Voice from the Industry
Rosen Publishing’s Commitment to LRMI
Roger Rosen, CEO & President, Rosen Publishing — Friday, July 19, 2013
In today’s world, discoverability is a key to success for education publishers. If patrons cannot easily find your products when conducting online searches for learning resources, they won’t buy or use them. The Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI) improves search results by providing a common metadata framework for describing or “tagging” learning resources on the web. Rosen Publishing acted as a launch partner for the initiative, because it serves valuable functions for educators and content providers alike. Here is a list of some functionality:
- Makes it easier to locate learning resources to meet specific student needs
- Improves the “discoverability” of a publisher’s content during online searches
- Allows searches around key areas, including typical age range, educational use, and alignment with educational standards (such as the Common Core State Standards)
- Standardizes key publishing data elements, allowing industry-wide uniformity and understanding
- Supports consideration of new business models, including micro-sales or offering micro-units from larger educational resources
Now officially part of Schema.org, the properties in the LRMI framework provide search engines and other search and delivery platforms with a way to identify and filter educational content using criteria that are meaningful to educators. In short, the LRMI, led by the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) and Creative Commons and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is a key foundation to helping educators find just the right resources for the right students at the right time.
According to surveys of educators and publishers, roughly two out of three educators complain that online searches for instructional resources yield too many irrelevant results and are too time-consuming. At the same time, nearly nine out of ten publishers believe online visibility is either “essential” or “important,” but fewer than one in ten feels “satisfied” with their current online visibility.
That’s where the LRMI can help us all. By allowing more focused online searches, the LRMI can support the goal of providing personalized learning opportunities for all students, while also helping publishers improve the discoverability of their products.
Why did Rosen Publishing decide to get involved as early as we did? Given that we create thousands of resources a year, it is vitally important to us that our resources are discovered and utilized. It was obvious to us that the LRMI could clean up the white noise that prevents access to what educators and students need.
I believe you must invest time, staff, and resources to create a workflow and an in-house culture that puts discoverability front and center. Not doing so would be akin to a reference publisher not building a database platform ten years ago. This is a mistake that we decidedly did NOT make. These steps are simply essential to be in the game.
Rosen Publishing is committed to the LRMI, because a streamlined electronic gateway and repository of content systematized by common metadata will provide the ease of access for educational online content that 21st century learning demands, benefiting students, teachers, and content providers. LRMI, along with its partner initiatives, has the potential to create an organized, vast, searchable repository of millions of resources, forever changing electronic learning and access.
Roger Rosen is the president of Rosen Publishing, an independent publisher that has been providing supplemental educational books and materials to libraries and K-12 schools since 1950. Roger was named president of Rosen Publishing in 1980 and has grown the publishing program to over 1,000 titles per year, across all curriculum areas. Under Roger's leadership, in 2007, the company launched a new digital division, Rosen Online. The company has also launched PowerKnowledge, a suite of three elementary and middle school databases.
In 2009, Roger purchased Gareth Stevens Publishing to continue that company’s fine tradition of nonfiction and fiction titles for students in Grades K-12. He also spearheaded the launch of epointbooks, an eBook hosting platform offering over 7,000 nonfiction eBooks for PreK-12. In addition, Rosen Publishing has developed a program of innovative, multimedia interactive eBooks. In March 2013, Roger acquired the assets of Marshall Cavendish’s North American library operation. He will be growing this list under his new company, Cavendish Square Publishing. Roger may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.