New books about digital culture released online under Creative Commons
December 18, 2010 7:35 PM   Subscribe

digitalculturebooks is an imprint of University of Michigan Press which releases scholarly books under a creative commons license. They've got 19 books published already and more on the way. Among those on offer are poet and English professor Kevin Stein's Poetry's Afterlife: Verse in the Digital Age, anthropologist Bonnie A. Nardi's My Life as a Night Elf Priest: An Anthropological Account of World of Warcraft, English professor Buzz Alexander's Is William Martinez Not Our Brother?: Twenty Years of the Prison Creative Arts Project and English professor Elizabeth Carolyn Miller's Framed: The New Woman Criminal in British Culture at the Fin de Siècle. If you don't want to read a whole book they also have essay collections, such as Civic Engagement in the Wake of Katrina and Best Technology Writing 2008, which includes pieces by, among others, Cass Sunstein, Robin Meija and Walter Kirn. [previously, Rock Paper Shotgun scribe Jim Rossignol's This Gaming Life: Travels in Three Cities]
posted by Kattullus (6 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

"Read for free online"?

They still don't get it.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:47 PM on December 18, 2010

I found that if you 'search the full text' you can get to a table of contents without going through the logon/create account screen. I note that the CC license is 'no derivative works' - I assume that would mean downloading them and transforming them into ePub or similar is out of the question?
posted by robertc at 3:50 AM on December 19, 2010

releases scholarly books under a creative commons license.

Fantastic because such things often get far too little attention. Ever find a scholarly book you wish you'd read when you were waaay into the topic ... ten years after? Easy enough if you're lucky enough to be able to hang around academia much.

People used to wish for algorithmic book indexers that could do that chore better and cheaper. We've got several now that index many of the books. It's gotten harder to miss something obscure, but important to you. Even if it's not -available- online, authors should want to do everything they can to make their work -searchable- online. And put more than an abstract (introductory chapter?) in the public domain so readers can get a feel for style, depth, competence, etc. before ordering.
posted by Twang at 4:47 AM on December 19, 2010

This is neat! I actually would like to read some of this stuff. Also I'm not encountering any login/account barriers to the content ... but it looks like this is happening to other people?
posted by carter at 5:28 AM on December 19, 2010

It seems that one of the books, When Media Are New requires a login, but I think it's a mistake as I can't see any reason why it should on the page. But robertc is right, you can reach the table of contents by searching the text. I checked every other book and had no problems, except with Broadcasting, Voice and Accountability, but that wasn't a login issue so much as nothing happened when I clicked the link. Searching the text again gave a path to its table of contents. I'm pretty sure both instances are just bugs.
posted by Kattullus at 6:11 AM on December 19, 2010

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