digital Reader, it really comes down to how many textbooks students need a year.

Speaking of ‘use,’ I’m using this opportunity to put the spotlight (back) on the utility of digital textbooks in an age of interactive learning and massive amounts of (quality, reliable) educational information available freely on any given subject all over the Internet. Questions arise (in my mind, at least): Continue reading Cengage’s new e-textbook subscription service seems reasonable, but the question lingers: Who needs textbooks anymore?

Credo introduces ‘Real-time Reference” within search results to combat fake news

Just in from Credo:

Credo Reference – the industry leader for information literacy, critical thinking, and research solutions – is introducing a “Real-time Reference” category within search results to help students easily identify reliable sources on current issues of importance. In addition to enabling researchers to find timely and accurate reference content relating to current events and controversial topics, Credo is announcing a partnership with ProCon.org to make its Debate Topics available within Credo’s Core Collections.

In an era where news may be fake and the number of sources available are overwhelming, the ability to navigate information online is increasingly vital to both the research process, as well as each individual’s understanding of the world around them. ProCon.org’s carefully curated arguments and background context are compiled from multiple viewpoints, reliable sources, and key experts in a diverse array of topics influencing today’s society. Continue reading Credo introduces ‘Real-time Reference” within search results to combat fake news

Scribd adds the Financial Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Guardian

Content types in digital format continue to co-exist across platforms. Scribd just added major newspapers to its collection of ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines.

From a Scribd PR:

Scribd, the premiere digital reading subscription service that provides monthly access to the best books, audiobooks, magazines, and documents, is setting a new standard within the premium digital reading space with the addition of select articles from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Guardian, as well as select archive content from the Financial Times. Scribd is further supercharging its news portfolio with the addition of articles from more than a dozen top-tier news brands including NPR and ProPublica.  

The expansion is tied to Scribd’s mission of helping readers become their most knowledgeable and informed selves. Scribd is debuting major platform enhancements led by an overall cosmetic redesign and enhanced recommendation tools designed to better showcase news articles alongside Scribd’s existing selection of books, audiobooks, and magazines. Continue reading Scribd adds the Financial Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Guardian