INTRODUCTION This article describes a joint open textbook publishing initiative begun in 2013 between Oregon State University (OSU) Libraries and Press and the Open Educational Resources and Emerging Technologies unit of Oregon State University’s Extended Campus. DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM This initiative combines the Open Access values and project management resources of OSU Libraries, the book production (peer review, editing, design, marketing) expertise of OSU Press, and the technological development skills of the Open Educational Resources and Emerging Technologies unit. Authored by OSU faculty and focused across some of the University’s signature areas, the initiative seeks to establish a sustainable model for research libraries and university presses to collaborate with each other and other partners to publish open textbooks that will benefit students on both economic and educational levels. The article analyzes how open textbooks fit within the emerging library publishing movement, examines the implementation of the OSU open textbook publishing initiative, and conveys some lessons learned for other libraries to consider as they entertain the possibility of similar collaborations. NEXT STEPS A description of next steps includes tracking course adoptions of the textbooks as well as establishing sustainable digital publishing platforms and business models.
- Textbook costs are of great importance to state leaders because of the ties to postsecondary affordability.
- Trending: Policies related to Open Educational Resources (OER) California, Florida, Minnesota, North Dakota and Washington have pursued successful initiatives to support the creation and use of OER through legislation.
- Non-legislative approaches are gaining traction through pilot programs in Arizona, Minnesota, New York, Texas and Virginia.
Oregon State University (OSU) is helping faculty produce their own open access textbooks for courses. The university press, an arm of the OSU libraries, is starting work on a series of open source e-textbooks that officials hope will ease the rising textbook costs that are a consistent cause of student complaints. To make the etextbook program work, the library and press are partnering with OSU’s Ecampus program, which administers distance and online learning programs for the college.
Robin Ashford's insight:
"OSU library director Faye Chadwell, whose background is in collections management, said the collaboration gives libraries a new way to help students with the cost of textbooks, and one that is meaningful compared to offering books on reserve, a “drop in the bucket” solution that she said doesn’t scale effectively to meet demand. “I’m used to student groups coming in and asking if we can help with the cost of books,” Chadwell told Library Journal. “Now that we’re in a position where libraries have begun to look at the possibility of publishing services, and especially when you have a press present in the library, we can do more.”
"The open textbook initiative is a collaboration between OSU Libraries, OSU Press and OSU Extended Campus that provides financial, technical and editorial support for faculty members to create “open” texts that aim to reduce costs for students and further position Oregon State as a leader in research and teaching."
Recent research conducted by the OER Research Hub indicates that nearly 60% of community college faculty choose OER and open textbooks based on the reputatio...
Robin Ashford's insight:
"Recent research conducted by the OER Research Hub indicates that nearly 60% of community college faculty choose OER and open textbooks based on the reputation of the institution or recommendations from trusted colleagues....Hear about three high-quality open textbook publishing initiatives, one through the State University of New York (SUNY), another through OpenStax College at Rice University, and finally one at the University of Minnesota. Our featured speakers will share their experiences with publishing open textbooks for use by both faculty and students and share their open textbook adoption strategies."
"State University of New York libraries are collaborating with SUNY faculty on innovative publishing initiatives to develop free online textbooks through the Open SUNY Textbook Program, a new academic- friendly publishing model."
"Academic libraries are demonstrating an increased commitment to transforming the scholarly publishing industry by becoming publishers themselves. As publisher, the library can take direct action to foster the growth of Open Access publishing as a viable alternative to the traditional publishing model."
"As part of its efforts to promote broader access to academic research, Duke University Libraries has announced a new service to help members of the Duke community create and publish peer-reviewed, open-access scholarly journals."
The University of Michigan, in collaboration with more than 50 other academic libraries and the Educopia Institute, has joined a two-year project (2013-2014) to create the Library Publishing Coalition (LPC).
At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Paul Royster started publishing full-length faculty monographs in the repository in 2008, and has since grown the project into a full-fledged digital imprint that includes everything from open-access textbooks...
Jisc offers over 400 colleges free access to a new collection of curriculum focused e-textbooks through e-books for FE.
Robin Ashford's insight:
"E-books for FE provides further education colleges in the UK with access to a collection of e-textbooks on a platform that offers functionality suitable for the needs of the community. The new collection will be available to colleges free of charge for another two years from 1 September 2014 until 31 August 2016."
What solutions might we find within our community to solve the problem of rising textbook prices? In our latest issue brief, Nancy Maron, Ithaka S+R’s Program Director for Sustainability and Scholarly Communications, looks at recent trends in textbook publishing and suggests that collaborations between university presses and academic libraries might yield a new breed of textbook more aligned to the needs of faculty and students.
Fed up with academic textbooks making constant but minor updates, adding unnecessary chapters and providing unwanted worksheets, Scott Roberts was desperate for a new way to teach his PSYC 100: Introduction to Psychology class.
Robin Ashford's insight:
"Library workers have spent more than a decade working to develop online databases of books and publications, said Gary White, University Libraries associate dean for public services. Open-source textbooks are the obvious next step, he said."
"“What we are trying to do is create a niche: affordable learning that is high-quality and academic-friendly,” said Cyril Oberlander, who as director of the State University College at Geneseo’s Milne Library has coordinated this initiative."
"The Open SUNY Textbook Program will produce fifteen free online textbooks this year, thanks to the support from a SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grant (IITG) and library funding, as well as the time, skills, and talents of librarians with consultation by SUNY Press."
"The Library Publishing Toolkit is a project funded partially by Regional Bibliographic Databases and Interlibrary Resources Sharing Program funds which are administered and supported by the Rochester Regional Library Council. The toolkit is a united effort between Milne Library at SUNY Geneseo and the Monroe County Library System to identify trends in library publishing, seek out best practices to implement and support such programs, and share the best tools and resources."
Over 50 academic libraries, in collaboration with the Educopia Institute, are founding the Library Publishing Coalition (LPC). The project emerged from conversations between Purdue University, the University of North Texas, and Virginia Tech regarding the need for a community dedicated to advancing the field of library publishing.
"The publishing division of Purdue Libraries unites Purdue University Press with Purdue e-Pubs/Scholarly Publishing Services. It is dedicated to enhancing the impact and extending the reach of Purdue research and scholarship through the development of books, journals, digital collections, technical report series, conference proceedings, and other innovative electronic products. "
"The compact for open-access publishing equity supports equity in business models by committing each university to "the timely establishment of durable mechanisms for underwriting reasonable publication charges for articles written by its faculty and published in fee-based open-access journals and for which other institutions would not be expected to provide funds."