NEW YORK, April 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- AcademicPub, a unit of SharedBook Inc., has launched a custom publishing option for the real time delivery of copyright-cleared course materials to the higher education community, it was announced today by Caroline Vanderlip, chief executive officer, SharedBook.
Available immediately, AcademicPub (www.academicpub.com) is targeted to faculty and administrators who desire to create custom course materials at a reasonable price for students, by combining authoritative materials from twenty-one of the world's leading academic publishers with up-to-the-minute Web information, as well as material the educators create themselves.
"At SharedBook we specialize in content transformation technologies with practical applications serving specific market needs," said Vanderlip. "Our goal with AcademicPub is to provide ease-of-use for educators across all disciplines and lower cost of materials for students across all types of post-secondary schools."
AcademicPub allows educators to build copyright-cleared, custom course materials in real time by assembling relevant and up-to-date content from one or more of three sources: 1) the AcademicPub Content Library; 2) the Web; and 3) one's own authored work.
The proprietary browser-based service enables a faculty member to review the searchable AcademicPub Content Library by discipline or sub-discipline and, when presented with a plethora of choices, to take advantage of the AcademicPub recommendation engine that makes content more discoverable by identifying materials in use by one's peers as well as recommendations from publishers within the Content Library as to materials most widely adopted. Already, the AcademicPub Content Library contains more than 100,000 units of articles, textbook chapters, scholarly research and cases.
The AcademicPub Content Library, which began to be populated in late January 2011 with six content providers, has more than tripled its partnership rolls in the three months since, adding widely respected partners such as EBSCO, Foreign Affairs, Harvard Business Publishing, and the American Institute of Physics. A just-completed partnership with Textbook Media makes a wealth of textbooks in core 101-level courses available by chapter. A complete and current list of content partners can be found here.
In addition to its fast-growing Content Library full of high-quality partner materials, AcademicPub supports the inclusion of Web content. In less than 5 seconds, the AcademicPub service can extract content from a website, convert the html to a print-ready format, and allow use of that content in the classroom through clearance with the Copyright Clearance Center.
In addition, file types such as PDF, Word and JPEG can be uploaded, allowing a professor to include his/her own materials within the custom published final product, presented digitally or in print. Educators may choose to offer students a digital version of the assembled material, as well as a professionally printed book.
"We aim to serve faculty members and students," said Vanderlip. "Both are looking for alternatives in today's learning environment, where the digital revolution has made achieving teaching objectives with traditional textbooks more difficult, and where decreased state and endowment support for colleges has made higher education more costly. AcademicPub addresses these faculty and student challenges with an offering that is dynamic and dollar-wise."
Vanderlip explained that use of custom content is bound to increase as faculty members demand course materials that more closely match their educational objectives and desired student outcomes. At the same time, according to the SharedBook CEO, student buying behavior is changing, with more value-oriented shopping for books now the norm and with the desire to "access everything online" ever more prevalent. Educators who utilize AcademicPub will meet and surpass student expectations,” said Vanderlip.
Finally, as the Web itself continues to become more collaborative, AcademicPub is well positioned to serve as a publishing partner for faculty members, providing them not only the opportunity to add their own content as they assemble custom teaching materials for their own classrooms, but also the chance to share their expertise and course syllabi with their peers across the country.
"The AcademicPub framework places the faculty member firmly in control of the course creation process, but it is also flexible and scalable enough to be utilized by an entire department, a school within a college, a university or even a state-wide system," said Vanderlip.
About SharedBook and Academic Pub
SharedBook's technology platform assembles, composes, prices and delivers custom books for educators, consumers, online publishers and enterprises. AcademicPub, built especially for educators, allows for immediate creation and inclusion of copyright-cleared, custom course materials from anywhere, such as web articles, self-generated lectures or with material 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. Headquartered in New York since 2004, SharedBook Inc. is privately held and can be found at www.sharedbook.com.