THE POTENTIAL AND PITFALLS OF OERsFOR UNISA PRESSPUBLISHING AS SUPPORT SERVICE TO UNISAHetta Pieterse, Unisa Presspietehc@unisa.ac.za
OVERVIEW1 Unisa Press: balancing economic models2 Unisa: interacting with content hyper-abundance3 Open education resources in a global context:pooling of resources, niche positioning4 A new paradigm: focus on service delivery,not content: the value-added proposition5 Moving traditional print channels intomultiple delivery channels
1 UNISA PRESS:BALANCING ECONOMIC MODELS.1.1 The financial sustainability imperative... serving the public good, yet attaining financial sustainability?“A university press is an extension of its parent institution, and it is alsoa key player in a more general network—including learned societies,scholarly associations, and research libraries—that makes the scholarlyendeavor possible. ..... university presses are charged with serving thepublic good by generating and disseminating knowledge.’‘Thats why the government has recognized our common interest in thework of university presses and similar mission-driven scholarlypublishers by granting them not-for-profit status.”AAUP, 2012
In contrast with the position of American university presses,strategy aspects relevant to Unisa Press may be outlined as:the need to sustain a supportive, enabling research environment ;to advance the positioning of Unisa Press towards a leading publishinghouse;to leverage strategic partnerships to increase capacity;to create an enabling environment for persons with disabilities;and finally, to ensure long-term financial sustainability.
• fear of loss of the income generated from the sales of textbooks to possibly be madeavailable for free on an online platform.• income consistently gained from study material-related items has brought in much-needed income and has served to cross-subsidise other smaller niche-marketpublications ...• 1.2 Dual delivery modes and strategies• HSCR Press : digital content available for free yet still sells print copies ;• long-term impact of this model is beginning to show a decline in sales.• care should be taken to give material away for free, since this may devalue the materials.• uptake of e-books increased, - increasing number of customers to prefer the freelyavailable digital download, and not the book.• Various pricing strategies ; value-added components , additional material, special printversions
1.3 Legal aspectsContractual and royalty obligations on textbooksPermissions re online availabilityStudy materials:From the classroom environment to a globally open documentNew copyright permissions may be required1.4 A hybrid publishing modelUnisa Press may to develop a hybrid publishing modelto contribute meaningfully to Unisa’s larger pool of open educationresources:select published works, parts of select new and previously publishedworks, back copies, and separate chapters of out of print books availablefor open access online –while it will continue to publish works on a commercial basis, too.An adaptive publishing policy: first draft form:The imperative to diversify its traditional print channels(into print-only channel, print and online publishing in parallel, XMLworkflow books and print on-demand books as well as open accessbooks).
1.5 Multiple online hosting channelsThe trick is in the manner of dissemination &how the hosting of the open education resources is hosted, branded and positioned.-to maximise the impact of such select open resources-by ensuring the material is hosted to simultaneously market other available materialwhich is for sale(a known strategy in the e-book world, to advertise subject-specific content within thesame hosting space).
6 Unisa Library’s Institutional RepositorySelect books, & additional links to commercial items.Low profile of the Unisa Institutional Repository –additional hosting of the same materials elsewhereand even on a commercial basis, or as bundled content on offer to subscribing libraries(via commercial e-book vendors such as Dawson Books etc)Manage its open access resources optimally, part of a collection of commerciallyavailable print materials.Not just back issues or outdated material,add value to the Collection.advertise commercial content available on the same platform? can the IR offer this as a parallel marketing and referral service?The visibility need to be enhancedvia increased hyper-linked entry points and search engine optimisation,For optimal commercial gain
1.7 Unisa Press journals collectionSelect articles from the Unisa Press journals collection of 44 titles;can add further value to the Unisa IR collection, more back issues articlesHowever, 22 of these journals: exclusive contract: Taylor & Francis/Routledge.select back issues in certain markets within Africa (discounted rates: STAR initiative).Apart from this agreement, 10 journals hosted online via SABINET.a non-exclusive hosting platform, bundled content on sale: subscriptionsmaking the same material available for free, may impact on theincome generated for these Unisa journals.
Increasingly, a flood of open education resourcesavailable to users around the world,Unisa has an established network of institutions:explore partnershipsFor the institution as a whole, the scope to interact withthe global pool of available resources on offer:A challenging yet rewarding aspect.Unisa as an institution can offer materials for sharing,but also pool resources with any subject-specific partner on any continent.2 UNISA: INTERACTING WITHCONTENT HYPER-ABUNDANCE GLOBALLY
2.1 Two examples: Collaboration globally: Publishers, universitiesCourseSmartprovider of college textbooks in eTextbook format on a common online platform.New venture founded and supported by textbook publishers:Pearson Education; Cengage Learning;McGraw Hill Education; John Wiley & Sons;F. A. Davis Company Bedford, Freeman, Worth Publishing GroupOffering free online material comes at a cost; even for large institutions partners:Harvard University & Massachusetts Institute of Technology:May: formation of edX, a $60 million joint ventureFree online university-level courses, along with a list of servicesOffering massive open online courses (MOOCs).’Supported by 2 commercial online education providers, Coursera and UdacityAvailable September 2012With the University of California-Berkeley-EdX is a not-for-profit service ...? Any certification to follow?What users/students may want.
3 UNISA: POOLING RESOURCES ANDGLOBAL NICHE POSITIONINGThe Unisa subject specialist to select suitable available and quality open educationmaterialsContent pooling per subject field to grow from within academic communitiesSeveral online research communities exist.Local collaborative pooling is an option to strengthen the impact and scope ofcollections.One such a resource is the Social Science Research Network,several university presses contributeeither single articles or vast collectionsof over 800 articles (Routledge).Forthcoming, new and previously published materialsElsevier 6 425 free papersUnisa’s cooperative agreements & within the rest of Africa,critical mass of resources may be jointly built up ..
4 A NEW PARADIGM: SERVICE DELIVERY, NOTCONTENT: THE VALUE-ADDED PROPOSITIONIncreased competition in the higher education sector ;more e-textbooks are available for free onlineThe shift with content hyper-abundance: towards service deliveryThe Unisa teaching offering itself is to distinguish it from other institutions;The teaching component unlocks the content, towards certification &a much-valued Unisa qualification.Service delivery: additional practical exercises, tuition workbooks, workshop sessions,additional social media channels smses to cellphonesThe economic model: student pays for the tuition, and not so much for the materials.The reputation of the lecturer is key; students flock to a university for a specific academic’s(or institution’s) teaching style or influence in the field.
.5 FROM TRADITIONAL PRINTTO MULTIPLE DELIVERY CHANNELS5.1 On-demand print channels in parallel withdigital course offerings5.2 XML workflowmultiple delivery formats; online to print, cellphones5.3 Material for the disabled: Daisy-compliant XML codingauto conversion of materials for the visually impaired, audio book5.4 Widening the pool to also cover older, ‘classic’ materials5.5 Bundling and unbundling of e-contentChapters, parts, re-bundled, removed, inserted`new income from old content’: customised textbooks
6 CONCLUSIONThe overall prospects for the adoption ofopen education resources are mostly positive,provided that Unisa Press and its parent Institutioncan jointly develop a hybrid model for embracingthis socially responsible teaching model.Hetta Pieterse, Unisa Press firstname.lastname@example.org