The top 9 myths about OER publishing

Questions and answersIn a recent blog post, we explored some of the questions authors are asking about open textbooks. In this post we have continued the discussion with several leaders in the open textbook movement to identify some of the common misconceptions associated with open educational resources (OER) publishing.

Below, Barbara Illowsky (co-author of one of the first open textbooks, Introductory Statistics), Amy Hofer (Open Oregon Educational Resources), Apurva Ashok and Zoe Wake Hyde (Rebus Foundation), and Nicole Finkbeiner (OpenStax, Rice University), share the top nine myths they have identified, and the facts related to each. [Read more…]

Is open access publishing where you want to see your work? Questions to ask yourself and best practices

During their 2018 Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference presentation, “A New Publishing Landscape: Open Access,” Kristen Cvancara, Laura Jacobi, and Heidi Southworth shared curiosities, opportunities, and pitfalls of open access publishing. For those curious about how their work may fit in the open access publishing landscape, the panel encouraged conducting a self-assessment and getting feedback from others first. For when you’re ready to explore open access publishing, they shared best practices as well. [Read more…]

4 Questions authors are asking about open textbooks

Whether you are a veteran textbook author or new to the industry, you’ve likely heard of open educational resources (OER) and open textbooks by now. As with anything new, the open textbook model is faced with scrutiny and questions from those familiar with the traditional publishing process. It’s also laden with opportunities, such as the current $5M open textbook pilot program.

To better understand the open textbook model, specifically what is the same and what is different from traditional publishing options, we asked some questions of several leaders in the open textbook movement. Here’s what we learned. [Read more…]

5 Hopeful changes in the publishing industry in 2018

changeRecently we asked several TAA members the question, “What changes are you hoping to see within the publishing industry this year?” Five key changes were identified: improvements in self-publishing, technology-driven innovations, better peer-review processes, increases in open access publishing, and a new era of transparency in publisher-author communication. [Read more…]

Pay to play: Are submission fees common for publication in journals?

University student studying book in libraryThere seem to be many recent email messages, advertisements, and calls for journal submissions that have touted competitive or lower than average submission fees. From a traditional perspective of submitting work to academic journals, you may 1) have never paid for submission of articles, and 2) been wary of those journals who required payment for submission, thinking them to be less credible “pay to play” sources of publication.

With evidence of a more common practice of submission fee requirements, we solicited the opinions of TAA members Jörg Waltje, executive director of the Center for Faculty Excellence at Texas Woman’s University, and Patricia Goodson, presidential professor for Teaching Excellence and director of POWER Services for Texas A&M University, who provided different perspectives. [Read more…]

Open educational resources or traditional textbooks?
3 experts weigh in

Textbook StackAn August 15, 2017 article in the Lansing State Journal, “LCC takes aim at pricey textbooks, offers free course materials”, shared a decision by Lansing Community College to offer students freely available open educational resources (OER) rather than traditional textbooks during the fall 2017 semester. Sixty-four professors in 24 courses will be taking part in the initiative.

The decision to use OER materials, said Regina Gong, a librarian and open educational resources project manager at LCC, was based on the College’s desire to reduce the “cost for incoming students who have to take introductory courses before moving on to higher end classes.”

In a recent discussion about the article in TAA’s LinkedIn group, three experts weighed in on LCC’s OER initiative, answering the question: “How many of you are working at schools considering or adopting this model? Thoughts?” [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: October 27, 2017

"The most difficult thing about writing; is writing the first line." ~Amit KalantriThis week, October 23-29, 2017, marked the tenth annual Open Access Week. The articles collected this week include information on open education, Open Access textbook publishing, starting an Open Access journal, requirements for a sustainable knowledge commons, the editor’s role in a changing publishing industry, and equity and inclusion in scholarly publishing. As this month comes to a close, we are also preparing for Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo) starting next week. Be sure to check out the last link with information about AcWriMo events co-hosted by TAA next month. According to Amit Kalantri, “The most difficult thing about writing; is writing the first line.” This week, start something. Write that first line. [Read more…]

Beware of spam email from predatory journal publishers

Predatory PublishersTAA member Laura Frost recently received an email from a journal soliciting a paper based on her 2014 TAA Conference presentation. Since she had attended a session at the TAA conference presented by Jeffrey Beall, who discussed predatory journal publishers, she looked up the journal on Beall’s website, Scholarly Open Access, and found that this particular journal was listed as a predatory publisher.

She brought this to our attention and we have asked Beall to use the email she received to illustrate how to identify a predatory publisher from such emails. View email Frost received (highlighted text illustrates some of Beall’s identifiers)

“Many of the predatory publishers are in fact counterfeit publishers, and are very skilled at making themselves appear to be legitimate publishers,” said Beall. “Consequently, making a judgment about a publisher based only on a sample of its spam may not provide enough information to make a good decision.” [Read more…]

New Open Access Resource Center launched by CCC in partnership with the ALPSP

Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. (CCC), a not-for-profit organization creating global licensing and content solutions that make copyright work for everyone, has launched an Open Access Resource Center in partnership with the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP).

The resource center includes links to the latest open access news, reports, whitepapers, webinars and websites. Users can complete the feedback survey to add suggestions for what they would like to see included going forward. CCC is hosting a free webinar featuring McCulloch on January 16 to discuss the resource center as well as how ALPSP members are working with their communities to address their OA needs. [Read more…]

6 Ways to identify predatory open access journal publishers

Predatory open-access journal publishers have increased exponentially in recent years, and a new publisher can be created in a single day, said Jeffrey Beall, a scholarly librarian at the University of Colorado Denver, and author of Scholarly Open Access, a blog that tracks and critically analyzes questionable open access publishers and journals.

To help you avoid becoming a target of one of these predatory publishers, Beall offers 6 warning signs to help you identify them: The journal does not identify a formal editorial/review board.

View Beall’s list of predatory publishers on his blog, Scholarly Open Access.