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04.13.14

Open Access on the Rise: Textbooks, Journals, Etc.

Posted in News Roundup at 4:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sharing textbooks

  • New open-source strategy would drop textbook costs to $0

    These open-source textbooks have different features that electronic versions sold by traditional publishers

  • University Of Maryland Explores Open Source Textbooks

    Why not jump aboard the open source bandwagon since the world does seem to be moving in that general direction as well in tech matters? That is what the University of Maryland is currently considering, to make use of open source textbooks since textbooks happen to be the single fastest growing expense for college students, apart from the constant twin thorns of rent and cost of living. Many other universities too, are looking for a solution when it comes to textbooks, and the University of Maryland would not be the first to implement such an idea since both the University of California and the University of Washington have already kicked off programs to offer their students a catalog of free and freely available open source textbooks.

  • Open education resources combat high textbook prices

    Eben Upton is best known as the man behind the Raspberry Pi, a tiny, $25 computer designed to help turn kids into programmers. Upton priced it at $25 because he thought that’s around what an average textbook cost: “I now understand that’s an incorrect estimate. If we had a better idea of what school textbooks cost we would have had an easier job with the engineering over the years,” he joked to Wired years later.

  • The inside story of MIT and Aaron Swartz
  • Open-source textbooks in policy focus

    Fed up with academic textbooks making constant but minor updates, adding unnecessary chapters and providing unwanted worksheets, Scott Roberts was desperate for a new way to teach his PSYC 100: Introduction to Psychology class.

    In the fall of 2010, he found a solution that not only relieved his frustrations but also saved his students money.

  • New ‘open-source’ strategy would drop college textbook costs to zero

    Holding a whiteboard, the University of Maryland-College Park students scrawled their complaints and posed for a picture.

    “My name is Justin and I spent $114 on ONE textbook,” a student wrote. “My name is Jeff and I spent $736 on textbooks,” wrote another.

Academia

  • London Book Fair 2014: Open Source for an Open Publishing Ecosystem: Readium.org Turns One

    Last month marked the one-year anniversary of the formation of the Readium Foundation (Readium.org), an independent nonprofit launched in March 2013 with the objective of developing commercial-grade open source publishing technology software. The overall goal of Readium.org is to accelerate adoption of ePub 3, HTML5, and the Open Web Platform by the digital publishing industry to help realize the full potential of open-standards-based interoperability. More specifically, the aim is to raise the bar for ePub 3 support across the industry so that ePub maintains its position as the standard distribution format for e-books and expands its reach to include other types of digital publications.

  • Shame On Nature: Academic Journal Demanding Researchers Waive Their Own Open Access Policy

    We’ve been talking a lot about the power and importance of open access for academic (and especially government funded) research. More and more universities have agreed, with some even having general open access policies for their academics, requiring them to release research under open access policies. This makes sense, because one of the key aspects of education and knowledge is the ability to share it freely and to build on the work of others. Without open access, this is made much more difficult. So it’s immensely troubling to discover that one of the biggest science publishers out there, Nature Publishing Group, has started telling academics that they need to get a “waiver” from their university’s open access policies. The issue was raised by Duke’s Scholarly Communications Officer, Kevin Smith, though it’s likely happening at other universities as well:

  • German University Tells Elsevier ‘No Deal’

    In the latest skirmish between academia and publishers over the costs of academic journals, the University of Konstanz in Germany has broken off negotiations over a new licensing agreement with the scientific publisher Elsevier. The publisher’s prices are too high, said university Rector Ulrich Rüdiger in a statement, and the institution “will no longer keep up with this aggressive pricing policy and will not support such an approach.”

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