Conferences, copyright, London Book Fair

Copyright, Books and Progress

This year’s Charles Clark Memorial Lecture at London Book Fair, entitled Copyright, Books and Progress, was delivered by Professor Daniel Gervais, Milton R Underwood Chair in Law and Director of the Vanderbilt Intellectual Property Program at Vanderbilt Law School. 

Professor Gervais said that copyright is more about intermediation than authors; it is meant to help create value in the marketplace.  Today, the power of online users has eclipsed many of the discussions on the rights of authors and professional users.  The new intermediaries are not copyright owners, but companies such as Facebook and Google who generate revenues by selling advertising.  Their aim is to pay as little as possible for creative works.     

Copyright implies “one size fits all” – but now this doesn’t work.  Allowing the re-fragmentation of rights materials to create a single protected object does work.  The ability of the Internet to disseminate worldwide at little cost is a powerful leveller; but saying no to a user online is the least desirable option.  If copyright can be aligned with purpose, the need for more limitations and exceptions will be reduced. 

The nature of content should matter to us all; progress doesn’t necessarily mean “new”, because new doesn’t always justify progress. Does copyright law incentivise the right things? In order to achieve its aims, new content must not only be created but made available, while finding ways not to disadvantage those who have spent their lives perfecting their creative craft. Spending time on creativity is essential for humanity to reach maximum levels of achievement. 

In the knowledge economy, creativity has replaced the value of material goods.  Human emancipation through science and the arts is progress; the role of governments is to promote progress by ensuring that the “greater proportion” of change is for progress. Good governance of human progress is about promoting conditions for business to thrive across borders and for humans to develop their potential. 

 Professor Gervais offered a few “concrete” suggestions:

  • In the face of the takeover of human creativity by a small number of large technology companies, we can either take a laissez-faire approach, or we can use copyright to foster creativity more proactively. 
  • OR we can regulate dissemination.
  • OR we can implement a policy that implies some regulation.

Internet users certainly need filters; but for many forms of enterprise, the Internet is “it”; and the Internet is also the only means of revenue for many companies. 

Copyright law therefore matters: it is the main policy tool we have to effect financial flows to professional creators and publishers – highly desirable goals for the future of progress.  “The Internet’s purpose should be to foster, not hinder, rights.”

Conferences, TEF, Uncategorized

Academic Book Trade Conference 2018

For the second year running, the Academic Book Trade Conference (ABT) was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon; also for the second year running the BA chose two gloriously sunny days. The conference took place on Thursday and Friday, 10th and 11th of May.

This year’s conference theme was The TEF, Brexit and More: what’s happened, what’s happening, what to do next. As in previous years, Gold Leaf’s Linda Bennett put the programme together, and what an exciting programme it was! Without having briefed any of the speakers on this specific aspect, “telling a story” was a recurring motif raised in various ways by the different speakers.

The chair of the Academic Booksellers Group, Lynne O’Neill, was first to pick up on this theme.  She quoted Romeo and Juliet to illustrate the symbiotic, sometimes turbulent relationship enjoyed between booksellers and publishers: “Two households both alike in dignity …”  She referred to the huge changes that have taken place in the academic landscape over the past year, especially the setting up of the Office for Students [OfS]. Richard Fisher, the conference chairman, added that HEFCE officially came to an end in April, to be replaced by the OfS and UKRI [UK Research and Innovation].

The next speaker – William Bowes, Director of Policy and General Counsel at the Publisher’s Association – spoke about the UK and the its importance in publishing, nationally but also internationally. He said that, although there has never been a better time to be involved in publishing, “for an industry whose sole purpose is to tell stories, we’ve not been very good at telling our own”. He concluded that Brexit offered publishers the opportunity to start telling their story better: an opportunity they all need to take advantage of.

Meryl Halls, recently appointed MD of the Booksellers Association, announced the launch of the Academic Publishers Shopfloor Project, which encourages publishers to spend time working in academic bookshops – “even doing the hoovering” – to experience what being a bookseller entails.  A similar initiative was managed very successfully by the BA in High Street bookshops last year.

The keynote talk was given by Dr Clare Goudy, Director of the Education Planning Office of the Vice-Provost at University College London. Dr Goudy gave the audience a very honest view of how UCL had approached the TEF and how “telling a story” had made them receive a TEF Silver award, whilst the metrics alone initially had put them into the Bronze category. An important part of telling this story had been the Library – the Library Services had played a pivotal part in this narrative of academic research and teaching achievement. However, taking the same approach at subject level for the upcoming subject-level TEF will be a challenge in many ways.

Louis Coiffait, Associate Editor at WonkHE, gave a captivating talk entitled “The Shipping Forecast: What’s really going on in HE?”. He elaborated on a number of interrelated stories, including the mystifying and complicated issue (which he expertly unpicked) of how many individual government and related bodies influence funding and decision-making at universities; and stakeholder pressures with regard to who pays / who should pay, not least from students’ parents. His final message for universities was to stay focussed on the passengers and to embrace the challenges new types of study and students bring.

The talks were followed by a panel session, in which Helen Adey, Resource and Acquisition Supply Team Manager at Nottingham Trent University, Dr Peter Jones, Principal Lecturer in Social Sciences at Greenwich University and Dr Clare Goudy discussed the needs of students today. The panellists agreed that students now need all kinds of help besides provision of resources – for example, information about how to give presentations, how to read critically and time management.  They want resources presented in such a way that they can understand exactly what is expected of them.  From the Library’s perspective, electronic resources can be made more available to more people and are often more affordable: but, given the choice, many students still prefer print.

IMG_6097-2

Introducing the report “How are Students and Lecturers Using Educational Resources Today?”, which was commissioned by Sage Publishing – print copies were given free to all of the delegates, kindly supplied by Ingram – Kiren Shoman, Editorial Director of Sage and Annika Bennett of Gold Leaf provided insights into the mixed picture of resources requirements in UK HE today.  81.4% of the librarians and 69.4% of the academics who participated in the research said that the resources used have changed; reasons for this included the increasing prominence of “flipped learning” and technologically-enhanced learning.  However, their views on which resources were being used were markedly different. Another important finding was that there are often discrepancies between the resources people actually use and the ones they say they use.  A second report will explore this further, but in the meantime, more details on the current report will be published soon in a separate blog post.

cover

Mark Hunt and Laura Annis, of Ingram and VitalSource, presented the findings of a recent survey, one of which was that 89% of the participating students said that e-textbooks and related course materials had had a positive impact on their learning experience.

At the awards ceremony which followed the conference dinner, OUP won Publisher of the Year (and has now won this title 9 years running) and Greig Watt of Blackwell’s Aberdeen won the Bookseller of the Year Award.  The after-dinner speaker was Ziyad Marar, whose recent book, “Judged”, is about the value of being misunderstood.

The second day of the conference was opened by Greig Watt (Blackwell’s) and Emma Farrow (John Smith’s), who gave two different accounts on booksellers’ best practice and how they can flourish in both traditional and non-traditional surroundings. This was followed by two workshops run back-to-back, one a student panel, the other devoted by Helen Adey to demonstrating to publishers the sorts of decisions librarians have to make when managing resources funds.  The conference was wrapped up with a Q & A between Richard Fisher and Louis Coiffait. Sadly, Richard Fisher has decided to conclude his chairmanship after this, his third year – he has been one of the most distinguished chairmen the conference has ever had.

(c) photos: Sharon Benton

Conferences, TEF

How are Students and Lecturers Using Educational Resources Today?

[Press Release]
SAGE Publishing and Gold Leaf partner on major study to provide insight into the UK higher education pedagogical environment

Higher Education in the UK is undergoing huge change. Much of this is directly affecting how students, faculty and librarians interact with pedagogical resources. But what impact are these developments having on learning? How is this influencing the type of resources being used in the present-day classroom? More widely, what impact will factors such as the TEF and Brexit have on the acquisition and deployment of pedagogical resources and educational technology?

In the first part of a major study, How are Students and Lectures Using Educational Resources Today, commissioned by SAGE Publishing and conducted by Gold Leaf, researchers Linda Bennett and Annika Bennett unpack these questions. The report offers analysis to help understand trends and practices driving the positive impact of pedagogy on student success in the UK HE environment.

To date, at three of the participating universities (the University of Greenwich, the University of Huddersfield and the University of Surrey), a total of 31 in-depth interviews have been conducted with librarians and academics. 4 student focus groups have also taken place from across several disciplines.  These have been complemented by three UK-wide online surveys circulated to academics, librarians and students, which attracted responses from across 113 UK Higher Education institutions. This interim report focuses on qualitative results from non‐Russell Group universities. The final report will include qualitative results from Russell Group universities.

The report addresses questions concerning student expectations; pedagogical tools and their representation in resources lists; changed methods of university funding; and the role of publishers and academics.  Interim findings across the wider UK surveys so far include:

  • 81.6% of academics and 62% of librarians believe that the approach to pedagogy at their institutions have changed.
  • The use of the flipped classroom, and an increased focus on technology-enhanced learning were the most‐mentioned catalysts for change, together with concern over existing teaching standards.
  • Textbooks (both print and electronic) and journals continue to be the most listed resources mentioned by academics, librarians and students.
  • Asked about their institution’s policy on who should pay for learning resources, 49% of the librarians, 42% of academics and 39% of the students said that students could and should be able to obtain all the resources they needed from the Library. Only 4% of librarians and 9% of academics said that their institution paid for essential texts for each student.

Kiren Shoman, Editorial Director, SAGE, said:

“SAGE is keen to take responsibility for learning how changes in education are impacting the communities we serve. Since our founding we have been driven by the recognition that education is vital to a healthy society, and we continue to work with our academic community to support their engagement with education and to best address their wider needs. We have been delighted to work with Gold Leaf as an independent research consultancy to explore the current landscape and best understand how we can support and address the challenges and changes in higher education resourcing and teaching today.”

Linda Bennett, Founder of Gold Leaf, commented:

“Gold Leaf feels very honoured to have been chosen to carry out the research for this important study.  Working on it has been a privilege and the results are fascinating.  I’d like to say how grateful we are to everyone who has supported it, especially Kiren and her colleagues at SAGE and the many academics, librarians and students from Greenwich, Huddersfield and Surrey who have participated.  We have started work on the second report now and look forward to sharing it with the HE community in a few months’ time.”

You can find out more about the report and follow the study as it progresses by sending an email to info@goldleaf.co.uk.

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Part One of the report is being presented at the ABT Conference sponsored by the Booksellers Association on 10th and 11th May.

Part Two of the study will be completed in the autumn of this year.

For further information on either parts of the study please contact info@goldleaf.co.uk.

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About SAGE Publishing

Sara Miller McCune founded SAGE Publishing in 1965 to support the dissemination of usable knowledge and educate a global community. SAGE is a leading international provider of innovative, high-quality content publishing more than 1,000 journals and over 800 new books each year, spanning a wide range of subject areas. Our growing selection of library products includes archives, data, case studies and video. SAGE remains majority owned by our founder and after her lifetime will become owned by a charitable trust that secures the company’s continued independence. Principal offices are located in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC and Melbourne. www.sagepublishing.com

About Gold Leaf

Gold Leaf was set up in 2001 to provide business development support and market research to the academic publishing and academic librarian communities as well as academia itself.  It has published several important studies about pedagogies, electronic resource provision and the changing role of libraries as well as many bespoke reports for individual clients. Gold Leaf facilitates a number of librarian advisory boards worldwide.  More information about Gold Leaf may be found at http://www.goldleaf.co.uk/index.html

 

Conferences, TEF

Conference: The Incredible Machine – What next for TEF?

The TEF results were due to be released this week, coming only second to the General Election as the most anticipated day this year in the UK Higher Education sector. The day after the election, the Department of Education announced a postponement of the publication of TEF results; a new date has yet to be confirmed.

Interestingly, the other dataset eagerly awaited, the first instance of Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) – statistics on graduate salaries up to 5 years after graduation – were released on Tuesday as planned.

In anticipation of the TEF result, around 140 delegates came together on Election Day to discuss the current status and the future of the TEF. The event “The Incredible Machine – What next for TEF?” had been organised by the HE Policy blog WonkHE and was attended by “leaders, managers and staff working across policy, planning, strategy, communications, marketing, public affairs, quality, registry, student experience and in students’ unions” (so went the announcement of the event), but also by HE consultants, software companies… and some publishers.

From the academic publishing sector’s point of view, it was notable how little the provision of learning resources were mentioned, and how an awareness of the importance of these on teaching outcomes seems to be lacking amongst the self-declared “TEF wonks”.

Publishers did not get a voice (or even an ear) during the conference – which was perhaps to be expected – but even university libraries seemed to play a subordinate role in the TEF discourse. Not a single librarian attended the conference, and libraries were mentioned exactly twice. In a full day of discussions about the quality of teaching, this was pretty surprising.

However, the conference itself was highly interesting. During the opening address, given by Mark Leach and Ant Bagshaw of WonkHE, the audience was asked about its attitude to the TEF, and it was obvious that the majority of those present were very sceptical about whether the TEF aims were actually being met.

Different panel sessions led the proceedings throughout the day, discussing the current situation, the metrics, and the future of the TEF. The audience was very engaged and there was plenty of time allocated for questions, comments and discussions.  Full use was made of this, and many interesting aspects were raised.

Jayne Mitchell (Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Bishop Grosseteste University), who was also a TEF assessor, Alastair Robertson (Director of Teaching & Learning Enhancement, Abertay University Dundee) and Michael Wykes (Director of Policy, Planning and Business Intelligence, University of Exeter) sat on the first panel; each gave an overview of how they had approached the TEF application process at their universities. It was fascinating to hear, as the universities they represented were very different (both by type and by geography) and therefore their attitudes opinions and the approaches they adopted towards fulfilling the TEF differed significantly. Sector wide, there has been a huge variation on how the submissions were put together, where the focus was laid and which data or qualitative information each contained. It certainly will be fascinating to  examine how varied the submissions are collectively when all have been published.

The second panel of the day focused on metrics, data and league tables. Joy Elliott-Bowman (Policy and Public Affairs Manager, Independent Higher Education), Matt Hiely-Rayner (Director of Intelligent Metrix and Head of Planning, Kingston University) and Jackie Njoroge (Director of Strategy, University of Salford) talked about the independent HE sector and the implications of data for it, about if and how the TEF data can influence the Guardian University Guide rankings (answer: it will not!) and about the benchmarking of TEF metrics. This would have been an appropriate session in which to introduce discussion of learning resources, but, as already mentioned, these played a much smaller role than I had hoped for.

After this panel session, Sue Rigby, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Lincoln, who is also involved in the HEFCE Learning Gain initiative, spoke about Learning Gain and the use of metrics. Her focus was on the metric, and not on the “how to”, so Learning Resources were once again not mentioned. Sue came to the conclusion that “Learning Gain is not going to provide a better proxy; it is an opportunity to think hard and better about learning”.

In the last panel of the day, Mark Jones (Chief Operating Officer, Higher Education Academy), Simon Marginson (Professor of International Higher Education, UCL Institute of Education) and again Sue Rigby talked about the future of the TEF, looking at projected future developments and the future of teaching quality enhancement. It was agreed that the TEF didn’t actually measure teaching quality and that the HE sector needed more involvement in the development of the metrics.   Following the discussions at the ABT Conference, which demonstrated that the academic bookselling and publishing industry has already recognised this, it was probably the most important conclusion of the day. Maybe it could be a point of connection for the BA and PA to start their lobbying.

The discussion then moved on to performance measurement in teaching, in which individual lecturers are being measured (in this instance, the approach shows a more direct transfer from REF to TEF) and the international impact the TEF may have. Prof. Marginson said that the REF had a big impact internationally, but he doesn’t think the TEF will. (This is a moot point, given that the TEF itself is a symptom of the sea-change that is taking place in how teaching and learning are carried out, in both the UK and many other countries, rather than itself generating that change.
In this discussion, the library was mentioned a couple of times, but the quality and impact of learning resources and their provision was not in the speakers’ (nor the audience’s) minds, which was surprising and somewhat dismal to see.

This was a day with many informative discussions and lots of relevant background information for the publishing sector.  It emphasised once again the importance of lobbying by the Book Trade Industry if it doesn’t want its considerable contribution to teaching and learning be side-lined in the future developments of the TEF.

A full write-up of the conference can be found on the WonkHE website: http://wonkhe.com/blogs/live-the-incredible-machine-what-next-for-tef/

Conferences, TEF

Addendum – what’s next for TEF?

On June 8th, WonkHE will host the Conference “The Incredible Machine: What next for TEF?” at the Royal College of Physicians. This conference is now sold out, but Annika Bennett of Gold Leaf managed to get a ticket. So, again – check our Twitter account (as I will be tweeting live) and keep an eye on the blog to stay updated on any developments on this. issue.

Conferences, TEF

Academic Book Trade Conference 2017 (part 2)

(part 2)             ABG-Conference-NEW-logo

On Thursday evening, the conference Awards dinner took place, during which this year’s ABT awards were presented jointly by Stephen Lotinga and Tim Godfray, who took the occasion to prove his talent as a singer-songwriter and presented a musical welcome.

Tim Godfray guitar
As they did last year, OUP won the “Best Academic Publisher” award, and Julie Fisher from Palgrave Macmillan won the trophy as “Rep of the year”. Blackwell’s won the Academic Chain Bookseller award, and also the Bookshop of the Year, which went to Blackwell Sheffield. Glyn Littlewood of Blackwell Sheffield also won the Individual Bookseller Award, sharing it with Hilary Piert of O’Mahony’s. Roger Horton, CEO of Taylor & Francis was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award, which is only given very occasionally for exceptional service to the industry. Many congratulations to all the winners!

The second day of the conference was opened by Simon Walker, Head of Educational Development at the University of Greenwich. He talked about student engagement and the involvement of students in the creation of content. He said that essentially student engagement happens when there is a move away from talking to students as consumers to working with them as partners. Simon also involved the audience in an online audience engagement exercise. Mark Toole, Head of Libraries and Learning Resources of Nottingham Trent University, spoke about his university’s approach to student engagement, which is much more data-driven. He laid out how data analytics can increase student engagement at an early stage and therefore increase retention rates.  The two presentations represented opposites on the teaching / learning continuum and therefore provided excellent foils for each other.

Simon Walker

Heather Sherman, Head of Technical Library Development at Dawson Books, gave a quick overview of Resources Provision and the TEF before the concluding, and arguably most entertaining, part of the conference: the “ABT Strictly” competition: a publisher, a bookseller and a librarian presented their future plans on resource delivery to 3 student judges. The first 10-minute presentation was given by Andrew Robinson, Director of Higher Education at Cengage. Next up was Will Williams, Head of Academic Sales at Blackwell’s, followed by Martin Gill, Head of Academic Services at University of Huddersfield.

After a short Q&A session, during which the students could question the presenters, the students finally rated the presenter on a scale from 1 to 10 in a “strictly”-fashion. The winner was Martin Gill; the students were asked to justify their scores, and their views were very illuminating. It was fantastic listening to such an engaged student panel – tank you to Nguyen Hoang (University of Reading), Harriet Lowe (University of Greenwich) and Kiu Sum (University of Westminster).

student panel

After two interesting days of conversations, presentations and discussions about a topic that will stay important for Academic Publishing in future the delegates headed home (in pouring rain this time). We are looking forward to next year’s conference and the continuation of our work on the TEF in the meantime!

(c) photos: Sharon Benton
Conferences, TEF

Academic Book Trade Conference 2017 (part 1)

“Leadership and Influence in a TEF-led world”                             ABG-Conference-NEW-logo

On a sunny May 18th, more than 100 delegates came together at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon for the two-day annual Academic Book Trade Conference (formerly: APS Group Conference). This year, the conference programme focused on the Teaching Excellence Framework [TEF] and student engagement.  The conference Programme Director was my colleague Linda Bennett, of Gold Leaf, who has been organising the speaker programme since 2002 and with me is co-author of the report Resource Provision in Higher Education: Implications of the TEF and related initiatives, which was sponsored by the Booksellers Association.  A copy of the report was given to each of the conference delegates.

Outgoing chairman of the ABG Group, Scott Hamilton, gave an overview of last year’s industry figures and a review of the past year from the perspective of the ABG. The first address took the form of a conversation at which conference Chairman Richard Fisher, former MD of academic publishing at CUP, engaged a dialogue with Sir David Bell, Vice Chancellor of the University of Reading.

Sir David Bell

Sir David made a number of incisive points, including that the TEF was needed because universities have been slow to respond to criticism of their approach to teaching; that although some academics may not like the TEF, it is not a life-changer in the same way that the REF has been; and that although league tables, of which the TEF will now become an important one, are important drivers for university success, they are not the only drivers.

Stephen Lotinga, CEO of the Publisher’s Association, spoke about Publishing and Politics. He noted that there was a gap in the public’s understanding of the Book Trade industry’s role and its future and that both the PA and the BA need to lobby to make the industry’s importance more visible.

Richard Stagg, Publishing Director of Pearson, told the delegates that he saw the TEF as an opportunity for the publishing industry, as long as student’s needs and expectations were kept in mind and being met. He said very clearly that the current changes in approach are not about a transition from print to digital, but about the pedagogy behind teaching and learning and about interaction. He concluded by saying that it is the academic book trade’s responsibility to show the learning gains obtained from the content it creates, and to build new relationships.

The final keynote speaker was Peter Lake, Group Business Development Director at John Smith’s, who stressed the importance of the service element in making digital products work. He illustrated this by sharing some case studies in which service has been key to the successful use of published products. He also emphasised that the BA and the PA should lobby together, particularly on the inclusion of learning response into the next revisions of the TEF metrics.

keynotes day 1

At the end of the formal programme on the first day, we presented our TEF report. It was gratifying to see how much interest it has generated; our presentation was very well received.

In the breakout sessions following our presentation, the delegates discussed the impact of the TEF on the industry and how booksellers and publishers could work together on this, and compiled possible questions to include in the NSS about learning resources. One question that was suggested by several groups (in this or similar wording) was “To what extend do the provided learning resources support your learning outcomes?”
The groups came back with a big variety of suggestions on how cooperation could make the TEF work, including the sharing of data, the joint funding of further research into the area, collaboration on standards, and – mentioned by several groups – joint lobbying. Everyone agreed that transparency, communication and cooperation had to be key to make it work for both sides.

break-out 2

(part 2 to follow)

(c) photos: Sharon Benton