Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kindle Fire: Amazon's tablet is out!

Amazon announced yesterday the release of the Kindle Fire, its new tablet. It will be available on November 15 at $199.  

Authors sue the HathiTrust

The HathiTrust is an initiative from a variety of academic institutions to 'build a reliable and increasingly comprehensive digital archive of library materials'.
On September 12, the Authors Guild, the Australian Society of Authors, the Union Des Écrivaines et des Écrivains Québécois (UNEQ), and eight individual authors filed a law suit against HathiTrust, the University of Michigan, the University of California, the University of Wisconsin, Indiana University, and Cornell University for copyright infringement. 
HathiTrust Logo

This page has the legal documents and various reactions to that lawsuit.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

E-textbooks: another project

Indiana University has released a summary of two years of research on their E-Textbook project.

About 60% of the students surveyed said they preferred the e-textbook to a paper textbook, although this ranged from a high of 84% to a low of 36% depending upon the course.

Factors influencing preference for e-textbooks:
Ability for instructor to annotate and share with the class:
Sustainability (reducing paper)
Weight of Books
Student Annotations

See also Chronicle article on the topic:
The university requires certain students to purchase e-textbooks and negotiates unusually low prices by promising publishers large numbers of sales—now has the participation of major textbook publishers, and university officials plan to expand the effort.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hacking the Academy

Hacking the Academy, a book crowdsourced in one week

In May 2010 the two authors Dan Cohen and Tom Scheinfeldt asked online:
Can an algorithm edit a journal? Can a library exist without books? Can students build and manage their own learning management platforms? Can a conference be held without a program? Can Twitter replace a scholarly society?
They picked the best submissions (over 300 received in one week) and posted the volume online. Click here for more about the methodology. This initiative comes from the University of Michigan Digital Culture project.

Here are some shortcuts to the main chapters:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

From Scroll to Screen

We’re witnessing the bibliographical equivalent of the rapture. If anything we may be lowballing the weirdness of it all.