The Lowdown on 2013
Ebooks were a hot topic yet again this year, and NewsBreaks analyzed a variety of news, from SAGE Publications’ statistics etextbook to Amazon’s patent for used digital content. Other articles in the Ebook Trends 2013 series include “The Transformation Accelerates,” “The New World of Ebook Publishing,” and “What’s Trending in Ebooks.”
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) became more popular than ever in 2013, with NewsBreaks issuing a primer (“The Wild West of MOOCs”) as well as an exploration of their impact on education (“Google Gives MOOC Development a Major Push”).
Two information companies went through major changes this year: OCLC appointed a new leader (“Skip Prichard Named OCLC President and CEO”), and EBSCO Publishing merged with EBSCO Information Services for improved product integration.
While ebooks and MOOCs continue to generate conversation in the industry, these three topics dominated NewsBreaks in 2013:
OA: It seemed the OA announcements were never-ending this year, with new initiatives and opinions coming in regularly. NewsBreaks reported on the debuts of eLife and the Open Library of Humanities. Approaches to OA were covered from the university (“OA Rules at the University of California”) and government (“Obama Administration Advances Open Data Policy”) perspectives. NewsBreaks also celebrated Open Access Week and chronicled the U.S. government’s policies about research (“U.S. Takes Huge Step Forward in Opening Access to Publicly Funded Research”; “Dialogue Over Public Access to Scholarly Publications Continues in the U.S. ”).
Acquisitions: In 2013, businesses both large and small made headlines as they joined the ranks of other companies. NewsBreaks highlighted Elsevier’s acquisitions of Knovel and Mendeley, ProQuest’s acquisition of EBL (Ebook Library) and its makeover of Dialog, Amazon’s acquisition of social reading site Goodreads and Jeff Bezos’ purchase of The Washington Post, and Nielsen’s acquisition of two Bowker product units.
Legal Issues: When it came to lawsuits, NewsBreaks was on the case. The big news to follow this year was the ebook price-fixing trial that pitted Apple against the Department of Justice. Five NewsBreaks articles reported on the trial as it happened and offered analysis once it ended (“Apple Ebook Price-Fixing Trial Underway”; “Apple Gambles on Winning Ebook Antitrust Suit”; “Apple Ebook Dealings Violated Antitrust Law ”; “DOJ Proposes Injunction on Apple Ebook Practices ”; “Federal Court Restricts Apple’s Ebook Deals”). Other legal issues in 2013 included Cengage Learning’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing and the Associated Press’ lawsuit against Meltwater, an online news aggregator.