Disruption Disrupted: The Great MOOC Die-Off –

“[W]e have an overpopulation of MOOCs that are in the midst of a die-off. I’m not saying that MOOC companies are dying off. As far as I can tell, Coursera seems to be healthy. (I have less visibility into EdX’s financial status.) What I mean is that previous generation of the Stanford/MIT/Harvard-style xMOOCs, having failed to achieve either their mission or their sustainability goals, are now being repurposed into other things. Because we don’t have better names for those things, we still call them “MOOCs.” But they don’t meet the definition of Massively Open Online Courses. Even the Stanford/Harvard/MIT definition….”

The MIT Press receives a generous grant from the Arcadia Fund to develop and pilot a sustainable framework for open access monographs | The MIT Press

“The MIT Press has received a three-year $850,000 grant from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, to perform a broad-based monograph publishing cost analysis and to develop and openly disseminate a durable financial framework and business plan for open access (OA) monographs. The Press, a leader in OA publishing for almost 25 years, will also undertake a pilot program to implement the resulting framework for scholarly front and backlist titles.

Amy Brand, director of the MIT Press and principal investigator for the grant, sees it as an opportunity to explore alternatives to the traditional market-based business model for professional and scholarly monographs. “Until the mid-1990s, most U.S. university presses could count on sales of 1,300–1,700 units, but today monograph sales are typically in the range of 300–500 units,” says Brand “Many presses make up this difference with internal subsidies or subventions from institutional or philanthropic sources, but this is not sustainable and often unpredictable. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, this generous award from Arcadia will allow us to develop and test a flexible OA sustainability model that can then be adapted to the needs of our peers.”

There is growing consensus within the university press community that publishing academic monographs through a durable OA model may be the best way to advance scholarship and fulfill our mission. The U.S.-based Association of University Presses comprises 148 member presses that collectively publish approximately 15,000 monographs per year. Crafting and promoting a viable OA model for this community—and leading the way as the MIT Press intends to do—would represent a major breakthrough….”

Sustainability | SUNY OER Services

“Higher education is enamored with innovation. Colleges and universities are regularly on the lookout for new ideas, products, and processes that can have a transformative impact on their campuses. Colleges and universities are particularly interested in various student success initiatives that have emerged in recent years, including: technology-assisted advising, competency-based education, guided pathways, redesigned first-year experiences, and of course open education resources (OER). But higher education rarely thinks about sustainable innovation. SUNY recognized that sustainability planning should occur at the beginning of the OER initiative, not as a final consideration. As a result, all participating SUNY institutions are required to develop OER sustainability plans. rpk GROUP has worked with the SUNY System Office and OER implementation teams at four institutions to develop a set of resources to assist campuses with OER sustainability planning. In addition to this overview, an OER sustainability Self-Assessment tool, instructive Field Guide, and template-based Planning Guide are also available….”

A Sustainable and Open Access Knowledge Organization Model to Preserve Cultural Heritage and Language Diversity

Abstract:  This paper proposes a new collaborative and inclusive model for Knowledge Organization Systems (KOS) for sustaining cultural heritage and language diversity. It is based on contributions of end-users as well as scientific and scholarly communities from across borders, languages, nations, continents, and disciplines. It consists in collecting knowledge about all worldwide translations of one original work and sharing that data through a digital and interactive global knowledge map. Collected translations are processed in order to build multilingual parallel corpora for a large number of under-resourced languages as well as to highlight the transnational circulation of knowledge. Building such corpora is vital in preserving and expanding linguistic and traditional diversity. Our first experiment was conducted on the world-famous and well-traveled American novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by the American author Mark Twain. This paper reports on 10 parallel corpora that are now sentence-aligned pairs of English with Basque (an European under-resourced language), Bulgarian, Dutch, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Ukrainian, processed out of 30 collected translations.

Pubfair: a framework for sustainable, distributed, open science publishing services | APO

Abstract:  Over the last thirty years, digitally-networked technologies have disrupted traditional media, turning business models on their head and changing the conditions for the creation, packaging and distribution of content. Yet, scholarly communication still looks remarkably as it did in the pre-digital age. The primary unit of dissemination remains the research article (or book in some disciplines), and today’s articles still bear a remarkable resemblance to those that populated the pages of Oldenburg’s Philosophical Transactions 350 years ago. In an age of such disruptive innovation, it is striking how little digital technologies have impacted scholarly publishing; and this is also somewhat ironic, since the Web was developed by scientists for research purposes.

Pubfair is a conceptual model for a modular open source publishing framework which builds upon a distributed network of repositories to enable the dissemination and quality-control of a range of research outputs including publications, data, and more. Pubfair aims to introduce significant innovation into scholarly publishing. It enables different stakeholders (funders, institutions, scholarly societies, individuals scientists) to access a suite of functionalities to create their own dissemination channels, with built in open review and transparent processes. The model minimizes publishing costs while maintaining academic standards by connecting communities with iterative publishing services linked to their preferred repository. Such a publishing environment has the capacity to transform the scholarly communication system, making it more research-centric, dissemination-oriented and open to and supportive of innovation, while also collectively managed by the scholarly community.

Case for Open Access and the Current Situation with the University of California and Elsevier

“The last few weeks have provided great assurance that the University of California going forward will have agreements based on open access principles, including with Elsevier. Norway has reached an open access deal with Elsevier and the University has reached an open access deal with another important publisher, Cambridge University Press. In these models, which work on the principles of “pay to publish,” costs are contained and risks mitigated for both institutions and publishers, which will create a sustainable and open scholarly ecosystem.”

OA in the Open White Paper Surfaces Challenges, Opportunities, Next Steps for Open Access Collecting – Association of Research Libraries

“A new white paper from the Supporting OA Collections in the Open project documents a series of conversations with librarians with expertise in collections, acquisitions, scholarly communication, and administration, from diverse institutions, regarding their experiences and attitudes towards financially supporting open access (OA) content. The project was led by librarians at James Madison University (JMU), in partnership with the Association of Research Libraries (ARL).

Funded by a grant from the US Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), OA in the Open convened a series of national forums where community members discussed their needs, values, and priorities in relation to open access collection development. The forums clarified areas of opportunity and friction, and led to productive discourse and identification of common themes about collective funding of public-goods content.

Through moderation that leveraged the insights and interactions of focus group participants, the project team developed a white paper that articulates the challenges, opportunities, and potential mechanisms for building an OA collection development system and culture and that motivates the community toward collective action….”

OA in the Open: Community Needs and Perspectives

Abstract:  The National Forum described here was proposed as a first step in surfacing community requirements and principles toward a collective open access (OA) collection development system. The Forum asked participants to envision a collective funding environment for libraries to contribute provisioning or sustaining funds to OA content providers. A critical component of this project was to bring together groups of interested and invested individuals with different priorities and perspectives and begin to build a community of engagement and dialogue. By analyzing focus group feedback and leveraging the insights and interactions of participants, this paper presents the challenges, opportunities, and potential next steps for building an OA collection development model and culture based on a community of collective action.

1st Basel Sustainable Publishing Forum – Dialog with Learned Societies: Sustainable Solutions for Successful Transition to Open Access

“Plan S is an initiative for Open Access publishing that was launched in September 2018. The plan is supported by an international consortium of research funders, named cOAlition S. Plan S requires that, as of 2021, all scientific publications resulting from public funding is published in compliant Open Access journals or platforms. While the principles and implementation guidelines have been clearly stated and updated recently, many concerns were raised, especially concerning the stability of the evaluation system and the stability of the research ecosystem.

At the center of these concerns are learned societies which often strongly rely on publishing revenues to ensure the viability of all the activities done for their scientific communities. This dialog day aims to bring together representatives of learned societies to hear from them and understand the challenges that they are facing to transition/flip their journals to Open Access….”

Pubfair – A Framework for Sustainable, Distributed, Open Science Publishing Services

“This white paper provides the rationale and describes the high level architecture for an innovative publishing framework that positions publishing functionalities on top of the content managed by a distributed network of repositories. The framework is inspired by the vision and use cases outlined in the COAR Next Generation Repositories work, first published in November 2017 and further articulated in a funding proposal developed by a number of European partners.

By publishing this on Comments Press, we are seeking community feedback about the Pubfair framework in order to refine the functionalities and architecture, as well as to gauge community interest….

The idea of Pubfair is not to create another new system that competes with many others, but rather to leverage, improve and add value to existing institutional and funder investments in research infrastructures (in particular open repositories and open journal platforms). Pubfair positions repositories (and the content managed by repositories) as the foundation for a distributed, globally networked infrastructure for scholarly communication. It moves our thinking beyond the artificial distinction between green and gold open access by combining the strengths of open repositories with easy-to-use review and publishing tools for a multitude of research outputs….”