27 February 2015

St Andrews Library contributes case study to Ebooks in Education

Readers might remember the SPARC Europe Open Access in the Humanities Roadshow that visited St Andrews in November last year. We blogged about the St Andrews Studies in French History and Culture series available Open Access on Research@StAndrews:FullText. The Library answered a call for content with its case study of this partnership with the Centre for French History and Culture.  Creating open access books: a partnership between a university library and research centre was successfully shortlisted for inclusion in a new book after approval from a review panel. Ebooks in education: Realising the vision was published by Ubiquity Press in November last year.  The case study examines how the partnership grew organically as the desire for the development of a new scholarly research publishing platform naturally combined with the Library's evolving Open Access services.  It benefited from valuable advice and comments from the editor-in-chief of the series, Dr Guy Rowlands.  Dr Eric Nelson, Professor in the History Department of Missouri University, provided helpful insights from an author's perspective.

The book is edited by Dr Hazel Woodward with a foreword by Professor Madeleine Atkins, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England. It proposes that ebooks are rapidly becoming an acceptable medium for scholarly communication. Topics addressed include further education, distance learning, teaching, accessibility, the mobile user experience and library services. The case studies provide valuable supporting evidence and include contributions from stakeholders all over the UK.  Peter Suber, Director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication, also contributed a chapter.

Figure 1 BIEN, D. D., SMITH, J. M., & BLAUFARB, R. (2010). Caste, class and profession in old regime France the French army and the Ségur reform of 1781. Image from the title page reproduced by kind permission of the owner (from the case study)
Head of Cataloguing and Repository Services, Janet Aucock, who authored the St Andrews case study said "The ebook case studies show how units, staff and students can work together to harness new and existing technologies that let users explore how they can successfully produce, disseminate and use new formats in teaching and research".  Since publication on 28 November 2014 the book has been downloaded 1366 times which is very high for this type of book.  PDF downloads have far exceeded ePub and Kindle which suggests a user preference for a format that can be easily shared and used on the widest range of devices. 

Have you read the book?  If so, why not leave a comment below?

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