Monday, June 25, 2012

An Interview with CoursePacks, Etc., Inc.

From time to time we proudly feature our partners on our blog, this week we were happy to have a quick conversation with CoursePacks, Etc., one of the most trusted names in custom publishing and a wonderful partner of ours.

AP: Tell us about your company and your history.

CoursePacks, Etc.: We are recognized as one of the top academic digital and printing firms in the US and Canada. Since 2006 we have been working with k-12 schools, colleges and universities to publish custom textbooks, lecture notes, lab manuals and now offering digital coursepacks and e-books.

AP: Why did you choose to partner with AcademicPub?

CP, Etc.: We were looking for a partner for our digital and e-books. Academic Pub seemed to be the perfect fit. This is a partnership that will allow both of us to grow and our clients to expand their textbooks into the digital market.

AP: Do you have a view on the future of course materials you’d like to share?

CP, Etc.: We see the future moving into e-books sooner rather than later, but the future of textbooks is fluid and ever moving.


You can learn more about the CoursePacks/AcademicPub partnership at their website.

If you're interested in keeping up to date with more interviews like the one above, the state of course materials and ed tech in general, or AcademicPub in specific, be sure to follow us on your social network of choice whether that's TwitterFacebookGoogle+ or LinkedIn.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Now in Our Library: Bob Dylan, Semiotics, The Fiscal Metropolis

We have so much great content in our library that sometimes it's easy to miss the trees for the entire forest.  As a result, we've decided to regularly feature some of the more popular titles that are available for use and remixing through the AcademicPub platform. This time around we're featuring great titles from Left Coast Press, Yale University Press and Georgetown University Press.

Still haven't checked out AcademicPub yet? Be sure to do so now!

Bob Dylan: Like a Complete Unknown by David Yaffe (Yale University Press)
In Bob Dylan: Like a Complete Unknown, literary scholar and music critic David Yaffe considers Dylan from four perspectives: his complicated relationship to blackness (including his involvement in the civil rights movement and a secret marriage with a black backup singer), the underrated influence of his singing style, his fascinating image in films, and his controversial songwriting methods that have led to charges of plagiarism. Each chapter travels from the 1960s to the present, offering a historical perspective on the many facets of Dylan's life and career, exploring the mystery that surrounds the enigmatic singer and revealing the complete unknown Dylan.”
Understanding American Icons: An Introduction to Semiotics by Arthur Asa Berger (Left Coast Press)
This brief, student-friendly introduction to the study of semiotics uses examples from 25 iconic locations in the United States. From Coney Island to Las Vegas, the World Trade Center to the Grand Canyon, Berger shows how semiotics offers a different lens in understanding locations taken for granted in American culture. He recasts Disneyland according to Freud, channels the Mall of America through Baudrilliard, and sees Mount Rushmore through the lens of Gramsci. A seasoned author of student texts, Berger offers an entertaining, non-threatening way to teach theory to undergraduates and that will fit ideally in classes on cultural studies, American studies, social theory, and tourism. 
Managing the Fiscal Metropolis: The Financial Policies, Practices, and Health of Suburban Municipalities by Rebecca M. Hendrick (Georgetown University Press)
Hendrick's groundbreaking study covers 264 Chicago suburban municipalities from the late 1990s to the present. In it she identifies and describes the primary factors and events that affect municipal financial decisions and financial conditions, explores the strategies these governments use to manage financial conditions and solve financial problems, and looks at the impact of contextual factors and stresses on government financial decisions. Managing the Fiscal Metropolis offers new evidence about the role of contextual factors— including other local governments—in the financial condition of municipalities and how municipal financial decisions and practices alter these effects. The wide economic and social diversity of the municipalities studied make its findings relevant on a national scale.”
Interested in learning more about AcademicPub's 3 million+ pieces of content from more than 125 content providers? Click here to find out about all the great material you can include in your classes' course packs for next semester.

Want more news about higher education, educational technology, the textbook industry, and our platform? Follow us on your social network of choice, whether that's TwitterFacebookGoogle+ or LinkedIn.

Katrina Lee contributed to this post.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Five of Our Favorite Instructor Blogs

A few weeks ago we featured some of our favorite ed-tech blogs. We thought a nice addition would be to feature some of the best resources for teaching out there (these are all at the Higher Education level, though we'd be happy to provide a similar list for k12 if we had enough requests):

Public Domain Image via OpenClipArt user johnny_automatic

College Ready Writing - Lee Skallerup tackles the challenges of teaching writing, faculty life, reforming higher education, and teaching in general (and off the tenure track in particular).

The Chatty Professor - Ellen Bremen, a Communications Studies professor, mainly offers advice to students on how to better interact with professors, but what she writes is equally meaningful for instructors looking to unlock the keys to better student-professor relations.

FemaleScienceProfessor - We were sad to see this blog end recently, but it's still an invaluable resource for advice to graduate students, those on the tenure track, and those with questions about the lives of academics.

University Diaries - There's always something delightful and thought intriguing to be found at Margaret Soltan's no-holds-barred, firebrand tinged blog about university life.

Faculty Focus - A newsletter more than a blog, but absolutely invaluable for those interested in well thought out pieces on classroom instruction and pedagogy.

Wondering about us? Be sure to check out AcademicPub, the easiest, most efficient way to make course packs (print or digital) for your class, featuring real time copyright clearance and a content library with over 2.5 million pieces of content from more than 125 publishers in over 70 disciplines.

And for all the best in higher education, ed tech and news about AcademicPub itself, be sure to follow or like us on your social network of choice whether that's Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

AcademicPub Featured in Publisher's Weekly

We're happy to announce that Publishers Weekly provided a wonderful overview of the AcademicPub service this week:
Since the launch of the service in April, about 135 publishers have signed on to make their content available through the AcademicPub content library—all of it aggregated to a granular level that includes full-text articles, chapters, and even single recipes. The service offers professors access to more than three million items of content, and [Michael] Cairns said they expect to have more than 200 publishers in the program by the end of the year.
"We've got a couple thousand faculty members registered," Cairns said, "mostly in the U.S., but it's global and its expanding." Cairns said the service offers ease of use, broad content, fast turnarounds, and the ability to brand the service in the name of the school or for publishers, some of whom use the service in-house to quickly create anthologies of their content for general sale.
You can read more here. 

You can make your own custom course materials at AcademicPub. Be sure to follow us on your social network of choice; Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

We're Going to ASEE 2012!

2012 American Society for Engineering Education
June 10 - 13, 2012
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio, TX
Booth 131

Spencer Soloway

More information on the conference is available here.

More information on AcademicPub is available here.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

We're going to UBTech 2012!

2012 UBTech Conference
June 11th - 13th
The Mirage, Las Vegas, NV
Booth #615


Michael Cairns

Alyssa Montalbano

More information on the conference is available here.

More information on AcademicPub is available here.

AcademicPub Signs Eight New Publishers

New York, NY, June 5, 2012 - The world of academic publishing continued to tip toward a custom future as eight more top content providers, including four with noteworthy nursing and medical content, signed deals with AcademicPub™, the leading provider of custom books - print and digital - to the higher education market. 

Caroline Vanderlip, CEO of AcademicPub parent SharedBook Inc., made the announcement. 

Providers of nursing and medical content, recognized globally for their high quality, are: F.A. Davis, Jones & Bartlett Learning (a division of Ascend Learning), SEEd Medical Publishers, and Thieme Medical Publishers. Other new AcademicPub publishing partners are: Brill Publishing, Broadview Press, Cornell University Press, and University of Toronto Press. 

Launched in April 2011, AcademicPub now partners with 140 publishers whose content is available in chapters in the AcademicPub content library, which now houses more than 3 million units of material for use in college and university courses. A complete list of publishers in the AcademicPub Content Library may be found here

"The academic market is dynamically changing," said Vanderlip. "We help publishers to stay ahead of the digital curve, and it is gratifying that so many valued publishing partners have chosen to work with us in the past 12 months. Together, we are moving expeditiously to load their high-quality content onto our platform, which serves more higher education instructors each and every week." 

Vanderlip elaborated that a confluence of forces - rising textbook costs, the growth of e-readers and the push across disciplines for more current and relevant course materials - has led to the exponential growth of AcademicPub publishing partnerships, as well as an explosion in the "chunks" or units of content made available for its easy-to-use platform. 

About AcademicPub
AcademicPub, Sharedbook Inc's technology platform for higher education, assembles, composes, prices and delivers custom textbooks - in eBook and/or print format. AcademicPub allows for immediate creation and inclusion of copyright-cleared content from anywhere, such as web articles, self-generated lectures or from the AcademicPub Content Library. Digital or print distribution generates a fast and easy way for educators to provide an engaging educational experience, with lower prices and up-to-the-minute materials for students. More information and free registration for faculty is available at Headquartered in New York since 2004, SharedBook Inc. is privately held and can be found at

Contact for AcademicPub:
James A. Boyle 
Boyle Public Affairs
(571) 213-3979

Friday, June 1, 2012

Content Mixing and the Cost of Textbooks

We're always delighted to see AcademicPub be mentioned, but we were particularly ecstatic to see two articles that really "got it" this week.

The first was a piece in Mind/Shift KQED entitled "How Open Education is Changing the Texture of Content" by Frank Catalano in which the author singles out AcademicPub as a way to allow
"digital textbooks to be created with a mix of copyrighted (paid) and open (free) content. The automated process leads to a custom electronic or paper book – essentially, a digital course pack."
The second piece comes to us from Education-Portal, which talks about how Build Your Own Textbooks Can Save Students Hundreds and mentions, of course, AcademicPub.

For a constant stream of news about the best in ed tech, higher education, and about AcademicPub itself, be sure to follow or like us on your social network of choice whether that's Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn.