A new campus task force is strategizing ways to reduce the cost of textbooks and course materials for students. The committee of faculty, students and staff was appointed by Provost Sona Andrews; Bob Liebman, presiding officer of the PSU Faculty Senate; and Eric Noll, president of the Associated Students of PSU. “The cost of textbooks and course materials is a complex issue, but not one we should shy away from,” said Andrews. Marilyn Moody, dean of the Library, chairs the task force, which will submit its recommendations by the end of February 2015.
The cost of textbooks and other course materials is a major concern and financial barrier for students. The College Board estimates that undergraduate students paid an average of $1,207 for textbooks and supplies in 2013-14. The newly formed Task Force on Textbooks and Course Materials: Reducing Student Costs is charged with reviewing and making recommendations for PSU that will address these rising costs.
The task force will consider such topics as the use of open textbooks and open educational resources; textbook adoption strategies and policies; and the effective use of library online resources and services. The task force will also review successful initiatives and strategies used by other colleges and universities to reduce student course material costs.
“We know there are many questions as we open up the textbook/course-materials-cost can of worms,” wrote Andrews in a recent blog. “Can we really reduce costs when so much of the cost of published material is out of our hands? What role will faculty need to play? Will this be an effort to tell faculty what books/resources they can and cannot assign for their courses? Are open-source materials any good? What are the technical and policy barriers to reducing textbook cost?”
Task Force on Textbooks and Course Materials: Reducing Student Costs
Marilyn Moody, Dean of the Library
Joel Bettridge, English
Karen Bjork, Library
Jill Emery, Library
Berrin Erdogan, School of Business Administration
Emily Ford, Library
Gerardo Lafferiere, Mathematics and Statistics
Kim Pendell, Library
Ralf Widenhorn, Physics
In recognition of Campus Sustainability Day on Wednesday, October 22, PSU Library University Archives is thrilled to announce our new digital collection, the Sustainability History Project.
This audio collection is part of an ongoing senior capstone project at Portland State University. Launched in 2006 by Peter Kopp and Joshua Binus, the Sustainability History Project collection now contains interviews with hundreds of Portland entrepreneurs, innovators, and decision-makers who are working to implement sustainability strategies in their business practices, institutional policies, and daily lives. Over the course of seven years, more than two hundred Portland State students researched and conducted these interviews. The range of topics includes education, reuse, agriculture, housing, food supply, green building, transportation, forestry, recycling, green burial, landscaping, reclamation, and policy making.
Each interview includes an audio recording, a brief biography of the interview subject, and a description of the scope of the discussion. Some interviews include additional materials, most commonly an interview index, available as a downloadable PDF, as well as, in some cases, photographs or related publications.
PSU Library Special Collections & University Archives is pleased to invite the PSU community, alumni, and the public to an Open House on Friday, October 24, from 2-5pm, in Library 180.
See highlights of PSU history and rare treasures from our collections, including Medieval manuscripts, our Galileo manuscript, and Salvador Dali’s illustrations for a 1969 edition of Alice in Wonderland.
Below, on the left, an illustration by Salvador Dali in his 1969 edition of Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland. On the right, a woodcut from the Dialogo di Galileo Galilei manuscript. Both items are held by PSU Library Special Collections and will be on display at the Open House.
PSU’s Institutional Repository, PDXScholar, contains over 6,000 items created by PSU faculty, students, and staff, including but not limited to journal articles, technical reports, conference papers, research data, theses and dissertations, and books. Every day, people all over the world use search engines like Google to discover and then download items from PDXScholar. If you’re interested in making your work readily accessible, consider contributing your work to PDXScholar.
Highlight your Work with a Faculty Profile
A SelectedWorks faculty profile is a great way to highlight your openly accessible works, and to share more about your research interests with the world. The profile is a customizable webpage that allows you to highlight your scholarship the way you want. Join the growing number of PSU Faculty who have created their profiles. To get started, email PSU Library Digital Initiatives.
Webcast: Generation Open, the OA Week Kickoff
Noon – 1pm, PSU Library 170 or Online Register online, or join colleagues to watch the webcast in Library Room 170. The program will focus on this year’s theme of “Generation Open.” Speakers will discuss the importance of students and early career researchers in the transition to Open Access and explore how changes in scholarly publishing affect scholars and researchers at different stages of their careers. Hosted by the WorldBank.
Tuesday, October 21st
Open Access @ OSU Presents Mythbusters!
12 – 2pm, 2nd Floor Rotunda, OSU Valley Library in Corvallis
Have you heard people say,”I don’t want to have to publish in an Open Access journal. And I want my article peer-reviewed. And who’s going to protect my copyright?” Drop in for a session on debunking common myths about the OSU Open Access policy.
Wednesday, October 22nd
Organizing Your Photos: Make Them Public or NOT
2 – 3 pm, Autzen Classroom, OSU Valley Library in Corvallis
Your photos are all over the internet: Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, your blog, your friend’s blog… Learn how to manage your photos while understanding your rights.
Screening: The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz
6:30 – 8:30pm, Milam Auditorium, OSU Campus in Corvallis
Programmer, activist, and Open Access proponent Aaron Swartz committed suicide after two years of prosecution for downloading large numbers of academic articles from MIT. This documentary film follows Aaron’s life from computer prodigy to Internet activist.
Webcast: The Right Metrics for Generation Open
11am – 12pm, Online
The traditional means of sharing your impact–citation counts–don’t meet the needs of today’s researchers. Generation Open needs altmetrics. This presentation will cover what altmetrics are and the types of altmetrics today’s researchers can expect to receive; how you can track and share those metrics to get all the credit you deserve; and real life examples of scientists who used altmetrics to get grants and tenure. Register online.
Monday, October 27th
Connecting the Dots: Open Access, Open Education and an Open Future
1 – 2pm, 2nd Floor Rotunda, OSU Valley Library in Corvallis, or Livestream
Guest Speaker: Nicole Allen, SPARC
Considerable strides have already been made toward Open Access in the realm of scholarly and scientific research, with millions of papers now available online through Open Access journals or institutional repositories, and hundreds of institutions adopting self-archiving policies. The movement for open education is following suit, expanding the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) to hundreds of thousands of students and saving tens of millions dollars on textbooks. As these two movements mature, connecting the dots between the areas of overlap and common lessons learned will become increasingly important. Open Access and OER are essential building blocks for a more open future for higher education, and they are stronger together.
International Open Access Week 2014 is October 20-26. PSU Library joins this global event to celebrate, promote, and discuss open access, the movement to make scholarly content readily and freely available to the public.
We are pleased to highlight the following databases and resources, all of which are open access. Anyone in the world can use these databases with readily accessible articles, books, and more.
Ad*Access – Advertisements printed from 1911 to 1955 in: radio, television, transportation, and beauty & hygiene.
arXiv – E-prints in physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, and statistics.
bioRxiv – Preprints of articles in biology, sponsored by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories.
Library Dean Marilyn Moody invites members of the campus community to join Library faculty and staff for a webcast on open educational resources (OER). The webcast, “8 Steps to Implementing Open Educational Resources,” will be Friday, October 17, 10:00 to 11:30am, in Library Room 160.
The continued increase of textbook prices is a barrier for many students. Students in both online and on-campus environments often find that they cannot afford to purchase required course materials. OER are openly-licensed textbooks and other teaching and learning resources that are available online, for free. The adoption of open educational resources, particularly online and open access textbooks, is a strategy to lower this barrier for students.
If you can’t make the webcast but would like to learn more about open educational resources, please see the Library’s OER guide.
A complete literature review conducted in an efficient and organized manner can set the stage for success in a large research project like a thesis or dissertation. These sessions, led by librarian Kim Pendell, will get students started on comprehensive searching and tracking of research for their literature review.
We believe that the records of our shared history are not part of the past but are vital and living resources that can actively contribute to a thriving and forward-thinking community. Unfortunately, historical collections can inadvertently become hidden or forgotten from lack of funding and limited accessibility; significant community records can be neglected or lost as over-burdened archivists struggle to find, preserve, and make visible all that they should. This project seeks to address this problem by cultivating a broader pool of stakeholders and agents for gathering, preserving and sharing our history and by creating new connections and new models that reach more people and demonstrate the relevance of these unique materials to all arenas of inquiry, creativity and action.
The News Challenge is now in the feedback phase, and the public is invited to review and comment on proposals. The winners, to be announced January 30, 2015, will win a share of $2.5 million.