Open up to open access

Join Danielle S. Apfelbaum, Senior Assistant Librarian, Farmingdale State College and Derek Stadler, Assistant Professor at CUNY’s LaGuardia Community College as they take our TAA Summer Webinar Series participants on “A Crash Course on Open Access” next Thursday, July 16th.

Although open access publishing has been around for years, misconceptions about what “open” is and what it means for authors’ works continue to persist. This session aims to demystify this multifaceted concept.

Open access is now: Good news or bad news?

At 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.

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.

My writing is an open book

The 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.

The top 9 myths about OER publishing

In 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.

Our industry leaders include 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).

Below are the top nine myths they have identified, and the facts related to each.

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: September 21, 2018

It’s hard to find a common theme among this week’s collection of articles and posts from around the web, but serendipity seems to call upon a relevance to each week’s “Monday motivation” quote (shared across TAA’s social media channels) on the collection of articles that follow in the coming days, and this week the theme that emerges seems to be on expanding ideas. Enlarge your mindset. Think bigger!

As perhaps the exception in our list, one of the articles focuses on reduction of content, however the larger goal of the post seems to be on expanding opportunity through successful funding applications as a result of the space saving tips it shares. Also making the list this week are ways to expand our thoughts about writing and revision; to expand our identity through self-identification of our roles and critical and creative thinking; to expand our reach through textbook authoring, open access, and conversion of doctoral work into books; and even a call for contributors to expand their impact through a meta-project focused on the UN’s sustainable development goals. Wherever your writing projects lead you this week, keep in mind the words of V.S. Pritchett who said, “Writing enlarges the landscape of the mind.” Happy writing!