It’s time to get serious about open educational resources | Times Higher Education (THE)

“For universities, the business case is compelling. Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey indicates that a $32,000 (£26,000) investment saved its students $1.6 million over two years. At Ontario Tech, we had a professor receive a standing ovation from his students when he announced that a certain expensive astronomy textbook was to be replaced by open educational resources.

At their best, OERs allow faculty and students to build course material in much the same way as developers build open code or open software. Everything is shared. Collective insights can be captured for future students in a virtuous cycle of learning and improvement….

But there are four primary challenges that need to be overcome before the movement can really take off….”

Why do college textbooks cost so much? 7 questions answered

“Colleges and universities have been active in promoting and developing affordable textbooks, including Open Educational Resources, more commonly known as OER. Open Educational Resources are educational materials – often in digital form – offered freely and openly for anyone to use.

The use of OER has saved students around the world over a billion dollars, and the vast majority of those savings have been reaped by students in the United States and Canada. Research has shown that students using OER do as well as or better than students using traditional course materials, with even better results for less financially secure students….”

Center for Open Data Enterprise (CODE)

“Open government data is a powerful tool for economic growth, social benefit, and scientific research. This global resource must be developed and managed in ways that meet the needs of the people and organizations that use it.

CODE brings together data providers and data users to develop better strategies that serve stakeholders and their common goals. 

CODE, founded as the Center for Open Data Enterprise, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to maximize the value of open government data as a resource for economic growth, social good, and scientific research….”

The Economic Impacts of Open Science: A Rapid Evidence Assessment | HTML

Abstract:  A common motivation for increasing open access to research findings and data is the potential to create economic benefits—but evidence is patchy and diverse. This study systematically reviewed the evidence on what kinds of economic impacts (positive and negative) open science can have, how these comes about, and how benefits could be maximized. Use of open science outputs often leaves no obvious trace, so most evidence of impacts is based on interviews, surveys, inference based on existing costs, and modelling approaches. There is indicative evidence that open access to findings/data can lead to savings in access costs, labour costs and transaction costs. There are examples of open science enabling new products, services, companies, research and collaborations. Modelling studies suggest higher returns to R&D if open access permits greater accessibility and efficiency of use of findings. Barriers include lack of skills capacity in search, interpretation and text mining, and lack of clarity around where benefits accrue. There are also contextual considerations around who benefits most from open science (e.g., sectors, small vs. larger companies, types of dataset). Recommendations captured in the review include more research, monitoring and evaluation (including developing metrics), promoting benefits, capacity building and making outputs more audience-friendly.

Significant economic benefits? Enhancing the impact of open science for knowledge users | Impact of Social Sciences

“A key political driver of open access and open science policies has been the potential economic benefits that they could deliver to public and private knowledge users. However, the empirical evidence for these claims is rarely substantiated. In this post Michael Fell, discusses how open research can lead to economic benefits and suggests that if these benefits are to be more widely realised, future open research policies should focus on developing research discovery, translation and the capacity for research utilisation outside of the academy….”

Turning FAIR into reality: Review – Hill – 2019 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

“Key points


  • Implementation of FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) offers significant return on investment (ROI) but requires major changes in research culture, incentives, and substantial funding, and implementation is hindered by the need to coordinate across European Union’s member states.
  • FAIR is constituted by data objects and a wider technical and data ecosystem.
  • Publishers’ role is broad but prescribed in this report – although there may be business opportunities.
  • While the continued validity of non?open data is acknowledged, the report recognizes that ROI is maximized where data are both FAIR and open….”

Free textbook program saves Grossmont College students thousands each semester

Grossmont College is looking to expand a program that offers free textbooks to students.

The Open Educational Resources program, or OER, allows students to download digital versions of textbooks for free. College officials say it can save students more than $1,000 each semester. In the 2018-19 school year, Grossmont students have already saved nearly $1.3 million….”

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.

‘Up to half’ of European papers to be open access under Plan S | Times Higher Education (THE)

European countries signed up to Plan S can expect to have about half their total research output published in open access format, according to new analysis that offers a snapshot of the scheme’s potential global impact.

The Plan S Footprint: Implications for the Scholarly Publishing Landscape, published by research data analysts Clarivate, examines the extent to which existing publications comply with the guidelines for Plan S, under which participating funders will require all the research that they had supported to be made freely available at the point of publication from next January….

While the papers funded by Plan S backers account for only about 6.4 per cent of total annual academic output, researchers found their impact to be much wider, with compliant papers racking up more citations on average, across all fields.

In molecular biology and genetics, for example, 2017 papers authored by one or more researchers supported by Plan S signatories received an average of 7.7 citations, compared with the total subject average of 4.7….

The paper estimates that about 90,000 papers funded by Plan S supporters which are currently published in hybrid or subscription journals would need to be “rehoused” if the titles did not flip to full open access.

“The relocation of content to open access titles would represent a 29 per cent overall movement in the volume of well-cited papers in the existing compliant venues,” the researchers add, which “could be disruptive in some subjects, and suitable compliant venues are not always available”. …”