A Call for Open Access and Empathy Is Not Enough: Hands on Are Needed!: The American Journal of Bioethics: Vol 17, No 10

Abstract:  Chattopadhyay and colleagues (2017) call for inclusive access to bioethics journals and global participation in the bioethics discourse. They argue that the understanding of global bioethics may be misleading. If only people from one (small) part of the world publish in bioethics journals, global bioethics is not representative. We absolutely support their call to develop the field of bioethics by reducing journal payment-barriers and emphasizing empirical ethics, analysis, and theoretical perspectives from low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). But, based on our experiences from research, teaching, and capacity building in bioethics in Ethiopia, we find that access alone has less impact when not reinforced by close collaborations between high- and low-income colleagues and essential capacity building in bioethics among students, clinicians, and academic staff in the LMIC.

Open Education Leadership Program – SPARC

“SPARC is currently piloting the SPARC Open Education Leadership program during the 2017-2018 academic year. The pilot began on October 2nd with a cohort of 14 fellows selected from SPARC member libraries. Pilot fellows participate both as students and creators, helping to evaluate and improve the curriculum along the way. Fellows who successfully complete the pilot will receive a certificate and the title of SPARC Open Education Leadership Fellow, and will be credited as contributors to the program’s development. …”

Student programming volunteers assist an #openaccess project.

“Student programmers are donating programming time to a major #openaccess initiative (https://unglue.it) as a senior capstone project:

“Two teams of Computer Science students from Stevens Institute of Technology are working with us on Free Ebook Foundation projects. One team of five is working to renovate the http://Unglue.it user experience. As their senior-year capstone project, they’ll be implementing a responsive web framework that will make http://Unglue.it easy to use on mobile phones, tablets, and on desktops….”

(I’m quoting an email update from Unglue.it. Unfortunately I can’t find the same update online, or I’d link to it here.)

Someone should start a web site to match OA projects in need of development support with student programmers (or more generally, any programmers) willing to donate their time. If no one else can arrange it, I’ll do it. If people or projects in either category send me their names and contact info, I’ll post them to a wiki page as a makeshift until someone can devise a better way to match them up.”

Raising awareness for Wikipedia in Nigeria – Wikimedia Blog

“With an estimated 190 million residents, Nigeria is the largest country in Africa. A remarkable 60% of Nigerians are school-aged, creating one of the largest student bodies in the world. With internet access in Nigeria quickly growing, local Wikimedians are working together to raise awareness for the platform and how Nigeria’s many students can both use and improve Wikipedia.”

SPARC Releases Report Highlighting the Impact of Open Educational Resources at Member Institutions – SPARC

“Today, SPARC released the first ‘Connect OER Annual Report, 2016-2017,’ which shows that its member institutions in the U.S. and Canada are working to reduce the cost of textbooks, increase access to learning materials and support better student outcomes through open educational resources (OER)—freely available materials that can be used, adapted and shared to better serve all students.

The report provides insights based on data collected through Connect OER, a pilot project to build a searchable directory maintained by academic libraries to share and discover information about OER activities across North America. This data provides a snapshot of the state of OER on 65 SPARC member campuses—spanning 31 U.S. states and five Canadian provinces—during the 2016-2017 academic year. The six key insights are:

  • Libraries are the most engaged entity on campus in efforts to advance OER.
  • Within libraries, the department most actively engaged in advancing OER is Scholarly Communications.
  • Mathematics and statistics is the academic subject with the most OER traction.
  • Nearly half of the participating institutions have a faculty or staff person with explicit OER responsibilities.
  • OER grant programs are the most common type of OER program reported.
  • SPARC member institutions saved students an estimated $5 million through the use of OER in the 2016-2017 academic year.”

Open Access Debate

“I created Open Access Debate after witnessing teams whose schools couldn’t afford briefs and expensive database subscriptions lose to those who had access to these materials. The large, well-coached teams reap enormous benefits from the expertise of their coaching staff in addition to research guidance. Hopefully this resource can be used by debaters all across the country to bridge the gap between large and small, funded and unfunded, and coached and uncoached….”

After one year, largest initiative to promote the use of open educational resources for degree completion finds robust course development, strong faculty support, and broad-based leadership for OER use. | Achieving the Dream

“Preliminary results from a national effort to expand community college degree programs that use open educational resources (OER) nationwide found high levels of faculty interest and engagement in OER. OER are freely available learning materials that users can download, edit and share.

The study, Launching OER Degree Pathways: An Early Snapshot of Achieving the Dream’s OER Degree Initiative and Emerging Lessons, was released today by Achieving the Dream (ATD). Conducted by SRI International and the rpk GROUP, the report indicates that faculty at colleges participating in ATD’s OER Degree Initiative are changing their teaching and that students are at least as or more engaged using OER courses than students in non-OER classrooms.”

Center for Open Science Launches Thesis Commons, an Open-source Platform for Theses and Dissertations

“The Center for Open Science (COS) is pleased to announce the release of Thesis Commons, a free, cloud-based, open-source platform for the submission, dissemination, and discovery of graduate and undergraduate theses and dissertations from any discipline. Authors can share their electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) with a quick and easy submission workflow.  Readers can search, discover, and download with a clean and simple interface. Institutions can sign-up for a branded version of the service for their institutional community for hosting ETDs, preprints, or other scholarship.  

Thesis Commons in part of  a rapidly growing community of open scholarly communication services built on an open-source infrastructure called the Open Science Framework (OSF).  As a shared, public good, the OSF dramatically lowers the barrier to entry for communities to introduce and operate services across the research lifecycle such as preprints, ETD repositories, and data or materials archives.  With a planned integration of a peer review service layer, communities will be able to moderate these services directly and operate discipline-specific repositories or journals with a common integrated infrastructure.”

Center for Open Science Launches Thesis Commons, an Open-source Platform for Theses and Dissertations

“The Center for Open Science (COS) is pleased to announce the release of Thesis Commons, a free, cloud-based, open-source platform for the submission, dissemination, and discovery of graduate and undergraduate theses and dissertations from any discipline. Authors can share their electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) with a quick and easy submission workflow.  Readers can search, discover, and download with a clean and simple interface. Institutions can sign-up for a branded version of the service for their institutional community for hosting ETDs, preprints, or other scholarship.  

Thesis Commons in part of  a rapidly growing community of open scholarly communication services built on an open-source infrastructure called the Open Science Framework (OSF).  As a shared, public good, the OSF dramatically lowers the barrier to entry for communities to introduce and operate services across the research lifecycle such as preprints, ETD repositories, and data or materials archives.  With a planned integration of a peer review service layer, communities will be able to moderate these services directly and operate discipline-specific repositories or journals with a common integrated infrastructure.”

Perceptions of Scholarly Communication Among Library and Information Studies Students

“Professional discourse concerning scholarly communication (SC) suggests a broad consensus that this is a burgeoning functional area in academic libraries. The transformed research lifecycle and the corresponding changes in copyright applications, publishing models, and open access policies have generated unprecedented opportunities for innovative library engagement with the academy and its researchers. Accordingly, the roles for librarians have shifted to accommodate new responsibilities. Previous research on SC librarianship is mainly focused on the provision of services, administrative structures, and the analysis of relevant job descriptions. Little has been written regarding the implications of SC on the preparation of new library professionals, and no research has been produced on the relative perspectives of library students.”