Open access is now: Good news or bad news?

open signAt the TAA Conference in Philadelphia this past month, I heard many comments about open access. They varied widely from support, to derision, to misunderstanding, to apathy.

First, what is open access? In its purest form, open access is offering or publishing material online, free of cost or barriers with an open license that removes most restrictions on use and reuse. The open access or OA movement has been around twenty plus years with its roots going back much farther than that. [Read more…]

Can I help you in any way? OER

Can I help you in any way? OER“Hello, thank you for visiting. Can I help you in any way?” If you’ve browsed our TAA website, you’ve likely seen those words in the chat box that appears on the screen. We’re often asked by visitors if we’re “real”. Then those who realize that we are, and that we are there to help, ask questions that you may have as well.

In this series of “Can I help you in any way?” posts, we’ll highlight some of the questions people have asked through the TAA Live Chat feature of our site and the responses we have for those questions. In this post, we’re focused on a question about publishing options in either Open Textbook format or through self-publishing methods. [Read more…]

My writing is an open book

open textbookThe first time I thought about potentially authoring a textbook was in 2005. I was teaching as an adjunct at four different colleges and was using a different textbook for each. Each time I brought the correlating textbook for the correlating College Success class with the correlating handouts, assignments, quizzes, and other materials, it felt like a small victory. As I started to create my own content, I decided that if I ever was hired full time, I would write my own text. A few years later, I accepted a full-time tenure track faculty position at Grossmont College in San Diego and two years after that I began writing my first textbook. [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…]

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…]