For This Campus, Choosing Textbooks Has Gotten a Lot More Complicated – The Chronicle of Higher Education

“Meanwhile, the traditional textbook market is shifting under [the] feet [of professors]. Digital-first approaches now include flat rates for unlimited digital access. Open-educational resources, or OER, are gaining traction, offering ever-more alternatives. And newer players, such as Amazon and Chegg, are changing the market through the textbook rental business.

Some of those changes are shifting decision-making authority from individual professors up the chain to administrators, particularly when colleges pursue partnerships with nonprofits disrupting traditional textbook models. In other instances, statewide or campuswide pushes toward zero-cost degrees are pressuring professors to comply.

How this all plays out varies by college. Brown University is buying textbooks for some low-income students. Textbook-exchange programs started by students have helped lower costs on some campuses. Deals between the University of California at Davis and publishers promote “equitable access” — in which all students pay the same book fee every term, no matter the course. California and New York have begun statewide initiatives to encourage colleges to increase the use of OER….”

Improving Health Care with Publicly Reported Data

“But do people use that information to make choices?  Does it change where they get their care? There is little evidence that this is the case.  While the study mentioned earlier showed hospitals respond to this such data, that same study showed that consumers and purchasers of healthcare rarely search out the information and do not understand or trust it.  It had a small, although increasing, impact on their decision making.  According to another study, there is little evidence that patients use publicly reported data to make a choice.  There are several reasons that the authors of the study felt this was the case.   Among those reasons were that consumers didn’t believe they had choice because of their insurance provider, consumers couldn’t understand the quality data (the reports are poorly designed), and that consumers don’t trust the information provided….”

Guest post: Overview of the African Open Access Landscape, with a Focus on Scholarly Publishing – News Service

“The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) – during October 2016 until October 2019, conducted a landscape study (Academy of Science of South Africa, 2019) of what is happening on the continent in terms of Open Science and progress made regarding Open Access. This formed part of the pilot African Open Science Platform, in preparation of building an actual platform addressing the collaborative needs experienced by scientists in addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Awareness regarding Open Access is evident through the

12 Open Science-related (Open Access/Open Data/Open Science) declarations and agreements endorsed or signed by African governments (Academy of Science of South Africa, 2019);
196 Open Access journals from Africa registered on the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ);
174 Open Access institutional research repositories registered on OpenDOAR (Directory of Open Access Repositories);
33 Open Access/Open Science policies registered on ROARMAP (Registry of Open Access Repository Mandates and Policies);
24 data repositories registered with the Registry of Data Repositories ( (although the pilot project identified 66 research data repositories);
and one data repository assigned the CoreTrustSeal. Although this is a start, far more needs to be done to align all African research practices with global standards….”

Research culture: let’s reimagine how we work together | Wellcome

“As a community we need to open up the conversation about the changes needed in research culture, and how excellence should be redefined. Excellence should not just be what we do, but how we do it.

Together we can move towards a culture that: 

supports creativity, with ambitious and collaborative working across disciplines and institutions 
prioritises diversity and inclusion, so that everyone benefits from supportive relationships no matter what their background
produces open research, which is conducted with honesty and integrity. …”

The business model for publishing has not changed since the 17th century. It should. | Sustainable Scholarship

“Four hundred years after the first scholarly journals appeared, the internet means everything has changed. And, yet, nothing has changed. The scholarly journal remains the currency of the academic realm and one of the most important means that researchers have to share their findings, make a reputation and earn tenure. …”

Kindness, Culture, and Caring: The Open Science Way | HASTAC

“There are lots of ways that the rational, logical, hyper-competitive, winner-take-all, zero-sum, prisoner’s dilemma, nice-guys-finish-last, single-bottom-line, annual-productivity ratchet?—?or add your adjective here?—?mindset is just wrong for sustaining the academy and bad for science. For decades now, the same neo-liberal economic schemes that have been used to reshape how governments budget their funds have also made dramatic and disturbing inroads into university budgets and governance. Open science can show how that trend is a race to the bottom for universities. What do you say, we turn around and go another way?…”

Discover how European funders are approaching Open policy and practices in new report – SPARC Europe

“A report that reveals the Open Access and Open Science policies, incentives and practices of European funders is being released today. Based on a survey conducted in late spring, the report is a first of its kind to examine what key international funding bodies (international and national funding bodies, major charities and foundations, national academics and key research performing organisations) are doing to incentivise openness to the work they help fund.

The intention behind the survey, which was led by SPARC Europe in consultation with ALLEA, the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities, The European Foundation Centre (EFC) and Science Europe, is to spur even greater – more widespread – support for Open research; to advance Open Access to research results in Europe….”

Accelerating scholarly communication: The transformative role of preprints

“The overall objective of this study was to explore the place of preprints in the research lifecycle from the points of view of researchers, research performing organisations, research funding organisations and preprint servers/ service providers. Our investigation covered:

` Core benefits and usage in the case of researchers, including incentives and disincentives

` Attitudes of research performing organisations (RPOs) and research funders

` Values, strategies and aims of service providers….”

The meaning of open | Research Information

“So what is open research today, and what are the near horizons of tomorrow? For Baynes the three key developments in recent years have been the growth in open access publications in journals, research data and open data, and a proliferation of tools, both from start-ups and from funders.  These are only the first steps, however, in an increasingly complex open information landscape which poses challenges to everyone working in the scholarly research lifecycle: funders must encourage open research without dictating researchers’ research practice; researchers must balance personal interest and public good with an increasingly wide range of publishing choices and funder requirements; publishers must provide both innovative services that meet researcher and funder needs without risking the value of the current system; and libraries must both help researchers navigate the complex information ecosystem and increasingly help them measure and demonstrate researchers’ contributions to it. In this rapidly changing environment it is important for organisations to be agile. This, according to Baynes, is what Springer Nature is doing, developing sustainable and agile approaches that encourage open research: ‘We are one of the largest open access publishers, but also one of the most agile. It’s not the set business model, one-size-fits-all approach, it’s very much adapting and understanding what stakeholders want. For example, understanding the barriers, challenges and motivators for researchers to make data more openly available, well described, and fair.’ …”

Home – Profeza

“A set of workflow software tools that guides article authors to make the scientific outputs including Additional Research Objects (AROs, i.e datasets and null results) more easily reproducible/reusable and it captures all the events of reuse over the period of time after publications to reward those who have contributed towards it. It makes the improvement of research outputs a continuous process rather than one-time event….”