Textbooks

Expanded Access to Online Research During COVID-19 Situation

While the COVID-19 virus has made completing the spring 2020 semester more complicated, including leading to the closure of the Snell Library building, Northeastern University Library’s staff is dedicated to continuing to provide quality research service and resources to students, faculty, and staff. Users can still get assistance from library specialists and can access our databases and electronic books, journals, and streaming videos online. For more information about accessing library services remotely, visit library.northeastern.edu/resilience.

In addition to the efforts of Northeastern University Library staff, many publishers of scholarly resources have attempted to ease the stress of this difficult situation by temporarily making their resources freely available. The library will be updating Scholar OneSearch to reflect this new access, and you can see the list of new resources below. This list will be updated as new resources become available.

AccessAnesthesiology

AccessAnesthesiology is an award-winning medical reference and teaching platform that delivers world-renowned, interdisciplinary content integrated with analytical teaching and learning tools. McGraw-Hill has made its AccessAnesthesiology collection available until September 14. Northeastern University credentials required.

AccessEngineering

AccessEngineering is an award-winning engineering reference and teaching platform that delivers world-renowned, interdisciplinary engineering content integrated with analytical teaching and learning tools. McGraw-Hill has made its AccessEngineering collection available until September 14. Northeastern University credentials required.

Annual Reviews

Annual Reviews provides definitive reviews in 37 scientific disciplines, focusing on biomedical, physical, and social sciences. It is an excellent source for finding overviews of new topics. Annual Reviews has made all journal content freely available until June 15.

Cambridge Companions

The Cambridge Companions collection contains guides to literature, authors, topics, periods, and more. Cambridge University Press has made access to this collection free until at least June 30. Northeastern University credentials required.

Cambridge Elements

The Cambridge Elements collection combines the best research on a topic from various sources, on topics throughout the arts and sciences. Cambridge University Press has made access to this collection free until at least June 30. Northeastern University credentials required.

Cambridge Histories

The Cambridge Histories collection provides access to more than 350 volumes in 10 subject areas focusing on various aspects of history. Cambridge University Press has made access to this collection free until at least June 30. Northeastern University credentials required.

Cambridge Textbooks

Cambridge Textbooks provides access to more than 700 textbooks in a wide variety of disciplines. Cambridge University Press has made access to these textbooks free until June 30. Northeastern University credentials required.

De Gruyter Ebooks

De Gruyter has made more than 69,000 ebooks available through June 30. Northeastern University credentials required.

EBSCOhost Databases

EBSCOhost has made the following database collections available through June 30. Northeastern University credentials required.

GeoScienceWorld

The Geological Society of America and several of their partner publishers have made their ebooks freely available on GeoScienceWorld through June 30.

Harvard Business Review Ebook Collection

More than 600 titles from the Harvard Business Review Collection are available through EBSCOhost through June 29. Northeastern University credentials required.

JoVE Science Education

JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments) Science Education is a video database dedicated to teaching laboratory fundamentals through simple, easy-to-understand video demonstrations. Each video is paired with additional video resources for you to view practical applications of the technique and other complementary skills. JoVE has made all Science Education modules available through June 15. Northeastern University credentials required.

JSTOR Archival Journal Collections

JSTOR has opened additional journal collections for use, including Ecology & Botany II, Hebrew Journals, Jewish Studies, Ireland Collection, and Lives of Literature, through the end of 2020. Northeastern University credentials required.

JSTOR Primary Source Collections

JSTOR has made the Global Plants, 19th Century British Pamphlets, Struggles for Freedom: Southern Africa, and World Heritage Sites: Africa primary source collections available through the end of 2020. Northeastern University credentials required.

JSTOR Public Health Journals

This set of  26 public health journals has been made freely available by JSTOR in collaboration with various publishers through the end of 2020.

LitCovid

LitCovid is a curated literature hub for tracking up-to-date scientific information about the 2019 novel Coronavirus, compiled by the National Institutes of Health. It is the most comprehensive resource on the subject, providing a central access to more than 1000 relevant articles in PubMed. The articles are updated daily and are further categorized by different research topics and geographic locations for improved access.

Microbiology Society Journals

The Microbiology Society has made their collection of scientific journals focused on microbes free for until further notice.

MIT Press Direct

MIT Press Direct contains ebooks on wide variety of subjects. MIT has made more than 3,000 of those titles freely available through June 30.

PolicyMap

PolicyMap is a mapping tool for accessing data on demographics, real estate, health, jobs, and more about communities across the U.S. to make better-informed decisions. It is freely available through August 15. Northeastern University credentials required.

ProQuest Coronavirus Research Database

ProQuest has assembled a database of only available articles concerning coronavirus and related topics. All content is open, although Northeastern University credentials are required.

The Royal Society Journals

The Royal Society has temporarily removed all paywalls for its journals, which focus on the sciences.

University of California Press Journals

The University of California Press has made all of their journal content freely available through June.

Boston Library Consortium signs letter to President Obama about Open Educational Resources

In June, the White House called for suggestions from the public for its third Open Government National Action Plan, to be released later this year. The purpose of this plan is to increase transparency in government as well as support open research and learning tools, which were identified as areas for development in the first two National Action Plans. The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), an international group of academic research libraries, has responded to this call with a letter advocating for increased support for the development of open educational resources. The Boston Library Consortium, of which Northeastern University is a member, has added its name as a signatory of this letter. We are proud to voice our support for open educational resources! Open educational resources (OERs) are freely accessible learning objects that support teaching and learning at all levels - from kindergarten through higher education. Because they are openly licensed, educators can customize OERs or create mashups of different resources to provide their students with the material that best meets their teaching objectives. OERs include textbooks, audio and video materials, tests, software, interactive modules, and much more. Many are peer-reviewed either before or after being publicly released, so teachers can be assured of their quality. OERs benefit students as well as educators—they serve as free alternatives to costly traditional textbooks. A recent NBC News story about the astronomical increase in textbook prices (more than triple the cost of inflation since 1977) quotes an incoming Northeastern first-year student on the struggle to afford college textbooks. OERs would help him and thousands of others get a high-quality education at a more affordable price. The Open Education Group, which conducts an ongoing review of empirical research on the use of OERs, reports that studies show students and educators using OERs are satisfied with the quality of these resources and that learning outcomes are equivalent to or better than those in classrooms using traditional resources. Instructors and students, are you interested in learning more about open educational resources? Check out my guide to OERs and textbook alternatives, and please feel free to contact me if you have further questions.

Spread the word: New full-text e-resources in medicine, pharmacy, and physical therapy are now available

AccessPhysiotherapy covers physical therapy, AccessMedicine covers medical/health sciences, and AccessPharmacy is the tool of choice for pharmacy. These resources from McGraw-Hill were designed especially for instructors and students, with a focus on curricular topics, Q & A, self-assessment, core titles for assigned reading, high quality images, animation tools to convey concepts, and videos that demonstrate clinical practices.  Content can be embedded in Blackboard. Mobile access: These resources are optimized for the iPhone, Google Android devices and the Blackberry Bold. Highlights: AccessPhysiotherapy
  • 500+ videos and narrated lectures in key topics in orthopedics, neurology and sports medicine; demonstrations of various examination and treatment techniques
  • Anatomy and Physiology Revealed”, a powerful cadaver dissection tool with imaging slides and animations
  • Essentials of Neuroscience in Physical Therapy”, an ongoing lecture series, which combines graphics, case studies, and narration to teach key neuroscience and neuroanatomy concepts relating to physical therapy
  • “Custom Curriculum”, a cutting edge tool to assign, manage, and track the progress of student assignments
AccessMedicine
  • 77 essential medical texts, including “Harrison’s Online”, “Hurst’s The Heart”, “Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment”, and “DeGowin’s Diagnostic Examination”
  • Thousands of photos and illustrations
  • Diagnosaurus, the differential diagnosis tool
  • Interactive patient safety modules, musculoskeletal exams, case files, and Q & A
  • 200+ procedural videos and Grand Rounds lectures
AccessPharmacy
  •  Drug databases, cases, self-assessment tools, animations, and full text of these core titles:
    • DiPiro's Pharmacotherapy: A Pathophysiologic Approach, 8e
    • Pharmacotherapy Casebook: A Patient-Focused Approach, 8e
    • Goodman & Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 12e
    • Applied Biopharmaceutics & Pharmacokinetics, 6e
    • Basic & Clinical Pharmacology, 12e
    • Casarett & Doulls Essentials of Toxicology, 2e
    • Drug Information: A Guide for Pharmacists, 4e
    • Ganong's Review of Medical Physiology, 24e
    • Pharmacy and Federal Drug Law Review
    • Pharmacy Student Survival Guide, 2e
    • Understanding Health Policy: A Clinical Approach, 6e
Register for a My AccessMedicine, My AccessPharmacy or My AccessPhysiotherapy account to enter the mobile sites, save and download images, bookmark content pages, view and print CE certificates, customize patient education handouts, re-run recent searches, and use the Custom Curriculum. For more information on health sciences resources, please see the biomedical and health subject guides.  

Affordable Textbooks 2012…Now, With Even More Options! [Updated]

It's been two years since I last posted about textbooks, and with classes starting this week, I thought it was a good time to write an update to that post. Since then, a few things have changed.

First, the Bad News...

The cost of textbooks just keeps going up. The New York Times article from October 2009 that I cited in my previous post estimated that college students spent, on average, between $700 and $1,000 each year on textbooks. Fast forward to August 2012... the Wall Street Journal just reported that the average student's textbook bill is now up to $1,213 a year. (Of course, you can always try selling a purchased textbook back to the bookstore at the end of the term, but, having stood in the buyback line myself recently, I know as well as you do that it's not exactly a money-making opportunity - if you're able to sell it back at all, that is. Textbook editions change so frequently that the copy you just bought may well be worthless in only a few months.)

Okay, How About Some Good News?

There now are more alternatives to paying the full amount for a new, hardcover textbook. Textbook rental programs have really taken off in the past couple of years - the NU bookstore has been offering a rental program since Fall 2010, with both print and e-textbooks available for rental. If you're taking ENGL 1102 this semester, for example, you can choose between buying a new or used copy of Ways of Reading, or rent a copy for about half the cost of buying a new one. Rental can be a good option when you can't picture yourself referring back to your dogeared copy after you're done with the course. Online rental companies are also popular - Chegg has been around for a while, and Amazon just got into the textbook rental market, too (although at least one blogger found their selection a bit "skimpy"). It seems like we've been hearing a lot about e-textbooks for a long time now, but the iPad has really helped that market take off in the last year. More publishers are working to convert their traditional textbooks into iPad apps, which allow for interactivity in ways that an e-book on, say, a Kindle doesn't offer. It looks like publishers are realizing that an e-textbook can be much more than a PDF. "Open" textbooks are also gaining traction, as more faculty choose to adopt them for their courses. Publishers like Flat World Knowledge and Boundless offer online learning materials that are free or available for purchase on a sliding scale. Individual faculty are creating open educational resources (OERs) as well - here at Northeastern, Dr. Albert-László Barabási's network science course website offers a great example of how OERs can be much more than static texts.

What's the Bottom Line?

This is a great time to start investigating alternatives to traditional printed textbooks - and as you can see, there are lots of options. Faculty - I encourage you to "think outside the shrinkwrap," if you're not already doing so. Students - investigate options and talk to your instructors. Let them know that you want to see textbooks become more affordable. And, if nothing else, ask them to put a desk copy of the textbook on reserve at the library! Update, 9/10/12: If you’re interested in learning about new developments in this area, I maintain an up-to-date list of links to news stories and blog posts on Delicious (also available as an RSS feed).  

Celebrate Open Education Week – March 5-10, 2012

Today's News@Northeastern featured a "3Qs" interview with our Dean of Libraries, Will Wakeling. The focus was open access to research, and Will specifically highlighted Open Educational Resources (OERs).  Development of OERs involves remixing resources that are openly available in order to create learning materials that don't cost students anything. The average college student paid $700 a year on textbooks in the 2009-2010 school year; given that the price of college textbooks is said to be increasing at four times the rate of inflation, that amount is likely higher today. So, it's no surprise that the need for affordable course materials is becoming critical. Legislation such as the College Opportunity and Affordability Act has placed limits on textbook publishers, but prices are still high. MIT was a pioneer in the OER field with their Open CourseWare system, which debuted in 2002. It offered anybody, anywhere, the opportunity to access MIT course materials for free - a radical concept at the time. Since then many other institutions around the world have also established OCW programs, as well as an international consortium. That consortium is now sponsoring the first global Open Education Week, "to raise awareness of the open education movement and its impact on teaching and learning worldwide." Events are taking place around the world this week - many being hosted as online webinars. I encourage you to check out their schedule of events! How do you think Northeastern can play a role in the development and adoption of OERs? Leave your thoughts in the comments section...