June 14, 2021

Journal Article: “Determining Textbook Cost, Formats, and Licensing with Google Books API: A Case Study from an Open Textbook Project”

The following article appears in the latest issue of Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL).

Title

Determining Textbook Cost, Formats, and Licensing with Google Books API: A Case Study from an Open Textbook Project

Authors

Eamon Costello
Dublin City University

Richard Bolger
Dublin City University

Tiziana Soverino
Dublin City University

Mark Brown
Dublin City University

Source

Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL)
Vol 38 No 1 (2019)

Abstract

The rising cost of textbooks for students has been highlighted as a major concern in higher education, particularly in the US and Canada. Less has been reported, however, about the costs of textbooks outside of North America, including in Europe. We address this gap in the knowledge through a case study of one Irish higher education institution, focusing on the cost, accessibility, and licensing of textbooks. We report here on an investigation of textbook prices drawing from an official college course catalog containing several thousand books. We detail how we sought to determine metadata of these books including: the formats they are available in, whether they are in the public domain, and the retail prices. We explain how we used methods to automatically determine textbook costs using Google Books API and make our code and dataset publicly available.

Direct to Full Text Article
9 pages; PDF.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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