Participant Experiences and Financial Impacts: Findings from Year 2 of Achieving the Dream’s OER Degree Initiative | Achieving the Dream

“This report expands on last year’s report with updated course and enrollment data as well as new findings about students’ perceptions of their OER courses and the institutional costs and actual student savings of OER degree pathways. A final report in September 2019 will include findings on student and course outcome data. Here are several highlights from this report that caught our attention:

  • The Initiative has spurred significant expansion of OER courses and enrollments at participating colleges.
  • Students find OER materials more relevant, easier to navigate, and better aligned with learning objectives than traditional textbooks.
  • Faculty see increased student engagement with OER materials.
  • College leaders see OER degrees connected to other institutional strategic goals, including affordability, increased access and equity, decreased time to degree, and improved pedagogy.
  • Students realize significant savings from use of free and open course materials, savings that can help them with financial challenges that might interfere with their ability to continue and succeed in their program of study….”

So, what is it really like to work in research support and scholarly communication? | Unlocking Research

“Inspired by the 23 librarians programmes which took place across the UK a few years ago we would like to offer those who are working in scholarly communication and research support a chance to share their thoughts with us in the form of short vox pop video interviews. Designed to be no more than two to three minutes in length these videos would outline what your role is, the core tasks of your job and the skills you wish you had developed prior to working in this area. We will host these videos online and over time build up a useful resource for the community at large and those looking to work in this area. Videos can be filmed on phones, tablets or anything else you have to hand.

We are aiming to launch the first wave of vox pops during Open Access Week 2018 (22 – 28th October) but the contributions don’t need to be restricted to those working in Open Access roles. We welcome contributions from anyone who considers that they work in any aspect of scholarly communication or research support, whether this is in a library or a different environment. To help you we have put together both a sample video and a list of questions below….”

Drivers and Implications of Scientific Open Access Publishing (September 2016)

“This paper presents the results of a new and experimental study on the research and publishing activities of scientific authors. It also aimed to test the feasibility of an OECD global survey on science with a focus on major emerging policy issues. This online, email-based pilot survey was based on a stratified random sample of corresponding authors of publications listed in a major global scientific publication index across seven diverse, hand-picked science domains. The results provide evidence of the extent of journal and repository-based open access, data sharing practices, the link between different forms of open access to research and research impact, and the decoupling of quality assurance and access roles played by journals. The results point to the importance of considering economic incentives and social norms in developing policy options for open access. The findings also provide new insights on scientist careers, mobility and gender pay bias….”

Measuring Open Access Policy Compliance: Results of a Survey

Abstract:  INTRODUCTION In the last decade, a significant number of institutions have adopted open access (OA) policies. Many of those working with OA policies are tasked with measuring policy compliance. This article reports on a survey of Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions (COAPI) members designed to better understand the methods currently used for measuring and communicating OA policy success. METHODS This electronic survey was distributed to the COAPI member listserv, inviting both institutions who have passed an implemented policies and those who are still developing policies to participate. RESULTS The results to a number of questions related to topics such as policy workflows, quantitative and qualitative measurement activities and related tools, and challenges showed a wide range of responses, which are shared here. DISCUSSION It is clear that a number of COAPI members struggle with identifying what should be measured and what tools and methods are appropriate. The survey illustrates how each institution measures compliance differently, making it difficult to benchmark against peer institutions. CONCLUSION As a result of this survey, we recommend that institutions working with OA policies be as transparent as possible about their data sources and methods when calculating deposit rates and other quantitative measures. It is hoped that this transparency will result in the development of a set of qualitative and quantitative best practices for assessing OA policies that standardizes assessment terminology and articulates why institutions may want to measure policies.

Impact of Social Sciences – What factors do scientists perceive as promoting or hindering scientific data reuse?

“Increased calls for data sharing have formed part of many governments’ agendas to boost innovation and scientific development. Data openness for reuse also resonates with the recognised need for more transparent, reproducible science. But what are scientists’ perceptions about data reuse? Renata Gonçalves Curty, Kevin Crowston, Alison Specht, Bruce W. Grant and Elizabeth D. Dalton make use of existing survey data to analyse the attitudes and norms affecting scientists’ data reuse. Perceived efficiency, efficacy, and trustworthiness are key; as is whether scientists believe data reuse is beneficial for scientific development, or perceive certain pressures contrary to the reuse of data. Looking ahead, synthesis centres can be important for supporting data-driven interdisciplinary collaborations, and leveraging new scientific discoveries based on pre-existing data….”

Students as Active Contributors in the Creation of Open Educational Resources

“Open Educational Resources (OER) provide promising opportunities to share and create learning materials without violating copyright law. Until now, the use and creation of OER were mainly discussed with regard to faculty and instructors. Less attention has been paid to students, so this paper is focused on their perspective on OER and argues that students can and should play an important part in the context of OER. A brief introduction to the concept of OER and their advantages is followed by an overview of the principles of Service-Dominant Logic (SDL), a theoretical framework that we consider to be a useful instrument for a better understanding of the student’s role in the use and production of OER. Focusing on the creation of value in service exchanges, this theoretical approach supports the notion that students who are using OER do in fact play an active role in the value creation of OER. We also present results from a recent empirical survey conducted in Austria, which was also focused on the students’ perspective on OER. Based on the available evidence, we conclude that an OER-friendly environment for students enhances the use and production of OER at Higher Education Institutions (HEI), which benefits all involved parties in the long term. Consequently, we propose a set of recommendations that should effect positive changes, and suggest some practical means of implementing them. “

Perception of the importance of chemistry research papers and comparison to citation rates

Abstract:  Chemistry researchers are frequently evaluated on the perceived significance of their work with the citation count as the most commonly-used metric for gauging this property. Recent studies have called for a broader evaluation of significance that includes more nuanced bibliometrics as well as altmetrics to more completely evaluate scientific research. To better understand the relationship between metrics and peer judgements of significance in chemistry, we have conducted a survey of chemists to investigate their perceptions of previously published research. Focusing on a specific issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society published in 2003, respondents were asked to select which articles they thought best matched importance and significance given several contexts: highest number of citations, most significant (subjectively defined), most likely to share among chemists, and most likely to share with a broader audience. The answers to the survey can be summed up in several observations. The ability of respondents to predict the citation counts of established research is markedly lower than the ability of those counts to be predicted by the h-index of the corresponding author of each article. This observation is conserved even when only considering responses from chemists whose expertise falls within the subdiscipline that best describes the work performed in an article. Respondents view both cited papers and significant papers differently than papers that should be shared with chemists. We conclude from our results that peer judgements of importance and significance differ from metrics-based measurements, and that chemists should work with bibliometricians to develop metrics that better capture the nuance of opinions on the importance of a given piece of research.

The academic papers researchers regard as significant are not those that are highly cited

“For many years, academia has relied on citation count as the main way to measure the impact or importance of research, informing metrics such as the Impact Factor and the h-index. But how well do these metrics actually align with researchers’ subjective evaluation of impact and significance? Rachel Borchardt and Matthew R. Hartings report on a study that compares researchers’ perceptions of significance, importance, and what is highly cited with actual citation data. The results reveal a strikingly large discrepancy between perceptions of impact and the metric we currently use to measure it.”

[Wellcome Trust consultation on revising its OA policy]

“Wellcome is conducting a review of its open access (OA) policy. The aim of this review is to ensure that knowledge and discoveries which arise from publications stemming from our funding are shared and used to maximise their benefit to health. This open consultation forms part of the review process and responses will be used by our internal working group to inform the outcome….”