Press Release: Researchers respond to revised guidance for Plan S – Young Academy of Europe

The European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers (Eurodoc), the Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA), and the Young Academy of Europe (YAE) jointly welcome the revised implementation guidance for Plan S published by cOAlition S on 31 May 2019. Revisions to the guidance are based on 600+ feedback submissions to the open consultation that represented both individual and organisational stakeholders including researchers.

Our three organisations recognised the need to revise the scholarly publishing system and chose to work constructively with cOALition S to ensure full and immediate Open Access without adversely affecting researchers. We jointly supported the principles of Plan S with critical comments for further development and subsequently submitted feedback to the implementation guidance for Plan S with comprehensive recommendations. We are pleased to see greater clarity in the revised guidance details and believe that the three routes to compliance in Plan S will provide researchers with ample options to publish their research….”

Exploring factors impacting student engagement in open access courses: Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning: Vol 34, No 2

Abstract:  Studies on student engagement in learning have mainly focused on undergraduate degree courses. Limited attempts have been made to examine student engagement on open access enabling courses, which is targeted to underrepresented students in higher education. Students on open access enabling courses are at high risk due to a low academic achievement in high school, the gap between schooling, work and post-secondary education, and different kinds of personal and academic barriers. This paper reports on a pilot quantitative study using a survey method undertaken at an Australian university. The study examined a range of issues related to student engagement, including learning barriers, engagement and experience in learning, skills attained, motivation to complete study, career pathway, and key reasons for selecting a particular pathway. The study found that online students are less engaged in learning and, therefore, efforts need to be made to improve their sense of belonging to the university. The findings of the study are critical due to high attrition on open access enabling courses and it argues the need to improve the engagement, retention, and success of students on such courses.

Beyond Consumers The Value of Engaging Undergraduate Students in Journal Management and Authorship

“In 2011, a group of University of Saskatchewan (U of S) students proposed the establishment of a multidisciplinary undergraduate research journal. The Office of the Vice President of Research (OVPR) saw alignment with its Undergraduate Research Initiative (URI) and agreed to fund the journal. The University of Saskatchewan Undergraduate Research Journal (USURJ) is a double-blind faculty-reviewed, open-access journal.1 It is based in the Writing Center, which is part of the University Library at the U of S. Each year, an average of twenty student editors gain experience in academic publishing processes. Dozens more students submit papers and experience the rigors of undergoing faculty review and editing a manuscript to publishable quality. This library-based partnership ensures a rich, immersive experience from which student editors and authors gain valuable skills transferrable to life after graduation….”

Congratulations to the GSS Open Access Award recipients! | SFU Library

SFU Library and the Graduate Student Society are pleased to announce the 27 recipients of the 2018 GSS Open Access Award.

The students each received a $130 award for publishing their scholarly work in open access journals and making the products of their research available to the broadest possible community. In addition to publishing their work in a fully open access journal which does not require paid subscriptions to access any of the journal content, each of these students also placed their work in Summit, SFU’s institutional repository, which fulfills the requirements of the SFU Open Access Policy.

The award aims to increase the visibility of students and researchers/scholars who publish their work openly. We want to put the authors in the spotlight and say thank you for their contributions as SFU graduate students….”

Digital USD – Digital Initiatives Symposium: What If We Get Open Access?: A New Case for Undergraduate Scientific Literacy

Abstract:  For the educators among us who care about the Open Access Movement, are we prepared for what comes in a post-OA world? Suppose that Plan-S (or another initiative with similar objectives) succeeds in making vast quantities of previously paywalled scientific literature openly available to anyone with an Internet connection.

On one hand, it’s the utopia we’ve fought for: our best ideas, set free to circulate among the minds who will incorporate them toward solving the big issues humanity faces. On the other hand, what if scientific literature becomes weaponized in the same way that journalism has in recent years, where legitimate work gets sewn with seeds of doubt, and bad-faith efforts gain more traction than they deserve. When our research institutions continue to have trouble assessing science literature, to what measure should laypersons hold themselves?

In this cheery presentation, we will imagine a possible dystopia of our own creation, followed by a discussion of tools, tech, and approaches that could be used in an undergraduate education setting to make our future scientists better research communicators and our future citizens better research consumers.

Low-Income Students Told Brown U. That Textbook Prices Limited Their Choices. Here’s What the University Is Doing About It. – The Chronicle of Higher Education

Brown’s $3.6-billion endowment permits it to support low-income students creatively, said Sara Goldrick-Rab, a professor of higher-education policy and sociology at Temple University, who studies food and housing insecurity among students. “If you’ve got that kind of money,” she said, “I’d like to see how far they can go.”

That might not mean covering more and more student expenses, Goldrick-Rab said. Instead, it could mean questioning or even reducing those expenses. Colleges could move toward providing open course materials….”

Frontiers | Publishing Open, Reproducible Research With Undergraduates | Psychology

“In this paper, we will not attempt to catalog the entirety of the open science movement (see recommended resources below for more information), but will instead highlight why adopting open science practices may be particularly beneficial to conducting and publishing research with undergraduates. The first author is a faculty member at Carleton College (a small, undergraduate-only liberal arts college) and the second is a former undergraduate research assistant (URA) and lab manager in Dr. Strand’s lab, now pursuing a PhD at Washington University in St. Louis. We argue that open science practices have tremendous benefits for undergraduate students, both in creating publishable results and in preparing students to be critical consumers of science….”

OE [Open Education] Day at UTA [U of Texas at Arlington]

Abstract:  We’ll define open educational resources (OER), examine the impact of OER use in higher education, discuss copyright and open licensing, and explore avenues for identifying existing OER that can be remixed and reused. The presentation will cover updates on federal and state OER initiatives and highlight support for open educational practices at UTA, including access to and technical support for Pressbooks, a web-based publishing platform.

Student Savings at Scale: LibreTexts – SPARC

LibreTexts offers materials in 12 widely used college-level disciplines from chemistry to humanities. It has 398 textbooks (68,500 pages) in its free online library and covers 154 courses. Since it was established 11 years ago, LibreTexts has been used by 223 million students saving them approximately $31 million….”

Using open education isn’t just a ‘nice to have’ when students are starving (opinion)

Replying to a recent blog post, Jonathan Poritz argues that lowering students’ costs by using open educational resources isn’t just a nicety in an era when many students are hungry and textbook “quality” is exaggerated….

[H]igh textbook costs mean that students:

  • enroll in fewer courses — and consequently take longer to graduate,
  • choose courses based on textbook price rather than for academic reasons, and
  • don’t buy required textbooks — and consequently often do more poorly and more frequently fail or withdraw….

Green oddly misses the main takeaway from this study: it found a one-third reduction in DFW rates among minority and Pell-eligible students when courses switched from commercial textbooks to OER.

So not only are OER responsible for at least a modest academic improvement for all students while making a significant difference to one of the central issues of higher education in our time — skyrocketing costs and student debt — they also make a significant difference in the achievement gap between demographic groups….

  1. There is little actual reason to believe that commercial textbooks are of higher quality than OER — in fact, there is good evidence that they are not, at least by all reasonable metrics of quality — and to believe this is to have merely blind faith in a form of free-market fundamentalism that doesn’t even apply in the failed market of textbooks.”