Changes are slowly taking place so publishers need to be prepared when things starts to create an impact.
Below is a snippet from one of Tony’s emails:
Today, I learnt more about how academic publishers are different to trade. For example, the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and Open Access are making it difficult for publishers as they they want open access materials to be available to the public, free of charge. This means someone, such as a publisher, the author, a crowd source or a body will have to provide funding if a book is to be produced. Funding would be given to those who make an impact, but this would be difficult to measure, which we discussed in class. As a negative impact isn’t necessarily a good impact, is it?
Access for funding used to be based on the number of students within a university where as the journals and monographs are now being assessed, which may not be fair as this is more likely to result in the same universities being given more funding. People are also more likely to take on smaller projects and it may prejudice women who may want to take maternity leave.
Also, if books become free for the public, then they have to be funded in other ways. Consequently, poor, inaccurate work is more likely to reach the public who may deem this to be well-written and true.
(We also spent 10 minutes at the start of the class analysing the Interactive textbooks survey we made a couple of weeks ago. It appeared that most people would rather have interactive quiz’s embedded into the textbooks and the price varied from £20- 100 depending on the subject.)