In late 2021, we held the Kortext Winter Webinar, where we discussed the pricing models of eTextbooks and the everchanging landscape of the eTextbook market.
The current digital textbook market is not working
The sentiments shared in the webinar were emphasised in an article published by Wonkhe, where Kortext’s CEO James Gray noted that there’s a ‘broad agreement’ that the current eTextbook market isn’t working.
The request from librarians is simple: concurrent access to digital content at a reasonable price. James commented: “With the community speaking with one voice in a drive for clarity and a need for broader and more sustainable models, we’re at a stage where we are starting to see ways forward where providers can get more for the money they are spending.”
As we venture further into the new year, this continues to be a pressing issue for both Kortext and our customers, feeding directly into our goals for 2022; and at the top of the list is:
Whilst we take a neutral stance as an aggregator, we are committed to providing our customers with the best value possible and one of our core goals this year is to help lower costs. To do this, we feel publishers need to offer better value, more flexibility and transparency to help customers develop a deeper understanding of the ever-changing prices of their texts.
In the first deal of its kind, we’ve partnered with Jisc, the UK’s not-for-profit provider of digital services to universities and colleges, to ‘level the playing field’ and offer the Kortext Core Collection – a curated collection of 10,000 free eTextbooks and learning resources – to every further education and sixth form college in the country.
Together, Kortext and Jisc have built a comprehensive solution to bring the vast and growing collection of Open Access (OA) publications and Open Educational Resources (OERs) available to the direct attention of students and academics.
The launch of the Kortext Core Collection means that more than 10,000 free eTextbooks and learning materials will be available for FE and sixth form colleges and that all 1.7 million FE students will have free access to these essential resources.
Access to these key resources will help FE students feel better prepared for their transition into higher education or employment as they will already have developed essential research and self-guided study skills.
An engaged student is a motivated student, which is why we want to increase student participation across the higher education sector. But what does this mean?
Students are paying a significant amount of money to attend the institutions that hold the key to their future, but lack of participation puts that future in jeopardy.
We would like to help institutions encourage greater engagement and participation from their students by making best use of the Kortext platform, and Kortext’s analytics dashboards which allow institutions to review usage data and take remedial action when needed to ensure students are engaging with their studies – and help them if they are not.
Student mental health
Last year, we signed an agreement with Student Minds because we recognise how difficult being a student can be, especially given the challenges over the last two years.
With our partnership, we have been able to integrate a direct link to Student Mind’s Student Space from the Kortext Bookshelf so that students can access mental health support easily when they need it most.
We will continue to support student mental health in 2022 through our partnership with Student Minds and encourage students to use the support available to them. These are just some of our key goals for the upcoming year that we feel are important for our customers, and for ourselves, to learn, grow and inspire. We hope that our goals have inspired you to set some – if so – do share below!