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Textbook & Academic Authoring and Publishing Industry News Roundup: October 2023

Right-Wing Textbook Publisher Teaches ‘Stilted Version’ of Past

An October 12, 2023 article in TIME’s Made by History by Adam Laats, a Professor of Education and History at Binghamton University, “The Right-Wing Textbooks Shaping What Many Americans Know About History,” shares how conservative textbook publisher Abeka, whose textbooks are mainly used in private schools and homeschools, have influenced what some Americans know about American history and how those versions of history are “gaining steam.” Read More

One Textbook Author’s View on ChatGPT

In an October 23, 2023 article on Genetic Literacy Project, “Will AI make biology textbook authors redundant? Here’s one author’s view of CHatGPT,” by biology textbook author Ricki Lewis shares her experience using ChatGPT and whether it could replace her as a textbook author. Could ChatGPT write a textbook like hers, she doesn’t think so. Read More

OK Textbook Adoption Process Causes Publisher Withdrawal

An October 25, 2023 article by Nuria Martinez-Keel in The Oklahoman, “Major textbook publishers withdraw from Oklahoma as fight over content worsens,” describes how “an increasingly politicized fight over what is taught in public schools” has caused eight textbook publishing companies, include McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, to withdraw from consideration in the state’s textbook adoption process. Read More

Meta Has No AI Training Opt-Out Program

In an October 26, 2023 Wired article by Kate Knibbs, “Artists Allege Meta’s AI Data Deletion Request Process Is a ‘Fake PR Stunt,'” artists and authors say Meta’s program for opting-out of its AI training isn’t really an opt-out tool. Says Knibbs: “The data deletion request form gives some people the ability to request—not demand, not insist, but request—that some of their data from third-party sources be removed from AI training models. So don’t call it an opt-out tool.” Read More

Virginia Tech Faculty Author Free Textbooks

An October 30, 2023 article on WFXR, “VT’s Open Education platform breaking barriers in affordable course materials,” describes how Virginia Tech’s Open Education is working with its faculty to “adopt, create and adapt open educational resources.” View the full list of textbooks awarded grants as part of the project. Read More

President Biden Issues Executive Order on AI

On October 30, 2023, President Biden issued an Executive Order that “establishes new standards for AI safety and security, protects Americans’ privacy, advances equity and civil rights, stands up for consumers and workers, promotes innovation and competition, advances American leadership around the world, and more.” Read the full statement

NIST Releases Inclusive Language Guidance

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) at the U.S. Department of Commerce, released new guidance on effective wording in technical standards “in an effort to help writers express ideas in language that is both clear and welcoming to all readers.” Although originally created for NIST staff experts, it was made available to the public in early 2023. Read More

Historical Biology Textbooks

Biology textbook author Ricki Lewis, PhD, shares what she learned from a donated stack of biology textbooks from the 1950s and 1960s in the PLOS Blog DNA Science article, “The Dawn of Molecular Genetics: A Glimpse of History in a Textbook From 1952.” Read More

Changing the Way We View History

An October 31, 2023 article by the Next Big Idea Club, “7 New Reads That Are Rewriting History Textbooks,” features seven textbooks featuring new developments “changing the way we think about history.” Read More

Publisher Seeking Authors in Humanities and Social Sciences

Cambridge Scholars Publishing is seeking proposals for academic books and edited collections in Humanities and Social Sciences, including Physical Sciences, Life Sciences and Health Sciences. Said Adam Rummens, Commissioning Editor: “We aim always to put our authors first in what we do, and we bring that ambition into our publishing operations with our Author Promises: No charges for publication; an escalating royalty payment – the more titles sold, the higher the royalty rate, from the first copy sold; worldwide distribution to the world’s leading research and study centres via our international network, including Amazon, Ebsco/GOBI, ProQuest, and Ingram; publication in handsome hardback, as well as eBook formats for our academic library customers; Fast, fair, and friendly proposal review – normally, a decision is made within one month; and a book published with us is always in stock, and always available for sale, thanks to our unique Print on Time global distribution system.” Learn more