“OER: A Field Guide for Academic Librarians” by Andrew Wesolek, Jonathan Lashley et al.

“We intend this book to act as a guide writ large for would-be champions of OER, that anyone—called to action by the example set by our chapter authors—might serve as guides themselves. The following chapters tap into the deep experience of practitioners who represent a meaningful cross section of higher education institutions in North America. It is our hope that the examples and discussions presented by our authors will facilitate connections among practitioners, foster the development of best practices for OER adoption and creation, and more importantly, lay a foundation for novel, educational excellence.”

The African Open Science Platform: The Future of Science and Science for the Future

“The challenge for Africa. National science systems worldwide are struggling to adapt to this new paradigm. The alternatives are to do so or risk stagnating in a scientific backwater, isolated from creative streams of social, cultural and economic opportunity. Africa should adapt, but in its own way, and as a leader not a follower, with its own broader, more societally-engaged priorities. It should seize the challenge with boldness and resolution by creating an African Open Science Platform, with the potential to be a powerful lever of social, cultural and scientific vitality and of economic development.

The African Open Science Platform. The Platform’s mission is to put African scientists at the cutting edge of contemporary, data-intensive science as a fundamental resource for a modern society. Its building blocks are:

? a federated hardware, communications and software infrastructure, including policies and enabling practices to support open science in the digital era;

? a network of excellence in open science that supports scientists and other societal actors in accumulating and using modern data resources to maximise scientific, social and economic benefit.

These objectives will be realised through six related strands of activity:

Strand 1: A federated network of computational facilities and services.

Strand 2: Software tools and advice on policies and practices of research data management.

Strand 3: A Data Science and AI Institute at the cutting edge of data analytics.

Strand 4: Priority application programmes: e.g. cities, disease, biosphere, agriculture.

Strand 5: A Network for Education and Skills in data and information.

Strand 6: A Network for Open Science Access and Dialogue.

The document also outlines the proposed governance, membership and management structure of the Platform, the approach to initial funding, immediate priorities and targets for 3-5 year horizons.”

Release of the FOSTER Open Science toolkit | FOSTER

“FOSTER Plus developed a set of ten free online courses covering key topics of Open Science. Each course takes about one hour to complete and a badge is awarded after successful completion. You will need to create a free account on the FOSTER portal if you wish to claim your badge but the courses can also be accessed without registration if no badge is desired. The order you take the courses in is not important, the system tracks your progress regardless and you can claim the badge as soon you completed each of the suggested courses. However, we recommend starting with “What is Open Science?” as an introduction. The draft courses were released for public consultation during the summer and have been refined based on community feedback. …”

Open access Academic publishing in transition

It’s the year 2024: a scientist in Sudan, the family member of a patient with a rare disease in the United States, a farmer in China – assuming they have access to the internet, they are all able to access the latest scientific findings at any time, without restriction and free of charge. On this basis, they can develop new energy supply options for their community, prepare for visits to the doctor or follow the latest research on seeds and breeds. A pipe dream? Or isn’t free access to academic literature something we should have had for a long time, three decades since the development of the world wide web?

UK Open access monographs working group

“Universities UK Open Access Monographs working group

The UUK OA monograph group, chaired by Professor Roger Kain (Professor of Humanities, School of Advanced Study) has been tasked with monitoring and evaluating progress towards open access publishing for academic books.

The group was established late 2016, on the recommendation of Professor Adam Tickell’s independent advice on open research to the former Minister for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson. The group’s remit is to:

  1. Monitor and evaluate progress towards OA book publishing.
  2. Promote and accelerate cultural change towards OA publishing within academia and among traditional publishers.
  3. Advise on technical barriers to OA publishing and make recommendations for further work and investment.
  4. Promote innovation and diversity in business models for OA book publishing, including potentially via encouraging support for existing pilots
  5. Advise on how best to overcome perceived and actual policy and legal barriers to OA, including to funders, third-party rights holders, academic communities and publishers….”

EU open-access envoy urges foundations to join Plan S

“Organisations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust should join Plan S to continue their “moral leadership” on open research, Plan S founder and European Commission open-access envoy Robert-Jan Smits told Research Europe. He was speaking on his return from a weeklong tour of federal agencies, universities and learned societies in the United States, where he was attempting to boost international support for the plan….

Smits claimed that the feedback on Plan S he received in the US was mostly that independent foundations need to join….

Smits has said that Plan S is based on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s policies. These include that papers reporting research it has funded must be made openly available immediately and with a licence that permits unrestricted reuse. The foundation has forced some of the world’s most prestigious journals to change their policies so that they comply.

During the trip, Smits sought to quell fears that Plan S would undermine the so-called green open-access model, in which papers are placed in repositories, usually after a publisher-imposed embargo period. Plan S will not accept embargo periods, causing some concern that it will only support the gold open-access model in which papers are made openly available immediately, usually by paying publishers an article-processing charge.

Smits said that Plan S leaves “ample room” for repositories, article preprints and self-archiving. He also admitted that organisations in the US flagged the plan’s lack of recognition for publishers using the so-called diamond and platinum open-access models, which do not charge authors publication fees….

According to Smits, those he met who were most enthusiastic about Plan S were librarians and researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.

More cautiously interested parties, he said, were the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Smits said this was because the OSTP is awaiting a new director who will set the agenda for open access at the federal level. Research Europe has approached these organisations for comment.

Those who were most sceptical of the plan were the learned societies, Smits said. These organisations rely on income from journal subscription charges and fear that the loss of revenue caused by a switch to open access would affect activities such as the organisation of conferences, he said….”

PUBLIC OLOA Project Plan – Google Docs

“It is well known that one major obstacle to achieving Open Access is the lack of understanding; some say it is the biggest problem of all.  Throughout the supply-chain of producing and consuming scholarly literature, many participants understand the broader objectives of Open Access but not the practical steps they can take to help increase the accessibility of scholarly works.  This is especially true of authors themselves.  The purpose of this project is to provide some examples, of what we hope will become many, of open communications that will illustrate specific steps people can take to improve and sustain the accessibility of an article or other work. …”

The ambassadors for open access standards in the global South – SciDev.Net

“Indian OA journals have submitted 2578 requests since 2014 to be included in the DOAJ; Brazil clocked in at 2,048 requests, while Indonesia ranks first with 3,662 requests.

But roughly half of the submissions get rejected, usually because of their low quality, Tom Olijhoek, editor-in-chief of the DOAJ, tells SciDev.Net….

A journal may be genuine but ill-informed about standards, or ill-equipped to meet them.

Another, more sinister explanation is that India is home to a growing number of predatory journals …”

White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation

“To respond to a changing world, policy approaches are introduced to ensure an open, responsive and diverse knowledge system. These include adopting an open science paradigm, supporting a diversity of knowledge fields, a greater focus on inter- and transdisciplinary research and the contribution of the humanities and social sciences to addressing complex societal problems….

Increasing access to public science has the potential to make the entire research system more effective, participative and productive by reducing duplication and the costs of creating, transferring and re-using data….

As part of its commitment to African STI cooperation, South Africa will also work to advance the open science agenda elsewhere on the continent and within regional frameworks. …”