Better research through better infrastructure | Wonkhe | Policy Watch

“The inexorable rise of data driven methods, and the parallel rise of open research practice, mean that accessing and sharing huge amounts of data is inevitably going to be a major part of research in the future. In one sense this is a huge opportunity to lower the cost and raise the quality of research – more accessible data means that much more can be learned from a single experiment, and the ready availability of data from peers around the world means that findings can be cross-checked and replicated without having to generate new results.

More and more historical source materials are being digitised and shared through global and regional initiatives – more archives are emerging from library stacks and storage boxes to online databases and image galleries.

But resource storage and archival is a huge expense – both in terms of the raw cost of many terabytes of server and hard-disk space, and the expense of maintaining and updating records to aid discovery (there’ll be a continued marketing and awareness cost too). Current infrastructure provision is piecemeal and variable by discipline. …”

Open Data in Developing Economies

“Recent years have witnessed considerable speculation about the potential of open data to bring about wide-scale transformation. The bulk of existing evidence about the impact of open data, however, focuses on high-income countries. Much less is known about open data’s role and value in low- and middle-income countries, and more generally about its possible contributions to economic and social development. The field lacks a coherent Theory of Change for how and in what contexts open data supports or hampers development.”

OER Saves Students $1 Million in Textbook Costs   | Today at Santa Fe | Santa Fe College | Gainesville, FL

“Over the last few years, several Santa Fe College professors opted to forego the use of traditional textbooks and use Open Educational Resources (OER) to save students money.  OER content is licensed in a manner that provides perpetual permission resulting in the ability to retain, reuse, revise, and redistribute content.”

Persistent myths about open access scientific publishing | Dr Mike Taylor | Science | The Guardian

“A spate of recent articles in the Guardian have drawn attention to lots of reasons why open access to research publications is reasonable, beneficial and even inevitable. But two recent letters columns in the Guardian, headlined “Information that we want to be free” and “Better models for open access”, have perpetuated some long-running misconceptions about open access that need to be addressed. It’s not surprising that for-profit, barrier-based publishers are fighting to stem the tide, by misinformation if necessary, but researchers and the general public need not be taken in….”