For This Campus, Choosing Textbooks Has Gotten a Lot More Complicated – The Chronicle of Higher Education

“Meanwhile, the traditional textbook market is shifting under [the] feet [of professors]. Digital-first approaches now include flat rates for unlimited digital access. Open-educational resources, or OER, are gaining traction, offering ever-more alternatives. And newer players, such as Amazon and Chegg, are changing the market through the textbook rental business.

Some of those changes are shifting decision-making authority from individual professors up the chain to administrators, particularly when colleges pursue partnerships with nonprofits disrupting traditional textbook models. In other instances, statewide or campuswide pushes toward zero-cost degrees are pressuring professors to comply.

How this all plays out varies by college. Brown University is buying textbooks for some low-income students. Textbook-exchange programs started by students have helped lower costs on some campuses. Deals between the University of California at Davis and publishers promote “equitable access” — in which all students pay the same book fee every term, no matter the course. California and New York have begun statewide initiatives to encourage colleges to increase the use of OER….”

Scholarly Article or Book Chapter | Thoughts on Publishing Survey – how can we improve scientific publishing? | ID: sf268918d | Carolina Digital Repository

Abstract:  There are various pathways for scientists to share their work, but the most important method is the peer-reviewed manuscript. Lately, publishing in academic journals has become more competitive and time consuming, but fraudulent work and errors still occur in many journals. We propose an alternative publishing model that fits within our current model and could improve access to readers and support more efficient review. The goal of thoughts on publishing survey (TOPS) is to measure satisfaction levels of the current publishing model, propose an alternative publishing model, obtain feedback on the new model, and learn more about quality scientific articles and peer review. With this feedback, we highlight some areas that may improve publishing, for the reader, writer, and reviewer. We also assess the acceptance of an alternative model and identify ways that it could be implemented. Whatever scientific publishing may look like in the future, consumers and producers of these works should keep the goal in mind: “How can we make the peer-reviewed manuscript fit our workload and budget, and improve its value and reach to foster scientific advancement?”

Research culture: let’s reimagine how we work together | Wellcome

“As a community we need to open up the conversation about the changes needed in research culture, and how excellence should be redefined. Excellence should not just be what we do, but how we do it.

Together we can move towards a culture that:

supports creativity, with ambitious and collaborative working across disciplines and institutions
prioritises diversity and inclusion, so that everyone benefits from supportive relationships no matter what their background
produces open research, which is conducted with honesty and integrity. …”

Comparing quality of reporting between preprints and peer-reviewed articles in the biomedical literature | bioRxiv

Abstract:  Preprint usage is growing rapidly in the life sciences; however, questions remain on the relative quality of preprints when compared to published articles. An objective dimension of quality that is readily measurable is completeness of reporting, as transparency can improve the reader’s ability to independently interpret data and reproduce findings. In this observational study, we compared random samples of articles published in bioRxiv and in PubMed-indexed journals in 2016 using a quality of reporting questionnaire. We found that peer-reviewed articles had, on average, higher quality of reporting than preprints, although this difference was small. We found larger differences favoring PubMed in subjective ratings of how clearly titles and abstracts presented the main findings and how easy it was to locate relevant reporting information. Interestingly, an exploratory analysis showed that preprints with figures and legends embedded within text had reporting scores similar to PubMed articles. These differences cannot be directly attributed to peer review or editorial processes, as manuscripts might already differ before submission due to greater uptake of preprints by particular research communities. Nevertheless, our results show that quality of reporting in preprints in the life sciences is within a similar range as that of peer-reviewed articles, albeit slightly lower on average, supporting the idea that preprints should be considered valid scientific contributions. An ongoing second phase of the project is comparing preprints to their own published versions in order to more directly assess the effects of peer review.

Comparing quality of reporting between preprints and peer-reviewed articles in the biomedical literature | bioRxiv

Abstract:  Preprint usage is growing rapidly in the life sciences; however, questions remain on the relative quality of preprints when compared to published articles. An objective dimension of quality that is readily measurable is completeness of reporting, as transparency can improve the reader’s ability to independently interpret data and reproduce findings. In this observational study, we compared random samples of articles published in bioRxiv and in PubMed-indexed journals in 2016 using a quality of reporting questionnaire. We found that peer-reviewed articles had, on average, higher quality of reporting than preprints, although this difference was small. We found larger differences favoring PubMed in subjective ratings of how clearly titles and abstracts presented the main findings and how easy it was to locate relevant reporting information. Interestingly, an exploratory analysis showed that preprints with figures and legends embedded within text had reporting scores similar to PubMed articles. These differences cannot be directly attributed to peer review or editorial processes, as manuscripts might already differ before submission due to greater uptake of preprints by particular research communities. Nevertheless, our results show that quality of reporting in preprints in the life sciences is within a similar range as that of peer-reviewed articles, albeit slightly lower on average, supporting the idea that preprints should be considered valid scientific contributions. An ongoing second phase of the project is comparing preprints to their own published versions in order to more directly assess the effects of peer review.

Comparing quality of reporting between preprints and peer-reviewed articles – first results are in! – ASAPbio

“A while ago, we blogged about our crowdsourced project to compare quality of reporting between preprints and peer-reviewed articles. Almost a year later, we are happy to announce that our first results are now published in bioRxiv – in large part thanks to the people who joined us after reading our previous post!

This first part of the project aimed to study whether quality of reporting – measured by an objective questionnaire on the reporting of specific items within methods and results section – was different between samples of preprints from bioRxiv and peer-reviewed articles from PubMed. A second one, still ongoing, aims to compare preprints to their own published versions – and if you are interested in participating, keep reading to learn how to join!….”

Comparing quality of reporting between preprints and peer-reviewed articles – first results are in! – ASAPbio

“A while ago, we blogged about our crowdsourced project to compare quality of reporting between preprints and peer-reviewed articles. Almost a year later, we are happy to announce that our first results are now published in bioRxiv – in large part thanks to the people who joined us after reading our previous post!

This first part of the project aimed to study whether quality of reporting – measured by an objective questionnaire on the reporting of specific items within methods and results section – was different between samples of preprints from bioRxiv and peer-reviewed articles from PubMed. A second one, still ongoing, aims to compare preprints to their own published versions – and if you are interested in participating, keep reading to learn how to join!….”

Rebels with a Cause? Supporting Library and Academic-led Open Access Publishing

Abstract:  The authors, who all have experience with academic publishing, outline the landscape of new university and academic-led open access publishing, before discussing four interrelated sets of challenges which are often referred when questioning the viability of such publishing ventures. They are: (1) professionalism, (2) scale, (3) quality, and (4) discoverability & dissemination. The authors provide examples of how, albeit differing in size, form and ambition, these new presses are not just adhering to conventional publishing norms but often innovating in order to surpass them.

Professors Receive NSF Grant to Develop Training for Recognizing Predatory Publishing | Texas Tech Today | TTU

“With more open-access journals making research articles free for people to view, some journals are charging authors publication fees to help cover costs. While some journals that do this are still peer-reviewed and credible, others are not and will publish lower quality work strictly for profit. The difference can be hard to tell, even to the most seasoned author….”

It’s time to get serious about open educational resources | Times Higher Education (THE)

“For universities, the business case is compelling. Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey indicates that a $32,000 (£26,000) investment saved its students$1.6 million over two years. At Ontario Tech, we had a professor receive a standing ovation from his students when he announced that a certain expensive astronomy textbook was to be replaced by open educational resources.

At their best, OERs allow faculty and students to build course material in much the same way as developers build open code or open software. Everything is shared. Collective insights can be captured for future students in a virtuous cycle of learning and improvement….

But there are four primary challenges that need to be overcome before the movement can really take off….”