» Open letter on the White House public access directive The Occasional Pamphlet

“As has been widely reported, this past Friday the White House directed essentially all federal funding agencies to develop open access policies over the next few months. I wrote the letter below to be forwarded to faculty at the Harvard schools with open-access policies, to inform them of this important new directive and its relation to the existing Harvard policies….”

» Open letter on the White House public access directive The Occasional Pamphlet

“As has been widely reported, this past Friday the White House directed essentially all federal funding agencies to develop open access policies over the next few months. I wrote the letter below to be forwarded to faculty at the Harvard schools with open-access policies, to inform them of this important new directive and its relation to the existing Harvard policies….”

A Systematic Approach to Collecting Student Work

Abstract:  Digital technology has profoundly changed design education over the past couple of decades. The digital design process generates design solutions from many different angles and points of views, captured and expressed in many file formats and file types. In this environment of ubiquitous digital files, what are effective ways for a design school to capture a snapshot of the work created within their school, and to create a long-term collection of student files for purposes of research and promotion, and for preserving the history of the school?

This paper describes the recent efforts of the Harvard Graduate School of Design in creating a scalable and long-term data management solution for digital student work files. The first part describes the context and history of student work at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. The second section of the paper focuses on the functionality of the tool we created, and lastly, the paper looks at the library’s current efforts for the long-term archiving of the collected student files in Harvard’s digital repository.

HDS – Press Release – Harvard Divinity School Faculty Votes for Open Access Policy

“The faculty of Harvard Divinity School (HDS) voted, in a meeting on November 15, to allow Harvard University to make electronic versions of their current scholarly articles available to the public. With the vote for open access, the Divinity School faculty joined five other Harvard schools in a commitment to disseminate faculty research and scholarship as widely as possible.”

HDS – Press Release – Harvard Divinity School Faculty Votes for Open Access Policy

“The faculty of Harvard Divinity School (HDS) voted, in a meeting on November 15, to allow Harvard University to make electronic versions of their current scholarly articles available to the public. With the vote for open access, the Divinity School faculty joined five other Harvard schools in a commitment to disseminate faculty research and scholarship as widely as possible.”

Plan S: how important is open access publishing? | Times Higher Education (THE)

Dislike of gold open access is also partly responsible for researchers’ opposition to Plan S. Lynn Kamerlin, professor of structural biology at Uppsala University, is one of the instigators of the open letter against it. While she pledges strong support for open access, she is happy with the current rate of progress and sees the recent “explosion” in the use of preprint servers as illustrative of the range of routes towards it. She fears that the details of Plan S’ “embargo requirements and repository technical requirements…are so draconian that paid-for gold becomes the easiest way to fulfil them”. This will convert the “nudges” towards gold in existing funder mandates (which she supports) into a “shove”, which will be “a disaster for the research community” because it will disadvantage those unable to pay article processing charges and “seriously jeopardise the much more rigorous quality control standards provided by high-quality society journals compared to the high-volume for-profit business model, which has an inbuilt conflict of interest”.

Nor is Kamerlin alone in expressing a concern that the allegedly lower standards of peer review practised by fully open access journals have compromised quality. But, for Suber, debating quality rather misses the point. “Yes, there is some low-quality open access work, but there’s also low-quality subscription journal work, and people who step back [to see the bigger picture] always acknowledge that,” he says. “Quality and access are completely independent of each other. Open access isn’t a kind of peer review, it’s a kind of dissemination.”

However, he agrees with Kamerlin that the “green” form of open access, whereby academics post work that is in subscription journals on their institutional repositories or elsewhere…is another good option….”

Harvard Library and MIT Libraries provide recommendations for Plan S implementation | MIT Libraries News

“There are two good reasons to broaden the green road. First, green OA is a workable and inexpensive path to OA in all academic fields and regions of the world. Second, barriers to green OA put researchers, particularly early-career researchers, in an untenable situation. A reasonable green OA option will let researchers publish where they must in order to advance their careers, and still satisfy their funders by making their work OA. Without a reasonable green OA option, early-career researchers will be torn between the demands of their funders and the demands of their promotion and tenure committees.

A good green OA option enables authors to submit new work to the journals of their choice, and thereby answers an objection based on academic freedom. If an author’s journal of choice is not OA (or does not satisfy the Plan S criteria for eligible OA journals), then a green option would let the author comply with Plan S by making the work OA in a repository. Plan S has already expanded its original green OA option by allowing deposit of the Author’s Accepted Manuscript or the Version of Record (AAM or VOR), and by making the green OA option permanent rather than limiting it to a transition period.  These are important ways to support a viable green OA option. By adjusting a few other conditions on green OA, Plan S could fully realize its vision of openness to science and scholarship while avoiding needless and damaging barriers to  those who create that science and scholarship….”

Article in Journal ‘Science’ Argues MOOC Participation is Declining as Providers Pivot | EdSurge News

What lessons can be learned from the rise and pivot of MOOCs, those large-scale online courses that proponents said would disrupt higher education?

An article this week in the prestigious journal ‘Science’ explores that question, digging into six years of data from MOOCs offered by Harvard University and MIT on the edX platform launched by the two universities….

MOOCs have not disrupted higher education….”

The MOOC pivot | Science

Summary: When massive open online courses (MOOCs) first captured global attention in 2012, advocates imagined a disruptive transformation in postsecondary education. Video lectures from the world’s best professors could be broadcast to the farthest reaches of the networked world, and students could demonstrate proficiency using innovative computer-graded assessments, even in places with limited access to traditional education. But after promising a reordering of higher education, we see the field instead coalescing around a different, much older business model: helping universities outsource their online master’s degrees for professionals (1). To better understand the reasons for this shift, we highlight three patterns emerging from data on MOOCs provided by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) via the edX platform: The vast majority of MOOC learners never return after their first year, the growth in MOOC participation has been concentrated almost entirely in the world’s most affluent countries, and the bane of MOOCs—low completion rates (2)—has not improved over 6 years.