Exploring diversity in science textbooks

When Kathy Burleson, a senior lecturer of biology at Hamline University, was preparing to teach a course on the biology of women, she was surprised that she couldn’t find any images of the female muscular system to use for the class. “I got really curious about the discrepancies in how women’s and men’s bodies are portrayed across anatomy and physiology textbooks,” she said. To learn more, she embarked on a research project in 2016 with the goal of helping to close diversity gaps in STEM.“Textbook images tell us a story about science and who belongs in science,” she said. “My hope is that, informed from interviews and data, we can give textbook publishers something to think about.”

Don’t gloss over the glossary

Do you feel like you have fallen into the abyss when dealing with your glossary? Don’t let this problematic element overwhelm you. In his 2023 Conference session, Paul Krieger will describe the standardized process he created to improve his glossary. After doing some research and creating a clear set of guidelines for his editors to develop a master glossary for three related books, the end result was a much more consistent, complete, and user-friendly glossary.

Krieger is an award-winning teacher and the creator, author, and illustrator of Morton Publishing’s Visual Analogy Guide series. Due to the success of his first book on human anatomy in 2004, this unique book concept quickly evolved into a four-book series. He is Professor Emeritus of Anatomy & Physiology at Grand Rapids Community College and also works as a scientific illustrator.

Is custom textbook publishing right for you?

Creating a custom textbook is nothing new; major textbook publishers have offered concierge services for decades, allowing professors to handpick and remix content into a more tailored text for their students. For some, however, this option still fails to meet their course’s needs. What if you could create a single resource that was consistent with your course’s structure, level, tone, and organization? And what if you could do this while controlling textbook costs for students and creating a source of revenue for you or your institution?

Today, there are myriad options, including OER and various tools and services for digital publishing, self-publishing, and print-on-demand. It is easier than ever for professors to author their own content, but no less overwhelming!

In her 2023 TAA Conference session, Rebecca Paynter, Associate Director of Editorial for The University of Arizona Global Campus, will discuss the evolving landscape of custom textbook publishing and most importantly, the questions you should ask yourselves before and during the creation of a custom textbook.

Textbook publishing contracts in an evolving publishing world

Over the past several years major publishers have been moving away from physical or electronic books into online learning platforms and courseware, and from straight sales of standalone books to bundles, custom products and subscriptions. Traditional publishing contracts were developed at a time when a book was a discrete unit, sales could easily be tracked in those units, and revisions occurred on a predictable cycle. Publishers are trying in various ways to update and adapt their contracts to the new textbook landscape. In her 2023 TAA Conference session, presenter Brenda Ulrich, an attorney at Archstone Law Group, will explore the ways in which the contracts are changing, and what the implications are for authors.