Fulcrum as a Publishing Platform for Open Access Books

This video presents a new platform for Open Access ebooks, Fulcrum (https://fulcrum.org/) developed at the University of Michigan. It is particularly geared toward the publication of long-form digital scholarship and supports restricted access as well as open access publications.

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  • What Fulcrum does is it gives us 00:00
  • digital capability that we haven't had before. 00:03
  • Fulcrum can help authors make their work 00:05
  • more accessible. 00:08
  • For me as a writer the ability to 00:09
  • know that my reader will hear what I'm talking 00:13
  • about allows me to make my writing more like my teaching. 00:15
  • For dance a still image can't really 00:18
  • convey the movement and the choreography 00:20
  • and so that makes a huge difference for us. 00:21
  • With Fulcrum it's changed the way 00:28
  • that we've published with authors. 00:30
  • Now we have a way to organize and display 00:32
  • all of their digital materials together 00:35
  • and to make them accessible with visually impaired 00:38
  • and hearing impaired users and people 00:41
  • who use assistive technology 00:44
  • and to also let them do more complicated things 00:45
  • that they wouldn't be able to do 00:48
  • just with a general website, 00:50
  • so having things like 3D models, 00:51
  • interactive maps, interactive timelines 00:54
  • and those sorts of things that tie directly into 00:57
  • their book and relate back to their book. 00:59
  • Scientists all over the world can easily now 01:02
  • through Fulcrum access our data and use it. 01:04
  • They can access it directly in Fulcrum, 01:08
  • they can download, it's an extremely important, 01:10
  • powerful research tool for the museum 01:12
  • that our colleagues all over the world 01:15
  • can go online, go to my edition of Fulcrum 01:17
  • relating to my research, access that data, 01:20
  • use it, publish with it, produce new knowledge. 01:25
  • I mean this is exactly what the mission 01:27
  • of our museum is. 01:29
  • Fulcrum is really exciting for me 01:31
  • because I work on the performing arts 01:33
  • and so we always want to readers 01:35
  • to have access to visual material, 01:37
  • whether that's photographs or performance programs 01:39
  • or actual video of the performances 01:42
  • that we're analyzing, so having the digital platform 01:44
  • is really wonderful because we can upload 01:47
  • our own material that's not already accessible 01:50
  • and we can also link to materials. 01:51
  • Now that we have so many videos 01:53
  • circulating on the internet, 01:56
  • it's very helpful for readers to know 01:57
  • which video is the right one to watch 01:58
  • and also because I work across different languages 02:01
  • a lot of videos are only searchable 02:03
  • if you type in Chinese characters 02:05
  • and so being able to link directly 02:07
  • to those videos is really essential 02:09
  • for readers who can only read or type in English. 02:11
  • This opportunity with the University of Michigan Press 02:14
  • has allowed me to think as I'm writing 02:16
  • about what music I want my reader to hear 02:19
  • and then embed it in the book. 02:22
  • For me what Fulcrum has meant is 02:23
  • that as I'm writing I can think 02:27
  • in terms of audio, I can think 02:29
  • about what I need my reader to notice 02:31
  • and hear instead of thinking about 02:34
  • what I need to write that will clarify 02:36
  • the sound of the music without them hearing it, 02:40
  • so being able to make that assumption 02:42
  • about what's available to my reader 02:45
  • helps me tell the story in a more natural way. 02:47
  • I don't think I'm going back from here. 02:50
Go to the profile of Charles Watkinson

Charles Watkinson

Director, University of Michigan Press

I am Director of University of Michigan Press and Associate University Librarian for Publishing at University of Michigan, based in the USA

1 Comments

Go to the profile of Pablo Markin
Pablo Markin 3 months ago

This is an interesting project. The captions for the visually impared go a long way toward making this content universally accessible too.