Three author takeaways from the ‘equitable access’ course distribution model

equitable access textbook modelAn emerging new model for distributing course materials called “equitable access” is the topic of a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education. With equitable access, all students pay a flat fee per semester or quarter that covers all required textbooks, regardless of the courses they take. The model is similar to the “activity fee” collected by some colleges, which provides students access to all on-campus sporting and concert events. Such fees often are tiered, depending on whether the student is part-time or full-time. [Read more…]

How might the McGraw-Hill and Cengage merger affect authors?

Are you wondering what the recently announced merger between textbook giants McGraw-Hill and Cengage could mean for authors? Join publishing attorney Steve Gillen and textbook author and Monroe College professor Karen Morris for their session at TAA’s 32nd Annual Conference entitled: “Mergers and Acquisitions Among Publishers: Authors Need a Life Jacket.”

Gillen and Morris will discuss the recent history of consolidation in educational publishing. How does it impact an author’s career? What can you do to prepare for the possibility? What should you do if it happens to you? What options exist if new relationships don’t go well? Get answers to these and related questions, and ideas on how to survive well. [Read more…]

McGraw-Hill and Cengage intend to merge

McGraw-Hill and Cengage intend to mergeAn announcement jointly made by Cengage CEO Michael Hansen and McGraw-Hill CEO Nana Banerjee is sure to raise questions among authors of both organizations. The two entities are planning a merger in 2020 that will, according to the company’s public release, “accelerate innovation and accessibility” and provide “seamless integration across our range of learning sciences, adaptive solutions, and learning tools.” [Read more…]

Join TAA for Academic-Led Publishing Day

Special #AcWriChat event on Thursday 2/7/19This Thursday, February 7th, marks the first Academic-Led Publishing Day. Academic-Led Publishing Day is a global digital event created to foster discussions about how members of the scholarly community can develop and support academic-led publishing initiatives.

TAA is proud to take part in this effort by hosting a special #AcWriChat Tweet Chat event on Twitter, contributing blog articles to the growing list of resources curated for the event, and by encouraging discussion among our members and authoring community in accordance with the goals of the event. [Read more…]

Authors express concern about new Cengage Unlimited subscription service

online booksCengage’s announcement of a new subscription service, Cengage Unlimited, that gives students at U.S. higher education institutions access to all of the company’s digital higher education materials for $119.99 a semester has Cengage authors concerned about how their contracts will be affected.

“I think the authors should find out as soon as possible how we are going to be paid,” said mathematics author Pat McKeague, who did not receive any information from his publisher about the new service prior to its public announcement, and has not been able to reach his editor for more information. “My contracts require my written permission before any electronic version of my book can be published.” [Read more…]

NIH issues statement encouraging authors to publish NIH-funded research papers in reputable journals

predatoryIn a statement released November 3, 2017, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) encouraged authors to publish NIH-funded research papers in reputable journals “to protect the credibility of published research.”

According to the statement: “The NIH has noted an increase in the numbers of papers reported as products of NIH funding which are published in journals or by publishers that do not follow best practices promoted by professional scholarly publishing organizations.” [Read more…]

FTC awarded preliminary injunction against publisher of online academic journals

academic journal stackThe Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was awarded a preliminary injunction by the U.S. Court of the District of Nevada against defendants OMICS Group Inc., iMedPub LLC, and Conference Series LLC, to stop them from engaging in alleged unfair and deceptive practices in the publication of online academic journals and the organization of scientific conferences.

The injunction also requires the defendants to identify assets and account for their current finances, and to preserve financial records. [Read more…]

Education publishers make good on promise to fight counterfeit textbooks

On August 17, 2017, four higher education publishers, Cengage, Elsevier, McGraw-Hill Education and Pearson Education, initiated five lawsuits against 40 alleged sellers of counterfeit textbooks, including two identified sellers: Yaroslav Stolyarchuk and Zichao Wang.

The case against Stolyarchuk was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California alleging the sale of counterfeit textbooks through seven identified online storefronts, including the defendant-operated website, www.booksliquidation.com.

[Read more…]

TAA once again stands up for authors in Google Books case

LegalscaleThinkstockPhotos-178999905More than a decade ago, in 2004, Google initiated a program, in concert with several university and large public libraries, to scan and digitize the entire contents of millions of books without regard to whether they were or were not still under copyright, ultimately making complete digital copies of more than 20 million books. Google’s goal was to expand its search business to include print works as well as online works. It spent hundreds of millions of dollars on this project, suggesting what Google believed to be its commercial potential. [Read more…]

Paul Aiken, former Authors Guild executive, dies at 56

Paul Aiken, a lawyer, and the leader of our sister organization the Authors Guild for nearly 20 years, died on Friday, January 29, 2016, after a struggle with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). Over the years, many TAA members may have encountered Paul in a professional capacity. He was a tireless advocate for authors and creators of content. His influence and impact extended well beyond his own organization, and benefited all of us. [Read more…]