Sara Rutter

Bureau of Labor Statistics: interactive graph shows 87.5% cost increase for college textbooks 2006-2016

The Economics Daily of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has an informative interactive graph of consumer price indexes for tuition and school frees from January 2006-July 2016.  While tuition and fees have risen 63 percent, college textbooks have risen 87.5%. See the graph and data at

Posted by Sara Rutter in OER

Textbook Cost: $0 FAQ

Wayde Oshiro head librarian of Leeward Community College posted a great FAQ about the Textbook Cost: $0 note that you may see in some campus Class Availability lists. Leeward, Kapiolani, and Honoulu Community Colleges are posting this information for courses that faculty have identified as Textbook Cost: $0. This is great information for students and is one piece in making higher education more affordable for students.

Posted by Sara Rutter in OER

TechLogic OER talks Thursday March 31

Here is the link to Billy Meinke’s slides for his presentation Creative Commons, the Web, & how OER are the way forward, Slides for Sara Rutter’s talk, A Faculty Survival Guide to Open Educational Resources are on slideshare at Both talks were part of the Center for Teaching Excellence’s TechLogic 2016 programming.

Posted by Sara Rutter in OER

New Student PIRGs report on the impact of textbook costs in higher education

Covering the Cost (report by Student PIRGs)A new Student PIRGs report (just posted February 3, 2016) looks at the financial impact of textbook costs on students ability to attain a post-secondary education.  From  Covering the Cost, key findings from a sample size of 4, 704 students from 132 schools in 26 states, include:

  • Almost one-third (30%) of students replied that they had used financial aid to pay for their textbooks.
  • For those that used financial aid, the amount of financial aid dollars they put toward purchasing textbooks was more than $300 on average per semester.
  • Textbook prices disproportionately impact community college students: 50% of students report using financial aid for books at community colleges, compared to 28% at 4 year public schools. And, on average, community college students use more financial aid than their peers at 4 year schools.
Posted by Sara Rutter in OER, Zero Textbook Cost

Survey of UH Faculty shows interest in Open Educational Resources

Here is the link to download the full report and/or the executive summary: OER & University of Hawaii Assessment Survey.

Beginning in the spring of 2014, the University of Hawaii (UH) Outreach College and the Information Technology Services joined efforts to promote the use, selection, and creation of OER across the UH System. Because the use of OER is still in the early stages, the University of Hawaii Open Educational Resources Team felt it was important to learn how and why instructional faculty and staff across the UH System wanted to interact with OER. Beth Tillinghast, librarian and project leader for ScholarSpace (our digital commons) created, distributed, and analyzed the survey, which was sent to UH faculty electronically in Spring 2015.

Posted by Sara Rutter in OER

Educause snapshot of campus technology


Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 10.07.38 AMEducause compiled survey data into this infographic –of interest is the statistic that 65% of surveyed faculty support the idea of OER.  Since OER depends on digitally delivered instructional materials, it is also interesting to note that 91% of students surveyed have laptops and 92% have smartphones, thus enabling them to access online instructional materials.

Posted by Sara Rutter in OER

YouTube videos of a few of the Open Access Week at Manoa talks

The Center for Teaching Excellence/Faculty Mentoring Program has uploaded videos of three OA at Manoa talks held the week of October 19th:

Talks by Pam Wilson, journals manager for the University of Hawaii Press and Kathleen Luschek (OA advocate and formerly Senior Production Coordinator for the Public Library of Science (PLoS) can be seen here:

Richard Rath, Manoa Digital Arts and Humanities, gave an interesting talk about using GitHub as a collaboration tool:

Posted by Sara Rutter in OER

OER and University of Hawai‘i Press Publishing Services

University of Hawaii PressKatherine Fisher, Publishing Services Coordinator at the University of Hawai‘i Press, writes about the publishing services that the UH Press can provide faculty who want to create OER that are copyedited and have a professional layout:


Thanks to Sara Rutter for inviting me to post about the University of Hawai’i Press’s new publishing services arm. I’m excited to learn about the innovative educational resources and research projects underway around UH, and I hope UH Press Publishing can help get some of them ready for students and teachers to use. In this post I’ll answer a few questions you might have about UH Press Publishing Services. I’m also happy to answer additional questions in the comments.

How can UH Press Publishing Services support OER projects?
We can assist UH faculty and other authors who want to write or edit an open textbook but lack the time or knowledge to copyedit, proofread, typeset, and create digital forms of their work. We can also help to make out-of-print books available again for use online and in classrooms (provided that prior publishing contracts have lapsed or rights have reverted to authors).

What can UH Press Publishing Services do?
Our services cover the full range of tasks involved in turning a manuscript into a print or digital book, from editing the text to manufacturing the books (or generating the epubs, as the case may be). We can prepare files for use on most platforms and facilitate deposit in OA repositories for long-term access and preservation. We also provide print and digital distribution support for select projects. While we most often work on books, we can help produce other types of OER as well.

How much does it cost?
The program operates on a cost-recovery basis, meaning that we charge the author or sponsor a fee to cover the staff time and production expenses involved in completing the project. This frees up the Press to support experimental projects, books with a limited market, or materials meant to be freely distributed, because we don’t have to make up our costs in sales. Depending on the complexity of the project and the range of services requested, the fee may range from $500 to several thousand dollars. Typically funding is provided by a grant, a sponsoring department or institution, a fundraising campaign, or the author directly.

What can you do with the book?
Anything you want! All rights remain with the author of the work (we encourage the use of Creative Commons licenses). You own the content and the digital files, so once the production fees have been paid, you can release your writing into the public domain, give away print copies of the book or sell them at cost, place a digital download in an OER repository or on your website, or distribute the title through a print-on-demand service like CreateSpace.

What are the advantages of working with UH Press Publishing Services?
There are many companies out there providing publishing services, and you might find that one of them is the best fit for your project, but we do have some unique advantages. Most simply, we offer local, in-person project management assistance—I’m the current campus-based consultant—for busy authors who don’t have time to coordinate each step of the process with vendors and don’t wish to manage their projects remotely. UH Press is a nonprofit publisher serving other nonprofit and educational organizations, and our goal in setting prices is to offer the best services possible and cover our costs without a significant markup. Finally, our expertise in publishing academic work and our connections in the world of scholarly communication mean that we are prepared to produce the types of projects coming out of the UH community, whether monographic or pedagogical, traditional or experimental.

To learn more or propose a project, contact me at

Posted by Sara Rutter in OER