We decided to prepare a monthly report on the major project initiatives and their status. Part of the reason for doing this is to keep you, the members of the Global Text Community, informed on what’s going on and also to solicit your help and ideas. If you have comments on anything we discuss, please add them to the blog. We’ve turned on the RSS feed so you can now be notified any time the blog is updated if you subscribe to the feed.
Here’s a report on the status of the project as of July 12, 2007:
- The two proof of concept books are well underway. Information Systems has four chapters reviewed and ready to publish, five chapters under review, and several authors have promised that they will finish their chapters soon. Rick anticipates that the bulk of the book will be ready for pilot testing by September 1 and that the final chapters will be added before the end of the year. Business Fundamentals has two chapters substantially completed, and most authors have committed to completion dates. Some reviewers have been lined up. Don anticipates it will be ready for use in early 2008.
- Work is proceeding on the content management system (CMS) under the direction of Franz Lehner, the project’s CTO. The general approach being pursued is an architecture that permits chapter editors to write using their favorite word processor and to upload the file to the master library. The system will support gathering suggested modifications and updates from the classroom. Once approved by chapter editors, changes will be added to the master library. This approach to the first version of a chapter will fit more closely, as we have discovered, with the way authors prefer to work.
- A number of texts has been donated to the Global text library, and we will start loading these once we have the platform for the master library established. Some books will go through a review process before inclusion in the library.
- The University of Concepción (Chile) has some 350 texts that its faculty have written with support from the university. Professor Andres Sepulveda has secured the approval of the Rector of the University to place one of these books in the library and plans to seek approval from faculty colleagues to donate others as well. Like other Global Text books, they will be licensed under Creative Commons 3.0. Some of the books will likely be suitable candidates for translation into other languages.
- We have the following speaking engagements on the calendar:
- A panel presentation at the Americas Conference on Information Systems in Keystone, Colorado on August 11. (Rick and Don)
- A keynote speech at the 47th Annual Information Association for Computer Information Systems in Vancouver on October 5 (Rick)
- A panel presentation on IP in a Digital World, sponsored by the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce (RSA) in Boston, Massachusetts on October 10. (Rick and Don)
- We put some students at the Universities of Denver and Georgia to work this summer. The DU students are focusing on developing a marketing and communications plan. We need to know more about the potential users of the texts, where they are, who to contact, and what their highest priority needs are. Our Quality Assurance Board recommended that we develop a “bookshelf” with the titles of the 1000 books and display it on the website so volunteers can see what is needed. The DU students are undertaking this task as well.
- The UGA students are working on smoothing out chapters in Information Systems and making them ready for publication.
- We are talking with corporations and foundations, in person, to help us frame a business case that will be appealing to them to support scaling the project. We are also talking with university deans about widening the definition of scholarly work to include projects like Global Text. Faculty time is always at a premium and having chapters “count” towards promotion and tenure would make it easier for faculty to participate. Finally, it could be the case that a university would be willing to step up and be the principle sponsor of a section of the bookshelf. And, perhaps a sponsoring university could get funds from a local foundation or corporation to underwrite the effort. Please keep your eyes open for opportunities.
Rick and Don