Open Textbook Library

“Open textbooks are textbooks that have been funded, published, and licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed. These books have been reviewed by faculty from a variety of colleges and universities to assess their quality. These books can be downloaded for no cost, or printed at low cost. All textbooks are either used at multiple higher education institutions; or affiliated with an institution, scholarly society, or professional organization.

The Open Textbook Library is supported by the Center for Open Education and the Open Textbook Network….”


“RESEARCHERS RETAIN RE-USE RIGHTS IN THEIR OWN WORK The UK-SCL is an open access policy mechanism which ensures researchers can retain re-use rights in their own work, they retain copyright and they retain the freedom to publish in the journal of their choice (assigning copyright to the publisher if necessary) Re-use rights retention enables early public communication of research findings and use in research and teaching, including online courses. Increased visibility of research outputs greatly improves opportunities for increased impact and citations. A single deposit action under the model policy ensures eligibility for REF2021 and compliance with most funder deposit criteria. Researchers retain copyright and remain free to assign it to the publisher Researchers If an institution adopts the model open access policy, its researchers will retain re-use rights of their work, e.g. for teaching and conferences. Open Access increases the speed and reach of dissemination so that research can be put to use more quickly and by more people. Open Access also improves opportunities for increased citation and impact. Researcher outputs will be eligible for submission to the Research Excellence Framework (REF2021) and will comply with most funder deposit requirements. Funders The UK-SCL is a model open access policy which is aimed at furthering funder aims of a transition towards increased openness in research communication whilst supporting researchers covered under multiple funder policies. Universities Embedding the UK-SCL model terms as part of an institutional Open Access Policy enables research outputs to be made available under terms which go beyond the REF2021 minimum requirements as encouraged by the UK Funding Councils. It facilitates author retention of re-use rights whilst preserving the freedom to publish in the journal of choice.”

OER Saves Students $1 Million in Textbook Costs   | Today at Santa Fe | Santa Fe College | Gainesville, FL

“Over the last few years, several Santa Fe College professors opted to forego the use of traditional textbooks and use Open Educational Resources (OER) to save students money.  OER content is licensed in a manner that provides perpetual permission resulting in the ability to retain, reuse, revise, and redistribute content.”

The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship | Scientific Data

Abstract:  There is an urgent need to improve the infrastructure supporting the reuse of scholarly data. A diverse set of stakeholders—representing academia, industry, funding agencies, and scholarly publishers—have come together to design and jointly endorse a concise and measureable set of principles that we refer to as the FAIR Data Principles. The intent is that these may act as a guideline for those wishing to enhance the reusability of their data holdings. Distinct from peer initiatives that focus on the human scholar, the FAIR Principles put specific emphasis on enhancing the ability of machines to automatically find and use the data, in addition to supporting its reuse by individuals. This Comment is the first formal publication of the FAIR Principles, and includes the rationale behind them, and some exemplar implementations in the community.

New tool could standardize the process of sharing research materials – Tech Transfer e-News – Tech Transfer Central

“Developed by the UK OpenPlant Synthetic Biology Research Centre and the BioBricks Foundation, OpenMTA honors the rights of researchers and promotes safe, responsible laboratory practices. In addition, the tool is designed to work within the practical realm of tech transfer and to be adaptable to the needs of multiple groups globally.

Goals for OpenMTA include:

  • Free access to the tool, with no royalties or other fees except for appropriate and nominal fees for preparation and distribution;
  • The ability for researchers to modify or repurpose materials available through OpenMTA;
  • Unrestricted selling and sharing of materials, whether it’s part of a collaboration or derivative work;
  • Availability to all kinds of institutions including academic, industrial, federal and community research centers

In its approach to tech transfer, Open MTA is designed to reduce transaction costs, support research collaboration across institutions and even nations, and provide a way for researchers and their labs to be credited for the materials they share.”

Science Beam – using computer vision to extract PDF data | Labs | eLife

“There’s a vast trove of science out there locked inside the PDF format. From preprints to peer-reviewed literature and historical research, millions of scientific manuscripts today can only be found in a print-era format that is effectively inaccessible to the web of interconnected online services and APIs that are increasingly becoming the digital scaffold of today’s research infrastructure….Extracting key information from PDF files isn’t trivial. …It would therefore certainly be useful to be able to extract all key data from manuscript PDFs and store it in a more accessible, more reusable format such as XML (of the publishing industry standard JATS variety or otherwise). This would allow for the flexible conversion of the original manuscript into different forms, from mobile-friendly layouts to enhanced views like eLife’s side-by-side view (through eLife Lens). It will also make the research mineable and API-accessible to any number of tools, services and applications. From advanced search tools to the contextual presentation of semantic tags based on users’ interests, and from cross-domain mash-ups showing correlations between different papers to novel applications like ScienceFair, a move away from PDF and toward a more open and flexible format like XML would unlock a multitude of use cases for the discovery and reuse of existing research….We are embarking on a project to build on these existing open-source tools, and to improve the accuracy of the XML output. One aim of the project is to combine some of the existing tools in a modular PDF-to-XML conversion pipeline that achieves a better overall conversion result compared to using individual tools on their own. In addition, we are experimenting with a different approach to the problem: using computer vision to identify key components of the scientific manuscript in PDF format….To this end, we will be collaborating with other publishers to collate a broad corpus of valid PDF/XML pairs to help train and test our neural networks….”

Impact of Social Sciences – Formalised data citation practices would encourage more authors to make their data available for reuse

“It is increasingly common for researchers to make their data freely available. This is often a requirement of funding agencies but also consistent with the principles of open science, according to which all research data should be shared and made available for reuse. Once data is reused, the researchers who have provided access to it should be acknowledged for their contributions, much as authors are recognised for their publications through citation. Hyoungjoo Park and Dietmar Wolfram have studied characteristics of data sharing, reuse, and citation and found that current data citation practices do not yet benefit data sharers, with little or no consistency in their format. More formalised citation practices might encourage more authors to make their data available for reuse.”