UNG Press Director Joins AUPresses Open Access Committee

BJ Robinson, director of the University of North Georgia (UNG) Press, has been invited to serve a three-year term on the Open Access Committee for the Association of University Presses (AUPresses).

This invitation comes after the UNG Press was admitted in 2021 as an affiliate member of AUPresses, the accrediting body and “global community” for university presses. Robinson recently participated on a panel at the 2022 AUPresses Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., to discuss “OER and Open Textbooks: Stories of Success and Challenges from the Frontlines.” Those in attendance represented university presses primarily from across the country, with varying levels of experience in developing open educational resources (OER).

Among the many specific charges to the Open Access Committee, some of Robinson’s responsibilities will include consulting with committee members about Open Access (OA) initiatives; advocating for the adoption of OA books and journals; collaborating with the OA Task Force and Annual Meeting Program Committees; and evaluating OA informational programs, the accessibility of resources available to Association members, and the current state of OA publishing infrastructure. Robinson is particularly interested in researching the impact of OA on university presses and on scholarly titles published as OA.

Robinson has more than a decade in experience developing OER, which include open access textbooks and resources that are freely available to use and share under a Creative Commons (CC BY) license. The UNG Press’s partnership with Affordable Learning Georgia (ALG), eCore, and eCampus has saved students millions in textbook costs across the University System of Georgia (USG) and beyond. The UNG Press will publish six open textbooks in 2022 alone: Latinx Media was developed in partnership with ALG’s Affordable Materials Grant, and the other five will support USG’s first degree with zero textbook costs, a B.S. in Organizational Leadership. These textbooks are or will soon be available to download for free on the UNG Press website.

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