The Self on the Shelf

Posted in Life on September 13th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“In this Weekend’s Financial Times there is an article (above) about why some of us find it hard to throw away old books. This range home to me because the work involved in packing and shipping my possessions to Ireland recently would have been considerably reduced had I thrown away my books, all 25 boxes of them …” (more)

[In the Dark, 12 September]


Yes, Your Manuscript Was Due 30 Years Ago. No, the University Press Still Wants It

Posted in Research on August 3rd, 2017 by steve

“David W Congdon was recently reviewing the contracts he had inherited as a new acquisitions editor at the University Press of Kansas when he came upon a project due in 1987. Mr Congdon offered the author a chance to void the contract and to absolve himself of responsibility for the dangling project …” (more)

[Chris Quintana, Chronicle of Higher Education, 2 August]

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New rules could spell end of high taxes on electronic school books

Posted in Teaching on December 2nd, 2016 by steve

Ireland“New rules being proposed by the European Commission could see an end to high taxes on electronic school books. At the moment EU rules mean that all electronic publications have VAT (valued added tax) of 23% levied on them at the point of sale …” (more)

[Charlie Weston, Independent, 1 December]

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‘Sales of ebooks are not rising fast enough to match the decline of printed textbooks’ via @cg_williams

Posted in Teaching on August 27th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Following yesterday’s post about ‘Can Books Survive the Digital World’, I was chatting to a College Librarian about eBooks for one of my modules. I was surprised to find that access to one of the books was very restricted – it is available to only one student at a time for only two hours. Not much use when I have two classes with over 60 students needing this book. …” (more)

[Careful With That Axe, Eugene, 26 August]

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What is the future of the academic book?

Posted in Research on November 12th, 2015 by steve

UK“A new collection brings together the perspectives of academics, publishers, librarians and booksellers to chart likely directions for the academic book. It arose out of a partnership between the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Library …” (more)

[Matthew Reisz, Times Higher Education, 12 November]

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Academic print books are dying. What’s the future?

Posted in Research on November 10th, 2015 by steve

USA“The print-format scholarly book, a bulwark of academia’s publish-or-perish culture, is an endangered species. The market that has sustained it over the years is collapsing. Sales of scholarly books in print format have hit record lows. Per-copy prices are at record highs. In purely economic terms, the current situation is unsustainable …” (more)

[Donald Barclay, The Conversation, 10 November]

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About the price of academic textbooks

Posted in Teaching on September 22nd, 2015 by steve

Ireland“And considering what happens if I rent a Kindle text …” (audio)

[Bernie Goldbach, audioboom, 22 September]

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Recommended books about education and related matters

Posted in Research on July 2nd, 2014 by steve

“Here’s a list of some books about education and related subjects that have influenced my writings in this blog. All are worth a read in my view. If not quite contrarian, most of these books challenge the consensus in some way …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 2 July]


The internationalisation of academic publishing points to distinctly different audiences for scholarly books

Posted in Research on April 29th, 2014 by steve

“The rise of internationalisation has been a prime focus of bibliometric research for years. Most of the studies so far have analysed the increasing occurrence of multi-national co-authorships of journal articles …” (more)

[Frederik Verleysen and Tim Engels, Impact of Social Sciences, 29 April]

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Why do academics choose useless titles for articles and chapters? Four steps to getting a better title

Posted in Research on February 5th, 2014 by steve

“When you want to get your paper or chapter read and appreciated by a wide audience, adopted for courses, and hopefully cited by great authors in good journals – in short, when you want to ‘sell’ your writing to colleagues  -  titles can play a key role …” (more)

[Patrick Dunleavy, Impact of Social Sciences, 5 February]

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Children should ‘feel the texture of a book’ alongside digital learning

Posted in Teaching on January 22nd, 2014 by steve

“Children from two to 10 years old should ‘feel the texture of a book and the printed word in reading and writing and the physical holding of it’, Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn has told the Dáil …” (more)

[Marie O’Halloran, Irish Times, 22 January]

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Barnardos criticises cost of school books

Posted in Teaching on August 1st, 2013 by steve

“Parents are facing a crippling financial burden as they prepare to send their children back to school. Costs can run to almost €800 per student and the expense is causing frustration and despair, the children’s charity Barnardos has said …” (more)

[Dick Ahlstrom, Irish Times, 1 August]

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Schoolbook publishers: the case for the defence

Posted in Teaching on January 29th, 2013 by steve

“Educational publishers are but one small stakeholder in primary and post-primary education in Ireland, a sector in which €8bn is spent annually. The educational publishing market represents less than 1% of this expenditure …” (more)

[Cliodhna O’Donoghue, Irish Times, 29 January]


School book rental will save up to 80pc of cost

Posted in Teaching on January 29th, 2013 by steve

“Schools will be told how to set up book rental schemes that could save parents up to 80% of the cost. The new guidelines could reduce the annual school books bill for hard-pressed families by hundreds of euro every year …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 29 January]


Our 500 Books And The College Advantage

Posted in Life on January 5th, 2013 by steve

“Quantitative analyses across 27 nations have documented the positive effects of book-lined shelves in homes. Children who grow up in homes with 500 or more books enjoy positive intellectual advantages …” (more)

[Inside View from Ireland, 5 January]

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Handled With Care

Posted in Life on December 30th, 2012 by steve

“… One of the little-known roles of the academic librarian is bereavement counseling: assisting families with the disposition of books when the deceased have not specified a plan for them. Most relatives know these books were the lifeblood of their owners and so of intellectual value if not great monetary worth …” (more)

[Andrew Scrimgeour, New York Times, 28 December]


Students go online for cut-price textbooks

Posted in Teaching on December 19th, 2012 by steve

“Should textbooks be included in university fees? They certainly should, say 81% of you. With rising fees and heightened living costs, students are now looking to the digital world to find cheaper course material …” (more)

[Fionnuala Duggan, Guardian, 19 December]

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Publishers See Online Mega-Courses as Opportunity to Sell Textbooks

Posted in Teaching on September 17th, 2012 by steve

“Colleges aren’t the only enterprises interested in the possibilities of free, online courses. Publishers have begun to investigate whether so-called MOOC’s, or massive open online courses, can help them reach new readers and sell more books …” (more)

[Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education, 17 September]

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What Is an Access Code Worth?

Posted in Teaching on September 3rd, 2012 by steve

“The story of one University of Maine student’s quest for a reasonably priced textbook reveals just how complicated course materials have become as the textbook industry makes its awkward transition from print to digital …” (more)

[Jeffrey R Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, 3 September]

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School book supplier pledges end to backlog

Posted in Teaching on August 18th, 2012 by steve

“Parents awaiting book orders from online retailer will have the orders filled by Friday, the company said today …” (more)

[Irish Times, 18 August]