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E-Textbook Deals Could Be as Bad as Big Deal fo Serials Was For Libraries

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    Dorothea Salo just published a great opinion piece in Library Journal about the dangers of big deals in e-textbooks that are being promoted now:

    “Startups such as Courseload, CourseSmart, VitalSource, and CafeScribe have inked deals with (or spun off from) major textbook publishers for content they now seek to bundle for sale to universities. Crucially, none of these new companies has a booklist spanning every major textbook publisher, so an institution that signs an exclusive deal with one company will inevitably lock a great many e-textbooks out of consideration. This is unlikely to go down well with faculty, who are accustomed to complete control over which textbooks they assign. Consider, for example, the fury of a textbook author on campus who knows that her book has an e-version, but can’t assign it because her institution signed with a Big E-Textbook Deal provider that hasn’t licensed it.”

    Read the full piece at http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2012/10/opinion/peer-to-peer-review/preventing-the-second-big-deal-peer-to-peer-review/

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