(7 Mar 2021) For academic and research libraries the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated a significant shift of resources towards supporting digital online access to resources. As a result, the prohibitive cost of some of these resources, notably e-textbooks, has become a flashpoint, even breaking into mainstream media and public debate. Here, Johanna Anderson, Paul Ayris and Ben White report on a recent event hosted by UCL’s Office for Open Science, and discuss how librarians, university presses and copyright experts have sought to address the issue.
Johanna Anderson, Subject Librarian of the University of Gloucestershire laying out the challenge facing librarians regarding e-textbook. It is estimated that only 10% of academic titles are available for university libraries to purchase as digital copies for their students, and the books which are available, are frequently placed under restrictive licensing, made available only in bundles, and sold to libraries at incredibly high costs for single user or one-year access. Dr Paul Ayris, Pro-Vice-Provost from UCL Library Services & UCL Office for Open Science and Scholarship looked at a different aspect of e-textbook provision and the role university presses can play in alleviating market pressure. He also shared UCL’s successful experience in establishing an OA platform for e-textbooks. The third speaker was Ben White from the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management at Bournemouth University and chair of the Legal Working Group of LIBER (Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche), who suggested an approach for Controlled Digital Lending.
Find out more about the discussion from the full post here.
Readers can also find resources related to this event here and a recording of the event here.