Institution as e-textbook publisher workshop

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Jisc’s institution as e-textbook publisher project is a four-year project investigating the viability of higher education institutions publishing their own e-textbooks.

On 16 June 2017, Jisc and the four project teams hosted the first workshop to an audience composed of librarians, learning technologists, senior university staff and academics. The workshop reflected back on the last three years of the project on a number of broad themes:

• Costs: how long did the books take to write, what were the hidden costs?
• Benchmarking: cost benefit analysis and evidence to invest in more e-textbooks
• Technology: the technology used including lessons learned and issues faced
• Licensing: issues encountered including CC licenses, 3rd party copyright issues
• Dissemination, distributions and discovery: concepts and processes behind the dissemination, uptake, and wider adoption of the e-textbooks
• Uptake: evidence of usage by students and courses
• Feedback: Would the authors do it again, would they act as champions?
• Implications of implementation: What are the implications for the wider adoption of the e-textbooks at other institutions?

Programme

• Welcome address by Graham Stone.

• An overview of UCL’s textbook publishing programme by Lara Speicher and Jaimee Biggins.
UCL Press discussed its textbook publishing programme in the context of the overall textbook landscape and how its two books for the Jisc Institution as E-textbook Publisher project – Key Concepts in Public Archaeology and Textbook of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – have helped UCL Press to assess the challenges, processes, costs and opportunities for creating textbooks. UCL Press’s presentation also identified how textbook publishing fits with institutional strategy, and the challenges that other institutions without a university press need to consider if they are thinking of initiating such a programme.

• The eTIPS project: a collaboration between the University of the Highlands and Islands and Edinburgh Napier University by Prof Frank Rennie, Prof Keith Smyth and Laurence Patterson.
This session explored the eTIPS project, established the methods explored by the project of authoring and producing academic textbooks, and discussed the chosen route and outcome of distribution. Finally, the speakers looked at opportunities for further embedding the concepts presented by eTIPS beyond the project.

• Using Primary Sources: content, creation and collaboration at the University of Liverpool by Emma Thompson and Alison Welsby.

• ROME: reframing open markets for e-textbooks by Steve Stapleton.
This presentation focused on the University of Nottingham’s creation, publication, licensing and use of two e-textbooks.

• The presentations Q&A can be found in here.

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