The Move to Open Access as Ebook Crisis Worsens – Campaign to investigate the academic ebook market

“1) In March 2020, several academic publishers and 3rd party vendors announced, to much fanfare, that they were opening up access to many of their resources for free. Whilst this move was welcomed by many in Higher Education, much of the content was withdrawn as little as three months later while COVID was still raging. Access has not been reinstated during this most recent lock-down. (One has to wonder if the original offer was little but a cynical marketing strategy).

2) Unlike March 2020, many students are starting the semester away from campus and so cannot make the dash to access hardcopy resources as they may have done last year….

Librarians, academics and, more importantly, students, cannot wait for senior figures to act at this critical time in the HE cycle. Librarians are increasingly turning to the complex world of open access resources to fill the huge holes in information provision bought about by traditional academic publisher business models. There is hope that open access will become more and more commonplace going forward….”

2021 Pressbooks H5P OER Development Grant – BCcampus

“This call for proposals is for post-secondary instructors and faculty in British Columbia to develop sets of content types in H5P that support open textbooks in the B.C. Open Textbook Collection (see below for a list of suggested books). The intent of these grants is to develop activities in which students can practice applying new concepts and skills that align with content within the selected open textbook.

Eligible grantees include individual instructors, groups of faculty or instructors, departments, institutions, or external working groups made up of instructors and faculty connected to B.C. post-secondary institutions (i.e., articulation groups or other working groups). Collaboration between individuals and departments at different institutions is not only allowed, but encouraged.

The maximum value of each grant is $10,000….”

EIFL renews Bookshare agreement | EIFL

“EIFL has renewed its three-year agreement with Benetech, a technology company based in Silicon Valley, California, USA, for access to Bookshare, the world’s largest accessible online library for people with print disabilities….

As part of the renewed agreement, libraries in 20 EIFL countries can sign up for free to allow their print-disabled readers to use Bookshare:

 

Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lesotho, Malawi, Moldova, Myanmar, Nepal, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Zambia, Zimbabwe….”

Ebook Collection Development in Academic Libraries: Examining Preference, Management, and Purchasing Patterns

“Key findings: • Electronic books are now an established part of academic library collections, and many libraries report planned future expenditures in this format. On average, ebooks constitute approximately one-third of a library’s monograph collection. • Patron convenience and need are the main motivators for libraries’ investment in ebooks. The top four advantages of ebooks identified by institutions are all user-related: anywhere access, anytime access, enhancement of distance/online education, and allowance for multi-user access. As this survey was conducted during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many respondents emphasized the benefits of access. Typical responses included “perfect for COVID-19,” “these are the only books our students can access right now because of COVID-19,” and “serving college programs and courses now being taught remotely due to pandemic.” • Librarians believe that patrons are increasingly format agnostic when it comes to monographs, and as a result they are purchasing a mix of print and electronic books dictated by availability, cost, and collecting scope rather than assumptions about patron preferences. • The ebook acquisition landscape is complex with multiple vendors, platforms, and purchase models to navigate. Despite this complexity and the inherent frustrations that it brings, libraries are effectively handling the challenges and do not see them as insurmountable barriers to acquiring ebook content. • The ebook format has not transformed the collecting scopes and strategies of academic libraries. Libraries are purchasing the same types of content in ebook format as they purchase in print, focusing on the relevance of the content and not the format….

Saving money is an oft-cited benefit of ebooks for patrons as well. The push for libraries to invest in etextbooks and open educational resources are movements to help offset the growing expense of higher education for students. When libraries invest in these options, they save students thousands of dollars. Ebooks also avoid punitive late fees and fines for books, since they are never overdue or damaged; ebooks are either downloaded and stored on a patron’s computer or access to the content expires….

Nearly all academic libraries and their home institutions instituted stay-at-home orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With campuses closed, access to physical books through a library’s holdings or interlibrary loan was limited to non-existent. Libraries and their patrons looked to digital research objects such as ebooks to support research and instructional needs from a distance. In addition to using a library’s existing ebook collections, patrons also utilized open access ebooks, ebooks from the Internet Archive, and ebooks from the Hathi Trust Emergency Temporary Access Service (for participating libraries). …”

Full article: Supporting Students: OER and Textbook Affordability Initiatives at a Mid-Sized University

Abstract:  In 2018, the Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) kicked off a statewide program to increase awareness and adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER) at colleges and universities. Spurred by the efforts of ACHE, the University of North Alabama committed to OER and textbook affordability programs and included OER adoption as a key aspiration in their 2019–2024 strategic plan, Roaring with Excellence. With support from the president and provost of the university, Collier Library adopted strategic purchasing initiatives, including database purchases to support specific courses as well as purchasing reserve copies of textbooks for high-enrollment, required classes. In addition, the scholarly communications librarian became a founding member of the OER working group on campus. This group’s mission is to direct efforts for increasing faculty awareness and adoption of OER. This presentation will discuss the structure of each of these programs from initial idea to implementation. Included will be discussions of assessment of faculty and student awareness, development of an OER stipend program, starting a textbook purchasing program, promotion of efforts, funding, and future goals.

 

Open Science in the Horizon Europe funding programme: what to expect? – DARIAH Open

“Without the slightest doubt, I think, we are all ready to let 2020 go and look forward to something different to come. In this forward-looking spirit, sharing information about the coming EU funding framework seems to be an appropriate topic for the last DARIAH Open post in 2020. As such, we are going to have a look at how Open Science is taking shape in the nascent Horizon Europe funding programme for 2021-2027, what to expect and what are the major changes compared to the previous funding programme, Horizon 2020. …

Open Access mandate is extended to long form publications such as books: Before going into details, let me highlight an important change that has the biggest significance for the SSH domains: that is, the full inclusion of  monographs and other long forms of scholarship can be expected under the HE Open Access mandate. [1] Although many details are yet unclear (e.g. whether this will be achieved through BPCs only or also through direct investments in publicly owned publishing infrastructure), this is a big step forward [2], especially compared to other funders’ mandates (such as Plan S), where Open Access publishing of books is usually swept aside or saved for later due to its inherent and sometimes quite complex deviations from that of journal articles, which are still considered as the mainstream units of scholarly communication. Keeping an eye on the incremental changes this new policy might bring in the OA book landscape as well as supporting the scholarly networks around DARIAH to comply with this genuinely inclusive OA mandate are absolute priorities for us in the near future. 

Immediate Open Access, no more embargos: Another change to expect  in HE’s OA policy is that the 6 or 12 months embargo period of H2020 is eliminated from HE: peer-reviewed scholarly publications stemming from HE projects must be immediately made available Open Access in a trusted repository (green OA) with PID and good quality metadata coming with a CC BY (or CC BY NC / ND / NC-ND for long-form publications). In addition to the open deposition, publishing Open Access (gold or diamond OA) is highly encouraged (publication in closed or hybrid venues will not be banned, but those  fees will not be eligible for reimbursement). …

Intellectual property rights stay with the authors/beneficiaries: In alignment with Plan S, beneficiaries/authors must retain the IPRs of their publications to comply with the OA mandates. (“Authors/beneficiaries must retain enough rights for open access.”) …”

 

Farewell Print Textbook Reserves: A COVID-19 Change to Embrace | EDUCAUSE

“The current turn of events points to the future demise of print textbook reserves. It should spur librarians and their faculty colleagues to imagine higher education with fully digital e-reserves and a commitment to born-digital, zero- or low-cost learning materials that all students can equitably afford to access. We should adopt Open Educational Resources (OER) to the fullest extent possible. Together, let us learn from this COVID-19 experience and move forward by eliminating our fragile dependence on course content that commercial publishers refuse to make available to libraries in digital format. Any sustainable future for affordable and accessible digital learning materials must come from within the academy.”

Farewell Print Textbook Reserves: A COVID-19 Change to Embrace | EDUCAUSE

“The current turn of events points to the future demise of print textbook reserves. It should spur librarians and their faculty colleagues to imagine higher education with fully digital e-reserves and a commitment to born-digital, zero- or low-cost learning materials that all students can equitably afford to access. We should adopt Open Educational Resources (OER) to the fullest extent possible. Together, let us learn from this COVID-19 experience and move forward by eliminating our fragile dependence on course content that commercial publishers refuse to make available to libraries in digital format. Any sustainable future for affordable and accessible digital learning materials must come from within the academy.”