How to incorporate accessibility throughout the publishing process

Digital AccessibilityIn his recent webinar, “Making Textbooks Accessible to Students With Disabilities”, Robert Martinengo, Publisher Outreach Specialist for the CAMI project at AMAC Accessibility, said that the issue of accessibility is even more important when it comes to digital products.

“The ability to navigate through a digital textbook is a critical component of accessibility,” he said. “Navigation is enabled by consistent and rational use of tags throughout the text.”

In addition to effective navigation, accessible manuscripts should also include these four elements, said Martinengo: [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: January 26, 2018

"If writing didn't require thinking then we'd all be doing it." ~Jeremiah LaabsJeremiah Laabs reminds us that “If writing didn’t require thinking then we’d all be doing it.” This week we have a number of articles to get you thinking. For textbook authors, you may be thinking about the disruptive opportunities within the market seeking to solve the problem of high prices, you may be considering options for digital textbooks, or maybe you’re thinking about OER. Both textbook and academic authors with blogs may be thinking about how to repurpose blog articles into a book.

Academic authors may also be thinking about choosing the right dissertation topic, new opportunities in journal publishing, research impact factors, quantity vs. quality concerns in publishing, and roadblocks to accessibility. Whatever you’re thinking about, we hope it leads to better, more productive writing this week, and that these articles may help you think clearer. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: November 10, 2017

"The secret to good writing is to use small words for big ideas, not to use big words for small ideas." ~Oliver MarkusThis week, November 6-11, 2017, was not only the first full week of Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo) 2017, but it also marked the sixth annual #UPWeek event in celebration of University Press Week. Throughout the week, there were a lot of great resources being shared throughout the academic community, no doubt inspired by these events. Our collection this week has something for everyone beginning with some humor illustrating the life of a grad student and tips about academic writing; exploring the scholarly process involving university presses, scholars, and reviewers; taking new perspectives on the publishing process, idea development, and resulting impact; increasing accessibility of scholarly resources; and sharing ideas with a broader audience. As stated by Oliver Markus, “The secret to good writing is to use small words for big ideas, not to use big words for small ideas.” Now go, write, and share your big ideas! [Read more…]

Featured Member: Embracing change in an evolving textbook industry

K.Patton, Anatomy & Physiology book coversKevin PattonKevin Patton, the author of 10 anatomy and physiology textbooks or manuals in over 40 editions, shares his views and strategies on how to adapt and remain relevant and successful in the fast evolving textbook industry.

TAA: At this stage in your writing career, where do your developmental interests lie in terms of your current text projects?

Kevin Patton: “Presently I am passionate about using current learning theories to adjust the construction of my textbooks, including text, illustrations, and learning enhancements. There is an ongoing explosion of research helping us better understand how people read and learn. Classrooms and textbooks need to keep up with best practices. [Read more…]

Accessibility at the tipping point: Opportunities for authors

Robert Martinengo

CAMI Project Director, Robert Martinengo, presenting to the National Task Force on Accessible Materials Innovation. Pictured are representatives from Pearson, Cengage, WW Norton, VitalSource, RedShelf, OpenStax, Scribe, Firebrand, the AAP, and the IMS.

In October 2012, The Academic Author ran an article entitled “How to make your e-textbook more accessible to students with disabilities”. Since then, demand for accessible materials has continued to grow. This article will briefly recap the need for accessible materials, describe the progress (and sometimes lack thereof) in addressing that need, and examine the opportunities and challenges this represents for authors. [Read more…]