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LIBLICENSE-L  February 2015

LIBLICENSE-L February 2015

Subject:

Re: Politico on the Pearson juggernaut

From:

LIBLICENSE <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

LibLicense-L Discussion Forum <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 22 Feb 2015 14:03:26 -0500

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text/plain (92 lines)

From: Bernie Reilly <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2015 18:17:59 +0000

My intent in referencing the Politico article was to the broach the
topic of user information in the educational and scholarly publishing
realm.  Factual errors about who owns what notwithstanding, it seems
to me that the collection and use of information about student and
faculty research by large commercial entities like Pearson represents
a turning point.  The Politico report suggests to me that Pearson is
using its integration of online learning, course management, training,
testing, and publishing platforms, to aggregate -- and monetize --
information about those in academia.  While federal regulations
strictly limit what Pearson can do with data on K-12 students, there
are few restrictions on what they can do with information they gather
post-secondary users.

I wonder about the potential impact of this on libraries in
particular.  Traditionally, libraries have erected robust firewalls
around circulation data, data about who reads and uses what.  With the
advent of electronic materials ("E-books: the books that read you.")
granular usage data can now be gathered by publishers.  While these
data are in most instances anonymized, the practice encroaches upon
the absolute privacy that researchers once had.  Given the degree to
which information industry business models depend on monetizing user
data, I doubt that this reality is likely to change, even with
government regulations.

Debate about this may well be raging somewhere out there in the
research libraries world.  If so, I would be grateful if any of my
fellow Liblicense readers could direct me to that venue.

Bernie Reilly
CRL


-----Original Message-----
From: David Groenewegen <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2015 10:35:01 +1100

To be fair, Pearson do own 47% of Penguin Random House - they may not
be the majority owner, but I'm assuming they make some money off it
and and have some say in how it is run.

David

David Groenewegen
Director, Research Infrastructure
Monash University Library
VIC 3800
AUSTRALIA
[log in to unmask]


On 11/02/2015 2:14 PM, LIBLICENSE wrote:
> From: Joseph Esposito <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2015 22:11:06 -0500
>
> I don't want to defend Pearson, but surely that article in Politico
> could have been fact-checked.  A good place to begin would have been
> by using Pearson's own Financial Times or its half-interest in the
> Economist.  Such an investigation would have revealed that Pearson is
> not the owner of Penguin Random House (that must have come as a shock
> to Bertelsmann) and that the statement of how Pearson really got going
> in the U.S. is simply wrong, as the acquisition of the U.S.'s largest
> and most profitable textbook publisher, Prentice-Hall, was already
> completed.
>
> I am sure there are a bunch of bad guys at Pearson.  But what is
> Politico's defense?
>
> Joe Esposito
>
>
> On Tue, Feb 10, 2015 at 9:02 PM, LIBLICENSE <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>>
>> From: Bernie Reilly <[log in to unmask]>
>> Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2015 01:35:16 +0000
>>
>> The in-depth report on the British publishing giant Pearson in
>> today’s Politico (“No profit left behind”)
>>
>> http://www.politico.com/story/2015/02/pearson-education-115026.html?h
>> p=r1_4
>>
>> is a timely sequel to a recent New Yorker piece on Jeb Bush’s links
>> to the for-profit education industry.  One Pearson executive recently
>> claimed that Pearson is the largest aggregator of student information.
>>
>> Bernie Reilly
>> CRL

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