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….”

Opening up Peer Review | MDPI Blog

“It is now a little over four years since MDPI first started to offer an option for open peer review, as announced on this blog and in the journal Life. We have recently taken a look at the popularity of this feature, the results of we found very encouraging. In short, a large percentage of papers are published with their review reports. In fact, it has proven so popular that we have decided to make open peer review an option for all MDPI journals….”

Internet Archive expands access to millions of books for people with disabilities | Internet Archive Blogs

“Now, disabled users that are certified by a growing number of organizations can borrow hundreds of thousands of modern books and download mostly older books all for free.

Individuals that are already a qualified user of  NLS-BARDBookshare, or Ontario Council of University Libraries Scholar’s Portal (ACE)  can link their archive.org accounts and gain access.

Individuals that are are affiliated with any of these organizations can contact them to authorize their archive.org account for print-disabled access….”

$1 Billion in Savings through Open Educational Resources – SPARC

“Five years ago at the 2013 Open Education Conference, we issued a challenge to the OER community to save students $1 billion by 2018.

Over the past three months, SPARC and our member libraries have worked to document OER adoptions over time. More than 100 organizations and individuals contributed to this effort, resulting in information on OER use at more than 4000 institutions, primarily in the U.S. and Canada but also all around the world.

Today we are thrilled to share that the data show that the OER movement has saved students, parents, schools and governments at least $1 billion dollars. …”

An Updated Methodology for the Open Science Monitor

“After an intense online debate and an excellent expert workshop, we?—?the Lisbon Council, ESADE Business School and the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) at Leiden University?—?are happy to publish a revised methodology (soon to be posted on the official European Commission website). First and foremost, this is not the final methodology. It has become clear that open science is too dynamic and too difficult to measure for a “definitive” methodology. It is rather a second interim release?—?and it will require continuous collaboration with the open science community in the future, also in connection with other existing efforts by OpenAire, FAIR Metrics and the European Open Science Cloud….”

We will use Unpaywall data alongside Scopus data. Unpaywall has a very large footprint and will increase the coverage of the Open Science Monitor. And we will continue to look at and collaborate with Unpaywall in its new initiatives….

Secondly, we will make collaboration with the community not a one-off, but permanent. The commentable document worked well; we received more than 300 comments. Most of these comments are initial ideas that need clarification and refinement. We need more permanent and interactive ways to discuss. Hence, we have opened an Open Science Monitor Linkedin Groupto work on new indicators?—?anyone is able to join….”

This App Is Leading The Revolution in Free Access to Scientific Papers

“A perfect storm of technology and the public’s demand for knowledge are driving a surge towards open access (OA) science and academia that anyone can read for free.

Now, the researchers behind Unpaywall – a browser plug-in that helps you find free, legal copies of academic papers – have conducted a huge analysis of the state of OA literature, and it confirms that the barriers to scientific knowledge are truly crumbling.

 

The team used three separate sampling methods to analyse the state of access to 300,000 random journal articles available online, and estimate that a stunning 28 percent of all scholarly literature – some 19 million articles, basically everything with a DOI dating as far back as 1900 – is now open access….”

The expansion of open access is being driven by commercialisation, where private benefit is adopting the mantle of public value

“Plan S is the latest initiative to propose that all publicly funded science should be available in open access formats from the day of first publication. However, John Holmwood argues it is important to recognise that open access is itself being promoted in the name of commercial interests, including new, for-profit disrupters but also the large publishing conglomerates capturing the production and distribution of open access platforms. Open access mandates risk excluding authors unable to pay article processing charges, and also pose a threat to the learned societies and not-for-profit publishers which have done much to support their epistemological communities, particularly in the humanities and social sciences….”

The use and perceptions of open Access resources by legal academics at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa | Moll-Willard | Journal of Open Access to Law

Abstract:  Although access to primary legal materials in South Africa is now easily accessible as a result of the Free Access to Law movement, access to legal scholarship is not as easy. Through using the University of Cape Town (UCT) as a case study, due to its research intensive nature, it is possible to see how academics are publishing their legal scholarship through the use of bibliometrics and data mining. After the success of a Research Visibility month, law librarians were able to attest to the perceptions of legal academics around the importance of the openness and visibility of their research. The author contrasts these two to see if the perception of legal academics around the visibility of their resources reflects their publishing practices. It is seen that although academics at UCT publish mostly in closed journals, the publishing in open and hybrid journals has slowly increased during the period 2011-2015. Further it is evidenced that legal academics are exploring other avenues, including that of self-archiving, to boost the visibility of their work. Law Librarians are able to assist in boosting at least the visibility, if not the openness of legal academics’ work.

Universalisation of Scientifc Dissemination

“This is a presentation given on September 28th by Dr. Eric Archambault, world expert in bibliometrics and founder of 1science, during Scielo 20 Years Conference in São Paulo, Brazil.The panel was entitled ” Open Access – routes towards universalization : gold and hybrid journals, green, and others” His contribution, “Universalization of (OA) scientific dissemination”, demonstrates the limitation of traditional databases in measuring OA and shows how the 1findr product has universal discovery and inclusive measures.”