The Move to Open Access as Ebook Crisis Worsens – Campaign to investigate the academic ebook market

“1) In March 2020, several academic publishers and 3rd party vendors announced, to much fanfare, that they were opening up access to many of their resources for free. Whilst this move was welcomed by many in Higher Education, much of the content was withdrawn as little as three months later while COVID was still raging. Access has not been reinstated during this most recent lock-down. (One has to wonder if the original offer was little but a cynical marketing strategy).

2) Unlike March 2020, many students are starting the semester away from campus and so cannot make the dash to access hardcopy resources as they may have done last year….

Librarians, academics and, more importantly, students, cannot wait for senior figures to act at this critical time in the HE cycle. Librarians are increasingly turning to the complex world of open access resources to fill the huge holes in information provision bought about by traditional academic publisher business models. There is hope that open access will become more and more commonplace going forward….”

Full article: Supporting Students: OER and Textbook Affordability Initiatives at a Mid-Sized University

Abstract:  In 2018, the Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) kicked off a statewide program to increase awareness and adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER) at colleges and universities. Spurred by the efforts of ACHE, the University of North Alabama committed to OER and textbook affordability programs and included OER adoption as a key aspiration in their 2019–2024 strategic plan, Roaring with Excellence. With support from the president and provost of the university, Collier Library adopted strategic purchasing initiatives, including database purchases to support specific courses as well as purchasing reserve copies of textbooks for high-enrollment, required classes. In addition, the scholarly communications librarian became a founding member of the OER working group on campus. This group’s mission is to direct efforts for increasing faculty awareness and adoption of OER. This presentation will discuss the structure of each of these programs from initial idea to implementation. Included will be discussions of assessment of faculty and student awareness, development of an OER stipend program, starting a textbook purchasing program, promotion of efforts, funding, and future goals.


Launching an Institutional ORCID Initiative at Florida State University | Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship

Abstract:  This article provides a case study about an institutional ORCID initiative at Florida State University. The authors describe how they launched the initiative with minimal resources and staff time at their disposal. The authors also describe specific strategies that can be replicated at other institutions, including identifying the right partners and most compelling use cases, and taking advantage of high-impact outreach strategies that provide the most exposure for the least time invested. 


University of Arkansas Open Access Policy | Office of the Provost | University of Arkansas

“Faculty members are encouraged to submit scholarly articles to the University of Arkansas for deposit in an open access institutional repository.  For each article submitted to the institutional repository and subject to the license revocation exclusion set out in paragraph 3 below, each faculty member would grant non-exclusive distribution rights for the article to the University of Arkansas.  This grant of non-exclusive distribution rights would transfer from the faculty member to the University of Arkansas a nonexclusive, worldwide license to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to the article, in any medium, provided that the article is not sold for a profit, nor that the University of Arkansas would gain any right to authorize others to do the same….”

University approaches to Citizen Science in the transition to Open Science – Institutional opportunities and challenges for creating an open and inclusive environment for Research – OpenAIRE Blog

“EUA and OpenAIRE organized the two-day, online workshop “University approaches to Citizen Science in the transition to Open Science” on December 9th and 10th. It provided a place to discuss Citizen Science in an era of Open Science (OS) and showcased a range of Citizen Science (SC) projects combining the two movements. A particular focus was on support and opportunities for CS in universities and institutions, with ample attention to the analysis of current practice and the challenges for institutions and projects….”

A Review of the History, Advocacy and Efficacy of Data Management Plans | International Journal of Digital Curation

Abstract:  Data management plans (DMPs) have increasingly been encouraged as a key component of institutional and funding body policy. Although DMPs necessarily place administrative burden on researchers, proponents claim that DMPs have myriad benefits, including enhanced research data quality, increased rates of data sharing, and institutional planning and compliance benefits.

In this article, we explore the international history of DMPs and describe institutional and funding body DMP policy. We find that economic and societal benefits from presumed increased rates of data sharing was the original driver of mandating DMPs by funding bodies. Today, 86% of UK Research Councils and 63% of US funding bodies require submission of a DMP with funding applications. Given that no major Australian funding bodies require DMP submission, it is of note that 37% of Australian universities have taken the initiative to internally mandate DMPs. Institutions both within Australia and internationally frequently promote the professional benefits of DMP use, and endorse DMPs as ‘best practice’. We analyse one such typical DMP implementation at a major Australian institution, finding that DMPs have low levels of apparent translational value. Indeed, an extensive literature review suggests there is very limited published systematic evidence that DMP use has any tangible benefit for researchers, institutions or funding bodies.

We are therefore led to question why DMPs have become the go-to tool for research data professionals and advocates of good data practice. By delineating multiple use-cases and highlighting the need for DMPs to be fit for intended purpose, we question the view that a good DMP is necessarily that which encompasses the entire data lifecycle of a project. Finally, we summarise recent developments in the DMP landscape, and note a positive shift towards evidence-based research management through more researcher-centric, educative, and integrated DMP services.

“It’s hard to explain why this is taking so long” – scilog

When it comes into force at the beginning of 2021, the Open Access initiative “Plan S” is poised to help opening up and improving academic publishing. Ulrich Pöschl, a chemist and Open Access advocate of the first hour, explains why free access to research results is important and how an up-to-date academic publishing system can work.

Expanding the open access policy beyond the faculty: UC Presidential Open Access Policy

“An institutional open access policy usually covers a certain group of authors, such as faculty members, or members of a certain department or school. The University of California’s Academic Senate policy, adopted in 2013, ensured that scholarly articles authored by senate faculty at all ten UC campuses would be made available to the public at no charge. A precursor to this policy was adopted by the UCSF Academic Senate in 2012.

Senate faculty are, however, only a portion of UC researchers who publish scholarly articles; around 22,000 of the approximately 63,000 total authors within the UC System. In 2015, the UC adopted a Presidential Open Access Policy which expanded open access rights and responsibilities to all other UC staff who write scholarly articles while employed at UC, including non-senate researchers, lecturers, post-doctoral scholars, administrative staff, librarians, and graduate students….”

What About Reuse? A Study on the Use of Open Educational Resources in Dutch Higher Education | Baas | Open Praxis

Abstract:  Extensive research has taken place over the years to examine the barriers of OER adoption, but little empirical studies has been undertaken to map the amount of OER reuse. The discussion around the actual use of OER, outside the context in which they were developed, remains ongoing. Previous studies have already shown that searching and evaluating resources are barriers for actual reuse. Hence, in this quantitative survey study we explored teachers’ practices with resources in Higher Education Institutes in the Netherlands. The survey had three runs, each in a different context, with a total of 439 respondents. The results show that resources that are hard or time-consuming to develop are most often reused from third parties without adaptations. Resources that need to be more context specific are often created by teachers themselves. To improve our understanding of reuse, follow-up studies must explore reuse with a more qualitative research design in order to explore how these hidden practices of dark reuse look like and how teachers and students benefit of it.


DHQ: Digital Humanities Quarterly: An Open Lab? The Electronic Textual Cultures Lab in the Evolving Digital Humanities Landscape

Abstract:  As the scholarly landscape evolves into a more “open” plain, so do the shapes of institutions, labs, centres, and other places and spaces of research, including those of the digital humanities (DH). The continuing success of such research largely depends on a commitment to open access and open source philosophies that broaden opportunities for a more efficient, productive, and universal design and use of knowledge. The Electronic Textual Cultures Laboratory (ETCL; is a collaborative centre for digital and open scholarly practices at the University of Victoria, Canada, that engages with these transformations in knowledge creation through its umbrella organization, the Canadian Social Knowledge Institute (C-SKI), that coordinates and supports open social scholarship activities across three major initiatives: the ETCL itself, the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI;, and the Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE; Partnership, including sub-projects associated with each. Open social scholarship is the practice of creating and disseminating public-facing scholarship through accessible means. Working through C-SKI, we seek ways to engage communities more widely with publicly funded humanities scholarship, such as through research creation and dissemination, mentorship, and skills training.