A Few Thoughts about Open Access Books

Electronic books, better known as e-books, first arrived in the early 1970s as wake-forest-logodigital versions of their print counterparts (Loan, 2015).  Since then, they have become an invaluable component of the publishing market as publishers and similar providers have offered e-books to consumers on a variety of platforms.  For academic libraries, electronic books have been a resource to offer specific materials to patrons at their point of need, but there have also been have been concerns about these formats (Mune, 2016).  For instance, providers have used proprietary software that requires additional effort on the part of the user in order to read them.  Also, software could be required for specific devices that could limit how a patron can access a specific item for reading purposes. Continue reading

Open Access and Content and Discovery

The University of Nottingham has a long history of supporting open the-university-of-nottingham-newaccess publishing to further extend the reach and impact of our academics’ research. It is also a global institution with campuses in the UK, Malaysia and China. Since 2014, we’ve shared the cost to help ‘unlatch’ the first two collections offered by Knowledge Unlatched. A natural extension of this was to become a Library Member of Open Book Publishers. Continue reading

The Ups and Downs of Institutional Repositories

Institutional Repositories (IR) have become a staple stackedof most academic libraries. They are generally populated by Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs
)and faculty peer-reviewed manuscripts, also known as post-prints in the parlance of green open access.

The IR managed by Western Libraries at The University of Western Ontario, Scholarship@Western, aspires to host the complete intellectual output of the institution.  It is the home to faculty articles, working papersover 25 open access journals, as well as several conference proceedings, and some digitized materials  such as photographs,  music scores, and historical university course calendars. Continue reading

Medieval Book Customisation and Open Access: a Brief (and slightly tortured) Comparison

Kathryn Rudy’s latest book Piety in Pieces, details the activities of medieval book owners who personalised their books by st-andrews-logoinserting new pages, drawings, and notes. These personalisations ranged from minor modifications such as placing loose images between leaves, or adding notes to blank pages, to larger changes that necessitated rebinding. Immediately on first looking at the book I realised that there are parallels between the way medieval people treated their books, and open access, and particularly the way Creative Commons licenced material can be adapted.
Continue reading

Leveraging Distributed Proofreaders for Open Content Enhancement (and some unexpected consequences)

For many years, Villanova University’s Digital Library has been providing open access tvillanova_university_logoo out-of-copyright books, journals, newspapers, and other content. From the beginning, this content was provided in the form of scanned images of the original materials, sometimes augmented by computer-generated OCR. While this approach provides an informative view of the historical artifacts and allows some degree of searchability, there are some barriers to discovery and consumption of the content. Continue reading

What does it mean for a work of literature to be “against criticism”?

What does it mean for a work of literature to be “against criticism”? After all, it is a sure fact that the market conditions for the reception of mucuntitled-9h literary fiction are fostered within the walls of university English departments. Many others have also charted the ways in which contemporary fiction seems to “write back” to the academy or how the American creative writing programmes influenced a whole generation of novelists. Doesn’t this show that literary works and university English just get along?

Continue reading

Open Access Week – Librarian Bloggers Needed!

oa-blogOpen Access week is fast approaching! There are some fantastic events and other projects in the OA Week lineup, all available to look through on the OA Week website.

Here at OBP, we are planning some of our own projects for OA Week – we will be publishing a series of blog posts by librarians, regarding Open Access books, discussing topics such as: Continue reading

Environmentalism and Social Performance

Graf-front-coverWe are pleased to announce the release of Heike Graf’s latest work The Environment in the Age of the Internet: Activists, Communication and the Digital Landscape.

This collection of essays focuses on the communicative approaches taken by different groups to ecological issues, drawing on case studies from around the world and focusing on activists of radically different kinds. Continue reading

Do Composers Live in a Bubble?

Verdi_2695139bDo composers live in a bubble? I do not think so. Years ago I had a musical conversation with a friend of mine. As a non-specialist, at some point he decided to pick my mind and ask me, the specialist, about composers’ lives: “I studied a little bit of music history at school” – he said – “but to us composers were presented in such a way, that they seem to have had no contact with the real world. Their music seems to have stemmed from a spark of lonely creativeness while their lives may have easily belonged to a parallel dimension, with little or no relation with the contemporary social and political environment. Is it really the case?” Continue reading

Art in Times of Conflict

As OBP and I get ready to publish Theatre & War: Notes from the Field, my excitement is tempered with a little bit of – what I can only term – hopelessness. Because, you see, I have just returned to the safety of my New Mexican home from my annual theatre-project-related visit to Kashmir. And Kashmir, as anyone who reads the news will know, is burning.

Over the last three weeks more than 50 people have died; thousands have been injured; curfews are in place; mobile internet and phone services have been shut down; there seems to be no end in sight…When I went to Kashmir in June, I had grand visions for what my six-week project there would entail. Plans that had to be changed when my fellow actors could not attend the workshop. Plans that eventually had to be cancelled when there seemed to be the possibility that my originally planned return might be thrown amuck by violence.

Continue reading