Academic perspectives of textbooks at the University of Canterbury. (2021)
Type of ContentReports
This survey of academic staff at the University of Canterbury has revealed a discrepancy between current academic practice in textbook use and student/publisher practices. More specifically, academics practices within UC are based predominantly on traditional print textbook models, while students and publisher practices are based on e-textbooks. For example, academics are keenly aware that many students find the cost of textbooks prohibitive and rely on library access as an alternative for students who cannot purchase the textbook. However, academics do not often take the cost of textbooks for the university library into consideration in their selection process. This suggests that academics are unaware that as the textbook industry pivots to the provision of e- textbook, the predominant publishing models make library provision of textbooks significantly more expensive and, in some cases, unaffordable.
The results of this survey suggest the library needs to better articulate the burgeoning difficulties in continuing to provide adequate alternative textbook access, as well as provide alternative options such as open textbooks. The majority of academics reported perceiving benefits in the open textbook model, with the most common being accessibility and affordability for students, but were unsure where to look for open textbooks. Concerns were also raised about sourcing current, relevant, high-quality open textbooks, suggesting the library can support open textbooks uptake by assisting with the sourcing and/or resourcing of appropriate works.
ANZSRC Fields of Research46 - Information and computing sciences::4610 - Library and information studies::461007 - Open access
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