Dissemination, distribution and discovery of the e-textbooks created as part of the ROMe project

This blog post was written by Steve Stapleton, Associate Director – Learning Technology, University of Nottingham.

Using Smashwords as one publication model for the Applied Ethics e-textbook ensured that the e-textbook was pushed out through a number of distributers and eBook stores. These are:

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Following this method ensures that the content is made widely available and appears where people are looking for e-book content. We also published the e-textbook to the Apple Store, using the iBook author software. This version of the book was more design led, with numerous images provided in support of the text. By having multiple formats available through Smashwords and by also using the Apple iBook store, we were able to make the content available in many locations. This is one of the key strengths of following established e-textbook publication routes.

Another advantage to following tan established route and using services that are designed to help support self-creation and publication of e-books, is the fact that the services provide a basic metadata profile for you to complete, which helps with discoverability of the resources. For example, the metadata that must be included when using the Smashwords service is:

Upload to Smashwords

Uploading the Applied Ethics e-textbook to Smashwords was done through its website interface and the metadata profile used for the Applied Ethics title on the Smashwords was:

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Dissemination of the Corporate Social Responsibility e-textbook did not follow an established e-textbook route as the book was created using Xerte Online Toolkits. This meant that all dissemination of the e-textbook was done by the project team.

The public facing parts of the e-book were made available on Nottingham’s e-book web pages alongside the other titles that had been previously published by the University as part of other projects. This is located at: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/open/ebooksandibooks.aspx

The Nottingham registered student versions of the e-book were made available in Moodle, the institutional VLE. And these versions require authentication to access them so they cannot be shared more widely.

The academic lead for the project has disseminated the e-book to his contacts and networks and this has been successful in driving over 6000 views of the public facing etextbooks.

We have more work to do in terms of disseminating both the Applied Ethics and Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability in Practice e-textbooks, with the focus being to work with the academic leads to identify likely institutions and networks where the resources might be embedded. There is also work to do to include the e-books in our own library collections to ensure they are available to a wider selection of our own students.

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