Accessibility for Publishers: Practical Tips That Demonstrate it's Well Within Your Reach

a free report from Riverwinds Consulting and Cenveo Publisher Services

Accessibility is an approach to publishing and design that makes content available to all, including those with disabilities who use assistive technologies on the computer. The aim of accessible publishing is to make reading easier for users who have difficulties or disabilities including the blind, partially sighted, and people with learning disabilities. Making content accessible enables readers to experience content in the most efficient format and allows them to absorb the information in a better way. The term “accessibility” is used to address issues of content structure, format, and presentation.

The question of “why make the effort to have content accessible to readers with disabilities” still lingers. Of course, accessibility comes with a cost. However, publishing indeed benefits from embracing this essential initiative. When accessibility is well executed, it can expand readership and provide a higher-quality user experience for everyone. 

Let's look at an example comparing accessible alt text with alt text captured from a figure legend. Visual items such as images that are important to the content should include alternate-text descriptions (alt text), which allows users to understand visual information. Alt text descriptions should capture information that is not included in the caption or surrounding text, and convey meaningful information to the user from the visual item. Descriptive alt text is critical to understand the full meaning of an image for the visually impaired reader. The following image illustrates an example of accessible alt text that provides a more useful description for a visually impaired reader compared with alt text that simply repeats a figure legend.

In our latest report "Accessibility for Publishers: Practical Tips That Demonstrate it's Well Within Your Reach," we provide business cases that can be brought to leadership and stakeholders in a publishing organization. Download this free report and understand

  • how you can build the business case for accessibility in your publishing organization

  • emerging and compelling reasons for making content accessible

  • the key principles of accessibility

 

Happy Birthday Adobe PDF!

Adobe Acrobat turned 25 this month. For those of us who remember the pre-PDF days and what it was like sending that floppy disk to a colleague only to find out later it was gibberish when opened, we also might believe that the PDF is "sheer elegance in its simplicity."

Elegant? Yes!

Dr. John Warnock recognized that looks do matter and effective communication happens when an author's intended design, formatting, and images all combine to present an idea as originally intended. In 1990, Dr. Warnock launched his idea, The Camelot Project, in which anyone could capture documents from any application, send those documents anywhere, and even print those documents from any machine without compromising the integrity of the content. "Take that Apple IIc Plus!" Sincerely, Tandy 1000.

In August 1990, Dr. Warnock published a six-page white paper to support his Camelot idea and thus work commenced on the radical idea of a "portable document format."

PDF has been around for 25 years -- but what does it stand for? Here's what a few people had to say on the streets of Salt Lake CIty.

Simple? No.

Take a moment and think about how we take for granted all the complexity that exists behind the three clicks "Save As PDF." The following excerpt from Dr. Warnock's paper explains the inception of the PDF (née "Interchange PostScript"):

 

By redefining “moveto” and “lineto” very different things can happen. For example, if these operators are defined as follows:

/moveto
{exch writenumber writenumber (moveto) writestring}def
/lineto
{exch writenumber writenumber (lineto) writestring}def

then when the “poly” procedure is executed a file is written that has the following contents:
1.0 0.0 moveto
0.809 0.588 lineto
0.309 0.951 lineto
-0.309 0.951 lineto
-0.809 0.588 lineto
-1.0 0.0 lineto
-0.809 -0.588 lineto
-0.309 -0.951 lineto
0.309 -0.951 lineto
0.809 -0.588 lineto
1.0 0.0 lineto

In this example the new redefined “moveto” and “lineto” definitions don’t build a path. Instead they write out the coordinates they have been given and then write out the names of their own operations. The resulting file that is written by these new definitions draws the same polygon as the original file but only uses the “moveto” and “lineto” operators. Here, the execution of the PostScript file has allowed a derivative file to be generated. In some sense this derivative file is simpler and uses fewer operators than the original PostScript file but has the same net effect. We will call this operation of processing one PostScript file into another form of PostScript file “rebinding."

---The Camelot Project, J. Warnock

 

It took fewer than 3 years for Dr. Warnock's vision and diligent work by a brilliant production team to solve the problem and release the first iteration of Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format.

Creating PDFs in the early days was nowhere near as simple as it is today. I recall diligently writing down in my notebook all the steps required. I don't recall every step but I do remember the IT request to install three pieces of hefty and pricey software on my machine: Acrobat Exchange, Acrobat Distiller, and Acrobat Reader. Yes, in the early days Acrobat Reader had a price tag associated with it.

Software that changed the world.

Software that changed the world.

In today's mobile responsive world, the PDF can cause frustration on an iPhone (I'm guilty). Yet I would argue that no other document technology has as much ubiquitous influence across markets and demographics as the beautiful PDF (more to come).

 
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Mike Groth

Michael Groth is Director of Marketing at Cenveo Publisher Services, where he oversees all aspects of marketing strategy and implementation across digital, social, conference, advertising and PR channels. Mike has spent over 20 years in marketing for scholarly publishing, previously at Emerald, Ingenta, Publishers Communication Group, the New England Journal of Medicine and Wolters Kluwer. He has made the rounds at information industry events, organized conference sessions, presented at SSP, ALA, ER&L and Charleston, and blogged on topics ranging from market trends, library budgets and research impact, to emerging markets and online communities.. Twitter Handle: @mikegroth72

W3C Publishing Summit 2017

Guest blog by Evan Owens

The first-ever W3C Publishing Summit took place in San Francisco, November 9 to 10, to discuss how web technologies are shaping publishing today, tomorrow, and beyond. Publishing and the web interact in innumerable ways. The Open Web Platform and its technologies have become essential to how content is created, developed, enhanced, discovered, disseminated, and consumed online and offline.

Background on IDPF and W3C

During February 2017, the IDPF (International Digital Publishing Forum) merged into the W3C. IDPF members are now joining W3C with new committees formed, including the W3C Publishing Working Group, EPUB Community Group, and others.

Keynote: The Future of Content by Abhay Parasnis – CTO, Adobe

The internet is wide open to all world communications. “Content publication” has expanded to a very broad level via the Internet. Businesses are trying to reach out in personalized fashion. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are important for content location & delivery and personalization. W3C does important standards development, but as technology is moving fast how should we coordinate successfully?

A major goal of the W3C is to define a new Portal Web Publication (PWP) content format that will merge HTML and EPUB and replace PDF. EPUB 4.0 is likely to become a subset of that new PWP standard.

Following are some of my observations from the various presentations and discussions from the conference. Feel free to add your thoughts and takeaways in the comments section!

Content Platforms and Publishers

  • Majority of eBook content is still in EPUB2
  • EPUB3 is big  in Japan and China but not common in English-language publications yet
  • Most failed EPUB content is from USA publishers
  • Publishers tend to overuse fixed layout, especially academic or instructional content
  • Future will be CSS, interactivity, and accessibility

Digital Publishing in Asia, Europe,and Latin America

  • UK the biggest eBook market with 575K new eBooks per year
  • Amazon is leading EU bookseller (90% of UK sales)
  • Japan produces approximately 500K eBooks
  • Japan has been using EPUB 3.0 since 2011; 100% of old files were migrated to the new format
  • The market is growing in Korea and China
  • In Latin America ebooks are primarily EPUB 2.0; 3.0 hasn’t been adopted yet
  • 55% of publishers in Latin America have not yet started digital content production

Accessibility in Publishing and W3C

  • Accessibility in digital publishing is a key issue that was included in EPUB
  • W3C implementation goals include supporting EPUB3 accessibility and collaborating with the W3C WCAG
  • DAISY has built a checking tool called “ACE”; it is now in beta and available for testing
  • Cenveo Publisher Services provides accessibility services and testing

Educational Publishing

  • Personalized learning challenges include the learning platform and the metrics
  • There is now a major move from books to digital e-learning platforms
  • Learning is now subject to data-driven insights: analytics add value by these tools

Creating EPUB Content that Looks and Works Great Everywhere

  • Microsoft added an EPUB reader into Windows 10 MS Edge web browser
  • Almost 90% of ebooks are EPUB2 and recent content in 2017 is only 62% EPUB3
  • Issues for EPUB content creation and rendition include
    • Many different screen sizes and orientations (e.g. phone, table, computer)
    • Reader requirements: mobility, classroom usage, accessibility
    • Pagination works differently in different reading systems
    • Tables and anything with fixed width is risky
    • Captions not staying with images due to page breaks
    • Background images break when flowing across pages
    • CSS layout for colored text failures
    • Supporting audio reader software by language metadata
    • Fixed layout never 100% perfect
    • Don’t use SVG for text layout
    • Test content in several epub reader devices, etc.

Publication Metadata

  • Consumer metadata versus academic metadata remains a key challenge
  • Standards are only slowly adopted; e.g. ONIX 3 published 2009 but by 2017 only about 50% adopted
  • Autotagging versus human tagging; machines more consistent
  • 105 metadata standards

Cenveo Publisher Services is a proud member of the W3C Publishing Working Group. The issues discussed at the W3C Publishing Summit are ones we address everyday with academic, scholarly, and education publishers. We look forward to working with you in 2018 on innovative publishing solutions that improve editorial quality and streamline production while continuously addressing costs. Let us know how we can help.

 

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Mike Groth

Michael Groth is Director of Marketing at Cenveo Publisher Services, where he oversees all aspects of marketing strategy and implementation across digital, social, conference, advertising and PR channels. Mike has spent over 20 years in marketing for scholarly publishing, previously at Emerald, Ingenta, Publishers Communication Group, the New England Journal of Medicine and Wolters Kluwer. He has made the rounds at information industry events, organized conference sessions, presented at SSP, ALA, ER&L and Charleston, and blogged on topics ranging from market trends, library budgets and research impact, to emerging markets and online communities.. Twitter Handle: @mikegroth72

Rights & Permissions Service for Publishers

Copyright is far more than just a necessary evil to protect intellectual property from theft. Copyright furthers all creative interests by making the rich marketplace of ideas available to a wider audience. Resourceful rights and permissions management supports author content while maximizing the publisher’s budget.

Hiring one person to perform all the rights and permissions functions requires finding a pretty special person: an editorial specialist with enough copyright expertise to be an IP strategist, while being a skilled digital-image savvy photo researcher and database manager. That's why we offer R&P as a service for publishers.

Cenveo Publisher Services manages all aspects of text, image, and rich media content R&P. We assemble a team of project managers, assessment specialists, data entry staff, photo researchers, and permissions experts to support the management of R&P in your organization.

By identifying a rights strategy early, authors can stay on budget. Research and permissions runs alongside production cycles with clearly defined milestones. Targeted international expertise also allows a spectrum of pricing options. Contact us to learn how we can support R&P for your journals or books program.

 

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Mike Groth

Michael Groth is Director of Marketing at Cenveo Publisher Services, where he oversees all aspects of marketing strategy and implementation across digital, social, conference, advertising and PR channels. Mike has spent over 20 years in marketing for scholarly publishing, previously at Emerald, Ingenta, Publishers Communication Group, the New England Journal of Medicine and Wolters Kluwer. He has made the rounds at information industry events, organized conference sessions, presented at SSP, ALA, ER&L and Charleston, and blogged on topics ranging from market trends, library budgets and research impact, to emerging markets and online communities.. Twitter Handle: @mikegroth72

Revenue Growth in Education, Scholarly, and Trade Book Publishing

The Association of American Publishers shared revenue figures in its StatShot report. Revenue growth is up 4.9% for Q1 2017 compared with Q1 2016.

Both education and scholarly publishers experienced slight revenue bumps during the first quarter of 2017, compared with the first quarter of 2016.

Higher Education course materials wins the greatest growth award, reporting $92 million (24.3%) increase to $470.2 million in Q1 2017 compared with the Q1 2016. Revenues for Professional Publishing (business, medical, law, scientific and technical books) were up by $5 million (4.5%) to $119.5 million.

 
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Mike Groth

Michael Groth is Director of Marketing at Cenveo Publisher Services, where he oversees all aspects of marketing strategy and implementation across digital, social, conference, advertising and PR channels. Mike has spent over 20 years in marketing for scholarly publishing, previously at Emerald, Ingenta, Publishers Communication Group, the New England Journal of Medicine and Wolters Kluwer. He has made the rounds at information industry events, organized conference sessions, presented at SSP, ALA, ER&L and Charleston, and blogged on topics ranging from market trends, library budgets and research impact, to emerging markets and online communities.. Twitter Handle: @mikegroth72

Accessibility for Education Publishers

K-12 and Higher Ed publishers provide complex content that is deeply intertwined with Learning Management Systems and other digital deliverables. That makes accessibility harder—and potentially more rewarding.

Guest blog by John Parsons


Accessibility for educational publishers

In our recent blog, we tackled the issues of accessibility—for visually and cognitively impaired readers—in the realm of scholarly journal publishing. The solutions are (fairly) straightforward for that industry, because you’re dealing mostly with documents, and lots of text. Other types of publishers deal with a broader range of issues and output channels, so for them accessibility is more complex. Near the top of this difficulty scale are education publishers.

Even before the rise of digital media, education textbooks—notably in the K-12 market—posed significant accessibility challenges. Complex, rich layouts, laden with color, illustrations, and sidebars, made textbooks a rich, visual experience. Such books can be a treat for sighted students, for whom publishers have invested much thought and design research. For those less fortunate, however, a rich visual layout is an impediment.

Going Beyond Print

For printed textbooks, traditional accessibility fixes like large print and Braille are usually not cost-effective. Recorded audio has been a stopgap solution, but still a costly one, unlikely to handle the ever-increasing volume of educational material. Fortunately, the advent of digital media has far greater potential for making textbooks accessible.

When textbooks are produced as HTML or EPUB (but not PDF), the potential for greater accessibility is obvious. Type size can be adjusted at will. Text-to-speech can provide basic audio content with relative ease. Illustrations can be described with alt text—although care must be taken to insure its quality. Even reading order and other “roadmap” approaches to complex visual layouts can make digital textbooks more accessible than a printed version could ever be.

The real key is digital media’s inherent ability to separate presentation and content. Well-structured data and a rich set of metadata can be presented in multiple ways, including forms designed for the visually and cognitively impaired. Government mandates, including the NIMAS specifications, have accelerated this trend. Publishers themselves have developed platforms and service partnerships to make the structuring of data and metadata more cost-effective—even when the government mandate is outdated or insufficient. (The reasons for doing this will be the subject of a future blog.)

The LMS Factor

What makes accessibility for educational publishers far more difficult is not textbooks, however. Particularly in higher education but increasingly in K-12, textbooks are only part of a much larger content environment: the Learning Management System or LMS. Driven by the institutional need to track student progress, and provide many other learning benefits and related technologies, the LMS is typically a complex collection of text content, media, secure web portals, and databases. Although textbooks still form a large portion of LMS content, studies from the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) indicate that the field is undergoing a radical shift.

This has massive implications for accessibility. Not only must publishers provide reading assistance for text and descriptions for images, they also must deal with the interactive elements of a typical website. This includes color contrast, keyboard access, moving content control, and alternatives—probably alt text—for online video and other visually interactive elements. A sighted person might have no difficulty with an online quiz, but the process will be very different for the visually impaired.

Fortunately—at least for now—the online elements of most LMSs are deployed on standard desktop or laptop computers, not mobile devices. The BISG study indicates that this is because more students have access to a PC, but not all have a tablet or e-reader. This makes the publisher’s task “simpler”—with fewer variations in operating systems and interfaces—but that will change as mobile device use increases. LMS features on smartphones are the start of new accessibility headaches for publishers.

Workflow—Again

As I pointed out in the previous blog, service providers have a major role in making accessibility affordable. This is especially true for educational publishers. Automating and standardizing content and metadata are usually out of reach, even for the largest publishers. Even keeping up to date with government and industry mandates, like Section 508 and WCAG 2.0, are best handled by a common service provider.

As with journal publishing, the overall workflow will make accessibility cost-effective in the complex, LMS-focused world of educational publishing. Fortunately, given the size and scope of that industry’s audience, it also makes the goal of accessibility more rewarding.

 


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Mike Groth

Michael Groth is Director of Marketing at Cenveo Publisher Services, where he oversees all aspects of marketing strategy and implementation across digital, social, conference, advertising and PR channels. Mike has spent over 20 years in marketing for scholarly publishing, previously at Emerald, Ingenta, Publishers Communication Group, the New England Journal of Medicine and Wolters Kluwer. He has made the rounds at information industry events, organized conference sessions, presented at SSP, ALA, ER&L and Charleston, and blogged on topics ranging from market trends, library budgets and research impact, to emerging markets and online communities.. Twitter Handle: @mikegroth72

The Technology & Trends Reshaping K-12 Education Publishing

Stream our recording of Publishing Executive's June 14th webinar featuring Lisa Carmona, SVP/Chief Product Officer, PreK-12 Portfolio at McGraw-Hill Education and Brian O'Leary, Executive Director at Book Information Study Group (BISG).

Helping students learn remains the core objective of education publishers, but the tools and tactics are evolving quickly. The new expectations of digital native students require publishers to enable learning materials with technology that meets the needs of The Mobile Generation. Data analytics have become nearly as important as content, supporting adaptive learning platforms and helping teachers monitor progress.
 

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Mike Groth

Michael Groth is Director of Marketing at Cenveo Publisher Services, where he oversees all aspects of marketing strategy and implementation across digital, social, conference, advertising and PR channels. Mike has spent over 20 years in marketing for scholarly publishing, previously at Emerald, Ingenta, Publishers Communication Group, the New England Journal of Medicine and Wolters Kluwer. He has made the rounds at information industry events, organized conference sessions, presented at SSP, ALA, ER&L and Charleston, and blogged on topics ranging from market trends, library budgets and research impact, to emerging markets and online communities.. Twitter Handle: @mikegroth72

A Simple Lesson From Walt Disney

Everyone Has a Story to Tell

Videos aid learning. Videos and animation are at the top of the elearning food chain. Whether it's within a traditional elearning course or as an independent asset, animated videos help learners visualize and understand complex concepts.

Increasingly, across all the markets we serve---journal publishers, K12 educational publishers, higher ed publishers, elearning providers, magazine publishers---all are interested in transforming complex content into animated video shorts.

Editorial credit: Alex Millauer / Shutterstock.com

Animation offers a medium of storytelling and visual entertainment, which can bring pleasure and information to people of all ages everywhere in the world.
— Walt Disney

Conceptualization and Production

Cenveo Publisher Services provides a blended team of creatives, editors, and technologists who transform a fuzzy vision into distinct products for use in digital publications, websites, and elearning courses. Our specialists comprise

  • instructional designers
  • subject matter experts
  • multimedia specialists
  • graphic visualizers

We work with our customers to provide the full-range of services around animation or à la carte options, including

  1. conceptualization
  2. content creation
  3. visual storyboarding
  4. art creation
  5. photo/video research and procurement
  6. permissions management
  7. audio recording
  8. animation
  9. live action shoots
  10. video editing and packaging
  11. accessibility--WCAG and Section 508 compliance

Animation Sample: SWOT Analysis

Have a look at an animated short we created to explain what a SWOT analysis is and why it's beneficial.

 
 


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 content-centric 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 >
D24D25
Game Planning in the Digital Solutions Industry

 

 

 


Resources for Publishers

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Mike Groth

Michael Groth is Director of Marketing at Cenveo Publisher Services, where he oversees all aspects of marketing strategy and implementation across digital, social, conference, advertising and PR channels. Mike has spent over 20 years in marketing for scholarly publishing, previously at Emerald, Ingenta, Publishers Communication Group, the New England Journal of Medicine and Wolters Kluwer. He has made the rounds at information industry events, organized conference sessions, presented at SSP, ALA, ER&L and Charleston, and blogged on topics ranging from market trends, library budgets and research impact, to emerging markets and online communities.. Twitter Handle: @mikegroth72

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?

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Mike Groth

Michael Groth is Director of Marketing at Cenveo Publisher Services, where he oversees all aspects of marketing strategy and implementation across digital, social, conference, advertising and PR channels. Mike has spent over 20 years in marketing for scholarly publishing, previously at Emerald, Ingenta, Publishers Communication Group, the New England Journal of Medicine and Wolters Kluwer. He has made the rounds at information industry events, organized conference sessions, presented at SSP, ALA, ER&L and Charleston, and blogged on topics ranging from market trends, library budgets and research impact, to emerging markets and online communities.. Twitter Handle: @mikegroth72

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]


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Mike Groth

Michael Groth is Director of Marketing at Cenveo Publisher Services, where he oversees all aspects of marketing strategy and implementation across digital, social, conference, advertising and PR channels. Mike has spent over 20 years in marketing for scholarly publishing, previously at Emerald, Ingenta, Publishers Communication Group, the New England Journal of Medicine and Wolters Kluwer. He has made the rounds at information industry events, organized conference sessions, presented at SSP, ALA, ER&L and Charleston, and blogged on topics ranging from market trends, library budgets and research impact, to emerging markets and online communities.. Twitter Handle: @mikegroth72

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!

 
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Mike Groth

Michael Groth is Director of Marketing at Cenveo Publisher Services, where he oversees all aspects of marketing strategy and implementation across digital, social, conference, advertising and PR channels. Mike has spent over 20 years in marketing for scholarly publishing, previously at Emerald, Ingenta, Publishers Communication Group, the New England Journal of Medicine and Wolters Kluwer. He has made the rounds at information industry events, organized conference sessions, presented at SSP, ALA, ER&L and Charleston, and blogged on topics ranging from market trends, library budgets and research impact, to emerging markets and online communities.. Twitter Handle: @mikegroth72

Observations of the ESL and ELT Publishing Sector

For educational publishers, ESL/ELT/World Language content and products are experiencing a surge as the industry grows with English Language Teaching a recognized global profession.  A few recent observations of this surge in ESL/ELT/World Language instruction include

  • ELT Journal published by Oxford Journals celebrated its 70th year in publication with the January 2016 issue
  • More than 4500 job opportunities are posted on LinkedIn related to ESL, ELT, or World Languages
  • Our globalized, Internet-connected world has resulted in accredited (and unaccredited) TEFL / TESOL courses springing up with increasingly competitive salaries advertised

Traditional publishers as well as non-traditional educational start-up companies are creating curricula to educate instructors and students with ESL. Cenveo Publisher Services recently completed two particularly noteworthy engagements worth mentioning:


National Geographic Learning: High-End ESL Production With Hybrid Workflow

 

Background

World Class: Expanding English Fluency is a two-level series from National Geographic Learning (a division of Cengage Learning) for high-intermediate and advanced English language learners. This integrated-skills program uses National Geographic content, images, and video to help learners expand their overall fluency while developing the tools and strategies necessary for effective, real-world communication. National Geographic Learning recognized that a streamlined workflow solution was required to develop and produce the student book, assessment, teacher guide, and corresponding digital content in a cost-effective manner.

Solution

Cenveo Publisher Services developed creative page design templates for the World Class series and a streamlined workflow process to produce final content. A large collection of corresponding photography was managed and brought into a workflow that carefully aligned images with content. ESL subject matter experts copyedited and proofread the series under the direction of a senior project manager. Cengage Learning received regular reports on content and production status.

Results

The team at Cenveo Publisher Services implemented a hybrid workflow solution, comprising onshore and off-shore resources. Working closely, project management and production were handled in New Delhi. Editorial tasks, including copyediting and proofreading, were handled by Cenveo’s onshore subject matter experts. Pages were drafted in India and a dedicated design team in Fort Washington, PA finalized the creative page design. Cenveo’s photo research team worked closely with the design and production teams to find appropriate photos for the program. Student texts, accompanying teacher editions, and ancillaries were produced simultaneously with a hybrid workflow solution that economized on both time and costs. Utilizing the strengths of each location at the right time in the content workflow resulted in a successful series.

 
The ESL specialists and production team at Cenveo Publisher Services were a key component of our World Class series’ success. The editorial and production staff took complete ownership of the production workflow and provided detailed reports to our team.
— Michael Burggren, Senior Director of Production, National Geographic Learning

GVE Online Education: Reinventing ESL Instruction With Innovative eLearning Solutions

Background

Golden Voice English (GVE) Online Education has reinvented English as a Second Language (ESL) courses using innovative technology and elearning. Seeking a fresh and engaging way for children in China to learn fluent English, GVE created a web-based platform with curricula for grades 1 through 9. By transforming the method and delivery of English instruction, GVE brings to market a resource that provides interactivity, structured curriculum, and accessibility to fluent English speakers.

Unlike other English language elearning programs, GVEprovides a comprehensive curriculum that captivates students with animated lessons and interactive support from teachers in China and access to English-fluent tutors located in North America. Students gain self-confidence in their English language listening and speaking abilities. They can test their pronunciation and speaking skills by comparing their own voices to native-speakers.

Cenveo Publisher Services partnered with GVE to bring their vision of a transformative elearning solution to market. In just 6 months, GVE went from concept to operational product with Cenveo’s assembly of creative, editorial, technology, and instructional design teams.

Solution

To provide an engaging way for Chinese students in grades 1 through 9 to understand, read, write, listen to, and speak English, GVE and Cenveo Publisher Services created comprehensive curricula synced directly to the Chinese ESL classroom curricula. Each grade has two parts and each part has nine units, eight unit assessments, and four “Just for Fun” activities. The scope of the entire project is truly impressive with

  • 700+ animations
  • 324 interactive listening excercises
  • 324 speaking activities
  • 252 grammar, reading, and writing exercises
  • 72 “Just for Fun” activities
  • 144 unit assessments
  • 9 midterm exams
  • 9 final exams

There is an additional, 3-lesson short course designed to keep students engaged in their English studes over the summer and winter breaks. The short course content covers the less academic topics of travel, culture, and leisure-time activities.

With deep experience in full-service development for ESL, ELT, and World Language products, Cenveo gathered a team of writers and editors to support the project. Sample content was conceived, written, and sent to GVE for review. Simultaneously, instructional design and technology teams in Cenveo’s digital learning division prototyped and presented animations and interactives to bring the developed content to life.

Results

Cenveo Publisher Services brought together a global team of subject matter experts, experienced writers, instructional designers, creatives, and technologists to work with GVE in support of its groundbreaking and comprehensive ESL program in China. Weekly classes are now provided using graphics and animation that make learning fun while following the Chinese school system’s educational approach.

Cenveo’s editorialand digital learning gurus created plot-oriented, character-based, storytelling instructional materials that are changing the way Chinese school children learn English and prepare for the English section of the Zhongkao exam. The pedagogical approach for online learning produced by GVE, provides an interactive technologic application that enhances listening and speaking skills and is already receiving industry accolades and media attention after just a few months on the market.

 
The Cenveo Publisher Services team really understands the needs of students and teachers involved with learning English as a second language. They understand language pedagogy and inserted it into the content they helped develop and produce!
— Kevin Wu, President and CEO, GVE Online Education
Comment

Mike Groth

Michael Groth is Director of Marketing at Cenveo Publisher Services, where he oversees all aspects of marketing strategy and implementation across digital, social, conference, advertising and PR channels. Mike has spent over 20 years in marketing for scholarly publishing, previously at Emerald, Ingenta, Publishers Communication Group, the New England Journal of Medicine and Wolters Kluwer. He has made the rounds at information industry events, organized conference sessions, presented at SSP, ALA, ER&L and Charleston, and blogged on topics ranging from market trends, library budgets and research impact, to emerging markets and online communities.. Twitter Handle: @mikegroth72

As We Like It: When Authors' Praise Our Work

Cenveo Publisher Services works with authors who specialize in elementary education, higher education, hard sciences, research, and more. Our subject matter experts and editorial teams consistently demonstrate deep understanding of the content they edit, manage, transform, and produce.

It's something very special when authors from a comprehensive English methods text laud one of our project managers:

"Your directions are clear and very helpful.  Though we had begun to realize there was to be an 'alternate text,' we stand amazed as we had no news of this until we began to read your copy edited chapters.  I am reassured, however, now knowing what the alternative might resemble and reading your excellent rewrite that will make those alternatives work seamlessly with our text.
 
We had discussed your personal background because we were finding your notes and your suggested edits so wonderfully 'right.'  We had thought you must have the same love of language and literature that we do.  I could fall into a happy dance right here in my little home office reading your words and discovering that indeed you do.  Here is a bit of Shakespeare from "As You Like It' that will not put you to sleep and that mirrors my joy and gratitude in reading your message this morning."

O wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful! And yet again wonderful and after that, out of all hooping.
— As You Like It: Act 3, Scene 2
 

Resources for Publishers


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Mike Groth

Michael Groth is Director of Marketing at Cenveo Publisher Services, where he oversees all aspects of marketing strategy and implementation across digital, social, conference, advertising and PR channels. Mike has spent over 20 years in marketing for scholarly publishing, previously at Emerald, Ingenta, Publishers Communication Group, the New England Journal of Medicine and Wolters Kluwer. He has made the rounds at information industry events, organized conference sessions, presented at SSP, ALA, ER&L and Charleston, and blogged on topics ranging from market trends, library budgets and research impact, to emerging markets and online communities.. Twitter Handle: @mikegroth72

NIMAS: Opportunities With XML-Based Accessibility Specifications for Publishers

Since the early nineteenth century invention of braille, the concept of making written content available to the blind or visually impaired has been a noble aspiration of civilized society. Making that concept a practical reality is another matter. Even as new, more automated, technologies arise, the challenges of accessibility remain formidable. For educational publishers, accessibility is particularly important. In the United States, schools receiving federal funding support are required to provide accessible content to any student or parent who requests it.

National Center for Accessible Educational Materials (AEM)

According to the National Center for Accessible Educational Materials (AEM), there are four major specialized output formats for adapting printed instructional material to the diverse needs of the visually impaired:

  1. braille
  2. large print
  3. audio
  4. digital text

While the first three are self-explanatory, "digital text" is a general category, encompassing any text and image descriptions that can be rendered by specialized or general-purpose digital devices. Each of these four output categories follow predictable rules and logic, there is a definable way to use a structured “master file” approach—creating the content once, and outputting as needed to as many formats as the market requires.

Let's Talk About Text

Of course when we talk about text, we must talk about structure. And when we talk about structure, we must talk about XML. In the context of accessibility, NIMAS is the XML-based specification that is the gateway (and the federal mandate) for K-12 and higher education content (i.e., textbooks and ancillaries). In a significant step forward for students with disabilities, the U.S. Congress adopted NIMAS as part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, a reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

While some may view NIMAS as a costly regulatory barrier that must be overcome simply to maintain existing business, it is also possible to view NIMAS as providing an opportunity to assume a leadership position while retooling internal workflows to leverage the benefits of XML. Done right, these benefits include improved quality, enhanced flexibility, and increased speed to market.

Good vs Valid XML

Cenveo’s Senior Vice President of Content Solutions, Kevin Burns, reiterated the importance of creating “great” NIMAS compliant files instead of “good enough” files. “There is a distinction between a valid NIMAS compliant file and a great one,” he said. “You can have a NIMAS compliant file that is valid but doesn’t really achieve the spirit or 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 NIMAS compliant file.”

You can have a NIMAS compliant file that is valid but doesn’t really achieve the spirit or 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 NIMAS compliant file.

A common example is the long description for images—a NIMAS requirement for any visual element in a book. If the published caption or call-outs in the main text (words meant to enhance a sighted person’s understanding of an image) is simply copied and pasted into the long description field, it isn’t truly meaningful for someone visually impaired. Although this certainly saves on costs, and the resulting file will be NIMAS compliant because there is something in that field, but in some cases words could have little or no utility to someone who cannot see the image clearly, or at all.

Automation + Human Intervention = Quality

Yogesh Jedhe, Business Manager at Cenveo Publisher Services, outlines the basic process of creating NIMAS file sets---“The input is often a combination of Word files, hard copy, PDFs, application files, or XML—depending on the publisher.  We also receive existing metadata for the publication. Our teams leverage robust transformation technology tools to extract data from the source files, apply and edit XML as needed, and process and tag images. Finally, a team of content analysts at Cenveo spend time to make sure that the elements that require human judgment, like image descriptions, are created in a way that aligns with the true intent of the NIMAS standard. The team then uses tools to validate the resulting XML against the NIMAS schema, as well as against a series of business rules, which are designed to check the file beyond simple compliance with the NIMAS standard."

The team also works with subject matter experts to make sure that image description fields are populated with alternate text that truly help a visually impaired student. Other elements, such as math equations in MathML, are captured in such a way that they accurately and effectively convey information to the visually impaired.

NIMAS compliant files created by Jedhe’s group are rigorously tested and refined using a Cenveo-developed tool. However, the object is not simply to create technically valid files, but to ensure that the resulting content will communicate information to a visually impaired student as effectively as its core counterpart does to other students.

 

NIMAS White Paper

Read more by downloading our white paper on this topic. By the way, we made it accessible!


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Mike Groth

Michael Groth is Director of Marketing at Cenveo Publisher Services, where he oversees all aspects of marketing strategy and implementation across digital, social, conference, advertising and PR channels. Mike has spent over 20 years in marketing for scholarly publishing, previously at Emerald, Ingenta, Publishers Communication Group, the New England Journal of Medicine and Wolters Kluwer. He has made the rounds at information industry events, organized conference sessions, presented at SSP, ALA, ER&L and Charleston, and blogged on topics ranging from market trends, library budgets and research impact, to emerging markets and online communities.. Twitter Handle: @mikegroth72

WEBINAR | Content Wants to be Found: Architecting Content Models & Workflow Processes to Support Product Strategy

Content wants to be found and consumed - but discoverability and accessibility doesn’t happen by accident. With the exponential proliferation of content and its many delivery methods, it’s more important than ever that publishers think deeply about content architecture and workflow processes that best support product strategy. 

Join us for this webinar as we explore content architectures and workflows that ensure content is more discoverable and accessible, whether publishing journals, books, or educational material.

Our publishing experts will share insight on:

  • The difference between good and valid XML
  • Why content accessibility mandates should not be an afterthought
  • Designing content architecture that meets the demands of a multi-platform, multi-device world.
  • Why filtered search is past its prime and how contextual and behavioral search will transform content discoverability

Panelists

  • George Kerscher, IDPF President and Secretary-General of the DAISY Consortium
  • Steven Heffner, Director of Product Strategy, Wolters Kluwer Health 
  • Kevin Burns, Senior Vice President, Content Solutions, Cenveo

October 22, 2015 | 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm

This is a free webinar produced by Book Business & Publishing Executive

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Mike Groth

Michael Groth is Director of Marketing at Cenveo Publisher Services, where he oversees all aspects of marketing strategy and implementation across digital, social, conference, advertising and PR channels. Mike has spent over 20 years in marketing for scholarly publishing, previously at Emerald, Ingenta, Publishers Communication Group, the New England Journal of Medicine and Wolters Kluwer. He has made the rounds at information industry events, organized conference sessions, presented at SSP, ALA, ER&L and Charleston, and blogged on topics ranging from market trends, library budgets and research impact, to emerging markets and online communities.. Twitter Handle: @mikegroth72