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The State of the E-Textbook

(pcworld.com): Students have not yet ditched heavy textbooks, but the options for getting course materials digitally are growing. Shopping-savvy students increasingly are avoiding the traffic jam and lessening the sticker shock by choosing to rent or purchase used textbooks online. But as a generation heads to school armed with multiple mobile devices, publishers are beginning to offer digital alternatives to traditional course materials.
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How do new-fangled digital and old-fashioned print books measure up against green criteria?

(gmagazine.com.au): In this digital age we're becoming more and more used to downloading than handling hard copies. CDs have almost gone the way of vinyl records thanks to the growing thirst for digital music, and legal movie downloads are becoming increasingly popular. More recently, e-books have emerged as a viable alternative to the printed tome. E-readers enable reading using reflective (natural) light that doesn't need front or back lighting. They have a 180-degree viewing angle and the ability to store many entire books. The environmental burdens associated with producing, storing, shipping and selling traditional print books are dispensed with, but what about the electricity e-readers consume and the materials they're made from?
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University to bypass expensive database

(cbc.ca)The University of Prince Edward Island has not renewed its subscription to a database long considered to be crucial to scientific research and is planning to work with other schools to create a new, free database of scientific research. The Web of Science, published by the Institute for Scientific Information, has been the world's leading scientific research database for 30 years. UPEI cancelled its subscription because the cost more than doubled this year, from $15,000 to more than $30,000. Five other universities in Canada have pulled subscriptions for the same reason.
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Do copyrights and DRM inhibit the spread of knowledge?

(myce.com): While copyrighting creative works is nothing new, the inception of modern technology has caused a slew of debates and challenges regarding the enforcement and effects of copyrights laws. Increased interest has sparked a number of recent research projects examining copyright laws in different societies throughout history, and the resulting effects.
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If I Were a Scholarly Publisher

(educause.edu): Given the currently dire and highly unpredictable budget environment for higher education, 2010 is a rather frightening time to be a librarian. For the same reasons, this must be an absolutely terrifying time to be a scholarly publisher. Scholarly publishers are looking at libraries right now and seeing what has always been the best and most reliable market for their products suddenly changing into a highly unreliable one. There is very little likelihood that library budgets will grow significantly (if at all) anytime soon; in fact, there is a strong likelihood that they will shrink again next year-in many cases, for the second year in a row.
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