Mobile Reading REALLY Comes of Age An Information-packed Slide Deck Worth Viewing « The Scholarly Kitchen
eBooks: Smithsonian Libraries Converts Digital Publications for eReaders; Material is Free To Download « INFOdocket
On Tuesday, May 3rd I recorded a 15 minute segment for the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education on Think TV, the local public television station in Dayton, Ohio. My topic was the rise of digital textbooks and options available for students and faculty to access and produce textbooks and learning materials. Below is a snapshot of my general comments with links to various sources for more information.
Our current textbook system is broken. We have arrived at $200 textbooks and have students who cannot afford them. As a result, students try to borrow a textbook from the library or a friend (sometimes the older edition), purchase a used one, or go without. Neither of these options provides revenue to the publisher, thus resulting in higher price points in an effort to recover the costs or production. What can we do about this catch 22? Continue reading Digital Textbooks and Open Educational Resources – Summary of SOCHE Think TV session
A summary of the various articles about Amazon’s announcement to work with libraries via OverDrive, plus a couple of others on Amazon.
Kindle Library Lending and OverDrive — What it means for libraries and schools – OverDrive blog post
Amazon Continues to Push Book innovation with Library Lending and Ad-Supported Kindles – Scholarly Kitchen
Apologies for the long list, I’ve been away for a week and lots has happened!
For the week of March 21st
The Google Books Settlement was rejected on Tuesday. There has been a ton of press on this already. Here are links to several key articles and documents:
Please Refine Your Search Terms – Higher Ed News
She stated, “Publishers often discuss distinctions between e-book and e-journal business and access models, but the truly complex differences in e-books and e-journals reside beneath the surface, in the metadata layer. Understanding and compensating for these differences is essential for interoperable content discovery and navigation when mixed e-book and e-journal content is delivered in large-scale databases, which is increasingly the norm.
Until the evolution of semantic technologies reduces our reliance on catalog and bibliographic records for information discovery and contextualization, nothing supports research discovery better than pristine, consistent, and granular metadata.”
The full article, Smarter Metadata – Aiding Discovery in Next Generation E-book and E-Journal Gateways – is available on The Scholarly Kitchen.
A very interesting post in the Scholarly Kitchen today, Crowdsourcing, Reference Works, and Peer Review: Some surprising Connections. Kent Anderson, the author of the post, discusses a plenary session at the PSP conference and the debate that ensued around the future of the reference book. A clip from Anderson’s post:
Last week, during the PSP plenary debate that touched on the future of the reference book, the opposition made two statements as if they were unassailable facts:
- Getting authors to write things is expensive and requires a lot of motivation that only the prestige and importance of the current system can generate
- Quality reference information can’t be generated via crowdsourcing Continue reading Crowdsourcing, Reference Works, and Peer Review: Some Surprising Connections – The Scholarly Kitchen
Amazon Kindle E-Reader Sales Will Keep Growing in 2011: 10 Reasons Why – Mobile and Wireless – News & Reviews – eWeek.com
Anderson says, “The survey is drawing the wrong conclusion by framing the question in terms of media choice. It’s not about print versus electronic. It’s about economics and selection.
Imagine if someone asked you if you wanted to pay more for something and have limited selection. Would you trade a cheaper format with a broader selection for something you’d calculate as more costly and less abundant? Only if you’re a devoted early adopter.
For the vast majority of students, print textbooks are economically superior to e-books simply because there’s a robust used book market for expensive print textbooks. Buy them new, sell them back. Want them cheaper? Buy them used. The market is much more favorable and robust.” end clip
Later in the post, Anderson states, “As an aside, I have yet to find this survey released in any form other than a press release. That’s not a good sign. It makes me think the whole thing was about generating the press release.” I’ll add to Anderson’s speculation by repeating something I heard at the Charleston Conference last week. Can you really trust surveys that boast student’s reliance on the print book which are sponsored by college bookstores?
An article in the Scholarly Kitchen blog summarizes a recent study done by Ronald Snijder of the Amsterdam University Press (AUP). According to SK, “the study, appearing in the October issue of Learned Publishing, “The profits of free books: an experiment to measure the impact of open access publishing,” describes the results of an experiment in making online books freely available in Google Books and an institutional repository. ”
Clips from the original article, as found in the SK blog post –
- “OA publishing enhances discovery and online consultation. Within the context of the experiment, no relation could be found between OA publishing and citation rates”
- “Publishing as OA is still useful by making unaffordable books available [and yet] a sustainable business model cannot be exclusively build on extra sales generated from OA publishing”
For your weekend reading pleasure:
ModernBookFactory.com: The First Complete Online Audiobook Production and App Development Service for Independent Publishers and Authors
Some good reads and things to watch this week…accessibility, ereaders, the end of books, how students learn on the iPad and more.