News & Announcements 8/15/12

Today news: e-textbooks still a tough sell; Google can appeal class certification; Wiley moves toward broader open access; Free textbook program at Rice Univ.; CLOCKSS Archive adds five more publishers and People in the News

  Some universities require students to use e-textbooks

According to this article in USA Today “students don’t seem to want to buy e-textbooks. So some schools are simply forcing them.  E-textbooks are just a fraction of overall sales. While several colleges across the country are pushing electronic textbooks, touting them as more efficient and less cumbersome than regular textbooks, students are reluctant…

Typically, students don’t save much when opting to buy an e-textbook. For example, an organic chemistry e-textbook costs about $100, while the print version of the same book costs just $15 more…”

Legal Setback for Authors: Google Can Appeal Class Certification

According to this post in Shelf Awareness, “yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that Google can appeal a May ruling that groups representing authors could go forward with a class action lawsuit. PaidContent reported the significance of the order “is that the current proceedings, which have been heating up, will likely be suspended while the appeals court decides whether the class action should have been allowed to go ahead in the first place…”

Wiley Moves Towards Broader Open Access Licence

“John Wiley & Sons, Inc., today announced revised licensing arrangements for proprietary journals published under the Wiley Open Access program. The journals will adopt the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence which allows commercial use of published articles.

The Wiley Open Access portfolio also includes journals published with society partners, many of which will similarly transfer to the Creative Commons Attribution license.

Wiley is responding to recent developments in funder and government policies and supports the sustainable evolution of scientific publishing. The change will be implemented immediately…”

Rice U. Hopes Mix of Grants and ‘Add Ons’ Will Support Free Textbooks

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that “Rice University this year started an unusual textbook-publishing venture whose books are free to download thanks to a mix of grants and revenue from optional “add ons,” such as homework problem sets.  Although it has published only two titles—for introductory courses in physics and sociology—officials announced on Tuesday that more than 13,000 students had downloaded them in the 10 weeks they’ve been available.

The project is called OpenStax College, and it grew out of Connexions, a free Rice-based platform that allows anyone to create and publish e-textbooks…”

  The CLOCKSS Archive Is Pleased to Announce the Participation of Five New Publishers

The CLOCKSS Archive is pleased to announce that it has partnered Duke University Press, NZCER Press, New Prairie Press, Mathematical Sciences Publishers, and Copernicus Publications “to preserve their ejournals in CLOCKSS’s geographically and geopolitically distributed network of redundant archive nodes, located at 12 major research libraries around the world.”

 

PEOPLE IN THE NEWS

HighWire Welcomes Hugh Blackbourn to its UK Staff

HighWire Press is delighted to announce that Hugh Blackbourn has been appointed Senior Publication Manager, leading HighWire’s customer support team based in the United Kingdom.

Hugh is an experienced publisher, having spent nearly 4 years as Head of Publishing for the Wellcome Trust, where he was responsible for all web and print publications profiling the Trust’s activities. While there, he helped formulate the proposal that would become eLife, a researcher‐led digital publication to be hosted on HighWire later this year.

“I have been a HighWire fan for some time,” said Hugh from his London office. “This is a wonderful opportunity to add my expertise to an organization focused on supporting and extending the reach and influence of research communication…”

Hugh is a biologist by training, with a PhD from Reading University followed by postdoctoral research at both Reading and Cambridge University. He left academia to become the launch Editor of Trends in Plant Science, and subsequently became the Managing Editor of a range of Trends titles.

Prior to working at the Wellcome Trust, Hugh was a publisher at Nature Publishing Group, where he led the Nature Reviews collection of journals (2004‐2007), launched Nature Protocols, and later led the Nature Life Sciences collection of journals (2007‐2008). In addition to his editorial and business development work, he obtained an MBA from The Open University in 2003.

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