I’d like to share a little bit about the road to OA policy adoption and implementation at FSU. By reflecting on some of the factors that paved the way to our successful vote, as well as the nature of the work that followed, my hope is that our experience might help or encourage those who are considering or working toward adopting a policy at their own institutions.
“‘Common wisdom,’ according to the authors of a new piece in Nature, “assumes that the hazard of predatory publishing is restricted mainly to the developing world.” But the authors of the new paper, led by David Moher of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, found that more than half — 57% — of the 2,000 articles published in journals they determined were predatory were from high-income countries. In fact, the U.S. was second only to India in number of articles published in such journals. We asked Moher, who founded Ottawa Hospital’s Centre for Journalology in 2015, a few questions about the new work.”
“Today, SPARC released the first ‘Connect OER Annual Report, 2016-2017,’ which shows that its member institutions in the U.S. and Canada are working to reduce the cost of textbooks, increase access to learning materials and support better student outcomes through open educational resources (OER)—freely available materials that can be used, adapted and shared to better serve all students.
The report provides insights based on data collected through Connect OER, a pilot project to build a searchable directory maintained by academic libraries to share and discover information about OER activities across North America. This data provides a snapshot of the state of OER on 65 SPARC member campuses—spanning 31 U.S. states and five Canadian provinces—during the 2016-2017 academic year. The six key insights are:
- Libraries are the most engaged entity on campus in efforts to advance OER.
- Within libraries, the department most actively engaged in advancing OER is Scholarly Communications.
- Mathematics and statistics is the academic subject with the most OER traction.
- Nearly half of the participating institutions have a faculty or staff person with explicit OER responsibilities.
- OER grant programs are the most common type of OER program reported.
- SPARC member institutions saved students an estimated $5 million through the use of OER in the 2016-2017 academic year.”
“How are authors of journal articles paying for Open Access (OA) fees or Article Processing Costs (APCs)? What is the administrative burden for authors? And do their research organisations have an accurate overview of all these payments?
A better understanding of such authors’ perspectives on APC payments will support the development of an optimal communication and administrative strategy with the aim of encouraging authors’ usage of existing APC-funding mechanisms.
For these purposes, Knowledge Exchange has carried out a study among authors at six research organisations. In total, 1,069 authors participated in online surveys focused on their 2015 articles published in OA journals or in subscription journals that offer the option of publishing individual articles on OA for an additional fee, so-called hybrid journals.”
“Preliminary results from a national effort to expand community college degree programs that use open educational resources (OER) nationwide found high levels of faculty interest and engagement in OER. OER are freely available learning materials that users can download, edit and share.
The study, Launching OER Degree Pathways: An Early Snapshot of Achieving the Dream’s OER Degree Initiative and Emerging Lessons, was released today by Achieving the Dream (ATD). Conducted by SRI International and the rpk GROUP, the report indicates that faculty at colleges participating in ATD’s OER Degree Initiative are changing their teaching and that students are at least as or more engaged using OER courses than students in non-OER classrooms.”
“Now a new study has found that nearly half of all academic articles that users want to read are already freely available. These studies may or may not have been published in an open-access journal, but there is a legally free version available for a reader to download.
To arrive at this conclusion, researcher Heather Piwowar and her colleagues used data from a web-browser extension they had developed called Unpaywall. When users of the extension land on an academic article, it trawls the web to find if there are free versions to download from places such as pre-print services or those uploaded on university websites.
In an analysis of 100,000 papers queried by Unpaywall, Piwowar and her colleagues found that as many as 47% searched for studies that had a free-to-read version available. The study is yet to be peer-reviewed, but Ludo Waltman of Leiden University told Nature that it is ‘careful and extensive.'”
“The movement towards open access has allowed academic researchers to communicate and share their scholarly content more widely by being freely available to Internet users. However, there are still issues of concern among faculty in regards to making their scholarly output open access. This study surveyed Virginia Tech faculty (N = 264) awareness and attitudes toward open access practices. In addition, faculty were asked to identify factors that inhibited or encouraged their participation in open access repositories. Findings indicate that while the majority of Virginia Tech faculty are seeking to publish in open access, many are unaware of the open access services provided by the university and even less are using the services available to them. Time, effort, and costs were identified as factors inhibiting open access and data sharing practices. Differences in awareness and attitudes towards open access were observed among faculty ranks and areas of research. Virginia Tech will need to increase faculty awareness of institutional open access repositories and maximize benefits over perceived costs if there is to be more faculty participation in open access practices.”
“In the era of computation and data-driven research, traditional methods of disseminating research are no longer fit-for-purpose. New approaches for disseminating data, methods and results are required to maximize knowledge discovery. The ‘long tail’ of small, unstructured datasets is well catered for by a number of general-purpose repositories, but there has been less support for ‘big data’. Outlined here are our experiences in attempting to tackle the gaps in publishing large-scale, computationally intensive research. GigaScience is an open-access, open-data journal aiming to revolutionize large-scale biological data dissemination, organization and re-use. Through use of the data handling infrastructure of the genomics centre BGI, GigaScience links standard manuscript publication with an integrated database (GigaDB) that hosts all associated data, and provides additional data analysis tools and computing resources. Furthermore, the supporting workflows and methods are also integrated to make published articles more transparent and open. GigaDB has released many new and previously unpublished datasets and data types, including as urgently needed data to tackle infectious disease outbreaks, cancer and the growing food crisis. Other ‘executable’ research objects, such as workflows, virtual machines and software from several GigaScience articles have been archived and shared in reproducible, transparent and usable formats. With data citation producing evidence of, and credit for, its use in the wider research community, GigaScience demonstrates a move towards more executable publications. Here data analyses can be reproduced and built upon by users without coding backgrounds or heavy computational infrastructure in a more democratized manner.”