Act now: Funding for Open Textbooks – SPARC

“As part of the recent bipartisan budget deal, $2 billion was designated for programs that “aid college completion and affordability.” SPARC has just been alerted by our Congressional allies that there may be a chance to direct some of this funding toward an open textbook grant program—one of our key legislative priorities. However, we need your help to act fast.”

Library celebrates C. Judson King’s new open access book on the University of California | UC Berkeley Library News

“The book is close to King’s heart for many reasons. During his time as UC provost, King helped launch both the California Digital Library, one of the world’s largest online libraries, and eScholarship, the University of California’s open access, electronic repository for publications by UC authors. King is passionate about the power of open access materials to strengthen scholarship and has made his book freely available online through eScholarship. The goal, King said, is to allow administrators in developing countries interested in building a university to access his book free of restraints….

King has experienced the role of open access publishing in spreading scientific knowledge firsthand. In 1980, King published a second edition of a seminal chemical engineering textbook he’d written on separation processes — operations that pull apart two or more chemicals in a mixture, like in the purification of seawater. After the book went out of print, King put it on eScholarship. Today, the book racks up 100 to 150 downloads per month on the digital platform, King said — which is equivalent to what it sold when it was brand-new. That highlighted for King the potential of open access publishing to help countless researchers around the world….”


New publishing platform makes experienced authors’ works freely available > News > USC Dornsife

“…Readers who visit the Free Read Press website can download and distribute books by experienced authors, many of whom are connected with USC, at no cost and with no usage restrictions. In addition to work by Dane and Rowe, who is professor of English, American studies and ethnicity, and comparative literature, contributors include Distinguished Professor of English Percival Everett, Aerol Arnold Professor Emeritus of English Jim Kincaid, and Richard Fliegel, associate dean for undergraduate programs. Unlike traditional printing houses, there is little editing, and authors can make changes to their work at any time. For readers who prefer the texture of a crisp page over the digital swipe, Free Read Press has partnered with printers to sell physical copies of each book at cost….”

Guest Post: Institutional Alignment: The University Press Redux – The Scholarly Kitchen

“That question of institutional relationship may have a whole new sense of urgency for some presses depending on how the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), and its successor Research England, unpacks a key announcement made at the conference. Actually,  “announcement” is overstating it: it was more an expansion of an earlier hint on page 36 (Annex C) of December 2016’s Second Consultation on the Second Research Excellence Framework, that to be eligible for the next but one Research Excellence Framework (REF), which feeds the distribution of £1.6 billion of annual quality-related university funding in the UK, all monographs will need to be available in an OA manner. That is, in just over 1000 days from now in January 2021, when the REF 2027 cycle starts, UK university academic book authors will be expected to meet some as yet unspecified OA requirements. Only time will tell the exact form of OA that will be prescribed – Annex C somewhat frustratingly states ‘We do not intend to set out any detailed open-access policy requirements for monographs in a future REF exercise in this annex,’ and there hasn’t been a great deal of public discussion with publishers since its publication, at least until HEFCE’s Head of Research Policy, Steven Hill, threw down the gauntlet at Redux. Meanwhile, the 19 ‘new university presses’ in the UK and 12 institutions considering following suit according to JISC’s Graham Stone, look distinctly like a hedge on the long-term future of scholarly communication, and those US university presses that have been reluctant to engage with OA may feel obliged to do so or risk losing UK authors….”


Open Book Publishers

“We are a Social Enterprise run by scholars who are committed to making high-quality research available to readers around the world. OBP publish monographs and textbooks in all areas, and offer the academic excellence of a traditional press, with the speed, convenience and accessibility of digital publishing. All our books are available to read for free online. We also publish bespoke Series for Universities and Research Centers and invite librarians to further Open Access publishing by joining our Membership Programme.

We won the 2013 IFLA/Brill Open Access award for initiatives in open access monograph publishing. The Accelerating Science Award Program (ASAP) blue ribbon panel of industry experts selected OBP to be one of seven high-impact Open Access organizations, among journal publishers and content providers. We were also shortlisted for the 2014 and 2017 WISE Awards. OBP is also very proud to have achieved a 9/10 social impact score in the SE100 Rankings 2017….”

Open Textbook Faculty Incentive Program – 2017-2018 Awardees | UIC Today

“The Office of the Provost and the University Library are proud to announce the awardees for the first year of the Open Textbook Faculty Incentive Program.  This new program encourages faculty to use and develop open educational resources (OER) as alternatives to traditional textbooks for undergraduate courses.”

UConnPIRG works toward affordable textbooks and access codes — The Daily Campus

“Student activist group UConnPIRG will increase their efforts this semester in their “Action Plan for Affordable Textbooks” campaign, which advocates for affordable class materials like open educational resources, by engaging with professors and the greater University of Connecticut community.”

Open Data: The Global Effort for Open Access to Satellite Data | The MIT Press

“Mariel Borowitz’s new book, Open Space: The Global Effort for Open Access to Environmental Satellite Data traces the history of environmental satellite data sharing policies, offering a model of data-sharing policy development, case studies and practical recommendations for increasing global data sharing. Below, she writes about why some countries have adopted an open data policy, while others have not.”