Category Archives: Open Access

No Shelf Required’s two new publications

No Shelf Required has been busy this past year exploring the many topics of eBooks and libraries.  Very soon, two new publications will be available from ALA Publishing which share the No Shelf Required name.  These new publications contain completely new content, expanding upon No Shelf Required: E-books in Libraries, ALA Editions, 2011. Details are below.  For a complete list of NSR publications, please visit our publications page.

The first publication will be the No Shelf Required Guide to E-Book Purchasing.  This guide will appear in the November/December (v. 47 n. 8)  issue of Library Technology Reports (direct URL coming soon).  Chapters and contributors in this double issue include: Continue reading

Creative Commons Licensing – Options explained by Eric Hellman

Eric Hellman, creator of the Go To Hellman blog and the new open access service Unglue.it, has written several detailed blog posts about creative commons licensing.

A clip from his first blog posts offers some context:  “Have you ever wondered whether Anonymous can use an Creative Commons attribution license? The Answer is YES, Attribution licenses ARE useful, even for Anonymous.  In the process of developing the Unglue.it service, we’ve had to study licenses and decide which ones are best for ungluing ebooks. Since supporters will be putting up real money to relicense the books (making them free to the world), the details of the license need to be spelled out clearly, upfront.

It’s a big topic with lots of considerations, so I’m going to write about our choices in three pieces. We’ll be using the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND) License for most of the books that we unglue. This post will focus on the easiest choice- the attribution part. Even with attribution, there are some tricky bits.”

The links below offer the full post:

Go To Hellman: Creative Commons – BY (Attribution)

Go To Hellman: Creative Commons – NC (Non-Commercial)

Go To Hellman:  Creative Commons – ND (No Derivatives)

Shutting Down Open Resources (OERs)

Interesting article in today’s Inside Higher Ed about open educational resources.  Here’s a clip from the article, written by Libby A. Nelson.

” It’s been less than a month since the U.S. Labor Department announced $500 million in grants for community colleges to develop job-training programs and make them free for other institutions to use, but the program is already facing a threat to its existence.

A provision in the proposed House of Representatives budget for fiscal year 2012 would stop the federal government from using grant programs to develop new courses, learning materials or other related projects unless the labor secretary verifies that similar programs are not already available for purchase or “under development.” Continue reading

Ungluing eBooks – creative commons licensed eBooks

Eric Hellman has a new blog post on his Go To Hellman site with updates on his new project to support open access eBooks– Unglue.it (or unglueit.com).

From the post: For readers new to this blog, “ungluing ebooks” is what I’m calling the process of raising money to make creative-commons licensed ebook editions of the books that you love, so that everyone, everywhere can read them. You betcha…We’re developing the Unglue.it website on the Amazon cloud; in addition to the four full time Gluejar staff, we have three design and development contractors working on its construction. It’s a great team, but we’re still figuring out how to make our virtual office work. Even when Irene knocks out our power.  Our prototype is using the PayPal payment processing infrastructure, various bibliographic web services, and the Django web application framework. Right now, it looks like we’ll hit alpha in October. Continue reading

Open Access eBooks, part 4, by Eric Hellman

From Eric Hellman’s blog, Go To Hellman – The fourth section my book chapter on Open Access eBooks looks at theier relationship with libraries.  I previously posted the IntroductionWhat does Open Access mean for eBooks and Business Models for Creation of Open Access E-Books. I’ll be posting one more section, a conclusion.

Thank you for all of your comments; the completed chapter (and OA eBook) will be better for them.

Libraries and Open Access E-Books
One of the missions of libraries is to provide access to all sorts of information, including e-books. If an e-book is already open access, what role is left for libraries play?

Here’s a thought-experiment for libraries: imagine that the library’s entire collection is digital. Should it include Shakespeare? Should it include Moby Dick? These are available as public domain works from Project Gutenberg; providing these editions in a library collection might seem to be superfluous. Many librarians have been trying to convince their patrons that “free stuff on the Internet” is often inferior to the quality information available through libraries. There are certainly e-book editions of these works available for purchase with better illustrations, better editing, annotations, etc. Should libraries try to steer patrons to these resources instead of using the free stuff? Continue reading

Open Access eBooks, Part 3

From Eric Hellman’s Go To Hellman blog.  Please offer your comments to Eric at the Go To Hellman blog.

Here’s the third section of my draft of a book chapter for a book edited by No Shelf Required‘s Sue Polanka. I previously posted the introduction; and What does Open Access mean for eBooks subsequent posts will cover Open Access E-Books in Libraries. Note that while the blog always uses “ebook” as one word, the book will use the hyphenated form, “e-book”. The comments on the second section prompted me to make significant revisions, which I have posted.

Business Models for Creation of Open Access E-Books
Any model for e-book publishing must have a business model for recouping the expenses of production: reviewing, editing, formatting, design, etc. In this section, we’ll review methods that can be used to support Open Access e-book publishing. Continue reading

Open Access eBooks, Part 2. What does Open Access Mean for e-books?

Reprinted from the Go To Hellman blog from Eric Hellman.  Here’s the second section of my draft of a book chapter for a book edited by No Shelf Required‘s Sue Polanka. I previously posted the introduction; subsequent posts will include sections on Business Models for Open Access E-Books, and Open Access E-Books in Libraries. Note that while the blog always uses “ebook” as one word, the book will use the hyphenated form, “e-book”. The comments on the first section have been really good; please don’t stop!  Comments can be directed to Eric via the Go To Hellman blog.

What does Open Access mean for e-books?
There are varying definitions for the term “open access”, even for journal articles. For the moment, I will use this as a lower-case term broadly to mean any arrangement that allows for people to read a book without paying someone for the privilege. At the end of the section, I’ll capitalize the term. Although many e-books are available for free in violation of copyright laws, I’m excluding them from this discussion.

Public Domain
The most important category of open access for books is work that has entered the public domain. In the US, all works published before 1923 have entered the public domain, along with works from later years whose registration was not renewed. Works published in the US from 1923-1963 entered the public domain 28 years after publication unless the copyright registration was renewed. Public domain status depends on national law, and a work may be in the public domain in some countries but not in others. The rules of what is in and out of copyright can be confusing and sometimes almost impossible to determine correctly. Continue reading

Digital Textbooks and Open Educational Resources – Summary of SOCHE Think TV session

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

Flat World Knowledge releases Make It Your Own platform

Reprinted in full from Information Today NewsBreaks, by Paula Hane.

Flat World Knowledge, a publisher of free and open college textbooks for students, announced the release of a new platform called MIYO (Make It Your Own). The fully-automated system gives professors greater control over textbook content, and the ability, with one click, to make their modified book available to students free online or in multiple, low-cost digital and print formats.

MIYO (mee-oh) transforms a static textbook into an adaptable learning platform by combining a digital-first architecture with Flat World’s open licensing model that grants faculty the right to revise, remix and share its textbooks. The new system uses familiar drag-and-drop and click features that allow instructors to easily move or delete chapters and sections; upload Word and PDF documents; add notes and exercises; insert video and hyperlinks; edit sentences; and incorporate other content that is free to reuse under a Creative Commons open license. Continue reading

Open Access E-books Part One, from Eric Hellman

No Shelf Required: E-books in LibrariesI’ve been working on on a book chapter for a book edited by No Shelf Required‘s Sue Polanka. My chapter covers “Open Access E-Books”. Over the next week or two, I’ll be posting drafts for the chapter on the blog. Many readers know things that I don’t about this area, and I would be grateful for their feedback and corrections. Today, I’ll post the introduction, subsequent posts will include sections on Types of Open Access E-Books, Business Models for Open Access E-Books, and Open Access E-Books in Libraries. Note that while the blog always uses “ebook” as one word, the book will use the hyphenated form, “e-book”.

Open Access E-Books

As e-books emerge into the public consciousness, “Open Access”, a concept already familiar to scholarly publishers and academic libraries, will play an increasing role for all sorts of publishers and libraries. This chapter discusses what Open Access means in the context of e-books, how Open Access e-books can be supported, and the roles that Open Access e-books will play in libraries and in our society.

The Open Access “Movement”

Authors write and publish because they want to be read. Many authors also want to earn a living from their writing, but for some, income from publishing is not an important consideration. Some authors, particularly academics, publish because of the status, prestige, and professional advancement that accrue to authors of influential or groundbreaking works of scholarship. Academic publishers have historically taken advantage of these motivations to create journals and monographs consisting largely of works for which they pay minimal royalties, or more commonly, no royalties at all. In return, authors’ works receive professional review, editing, and formatting. Works that are accepted get placement in widely circulated journals and monograph catalogs. Continue reading