The Future of EPUB: Facts Regarding the IDPF and W3C Merger


The IDPF and W3C are working to combine the two organizations. Working together, they will strive to foster the global adoption of an open, accessible, interoperable digital publishing ecosystem that enables innovation.  The primary motivation to combine IDPF with W3C is to ensure that EPUB’s future will be well-integrated with, and in the mainstream of, the overall Open Web Platform.

The primary goal is to ensure that EPUB remains free for all to use by evolving future EPUB major version development to W3C's royalty-free patent policy.

The executive director of the IDPF, Bill McCoy, recently published a thoughtful and informative blog on Digital Book World that details why this merger is important to the book industry:

Why the IDPF-W3C Merger Will Be Great for EPUB and the Book Industry [read here]

A committee called "Save the IDPF. Save EPUB." has formed and the group is publicly stating its dissent against the merger. Bill also responded elegantly to the organization's concern on the IDPF website:

IDPF Combining With W3C: the Facts [read here]

Both of these pieces are required reading for anyone in the publishing industry and especially for book publishers. Cenveo Publisher Services is a member and supporter of the IDPF and believes that the EPUB community will be enhanced by the merger with the W3C.

What are your thoughts on the merger and the future of EPUB?

The Scholarly Publishing Process Plays a Critical Role in Combating Fake News

Time Reveals Truth by Giovanni Domenico Cerrini

Time Reveals Truth by Giovanni Domenico Cerrini

"Time reveals truth."

As 2017 quickly approaches, we're sure to read, learn, and understand more about the role scholarly publishing will play in our post-truth world. Content validation, peer review, image forensics, traditional citation databases---these are long-established and critical components of the scholarly publishing process. While the demand for increased speed to publication became a critical measurement of a journal publisher's success, editorial integrity and quality remain the gold standard by which publications are judged.

Kalev Leetaru, a contributer to Forbes, recently wrote "How Academia, Google Scholar And Predatory Publishers Help Feed Academic Fake News." In this article he shares a number of his experiences and conversations that illustrate how content validation is not at the forefront or even a consideration in some people's minds:

  • "Not a day goes by that an academic paper doesn’t pass through my inbox that contains at least one claim that the authors attribute to a source it did not come from."
  • "I constantly see my own academic papers cited as a source of wildly inaccurate numbers about social or mainstream media where the number cited does not even appear anywhere in my paper."
  • "...many [graduate students] I’ve spoken with have never even heard of more traditional bibliographic search engines and prefer the ease-of-use and instant access of Google Scholar for quick citation searches."
  • "The Editor-in-Chief of one of the world’s most prestigious and storied scientific journals recently casually informed me that his journal now astoundingly accepts citations to non-peer-reviewed personal web pages and blog posts as primary citations supporting key arguments in papers published in that journal."

Within scholarly publishing the conversation around "Open" echoes louder all the time. The first SSP Focus Group meeting on January 31, 2017 is on the topic of "Open Data, Science, and Digital Scholarship." PSP's Annual Conference (February 1 to 3) will discuss "Adding Value in the Age of Open."

The concept of "open" is not a new one. Though the term Open Access publishing started to proliferate in the early 2000s, the idea has been around for some time. Computer scientists had been self-archiving in anonymous ftp archives since the 1970s and physicists had been self-archiving in arxiv since the 1990s.  In 1994, Stevan Harnad proposed "The Subversive Proposal," calling on all authors of "esoteric" research writings to archive their articles for free for everyone online.

Leetaru's article suggests that the combination of academia, Google Scholar, and predatory publishing practices play a role in the proliferation of fake news. One could also maintain that the scholarly publishing process plays a pivotal role in combating fake news.

How is your publishing organization navigating the challenges of open in our internet-connected world? What are the consequences of our movement into a more open ecosystem in the scholarly publishing community? Can quality and peer-reviewed content override non-peer-reviewed personal web pages and blog posts?

Time will tell.


Peer Review Services

Web-First Production or Publish-Ahead-of-Print...That Which We Call a Workflow Should Publish Just as Fast

In the STM journal publishing world, it seems like every few years we have a new phrase to describe the dissemination of scholarly content. Each phrase describes a slightly different aspect of journal publishing and based on where you work in an organization, it may mean something slightly different. A collection of phrases I've encountered over the years include

  • XML-early workflow
  • XML-first workflow
  • Publish ahead of print (PAP)
  • Cloud-based publishing
  • Web-first production
  • HTML-based publishing

I'm sure there are other terms specific journals and specific publishing organizations use.

No matter the name, and without parsing every word, I believe the big takeaway is that now more than ever, it's critical to publish STM content quickly without compromising editorial quality. Speed is critical for journal content and scholarly communication. Longevity is important as well. Researchers need to go back to articles to understand corrections, errata, retractions, and updates. And no matter the name, mark-up language is the driving force behind speed, accuracy, longevity, and discoverability.

To provide our publishers with automated production at record-setting speed we use Cenveo Publisher Suite. The cloud-based ecosystem of tools is architected to ensure editorial consistency and quality.

Cenveo Publisher Suite | Features and Benefits

Tool Overview Advantages for Authors/Editors Publishing Workflow Benefits Technical Specs Support
Smart Edit Helps editors perform common tasks during the content creation process.

Automated clean-up process identifies more than 200 different actions.

Auto content identification quickly updates specific document and content types: author names, affiliations, footnotes, abstracts, keywords, etc.

Content normalization transforms styled document to publisher/journal-specific format.

References validation ensures any missing or duplicate references are identified. All references validated against CrossRef and PubMed.

Publishers-specific preferences are highlighted for copyeditor to review.

Extensibility. Inclusion of new content items, specific content types, taxonomies, quality checks, and additional output deliverables are managed through a modular customizable interface.

Authoritative sources. The Cenveo architecture makes use of industry standard authority sources such as CrossRef and PubMed Central® that provides content integrity.

Publisher-specific flexibility.
Normalizations are based on title specific style and content requirements.

Built on the latest version of Microsoft Office 2013 and Visual Studio 2012. The Smart Edit Team comprises experienced analysts and developers with deep knowledge of STM content as well as publisher-specific requirements. A dedicated team makes changes or updates to normalization style and output routines quickly with fluency and expertise in content creation and output.
Smart Compose Automated composition engine that ingests content output from the Smart Edit process and generates proofs based on publishers’ styles.

Speed to publication. Automated content transformations enable the fastest turnaround times in the industry. Based on a publisher’s requirements and the content itself, same-day turnaround is a true possibility.

Consistency. With built-in styles based on publisher specifications, consistent format is guaranteed across journal articles, multiple titles, references, and more.

Streamline workflows. Transitioning from manuscript to proof and maintaining XML structure, translates to effortless digital and print output. One straight text article can be composed every 2 to 3 minutes.

Dynamic server-based 3B2 composition with core template built using Xpath, XSLT, and Perl. Style sheets and layouts stored as separate libraries.

Dynamic server-based InDesign composition with templates built on Java and InDesign scripts is the latest addition to high-speed composition of design-intensive content.

Template engineers with 15 to 20 years on-the-job experience are available around the clock for troubleshooting and for any other technical demands.
Smart Proof Online proofing and correction tool that presents composed pages via a web browser and offers an interface to update content and format.

Intuitive. Reminiscent of Microsoft Word but accessible via any browser, authors and editors can easily make line edits and insert queries.

Behind-the-scenes-XML. Focus is on the content and not the structure. XML mark-up is captured behind the scenes, including change history metadata.

Editorial integrity. Managing author corrections, editorial styles, and journal formats consistently translates to quality published content.

Streamlines the proofing process for authors and editors in a serial correction workflow. Integration of multiple correction sources into a single PDF (no re-marking of corrections).

An XHTML-based tool.

XML input is converted to XHTML for correction cycle then transformed back to XML.

One-time authentication, troubleshooting, and customer support.

Auto alert messages to technical support team helps to resolve any technical glitches.

While publishers' business drivers support the evolving journal landscape, which includes author support, open science, and readership needs, we ensure our technology helps them along the way.

Want to see a demo of Cenveo Publisher Suite or consult with a publishing workflow specialist? Simply click the link below to get started!


Related White Paper


Scholarly and Academic Content Collection Organized by Category

We've collected some of the most read blog posts that we've shared over the years into one collection organized by category. Enjoy!


Resources for Publishers

Feed Your Head: 14 Ways Reading Improves Your Mind and Body

Science has shown that reading has amazing health benefits, including helping with depression, cutting stress, and reducing the chances of developing Alzheimer’s later in life. Here are 14 ways that reading strengthens the brain, improves health, and increases empathy.

Used with permission from The Expert Editor.


New England Publishing Collaboration Awards 2016 - Audience Choice Award

Earlier in November Bookbuilders of Boston hosted the annual New England Publishing Collaboration Awards or NEPCo Awards. Cenveo Publisher Services and the Association of American Publishers' Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division received the audience choice award.


Background on the Awards

Twenty years ago, job titles and job descriptions across publishers were remarkably similar. There were key skills, and mastery of these led to respect and reward. When the landscape changed, however, many of us adapted through meaningful partnerships. We investigated new business models, expanded our core competencies, and challenged our vendors to provide new services. We learned about the technologies our customers embraced. We found new customers.

The NEPCo Awards celebrates this agile and open-minded approach to unprecedented change. To educate our members who are new to the industry, and to reward those who have achieved through meaningful relationships with partners, Bookbuilders presents this timely event.


FIRST PLACE: Globe Pequot and Active Interest Media won first place for their collaboration on Backpacker: The National Parks Coast to Coast.

SECOND PLACE: Harvard Business Publishing and Jazz at Lincoln Center won second place for their project Wynton Marsalis & Jazz at Lincoln Center.

More pictures and videos of the winners are available on the NEPCo website here. Every finalist had 3 minutes to provide background on the collaborative publishing project and share insight on their project. Check them out!


Resources for Publishers

iPROSE Selected as a Finalist for the New England Publishing Collaboration Awards (NEPCo)

The New England Publishing Collaboration (NEPCo) Awards recognizes collaborative publishing achievements and educates a new generation of publishing leaders. NEPCo recently selected iPROSE: 40 Years of Excellence in Scholarly Publishing as a finalist for its prestigious award.

The Professional and Scholarly Publishing (PSP) Division of the American Association of Publishers (AAP) worked with The Design Studio at Cenveo Publisher Service to create iPROSE: 40 Years of Excellence in Scholarly Publishing. This digital edition celebrates and showcases the best in scholarly publishing during the past 40 years. The product was created and published earlier this year in honor of The Prose Awards' 40th anniversary. The PROSE Awards, often referred to as the Oscars of scholarly publishing, were created to honor the best scholarly publications across various fields in a variety of formats.

Working collaboratively with Cenveo Publisher Services, PSP went into their vaults to gather and organize 40 years of past winners, highlights, and history. Together the content was transformed into a digital product that includes video, rich media, photo galleries, and more. Cenveo Publisher Services has supported the PROSE Awards for a number of years and in 2016 we wanted to create something special for the 40th anniversary.

iPROSE will be competing against six other finalists at The Rockwell in Somerville, MA on November 9th. For the competition, finalists will present 3-minute descriptions of their collaborative projects on stage in front of judges and the audience. Tickets are still available via NEPCo's website here. Please come and join the celebration!

iPROSE is available for free download via the Cenveo Mobile Platform app in the iTunes store. Just click the icon below!

The creative team at Cenveo Publisher Services is exceptional. They conceptualized, designed and produced the digital edition. Now we have a digital product showcasing the best in scholarly publishing during the past 40 years.
— Kate Kolendo, project manager at the Association of American Publishers

The "Miniaturization of Learning" in the Education Market

We recently spoke with Publishers Weekly about current trends in the educational publishing market. Following are some highlights from the interview:

The “miniaturization of learning” in the education market is becoming obvious as students need quick hits of concepts rather than long, unwieldy lessons, says Waseem Andrabi, senior director of global content services at Cenveo Publisher Services. The Cenveo team, in addition to building complete courses, has been partnering with publishers and contentcentric organizations to create specific digital assets—animations, games, and interactives—that aid students in learning concepts quickly. “We are able to create and structure content for adaptive engines that provide robust personalized learning paths, feedback, and performance evaluation,” explains Andrabi, who is seeing authoring and publishing platforms becoming more mature, both off-the-shelf platforms such as Habitat and Aquafa-das, and proprietary ones such as McGraw-Hill Education’s LearnSmart and Cengage Learning’s MindTap.

“We create courses and assets that are technology- and platform-agnostic. Our team of developers, subject matter experts, and instructional designers are fluent across multiple languages, disciplines, and platforms. We closely monitor market trends and situations that impact e-learning and delivery, such as the battle among Apple, Google, and Microsoft for dominance in the class-room-learning ecosystem,” adds Andrabi, whose team also helps guide publishers in the evolving landscape by paying close attention to news in the device world, such as the rise of Chromebook against tablets.

Adaptive learning, Andrabi says, is already transitioning from being a fad to becoming a fact. “We expect technologies such as virtual and augmented reality to make more frequent appearances,” he adds. “In fact, we are seeing this in a number of projects we are working on, including a pre-K-12 social studies program that offers 3 60-degree videos of historical places such as the Roman Colosseum to augment the course content.” Testing and assessment, Andrabi points out, “are ripe for disruption because formats such as multiple choice and fill in the blank have not changed significantly over the years.”

Meanwhile, security is becoming “more important than ever to publishers as e-learning becomes ubiquitous in the classroom,” says marketing director Marianne Calilhanna. “Fortunately, today’s digital learning content is hosted behind secure, access-controlled systems, and the playback of content is not easy to replicate or copy.”

“It is an exciting time to be in the digital education landscape, and we are thrilled with the relationships that we have with well-established publishers and new niche content providers,” Calilhanna says. “In the last three years, digital learning in the education market has made enormous strides. Our team has transformed static, template-driven read-and-interact lessons to sophisticated interventions such as games, simulations, virtual labs, and multimedia. As a full-service, technology-driven partner for digital content creation and transformative publishing solutions, we have logged several thousand hours of content created from scratch and successfully delivered.”

Frankfurt Update: Game Planning in the Digital Solutions Industry

The full article and more can be found in Publishers Weekly Show Daily for day 1 at the Frankfurt Book Fair (click here) or click below

Look inside >
Game Planning in the Digital Solutions Industry




Resources for Publishers

SSP Fall Seminar Recap - Mentoring, RFPs, Metadata...These Were Just a Few of Our Favorite Things

This past Tuesday and Wednesday (October 4 to 5), SSP hosted its Fall Seminar at the American Geophysical Union office in DC. The event was organized around three themes with presentations from publishers', vendors', and consultants' perspectives:

  1. Develop Somebody---Even Yourself: Mentorship, Career Development, and Networking
  2. A How to Guide: Successfully Executing an RFP Process
  3. Bagged and Tagged: How the New Scholarly Infrastructure is Connecting People, Places, and Things

Unlike the large SSP Annual Meeting, the Fall Seminar is an intimate gathering of journal managers, publishers, editorial directors, content technology architects, developmental editors, graphic designers, and more. The focus throughout the 2 days was building networks, both professional and organizational, to strengthen yourself and your company. It was evident that the message was taken to heart as everyone involved was open to conversation and making new connections.

The RFP presentation was loaded with tips and best practices but also included thoughts on what NOT to include in an RFP. The participants and the audience shared many pet peeves that translated to a list of great tips related to RFP content and process.

Never miss an opportunity to hear Chuck Koscher from CrossRef speak about standards and metadata. His mission of creating a sustainable infrastructure for scholarly communication is always explained in detail and with passion.

Following is a small sample of information from the past 2 days:


Resources for Publishers

Seven Facts That Publishers Should Know About DOI

While some academic publishing metadata standards have yet to reach a “tipping point,” others are already well established. The Digital Object Identifier, or DOI, is one of these. 

  1. What is DOI? Administered by the nonprofit International DOI Foundation, these ISO-standard alphanumeric codes serve as “persistent identifiers” for digital content (including abstracts), related objects, and physical assets or files. 
  2. The benefit of a universal DOI: Nearly all journal articles are assigned a unique DOI, which facilitates more efficient management, tracking/searching, and automation by publishing and content management systems. It links to the object permanently, even if it is moved, modified, or updated. It also can contain associated metadata, although the data model requires only a limited set of “kernel” elements.
  3. I’m a publisher, how do I use DOI? Typically, publishers contact the agency, obtain a DOI to be used for all of the articles they publish, and work with the agency to register and use the DOIs created for individual articles. 
  4.  Who allocates the DOI? Various registration agencies manage the DOI records, maintain the metadata databases, and participate in the overall DOI community. For academic publishing, the primary agency is the nonprofit Crossref
  5. What should I know about Crossref? Crossref handles DOIs for preprints (unpublished drafts posted on preprint servers) as well as DOIs for articles accepted in the publication chain (from the initial manuscript submission through the final published article). These are in fact separate identifiers—to distinguish the state of the piece in the publishing process—but are also linked to one another. 
  6. Where will we see growth in DOI adoption? According to April Ondis, Crossref’s Strategic Marketing Manager, “The real growth in DOI adoption will be in the area of preprints and early content registration.”  Driven in part by the growth of Open Access, researchers are increasingly using preprint content to invite informal feedback before the article is formally accepted for peer review and publication. Ondis noted that the DOI for an accepted article is the primary, and permanent one, while the preprint’s DOI is separate but linked.
  7. Are there problems with DOIs? Authors, institutions, and research funders need to know about pending articles as soon as possible. “However, with a DOI there has to be a content URL. At article acceptance, the publisher often does not know where that content will be, so a DOI could not be registered,” said Crossref’s Director of Technology, Chuck Koscher.  The solution? Crossref will now host an ‘intent to publish’ landing page for these DOIs, based on an ‘intent to publish’ field in the metadata supplied by the publisher.

Read more about DOI and other metadata standards in our white paper, "All Things Connected." [click here]


Related White Paper

Grab your copy of "All Things Connected" to learn more about DOIs and other metadata standards [click here]

Pew Research Center Publishes Latest Findings for American Book Reading 2016

Reading” by Katy Tressedder

The latest report from Pew Research Center is available for download. The most interesting observation is not that print is still the preferred format but rather how our relationship with reading ebooks has changed. Following are just a few highlights from the report.


Book Reading 2016 gathers data and findings from a survey conducted March 7 to April 4, 2016, among a national sample of 1,520 adults, 18 years of age or older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Fully 381 respondents were interviewed on a landline telephone, and 1,139 were interviewed on a cellphone, including 636 who had no landline telephone. The survey was conducted by interviewers at Princeton Data Source under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

Print Rules

For the most part, the percentage of Americans who have read a book in the past 12 months has not changed since 2012---73%. When we go to read a book, the majority of us reach for the printed product (65%). That's more than double the number who have read an ebook (28%) and more than four times more than those who have listened to an audio book (14%).


But Don't Rule Out eBooks

The survey certainly illustrates that print is the preferred format but that's not to say ebooks should be viewed as a sub par format. There has been an important shift publishers should understand about American's relationship with ebooks over the past 5 years. Multipurpose devices (smart phones, tablet computers) rather than dedicated e-reading devices, are used more often to access digital content:


The share of e-book readers on tablets has more than tripled since 2011 and the number of readers on phones has more than doubled over that time, while the share reading on e-book reading devices has not changed. And smartphones are playing an especially prominent role in the e-reading habits of certain demographic groups, such as non-whites and those who have not attended college.
— Pew Research Center, Book Reading 2016

Between 2011 and 2016 some interesting ways in which we read have occurred:

  • Reading on tablets: increased nearly fourfold (from 4% to 15%)
  • Reading on smartphones: more than doubled (from 5% to 13%)
  • Reading on desktop or laptop computers: a modest increase (from 7% to 11%)

College Grads Want it Both Ways

Certain demographics are likely to read more and read both formats---print and digital. College graduates, compared with those who never attended college, are more likely to read print books and more likely to consume ebooks.


College graduates are roughly four times as likely to read e-books ­ and about twice as likely to read print books and audio books – compared with those who have not graduated high school
— Pew Research Center, Book Reading 2016

Download the Report

The full report is available here. More metrics, findings, and graphs are available that will be interesting to all publishers.


Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Sprint Beyond the Book | SSP2016 and Arizona State University's Center for Science and the Imagination

Emerging technologies continue to transform the ways we collect, synthesize, disseminate, and consume information. These advances present both hazards and opportunities for the future of scholarly publication and communication.

At the 2016 Society for Scholarly Publishing Annual Meeting, the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University brought together a team of science fiction authors, scholars, digital publishers, journalists, and technologists to write a book on the fly in 72 hours.

A revolving group of participants as well as a dedicated team of writers,

  • discussed issues of increasing scholarly impact and accessibility
  • wondered whether computers can make scholarly contributions that warrant co-authorship
  • speculated about what forms scholarly books may take in the future
  • wrote and published their musings in Sprint Beyond the Book

Throughout the annual meeting at SSP2016, six miniature book sprints were conducted. During each sprint, a group of four to six writers convened to tackle one of six big questions. Each sprint began with a facilitated conversation, followed by time for the writers to reflect and compose a piece of writing inspired by the conversation.

Conferences like the SSP annual meeting and scholarly publications themselves are often undergirded by spontaneous, inspiring, thought-provoking conversations among colleagues and collaborators, but those conversations are rarely captured and shared, and are often clouded in memory, even for the participants. The book sprint process hopefully absorbs some of the kismet and energy of those initial conversations, right at the start of a big idea, and makes it part of a more durable intellectual product—and a possible springboard for additional conversations in a broader range of times and places.


Making Research Matter

Reproducing the Humanities
Unexpected Signals of Public Engagement With Science
Making Research Matter
Being an Academic—A Thank You Letter
Publishing Haikus
Agent of Science

Shaping the Public Square

Dance, Monkey, Dance: The Public Square
Public Square
From the Ivory Tower to Hyde Park
The Citizen Mathematician

Human-Machine Collaboration

Machines Who Write and Edit
Can Crediting Algorithms Save the Adjuncts?
What Would a Turing Test for an Intellectual Contribution Look Like?
Our Robot Overlords
The Authorship Rubric: Credit Where Credit’s Due

Exposing Hidden Knowledge

Hidden Knowledge
Hidden Knowledge in Information Overload
Six-word memoirs
Hidden Knowledge, as Told by Memes
The Hidden Knowledge
Undocumented Terms of Art
The Magic of Gossip

The Future of the Scholarly Book

Burning Books
Stories From Our Mothers
Does the User Experience of Scholarly Books Need Reconsideration?
The Book That Lasts
How Do You Print Books on Mars?
Gutenberg 2.0—Books as Conversations
GitHub and the Future of the Scholarly Book

Expanding Access

Expanding Access
Minimal Computing: An Infographic
Teenage Information Dystopia
What is a Book?
Democratizing Research 101: No Taxation Without Representation


Download eBook

Click here to get your copy Sprint Beyond the Book

The Story Behind the Textbook: The Cost of Creating Course Materials

Behind that expensive textbook your college kids just charged, is a team of writers, editors, instructional designers, graphic designers, developers, compositors, marketers, and more.

The cost of creating high-quality learning materials is significant.

The Association of American Publishers collected real metrics based on the production of Pearson's Campbell Biology, 10th Edition and published the following infographic:

From the Association of American Publishers. Used with permission.

We work with publishers and content providers and understand that managing costs along with content is imperative.

From content creation to XML, we provide full-service editorial and production teams that include instructional designers, subject matter experts, editors, and writers. Whether it’s core textbook work or supplement creation and management, we can help.  Cenveo's Higher Education content team has experience managing textbook production and digital product creation, from setting up projects and working with authors to finalizing content. Want to discuss some of the ways we can help your production team?

Higher Education Textbooks: Student Watch Key Findings

As colleges and universities welcome students back to campus, it's a good time to revisit some of the findings from the National Association of College Stores' (NACS) Spring Study. Higher Education publishers are deep in the trenches, dealing with disruptions from Amazon, proliferation of digital distribution channels, and pricing transparency issues


From the National Association of College Stores. Used with permission.


In the Student Watch 2015 to 2016 Academic Year Report, NACS provides a number of useful attitudes and behavior toward course materials that should be interesting to higher ed publishers:

  • use of digital materials continued its slow and steady growth with 6 out of 10 students using at least one digital component during the fall 2015
  • 17% of students said they had not yet used a digital format during their college career
  • print is still the preferred textbook format
  • 26% prefer a print book with digital component
  • students spent an average of $602 on course materials during the year, compared with $563 last year
  • the campus store remains the top source for course materials purchases
  • the second most popular source for course materials is Amazon
  • the rentals market appears to have plateaued with about 40% of students renting at least one unit during both the fall 2014 and 2015 terms
  • during the spring 2016 term, rentals accounted for 24% of the units purchased and 17% of the dollars spent
  • convenience and lower cost remain the top reasons for acquiring digital

From the National Association of College Stores. Used with permission.


For more information and to grab a copy of the full report, click here.

Cenveo Publisher Services works with all types of educational publishers. From content creation to XML, we provide full-service editorial and production teams that include instructional designers, subject matter experts, editors, and writers. Whether it’s core textbook work or supplement creation and management, we can help.

Related Case Studies

McGraw-Hill Education: Book Management for a Landmark Textbook [click here]

National Geographic Learning: High-End ESL Production With Hybrid Workflow [click here]

GVE Online Education: Reinventing ESL Instruction With Innovative eLearning Solutions [click here]

Honoring Your Authors and the Scholarly Publishing Process

Retraction Watch recently discussed why PLOS ONE's correction rate is higher than average---authors do not review page proofs.

Everyone in scholarly publishing understands that mistakes are made along the publishing process and the bright side of digital publishing allows for quick redaction and updates to scholarly papers. However, when correction rates are higher than what's typically considered acceptable, which is about 1.5%, it's time to look into the workflow to determine what exactly is going on.

Mark Dingemanse, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics has been reviewing PLOS ONE correction rate since May 2015. He recently updated his analysis in August 2016:

Here are the numbers for the whole of 2015: 30970 research articles across all PLOS journals, 1939 corrections (6.3% of publication output), of which 415 acknowledge publisher error (21.4% of corrections). And here’s 2016 so far: 15162 articles, 794 corrections (5.2%) of which 154 are publisher error (19.4% of corrections). So over the last 1.5 years, a full 6% of all PLOS publication output has received corrections, and at least one fifth of these are due to publisher errors beyond the control of authors. Keep in mind authors are essentially powerless and many don’t request corrections, so the problems are likely much worse.

PLOS ONE makes it very clear that it is against the journal's policy to provide authors with page proofs. Head over to Retraction Watch and read the full story along with the comments and associated links.

At Cenveo Publisher Services, our workflows are built on the trifecta of people-process-technology with the "people" part first. We end with people as well---in the form of author proofs!

Traversing a typical journal workflow process at cenveo Publisher Services.



What types of digital products should you publish?

Determining what digital products your organization needs to create can be a daunting task. We often consult with different types of publishers to help them triage digital development and production and ultimately get a return on their investment in digital content and digital product creation. The following quiz is certainly not scientific! But it can help you understand some of your options.

Click the link to the right if you'd like to schedule a demonstration of the types of products we've created for journal, academic, and educational publishers.

We help publishers; we can help you!


Book Sprint - An Intimate Dinner Party at SSP2016

At the Society for Scholarly Publishing's 38th Annual Meeting a group of dedicated writers, editors, technologists, and publishers are contributing to a real-time collaboration to write the "future of scholarly publishing." The Book Sprint project is led by Arizona State University’s (ASU) Center for Science and the Imagination, who developed the project. Over the course of 2 days, topics discussed and covered include

  • Making Research Matter - How can we make research matter?
  • The Future of the Scholarly Book- What will authorship mean in an age of human-machine collaboration?
  • Exposing Hidden Knowledge - How will we expose hidden knowledge?
  • Human-Machine Collaboration - What is the future of scholarly content as AI evolves?
  • Expanding Access - How will we expand global access?
  • Shaping the Public Square - How will scholars contribute and transform public knowledge on their areas of expertise?

I am sitting around the table now listening to a fascinating conversation and watching the content creation process. After an intense 30-minute discussion, the group will commence writing on this topic based on ideas spawned.

The writing sprint will use the Overleaf platform to document highlights of the conversation and seven writers will compose their thoughts and analyses. One person will consolidate the individual contributions into a single chapter. When complete, Overleaf will send an alert to editors on stand by at Cenveo Publisher Services. Overnight, all chapters will be edited and sent back to the Book Sprinters.

Stay tuned as the topics and book develop.

Good vs Valid XML: Cheap is Dear

For many years I preached the merits of XML-first and XML-early workflows before it was the norm. Now my platform is "good vs valid XML."

Any service provider can provide XML.

Indeed automated XML is pretty much a standard output from most systems that have anything to do with publishing. It's been 13 years since Microsoft Office introduced the XML formats for Excel and Word files.

Yet when I hit the road and speak with publishers about their challenges, a lot comes back to what I put into this bucket of "good vs valid XML." There is a distinction between a valid XML file and a good valid XML file. You can have a file that is valid but doesn’t really achieve the goal of what the content is supposed to be. What happens too often is that budgets demand, or conversion teams choose to do whatever is easiest (i.e., cheapest) instead of doing the right thing to create a good XML file.

Let's look at some examples

Glossary Example

Following is the rendered text and image:

Following are examples of what I call "good" XML and "valid" XML. Take note of the tagging structure used. The <dl> tag itself better defines the content and provides inherent semantic meaning. The valid XML example is missing alternative text. Without alternative text publishers are missing out on improving SEO and, more important, are failing at content accessibility.

Good XML

Definition term with class to differentiate languages

Valid XML

Definition term in paragraph element with strong element.

<dl> <dt class="english"> <strong>amphibian</strong> </dt> <dd>(am fib&#x00B4; &#x0113; &#x0259;n) An animal that lives part of its life in water and part of its life on land. My pet frog is an <strong>amphibian.</strong></dd> <dt class="spanish"> <strong>anfibio</strong> </dt> <dd>Animal que pasa parte de su vida en el agua y parte en tierra. Mi ranita es un <strong>anfibio.</strong> <imggroup> <img id="pEM002-001" src="./images/U99C99/pEM002-001.jpg" alt="A red-eyed tree frog wrapped around a green branch."/> </imggroup> </dd> </dl>
<p><strong>amphibian</strong> (am fib&#x00B4; &#x0113; &#x0259;n) An animal that lives part of its life in water and part of its life on land. My pet frog is an <strong>amphibian.</strong></p> <p><strong>anfibio</strong> Animal que pasa parte de su vida en el agua y parte en tierra. Mi ranita es un <strong>anfibio.</strong> <imggroup> <img id="pEM002-001" src="./images/U99C99/pEM002-001.jpg" alt=""/> </imggroup> </p>

Annotated Text Example

Following is the rendered text and image:

The good and valid XML demonstrate an image with annotated text (good) and just an image (valid). Take note of the alternative text in the valid XML example. This description is virtually useless to a visually impaired reader.

Good XML

<sidebar render="required" id="fig_chap03_004"> <hd><strong>Figure 3-4</strong></hd> <br/>A purpose statement explains a website&#8217;s overall goals and the specific objectives that will be used to achieve those goals. <imggroup> <img id="p075-001" src="./images/U00C03/p075-001.jpg" alt="A page from a book that shows a purpose statement example with goals and objectives."/> <caption imgref="p075-001">&#x00A9; 2015 Publisher Name</caption> <prodnote render="required" imgref="p075-001"> <p>primary goal</p> <p>secondary goals</p> <p>objectives</p> <p><strong>Regifting Website</strong></p> <p><span class="underline">Purpose Statement:</span> </p> <p>The goal of the reusable and …</p> <list type="ul" depth="1"> <li>Promote an online …</li> …… </list> </prodnote> <prodnote render="required"/> </imggroup>

Valid XML

<sidebar render="required" id="fig_chap03_004"> <hd><strong>Figure 3-4</strong></hd> <br/>A purpose statement explains a website&#8217;s overall goals and the specific objectives that will be used to achieve those goals. <imggroup> <img id="p075-001" src="./images/U00C03/p075-001.jpg" alt="regifting website"/> <caption imgref="p075-001">&#x00A9; 2015 Publisher Name</caption> <prodnote render="required"/> <prodnote render="required"/> </imggroup> </sidebar>

Alt Text Example


This example demonstrates an image with alt text (good) compared with XML just as an image (valid). Alt text improves discoverability and supports accessibility.

Good XML

<sidebar render="required" class="quote"> <q>I bet the folks at home would like to know what we&#8217;re going to do this year!</q> <imggroup> <img id="piii-001" src="./images/U00/piii-001.jpg" alt="A teenage boy in jeans and sneakers smiling with hands folded in front of him."/> <prodnote render="required"/> <prodnote render="required"/> </imggroup> </sidebar>

Valid XML

<sidebar render="required"> <imggroup> <img id="piii-001" src="./images/U00/piii-001.jpg" alt=""/> <prodnote render="required"/> <prodnote render="required"/> </imggroup> </sidebar>


Talk to your vendor about the quality of the XML they produce. The proliferation of offshore vendors has brought pricing models down and this has impacted quality. While price is of great importance and low-cost XML is attractive, publishers are finding that thoughtfulness and editorial quality have been slipping away. With so much technology integrated into publishers’ workflows, it is easy to forget that human QA ensures premium editorial and production services.

  • Good XML is critical for accessibility
  • Good XML improves downstream discoverability
  • Good XML involves automation plus human intervention and that equals quality

If you would like to learn more about some of the ways we help publishers improve XML file creation and XML publishing workflows, simply click the link below.


The XML sample file was excellent. I went through it tag by tag, attribute by attribute, entity by entity, and I was very impressed by the level of attention to detail shown. You and your team deserve credit. Over the last 20 years or so I have seen sample files from both sides of the fence—-both supplying them and receiving them—-and these were the best I have ever seen!

Learn more about accessibility in our white paper. Click here to download.

Adapting to Change in Scholarly Publishing: A Full Picture of the History of a Research Work

Crossref Changes its Policy and Will Accept Preprints

In August 2016, Crossref will enable members to assign Crossref DOIs to preprints. This is major news for the scholarly publishing community and an example of how the needs and practices of modern researchers impact change. Previously, Crossref's policy prevented members from registering and assigning DOIs to "duplicative works." However, in the creation and dissemination of scholarly content today, users have a real need to access earlier versions of research papers.

Original content which is intended for formal publication, including content that has been submitted, but has not yet been accepted for publication.
— Definition of "preprint" according to Crossref's Board of Directors

This policy change will require each preprint to link to any future related versions of the work. The preprint DOI will be different from the DOI assigned by the publisher to the accepted manuscript and version of record. Crossref will provide tools to make it easier for members to do that.

Geoffrey Bilder, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Crossref, states "A number of Crossref members are exploring publishing workflows that blur the historically hard distinctions between a draft manuscript, a preprint, a revised proof, an accepted manuscript, the version-of-record, and subsequent corrections and updates, any of which may be used and cited at almost any point in the publishing process."

Ed Pentz, Executive Director at Crossref, explains "Adapting to the needs of our members, while remaining neutral toward their business models, is critical to Crossref's fundamental ability to maintain a clear citation record and let researchers easily identify the best available version of a document or research object."

Business models and real world usage drive change. As scholarly publishing models become more fluid, supporting tools, infrastructure, service providers, and others must also adapt. Crossref anticipates its underlying schema, services, and APIs will be in place by the end of August. 

More information and background on Crossref's history can be enjoyed by clicking here.