Monday, November 07, 2016

JISC (UK) Embark on a project researching the University as e-Textook publisher

The UK research entity JISC is been looking at the e-Textbook market in the UK with a particular concentration on how universities can use the concept of the University Press to advance lower cost textbook content for students.   Below is a link to their case study about the project.
Jisc is funding four teams to produce eight e-textbooks to test the processes, expertise required and outcomes when universities take on the job of publishing course texts themselves. With five books now published, and two years since the start of the project, some of the differences in the strategies adopted by the teams are starting to emerge. Teams have reflected on what they have learned and might change if they published more titles, and offer some advice for others considering similar projects. 
Over the last two or three years there has also been renewed interest, particularly in the library community, in re-establishing the concept of the university press, with some notable new presses appearing in the last year or so.8 With the introduction in the UK of higher fees for courses, students expect to find their required reading available at no extra cost, so the idea that the university itself should produce their textbooks seems entirely logical. It is therefore an interesting and appropriate moment for Jisc to be providing the funding that enables a few universities to experiment with publishing their own textbooks. In the institution as e-textbook publisher project, the overarching question the project seeks to answer is: Will the institution as e-textbook creator help students by providing a more affordable higher education, and promote a better, more sustainable information environment for libraries, students and faculty?9
Here is the link to the full article.

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