Update from the CDL, CRL & HT Collaboration – First Small Project to Realize Open, Collaborative Infrastructure for Shared Print + Webinars! – California Digital Library

“Earlier this year in July, we shared news with the WEST membership that California Digital Library (CDL, administrative host for WEST), the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), and HathiTrust released a set of framing documents that would guide their collaborative work to realize open infrastructure to support shared print as an integral part of contemporary collection management and development. 

Now we are happy to share that the three organizations have embarked on their first collaborative project: a freely available, web-accessible tool that will enable any library to compare lists of serial holdings with serial retention commitments in PAPR in order to distinguish, in the local list, what has been retained and what has not.

This project embodies the intention of the CDL, CRL & HT collaboration not to rebuild, but to build upon and connect the resources and capabilities that already abound in our community. This project is possible because of the cumulative efforts of many: the original work undertaken by CRL and CDL, funded by the Mellon Foundation, to conceive and develop PAPR; subsequent contributions by WEST in developing the AGUA graphic interface and on-the-fly reporting capability; and, as an added bonus, the collaboration aims to open up a new dataset for comparison: HathiTrust’s digital serials….”

The open-access monograph conundrum can be solved

“I have been thinking about models for OA monographs for over a decade, trying to find an affordable way for small-medium -sized presses – and particularly university presses – to transition to fee-free OA. My experience of implementing a business model with these characteristics at the Open Library of Humanities has taught me many valuable lessons about the degree of labour involved and the limits of scalability.

I believe that this year we have developed such a model, through our work at COPIM, that could work for many mid-size university presses. It is a model that preserves print and that is low risk. A model that is affordable for libraries but avoids charging authors. Most importantly, it is a model that scales dynamically: as membership grows, books are made OA the second that a press hits the revenue threshold, meaning that it is not an “all or nothing” approach. The model is called Opening the Future.

The model works by offering a subscription package to elements of a press’s backlist. That is, the press offers options of collections of 50 or so titles to libraries, to which institutions subscribe. These titles are not open access but are offered as a subscription for the duration of the term.

However, in Opening the Future, revenue from the subscriptions is used to fund frontlist titles to go open access. This model, then, appeals both those who wish to pay for subscription-access content (more traditional university acquisition models) and those who support OA initiatives. It brings many institutions together under one roof for an affordable route to open-access books. Of course, the model does not obviate the need for subsidy; the Central European University Press, who are the first press to implement the plan, receives support from its host institution (as should all university presses)….”

The open-access monograph conundrum can be solved

“I have been thinking about models for OA monographs for over a decade, trying to find an affordable way for small-medium -sized presses – and particularly university presses – to transition to fee-free OA. My experience of implementing a business model with these characteristics at the Open Library of Humanities has taught me many valuable lessons about the degree of labour involved and the limits of scalability.

I believe that this year we have developed such a model, through our work at COPIM, that could work for many mid-size university presses. It is a model that preserves print and that is low risk. A model that is affordable for libraries but avoids charging authors. Most importantly, it is a model that scales dynamically: as membership grows, books are made OA the second that a press hits the revenue threshold, meaning that it is not an “all or nothing” approach. The model is called Opening the Future.

The model works by offering a subscription package to elements of a press’s backlist. That is, the press offers options of collections of 50 or so titles to libraries, to which institutions subscribe. These titles are not open access but are offered as a subscription for the duration of the term.

However, in Opening the Future, revenue from the subscriptions is used to fund frontlist titles to go open access. This model, then, appeals both those who wish to pay for subscription-access content (more traditional university acquisition models) and those who support OA initiatives. It brings many institutions together under one roof for an affordable route to open-access books. Of course, the model does not obviate the need for subsidy; the Central European University Press, who are the first press to implement the plan, receives support from its host institution (as should all university presses)….”

University of North Carolina Studies in Germanic Languages and Literature – UNC Press

“The Press and its partners, UNC Chapel Hill’s Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and the UNC Library, are pleased to make available 124 monographs, translations, and critical editions. This is the first time these works will be available as ebooks, which will be accessible in open access PDF and EPUB (with a few exceptions) formats, as well as in new paperback editions. The digital editions will be hosted on the Carolina Digital Repository, Project MUSE, JSTOR, OAPEN, and a number of other open access platforms….”

Full article: Dismal Results from a Print Periodical Usage Study

“Print periodicals have been a cornerstone of libraries for over 100 years. Over the past 20 years print periodicals have been eclipsed by online journal databases and individual e-journals, but most libraries still subscribe to some print journals. In 2019 Tennessee Technological University  undertook a thorough study of the usage of the current print periodical subscriptions by attaching survey forms to the covers of recent issues. The results showed that most newspapers and scholarly print periodicals were not used at all and the majority could be cancelled. Popular magazines showed slightly higher usage, but many of them could be dropped as well….

As a profession we need to make data driven decisions. Even though libraries have been cutting print periodical expenditures for many decades, it may be time to cut even more. It may be common knowledge that print periodical usage is down, but it may not be common knowledge that usage is zero.”

Do students lose depth in digital reading?

“Do students learn as much when they read digitally as they do in print?…

Most studies have found that participants scored about the same when reading in each medium, though a few have indicated that students performed better on tests when they read in print….

Some researchers are beginning to pose more nuanced questions, including one scholar who has considered what happens when people read a story in print or on a digital device and are then asked to reconstruct the plot sequence. The answer: Print yielded better results.

Another aspect of learning is to see how outcomes differ when students are doing their reading in less prescriptive experimental conditions. One study let students choose how much time to spend when reading on each platform. The researchers found that participants devoted less time to reading the passage onscreen – and performed less well on the subsequent comprehension test….

When asked on which medium they felt they concentrated best, 92 percent replied “print.” For long academic readings, 86 percent favored print. Participants also reported being more likely to reread academic materials if they were in print….”

Do students lose depth in digital reading?

“Do students learn as much when they read digitally as they do in print?…

Most studies have found that participants scored about the same when reading in each medium, though a few have indicated that students performed better on tests when they read in print….

Some researchers are beginning to pose more nuanced questions, including one scholar who has considered what happens when people read a story in print or on a digital device and are then asked to reconstruct the plot sequence. The answer: Print yielded better results.

Another aspect of learning is to see how outcomes differ when students are doing their reading in less prescriptive experimental conditions. One study let students choose how much time to spend when reading on each platform. The researchers found that participants devoted less time to reading the passage onscreen – and performed less well on the subsequent comprehension test….

When asked on which medium they felt they concentrated best, 92 percent replied “print.” For long academic readings, 86 percent favored print. Participants also reported being more likely to reread academic materials if they were in print….”

Commercial Textbooks Present Challenges in a Virtual Environment | Library

“As we approach the fall 2020 semester, library staff are working hard to provide alternative access to the print course reserves collection. …However, this work is hampered by textbook publishers who do not provide electronic purchasing options for libraries. Approximately 85% of existing course textbooks are simply unavailable to libraries in any other format than print. …

We are working with instructors to explore and identify viable textbook alternatives, including…Adopting an open educational resource (OER). OERs are freely available educational materials that are openly licensed to allow for re-use and modification by instructors….”

Commercial Textbooks Present Challenges in a Virtual Environment | Library

“As we approach the fall 2020 semester, library staff are working hard to provide alternative access to the print course reserves collection. …However, this work is hampered by textbook publishers who do not provide electronic purchasing options for libraries. Approximately 85% of existing course textbooks are simply unavailable to libraries in any other format than print. …

We are working with instructors to explore and identify viable textbook alternatives, including…Adopting an open educational resource (OER). OERs are freely available educational materials that are openly licensed to allow for re-use and modification by instructors….”

Statement on Collection Development, Access, and Equity in the time of COVID-19

“As is the case in Latin America and the Caribbean and elsewhere across the Global South, the majority of publications from the Middle East (Southwest Asia), North Africa and the diasporas are print-only, and are not available in electronic formats. Therefore, collecting policies which prefer electronic acquisitions at the expense of print risk excluding from their growing collections a significant portion of the cultural and scholarly production of these regions. Such policies threaten the diversity of representation in library collections by further marginalizing already marginalized voices….

We are particularly concerned that research materials and resources will be concentrated in a handful of wealthy, often private, institutions.  Commitment to area studies in general and to Middle East studies librarianship in particular is also instrumental for maintaining diverse and inclusive collections that reflect and support the wide ranging scholarly and creative interests of our users.”