The #Ebooksos team have been hard at work planning a 2021 quarantine armchair tour to discuss the current situation and future plans for the campaign. Please do join us at these events if you can We encourage academics, students and other interested parties to come along as well as librarians. Dealing with the ebook challenge will require a collective effort.
15th March – E-Books: Scandal or Market Economics? 2pm -3:30pm (GMT). UCL Office for Open Science & Scholarship/Copyright for Knowledge webinar.
Further details and free tickets available here. Expert speakers are
Dr. Paul Ayris, Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Library Services & UCL Office for Open Science and Scholarship)
Johanna Anderson, Subject Librarian, University of Gloucestershire and founder of the #eBookSoS campaign
Benjamin White, Researcher, Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management, University of Bournemouth and Chair of the Copyright and Legal Working Group of the European Research Library Association (LIBER).
500 tickets have been snapped up already so get in quick if you don’t want to miss out
Monday 12th April – Rachel Bickley and Caroline Ball of #EbookSoS will be hosting the #uklibchat discussion on the ebook crisis at 7pm (GMT).
Tuesday 13th April – UKSG Online Conference Breakout 32: #Ebooksos scandal : the need for critical collection development. This is an on-demand presentation by Johanna Anderson and Cathal MCcauley, University Librarian at Maynooth University, Ireland. We discuss the #ebooksos campaign, the library profession’s role in countering these issues and the long-term consequences if they are not addressed. There will be a live Q&A session to follow (details to be confirmed).
5th-6th May – Critical Approaches to Libraries Conference (CALC) – Johanna Anderson, Caroline Ball and Rachel Bickley will discuss the ebook crisis and the restrictive impact it has on critical collection development and academic freedoms (Details to be confirmed).
6th-8th July – Johanna Anderson, Caroline Ball and Rachel Bickley will be discussing Information literacy as activism: standing up to the academic e-book industry at FestivIL by LILAC (details to be confirmed).
Meanwhile, Publishers Association (PA) have released a report entitled The economic impact of the potential new Open Access (OA) policy from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) which contains the statement
“There are also concerns that the UKRI Policy would exacerbate existing challenges facing the HE sector – which is already managing significant financial and operational pressures due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic”
This was met with some surprise as PA did not seem aware of these “pressures” when they tried to justify their members price-gouging from COVID in the BBC piece that reported on the ebook crisis. For expert analysis of the report we recommend you read this blog post by Martin Paul Eve, Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London. We hope Publishers Association will consider the pressures universities face before trying to justify exploitative practice in the future.