Sunday, May 08, 2011

MediaWeek (V4,N19) EBooks on Campus, Jeffrey Archer, LexisNexis Sued, Archiving the Web

Don't let the date stamp on this press release fool you as the National Association of College Stores announce findings from their March 2011 OnCampus Electronic Book and E-Reader Device Report. Here is their press release:
The results showed a 6% increase in e-book purchases of any kind when compared to a similar study done in October 2010, while fewer students are relying on laptops or netbooks to read the material. Nearly 15% fewer students said they used those devices to read e-books, while 39% said they used a dedicated e-reader, up from 19% just five months ago. “Although the vast majority of students still do not own a dedicated e-reader, this is a significant jump in five short months,” says Julie Traylor, NACS chief of planning and research.
Nearly 15% reported owning an e-reader, up from 8% in October. Of those now owning a digital e-reader, the Amazon Kindle was the most popular, with 52% of college students owning one, compared to 32% five months ago. Other top e-reader devices included Barnes & Noble’s Nook (21%), Apple iPhone (17%), and Apple iPad (10%).
Students interested in purchasing a new e-reader are most interested in the iPad and Kindle (both 27%), followed by the Nook.
Curiously, print textbooks continue as the preferred media option among this demographic. Fully 75% of the college students in the March 2011 survey said that, if the choice was entirely theirs, they would select a print textbook. This is similar to the findings of the October 2010 e-reader survey, as well as one done in the fall of 2008.
Jeffrey Archer interviewed by The Telegraph:

And we’re only 10 minutes in. I’m trying to steer the conversation towards writing techniques, towards inspiration and the existential angst of being a writer. I don’t think Jeffrey does existential.

More to the point, I’m painfully aware that of the two writers in the room, only one has an original Monet on the wall. “Kane and Abel!” he explains, pointing to it with a laugh. Just the one book, then. I don’t think Jeffrey is deliberately trying to trash me, but he does seem to have a strange reflex action that manifests itself as one-upmanship.

I mention that I’ve enjoyed the daily tours at the Metropolitan Art Museum in New York. Well, he has a famous academic who takes him around the world’s greatest galleries once a week. I tell him I walked the two miles to his home. Cue an anecdote about his running the London marathon. It really matters to him that he sells tons more than other famous writers he names, although he doesn’t want to offend them so asks me not to.

None of this is boasting, not exactly. Here’s the strange thing, or perhaps, not so strange, given those past crimes and misdemeanours.

Jeffrey seems to have an impulse to prove everything he says. He tells me that for six weeks he’s been the bestselling author in India. His assistant immediately pops down a second time with a printout of the Indian chart. And yes, there he is, well ahead of Mirza Waheed and Manju Kapur.

Interviewer: I once had to go to detention. Archer: That's nothing, I once did 2yrs for perjury.

More NACS news and they've asked the Better Business Bureau to their claim that Amazon is misleading consumers of college textbooks (InsideHigherEd):
On March 25, the National Association of College Stores asked the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau, a self-regulatory body of advertisers, to look into the three claims made by Amazon. On Tuesday, Amazon filed for a declaratory judgment from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington that the company’s advertising claims were not misleading.

While the price of textbooks has long been a hot topic of discussion -- prompting among other things the formation of student groups and legislation to combat high prices -- rarely has the market been competitive enough for advertising to be a point of legal contention. But the dispute between college bookstores and Amazon could indicate a new, more competitive era of textbook sales.

“NACS and the 3,100 college bookstores it represents are threatened by the lower prices that Amazon offers students on the sale of textbooks, and the high prices it offers to buy back books. It is actively seeking to limit Amazon’s ability to advertise these prices,” reads Amazon’s complaint. Amazon did not cite its market share in the complaint or respond to a request to comment on the subject.

LexisNexis is being sued in a class action that accuses the company of categorizing some potential employees as 'thieves' (CourtHouse News):
The problem, the plaintiffs say, is that LexisNexis doesn't "impose on members any rules, procedures or criteria regarding what constitutes an 'admission,' how admissions may be obtained, the form of admission statements, or what, if anything, employees signing an 'admission statement' must be informed of about Esteem or the purpose of the statement."

The class adds: "And, where the statement refers to circumstances that could be interpreted as something other than a theft, defendant does not require the contributing member to furnish any clarifying information and, instead, resolves all doubt in favor of the contributing member."

LexisNexis styles the supposed admission a "verified admission statement," but the company does not do its due diligence to investigate or verify it, the class claims.
Named plaintiff Keesha Goode says that after she lost her job as a cashier at a mall in October 2008, she applied for a position with Family Dollar Stores, an Esteem subscriber, in May 2009.
A unit of Elsevier Health and Microsoft have joined forces to offer a new Nursing product in the Philipines (PressRelease);

Elsevier, Redfox Technologies and Microsoft today announced the launch of the iCitizen Nursing Skills Netbook, an integrated and affordable e-learning netbook for nurses and nursing students in The Philippines.

As part of this landmark partnership, the Redfox Netbook is being powered by the revolutionary Windows 7 operating system and enhanced with the Microsoft Office 2010 productivity suite. This world renowned software within the netbook is further complemented with a selection of the Mosby's Nursing skills software from Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services.

"With more and more hospitals expected to adopt information technology to provide better quality healthcare at the point of care, nurses will increasingly need to keep up with the latest technological changes and innovation in the workplace," explained Pascal van den Nieuwendijk, Director Public and Private Partnerships for Microsoft in Asia.

In addition to juggling their workloads, nurses are faced with the challenge of constantly updating their skills, not only to keep abreast of the rapidly evolving standards of local health ministries but, more importantly, to provide a higher quality of healthcare to patients. This is where the iCitizen Nursing Skills Netbook comes in, as both practicing nurses and nursing students can easily access up-to-date knowledge in critical care skills and patient care procedures.

"The iCitizen Nursing Skills Netbook demonstrates the seamless integration of a netbook, software and specialized content which underpins Microsoft's ability to drive innovative solutions in collaboration with our valued partners in one of the Philippines' key sectors," Van den Nieuwendijk added. "This project will support the overall government's drive to provide world class healthcare providers and remain one of the world's leading countries in this growing segment."

From IHEd an article about archiving the web (IHEd):

Many libraries are beginning to use the Internet Archive, and its popular WayBack Machine, to develop scholar-friendly archives of websites. The organization currently hosts collections of archived websites for more than 60 different colleges and universities.

The idea is essentially to preserve websites the way libraries have long preserved newspapers via microform. As the Internet has increasingly become society’s medium of record, it has become common for the authors of scholarly papers to cite Web content that has no corresponding print documents. (Several academic style guides recently added guidelines for citing Twitter and Facebook content.)

“In many ways this is just a continuation of what libraries have always done,” says Robert Wolven, an associate university librarian for bibliographic services and collection development at Columbia University.

From the Twitter:

Judith Regan Settles Lawsuit That Threatened to Implicate Ailes

UK Vice Chancellor calls for universities to publish their own journals.

Alibris Announce Rental Program for Book Sellers

And in sports: BBC

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