July 12, 2013, Berlin, Germany, and Palo Alto, California U.S.A.–Springer, the leading global scientific publisher, has signed an agreement to provide Bookshare, an international leader in providing copyrighted digital accessible books to people with print disabilities, with world rights to its titles. Springer is home to the world’s largest Scientific, Technical and Medical (STM) eBook collection and published more than 7,500 in 2012.
The first major STM publisher to commit to making their books accessible at this scale, Springer has taken a leading role to ensure that students have access to critical scientific resources. By contributing their digital files directly to Bookshare, they make it possible for students with disabilities to receive accessible books in a timely fashion and significantly reduce the costs of making these books available.
“This agreement dramatically expands the volume of research-based STM content available to individuals with print disabilities and ensures a continuing flow of new scientific content annually,” said Betsy Beaumon, Vice President and General Manager of the Benetech Global Literacy Program, at Benetech. “We applaud Springer for recognizing that individuals with print disabilities badly need more access to scientific and technical content.”
Providing STM content in accessible formats is particularly difficult due to the highly graphical nature of the content. By creating digital files in the EPUB2 file format that can be converted to specialized accessible formats such as DAISY, Springer is taking an important first step toward our shared goal of having all content available in formats usable by all.
As a result of this agreement, Springer will deliver over 10,000 EPUB files to Bookshare, followed by thousands of new titles annually.
“We are proud to be the first STM publishers to be part of this initiative, which ensures that an even larger group of users will be able to access our content in an appropriate format, and hope that many more publishers will join this deserving cause,” said Peter Hendriks, Springer’s President of STM Global Publishing and Marketing.
Publishers interested in contributing digital files to Bookshare for the benefit of individuals with print disabilities should contact Robin Seaman, Bookshare’s Director of Content Acquisition. For a list of publishing partners, visit the Bookshare website.
Springer Science+Business Media (www.springer.com) is a leading global scientific, technological and medical publisher, providing researchers in academia, scientific institutions and corporate R&D departments with quality content via innovative information products and services. Springer is also a trusted local-language publisher in Europe – especially in Germany and the Netherlands – primarily for physicians and professionals working in healthcare and road safety education. Springer published roughly 2,200 English-language journals and more than 7,500 new books in 2012, and the group is home to the world’s largest STM eBook collection, as well as the most comprehensive portfolio of open access journals. In 2012, Springer Science+Business Media S.A. generated sales of approximately EUR 981 million. The group employs more than 7,000 individuals across the globe.
Bookshare is the world’s largest online accessible library of copyrighted content for people with print disabilities. Through its technology initiatives and partnerships, Bookshare seeks to raise the floor on accessibility issues so that individuals with print disabilities have the same ease of access to print materials as people without disabilities. In 2007 and 2012, Bookshare received two five-year awards from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), to provide free access for all U.S. students with a qualified print disability. The Bookshare library now has over 199,000 books and serves more than 250,000 members. Bookshare is an initiative of Benetech, a Palo Alto, CA-based nonprofit which creates sustainable technology to solve pressing social needs. www.bookshare.org
The content of this press release was developed under a cooperative agreement, H327D120002 with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.