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Category Archives: Virginia Tech Publishing

Announcing open textbook Fundamentals of Business, third edition

Cover of Fundamentals of Business 3rd edition

Virginia Tech Publishing and the Pamplin College of Business are pleased to announce the publication of Fundamentals of Business, third edition. This peer-reviewed open textbook is free to read and download online. Print editions are also available via print-on-demand. Fundamentals of Business, third edition is the required textbook for Virginia Tech’s MGT 1104 Foundations of Business course. This introductory course is required for all graduates of Pamplin College of Business and averages 1,650-1,700 students annually. Pamplin’s choice to use an open educational resource keeps student textbook costs for this course at zero. Fundamentals of Business, third edition is released under a Creative Commons license, and may be customized and redistributed non-commercially with attribution. 

Downloaded over 1.5 million times worldwide (excluding Virginia Tech downloads), the first and second editions of this book have been adopted by over 100 institutions beyond Virginia Tech. Multiple instititutions report customizing the content to fit their needs, for example producing this Canadian edition. Over fifty institutions benefit from the 4VA-funded faculty-only testbank collaboratively developed during a Virginia Tech-hosted 2019 test bank sprint in response to user requests.

Ron Poff, Assistant Professor of Practice in Management, and his team provided updates to this third edition. The 2020 team included Poff, course instructor Lisa Fournier, editorial assistant and recent Pamplin graduate Kathleen (Katie) Manning, design specialist Kindred Grey, Assistant Director of Open Education and managing editor Anita Walz, plus copyeditors Grace Baggett and Lauren Holt, and production manager Robert Browder. Poff and colleagues built on the work of Stephen Skripak, Anastasia Cortes, Anita Walz, Richard Parsons, Gary Walton, and Corinne Guimont, all of whom contributed to the development of previous editions. 

Virginia Tech’s first and second adaptations of Fundamentals of Business were published in 2016 and 2018. These editions were adapted from an existing openly licensed textbook with significant revision and addition of new material to ensure an excellent fit for the Foundations of Business at Virginia Tech. The 2020 team researched, redesigned, and contributed new content to update the learning resource. 

CC-BY-NC-SA logo

The book, licensed CC BY NC SA 4.0 is available in accessible HTML and interactive quizzing on the Pressbooks platform, in PDF, ePub, Mobi, ODT, and XML formats. Print on demand is also available at the manufacturer’s cost in color, and black and white. The third edition includes data updates, graphic redesign over 70 figures, updated content to reflect changes in technology, law, and economics, and inclusion of company examples more familiar to today’s students. The book includes images of people that are more representative of a diverse student body. The book’s publication on the University Libraries’ Pressbooks platform and through LibreTexts remix system enables customization and localization to fit various audiences.

This project was supported in part through by the University Libraries’ Open Education Initiative Faculty Grants program, Virginia Tech Publishing, and Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech.

Instructors evaluating, adopting, or customizing this book are asked to complete the following form: http://bit.ly/business-interest.

Announcing open textbook Strategic Management

Strategic Management textbook cover

Blog written by Anita Walz, with Sarah Mease.

Strategic Management (2020) is a 343-page open textbook designed to introduce key topics and themes of strategic management to undergraduate students in a senior capstone course. The book is published by Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business in association with Virginia Tech Publishing. It is adapted by Reed Kennedy with Eli Jamison, Joseph Simpson, Pankaj Kumar, Ayenda Kemp, and Kiran Awate — all faculty of the Pamplin College of Business — and recent Pamplin graduate, Kathleen Manning. The work was deeply adapted from an existing open textbook. This project was made possible in part with support from the Pamplin College of Business and the Open Education Initiative at the University Libraries.

The text is ideal for courses which focus on how organizations operate at the strategic level to be successful. Strategic Management illustrates the different management strategies used by firms today. It illustrates these strategies through examples of familiar companies and current personalities, and discusses strategy implementation. The text is applicable to students in a wide variety of business majors such as marketing, management, accounting, finance, real estate, and more. Using this material, students will learn how to conduct case analyses, measure organizational performance, and conduct external and internal analyses.

Accessing this Book

This textbook is openly licensed and freely available electronically and at cost in print:

In addition, Strategic Management is indexed in OER Commons, Merlot, and the Open Textbook Library.

Additional Features of the book: 

How to Adopt this Book

Instructors reviewing, adopting, or adapting this textbook are encouraged to register their use at: http://bit.ly/strategy-interest.

About the Contributors

Reed B. Kennedy is an Associate Professor of Management Practice in the Management Department, Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech where he teaches management courses. He began his career as a naval officer before entering his primary career in healthcare administration, where he served in senior executive roles in various hospitals for over 20 years. He then worked as a business consultant for the Small Business Development Center for the New River Valley at Radford University. His education includes a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy, a Masters of Healthcare Administration from Medical College of Virginia / Virginia Commonwealth University, a Masters in Public Health and a Graduate Certificate in Global Planning and International Development from Virginia Tech. Reed served as the chief textbook reviser on this project. He worked with the contributor and editorial teams from project start to completion.

Other Contributors from Pamplin College of Business, Virginia Tech
Eli Jamison, Assistant Professor of Practice
Joseph Simpson, Colleagiate Assistant Professor
Pankaj Kumar, Assistant Professor
Ayenda Kemp, Assistant Professor
Kiran Awate, Assistant Professor
Kathleen (Katie) Manning, recent Pamplin graduate, and Research and Editorial Assistant

Editorial and Production Teams at the University Libraries at Virginia Tech
Grace Baggett, Copyeditor
Robert Browder, Digital Publishing Specialist
Kindred Grey, Design Specialist
Lauren Holt, Copyeditor
Kathleen (Katie) Manning, Research and Editorial Assistant
Anita Walz, Managing Editor

Announcing: Electromagnetics, Volume 2 by Ellingson

Cover for Electromagnetics Volume 2

COVER DESIGN: ROBERT BROWDER; COVER IMAGE: (C) MICHELLE YOST. TOTAL INTERNAL REFLECTION (COLOR ADJUSTED AND CROPPED BY ROBERT BROWDER) IS LICENSED CC BY-SA 2.0

The University Libraries at Virginia Tech is pleased to announce publication of Electromagnetics, volume 2 from the Steven W. Ellingson and the Open Electromagnetics Project at Virginia Tech.

Electromagnetics, volume 2 by Steven W. Ellingson is a 216-page peer-reviewed open textbook designed especially for electrical engineering students in the third year of a bachelor of science degree program. It is intended to follow Electromagnetics, volume 1 as the primary textbook for the second semester of a two-semester undergraduate engineering electromagnetics sequence. 

The book and its accompanying ancillary materials  (problem sets, solution manual, LaTeX source files, and slides of figures used in the book) are open educational resources: freely available and openly licensed (CC BY SA 4.0). Freely downloadable versions are available at https://doi.org/10.21061/electromagnetics-vol-2. A softcover print version is available via Amazon. A screen-reader friendly/accessible version will be available in late January 2020.

Focus of the bookThe book addresses magnetic force and the Biot-Savart law; general and lossy media; parallel plate and rectangular waveguides; parallel wire, microstrip, and coaxial transmission lines; AC current flow and skin depth; reflection and transmission at planar boundaries; fields in parallel plate, parallel wire, and microstrip transmission lines; optical fiber; and radiation and antennas.

Publication of this book was made possible in part by the University Libraries at Virginia  Tech’s Open Education Faculty Initiative Grant program and by collaboration with Virginia Tech Publishing, the scholarly publishing hub of Virginia Tech.

Suggested citation: Ellingson, Steven W. (2020) Electromagnetics, Vol. 2. Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Tech Publishing. https://doi.org/10.21061/electromagnetics-vol-2 CC BY-SA 4.0

About the author: Steven W. Ellingson (ellingson@vt.edu) is Associate Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia in the United States. He received PhD and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Ohio State University and a BS in Electrical & Computer Engineering from Clarkson University. He was employed by the US Army, Booz-Allen & Hamilton, Raytheon, and the Ohio State University ElectroScience Laboratory before joining the faculty of Virginia Tech, where he teaches courses in electromagnetics, radio frequency systems, wireless communications, and signal processing. His research includes topics in wireless communications, radio science, and radio frequency instrumentation. Ellingson serves as a consultant to industry and government and is the author of Radio Systems Engineering (Cambridge University Press, 2016).

A September 2018 blog post regarding Volume 1 of this series is available here

Express your interest and subscribe to updates about the Electromagnetics series.

University of California v. Elsevier: Why It Matters to Virginia

Note: This is the first in a series of Open@VT blogposts that will appear over the ensuing months focusing on Virginia Tech’s “Big Deal” contracts with commercial journal publishers. As the University Libraries’ contracts with Elsevier, Springer, and Wiley come up for renewal in 2-3 years, we will have to decide whether to renew or cancel these contracts. We look forward to engaging the VT community in a conversation about the best path forward.

Image of dominoes falling

Dominoes falling (Photo by aussigall. CC BY 2.0)

On February 28 the University of California announced that it was terminating all of its journal subscriptions with the scholarly publishing giant Elsevier. The news sent shock waves throughout the world of higher education—not just in America but globally. Why? Because Elsevier is the world’s largest publisher of scientific research and the University of California (UC), with its ten-campus system, is one of its largest customers. The impact on Elsevier was immediate: its parent company, RELX, saw its stock drop nearly 7 percent in the aftermath of the UC announcement—and its value still has not yet recovered.

In Virginia we are paying special attention to the situation because our own research universities, including Virginia Tech, have a similar journal subscription agreement with Elsevier that is set to expire in two short years. Millions of dollars are at stake in Virginia. Globally it is in the billions.

What’s the Problem?

At the heart of UC’s dispute with Elsevier is what is known as the “big deal.” A big deal is a contract between an institution (often a university library but sometimes a business or government) and a publisher to purchase access to a large bundle of the publisher’s journals. Think of cable TV bundles in which customers get hundreds of channels at a lower per-channel rate. Many of the channels, however, go unwatched, all while customers’ bills continue to rise. The same is true with big deals. Elsevier publishes more than 2,500 journals. Many are invaluable to their fields and frequently used and cited. Many, however, are used infrequently, and yet libraries still have to buy them as part of the bundle. All the while, the price of the bundle goes up and up. Over the last thirty years library journal budgets have risen by a staggering 500 percent (see chart), which inevitably leads to cuts in other areas of library budgets. UC was paying Elsevier more than $10 million per year for its big deal. Altogether, the publisher’s revenue in 2018 surpassed $3 billion and its profits exceeded $1 billion, resulting in a gaudy profit margin of 37 percent.

Universities are understandably tired of big deals. Not only have big deals meant runaway prices, they also perpetuate an outdated business model from a time when subscriptions were an efficient way to pay for the cost of printing and distributing journals. Today subscriptions are inefficient for the simple reason that journals can be published online for immediate access. Publishers like Elsevier, however, have an interest in keeping the old system alive. This is why they continue to invest in expensive publishing platforms that restrict access to only the wealthiest institutions. There must be a better way.

The solution proposed by the University of California is to do away with the big deal concept and replace it with what is known as a “read and publish” agreement. A read and publish agreement (RAP) is a single integrated contract that enables a library to pay a one-time, up-front charge for the right to read all of a publisher’s content and to publish in any of that publisher’s journals under an open access model. The first RAP agreement in North America was announced last year, between the MIT Libraries and the Royal Society of Chemistry. Ultimately, the goal of RAP agreements is to transition scholarly publishing to a universal access model.

Momentum Is Building

UC is by no means the first university to stand up to Elsevier, but UC has special clout because of the sheer size and research output of its ten-campus system, which accounts for nearly 10 percent of the nation’s research publications. Meanwhile, governments and national research funders are increasingly demanding open access to their researchers’ articles, even imposing concrete deadlines. Sweden’s government is calling for OA by 2026. Norway’s goal is 2024. The initiative known as Plan S is even more ambitious. Originating in Europe, Plan S calls for all publicly funded research to be published in open access journals by 2020. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was the first North American foundation to sign on to Plan S.

As more universities and governments push for open access, the more it seems that Elsevier is destined to lose this battle. But this does not mean that it will lose the war. Elsevier is shrewd enough to adapt to (and even shape) whatever new business model emerges around open access publishing. Perhaps anticipating this change in business model, Elsevier has skillfully and steadily turned itself into one of the world’s largest publishers of open access as well as toll-access journals. It has also been diversifying its business portfolio to the point that it no longer even refers to itself as a publisher but as a “global information analytics business.” In other words, Elsevier is not going away anytime soon.

Implications for Virginia

Virginia will soon be in UC’s shoes. In 2004 seven Virginia research universities including Virginia Tech negotiated a big deal agreement with Elsevier. (The other schools are George Mason University, James Madison University, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, and College of William and Mary.) The number of journals in that big deal was 1,800 and the total cost to the seven universities was $27 million over five years. The license has been renegotiated several times since then, and we are now in the third year of a five-year contract covering 2,278 journals at a total cost of $46 million. This contract will expire at the end of 2021.

Not surprisingly, these universities are already looking ahead to 2021 and considering the possibility of walking away from Elsevier big deal as UC has done. (See, for instance, the University of Virginia.)

Here at Virginia Tech, the University Libraries, under Tyler Walters’s leadership, will be engaging the campus community in an ongoing conversation about how Virginia Tech can confront this scholarly publishing crisis. On this, we sincerely want your feedback. Please watch for Library-sponsored events that provide a forum for discussion. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to our librarians and engage them in conversations. Or let us know what you think by replying to this blog post or to future Open@VT blog posts. You can also find up-to-date information at the Library’s Open Access-Open Knowledge website.

 

Announcing: Electromagnetics, Volume 1 by Ellingson

Cover for Electromagnetics Volume 1

COVER DESIGN: ROBERT BROWDER; COVER IMAGE: (C) MICHELLE YOST. TOTAL INTERNAL REFLECTION (CROPPED BY ROBERT BROWDER) IS LICENSED CC BY-SA 2.0

The University Libraries at Virginia Tech is pleased to announce publication of Electromagnetics, Volume 1 by Steven W. Ellingson.

Electromagnetics, Volume 1 is a 225-page peer-reviewed, openly licensed textbook intended for use in a one-semester, first course in undergraduate engineering electromagnetics. This course is typically taken by electrical engineering students in the third year of a bachelor of science degree program. The open textbook is currently being used in Virginia Tech’s ECE 3105 Electromagnetic Fields course. 

The book and its accompanying ancillary materials  (problem sets, solution manual, and LaTeX Logo for the Creative Commons license Attribution Share-Alike licensesource files) are open educational resources: freely available and openly licensed (CC BY SA 4.0). Freely downloadable versions are available at https://doi.org/10.21061/electromagnetics-vol-1. A softcover print version is available via Amazon.

Features of the book: The book is designed to resolve pressing instructional, technical and financial barriers faced by students and to provide instructors with flexibility in rearranging the text for preferred instructional sequences. By following best practices for open and digital textbook production, this book offers the following benefits: 

  • Field tested content: Students were directly involved in field testing and in contributing figures. The text was used in multiple sections by different instructors. Students and instructors provided feedback and suggestions for improvement; 
  • Features that enhance understanding: These include examples, highlighted concept boxes, discussion of notation (1.7) to reduce ambiguity, appendices on constitutive parameters of common materials, mathematical formulas, and physical constants, and end-of-chapter links to external reference information;
  • Supplementary learning materials: The book is accompanied by problem sets and worked solutions;
  • Reusable figures: All figures are openly licensed and may be redistributed with attribution. Many are available in .svg format in Wikimedia Commons;
  • Quality and clarity: The book is peer-reviewed and has undergone field testing, technical review, and professional copy editing;
  • User and contributor community: Readers are invited to submit feedback. Instructors reviewing, piloting, adopting, or adapting the text are invited to register their interest and sign up to receive updates, find others using the book, and share openly licensed ancillary resources they’ve developed;
  • Legal and no-cost access: Anyone with internet access can freely and legally access the text. This reduces financial pressure on students. Existing commercial texts in this field can retail new for as high as $200, or $100 for a one-semester rental;
  • Accessibility: Screen-reader friendly navigation structure, an index, and detailed, hyperlinked table of contents make it easier for readers to navigate within the text. All readers, and especially those with sight disabilities, benefit from alternative text “alt text” available for each figure;
  • Upfront permission to customize the text and figures: Adaptation and redistribution with attribution is allowed because of the book’s open license (CC BY SA); And,
  • Technical methods for customization: Users may create their own version of the text by modifying the LaTeX source. This gives flexibility to instructors who prefer to sequence course topics in a different order. Openly licensed LaTeX source files are available so that instructors and other authors may easily remix, reorder, or change the text in other ways. 

Page 120 from the book

Page 120 from Electromagnetics, Vol 1

Electromagnetics, Volume 1 is part of the Open Electromagnetics Project led by Steven W. Ellingson at Virginia Tech. The goal of the project is to create no-cost openly-licensed content for courses in undergraduate engineering electromagnetics. The project is motivated by two things: lowering learning material costs for students and giving instructors the freedom to adopt, modify, and improve their educational resources.

Electromagnetics Volume 2, which covers the second semester (ECE 3106) course is expected in January 2020.

Publication of this book was made possible in part by the University Libraries at Virginia  Tech’s Open Education Faculty Initiative Grant program and by collaboration with VT Publishing, the scholarly publishing hub of Virginia Tech.

About the author: Steven W. Ellingson (ellingson@vt.edu) is Associate Professor of Engineering at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia in the United States. He received PhD and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Ohio State University and a BS in Electrical & Computer Engineering from Clarkson University. He was employed by the US Army, Booz-Allen & Hamilton, Raytheon, and the Ohio State University ElectroScience Laboratory before joining the faculty of Virginia Tech, where he teaches courses in electromagnetics, radio frequency systems, wireless communications, and signal processing. His research includes topics in wireless communications, radio science, and radio frequency instrumentation. Ellingson serves as a consultant to industry and government and is the author of Radio Systems Engineering (Cambridge University Press, 2016).

A January 2018 blog post regarding the “beta,” field tested version of this book is available here.

Express your interest and subscribe to updates.

 

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