Daunting Problems and Thrilling Promises | MIT Libraries News

“Several years ago I moved to help fill a void I saw in sociology— a need for greater openness and transparency in research practices and publications—something that many scientists in other disciplines were moving to embrace. I founded SocArXiv, an open social science archive for research papers, modeled after arXiv in math and physics and bioRxiv in life sciences. Working with the Center for Open Science and a steering committee of sociologists and librarians (including Chris Bourg), we started accepting papers in 2016, and now host more than 3,000. The work is free to share and read, with links to research materials, and proper archiving and tagging, so it’s accessible and discoverable by anyone.

Since 2016, I’ve had lots of work to do to help build an equitable, open, and durable system of knowledge communication, and it’s work I love. Thanks to the leadership of Chris Bourg, support from a group of libraries from the Association of Research Libraries, and a sabbatical leave from Maryland, in 2018 I had the opportunity to extend that work at MIT’s new Center for Research on Equitable and Open Scholarship (CREOS) as its first visiting scholar….”

At MIT anthropologists plan a model for Open Access

“Publishers, librarians, research funders, and leaders from across the field of anthropology — including journal editors and representatives of the major Anglophone anthropological societies of both Europe and North America — gathered at MIT on April 24, 2019 for an invitational workshop focused on a sea change for everyone who attended: moving the discipline’s journals to an Open-Access (OA) model.

 
Currently, the expense of academic publishing creates significant barriers to the broad dissemination of scholarly findings. The goal of the workshop was to consider a new model for providing open access to journal publications in a way that could transform both anthropology and a full range of academic disciplines….”

At MIT anthropologists plan a model for Open Access

“Publishers, librarians, research funders, and leaders from across the field of anthropology — including journal editors and representatives of the major Anglophone anthropological societies of both Europe and North America — gathered at MIT on April 24, 2019 for an invitational workshop focused on a sea change for everyone who attended: moving the discipline’s journals to an Open-Access (OA) model.

 
Currently, the expense of academic publishing creates significant barriers to the broad dissemination of scholarly findings. The goal of the workshop was to consider a new model for providing open access to journal publications in a way that could transform both anthropology and a full range of academic disciplines….”

Draft Recommendations of the MIT Ad Hoc Faculty Task Force on Open Access to MIT’s Research

“The open sharing of research outputs promises to quicken the accumulation of knowledge and insight and enhance opportunities for collaboration. It also aligns with MIT’s mission. At MIT, we are “committed to generating, disseminating, and preserving knowledge, and to working with others to bring this knowledge to bear on the world’s great challenges.” We currently manifest that mission via the open sharing of educational materials through OCW and MITx, and by openly sharing faculty research via the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy. In addition, as MIT makes bold moves to address the challenges and opportunities presented by the prevalence of computing and the rapid advances in artificial intelligence, our efforts in these areas will depend on the open availability of large, diverse, and inclusive sets of data in all formats.

The Task Force on Open Access to MIT’s Research has been charged with developing recommendations to further support and enhance the open sharing of MIT research and educational materials and to contribute to the global transition to open science. Recommended as part of the 2016 report from the Institute-wide Task Force on the Future of Libraries, the task force is intended to address the large proportions of MIT’s research and teaching outputs that are not yet available for open dissemination. This includes the vast majority of faculty journal articles published before the adoption of the Faculty Open Access Policy in 2009, and over 50% of faculty articles published since then.

These bold, vital aims must, however, be considered in the context of complex changes in distribution and publication processes, as they evolve to harness the potential of the digital age to enhance and facilitate the sharing of science and scholarship so that research output can have maximum impact. We offer these recommendations amid signs of growing pains in this transition: at a time when proprietary and open systems and services for sharing data, code, and all forms of publication are proliferating; when the economic models for these new approaches are still being developed, debated, and tested; and when practices and policies around openness vary in different parts of the globe. In this time of transition, many publishers are struggling to implement successful open access business models and to meet new requirements from public and private research funders for more open access to scholarly articles and data. Researchers stretch to simultaneously act upon their wish to share their work broadly while meeting expectations for the kind of publication and credentialing that will advance their careers; some—such as a system-wide group at the University of California — are leading bold initiatives to assert their principles regarding the scholarly communication system and insist that publishers manifest them. …

[W]e should double down on responsible ways to manifest MIT’s foundational belief in the value of open sharing. This is the aim of our recommendations….”

CREOS [Center for Research on Equitable and Open Scholarship], MIT Libraries

“Mission

Advance knowledge in service of equitable and open scholarship.

Our Work

CREOS seeks evidence about the best ways disparate communities can participate in scholarship with minimal bias or barriers.

  • First, it aims to make research in every field more equitably and openly available to all who could benefit from and/or contribute to it.
  • Second, it aims to accomplish the first goal by conducting and supporting original research and sharing it openly.

We believe in

  • Rigorous, evidence-based research to inform actions
  • Tackling grand challenges identified by the community and internally at MIT Libraries
  • Multidisciplinary problem solving and methodologies
  • The power of equitable and open scholarship to accelerate the pace of discovery and create a more robust and comprehensive knowledge base for human understanding, insight, and quality of life.

Who we are

CREOS acts as a catalyst for collaborative research inside and outside of MIT and is part of a growing global community committed to improving scholarly communication for everyone. CREOS is part of the MIT Libraries and leverages MIT’s longstanding emphasis on innovation, entrepreneurship, and open sharing of educational and research materials. CREOS itself consists of a small team that conducts and supports basic research and is also a collaboration of institutional partnerships, interested faculty, visiting researchers, scholarly communication enthusiasts, and financial supporters who are willing to invest in research with a shared vision. Our audience includes anyone who is influencing the future of scholarly communication….”

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.

FINAL REPORT: A Grand Challenges-Based Research Agenda for Scholarly Communication and Information Science

“A global and multidisciplinary community of stakeholders came together in March 2018 to identify, scope, and prioritize a common vision for specific grand research challenges related to the fields of information science and scholarly communications. The participants included domain researchers in academia, practitioners, and those who are aiming to democratize scholarship. An explicit goal of the summit was to identify research needs related to barriers in the development of scalable, interoperable, socially beneficial, and equitable systems for scholarly information; and to explore the development of non-market approaches to governing the scholarly knowledge ecosystem.

To spur discussion and exploration, grand challenge provocations were suggested by participants and framed into one of three sections: scholarly discovery, digital curation and preservation, and open scholarship. A few people participated in three segments, but most only attended discussions around a single topic….”

The MIT Press to launch print and open access book series with support from the MIT Libraries | MIT Libraries News

In Spring 2019, the MIT Press will launch <strong>Ideas, a hybrid print and digital open access book series intended for general readers that will provide strongly argued and provocative views of the effects of digital technology on our ideas and thus on culture, business, government, education, and our lives.

Series authors are experts in their field who are writing for a broad audience. Forthcoming books in <strong>Ideas include Hacking Life: Systematized Living and Its Discontents by Joseph M. Reagle, Jr. (April 2019); The Smart Enough City: Putting Technology in Its Place to Reclaim Our Urban Future by Ben Green (April 2019); Sharenthood by Leah Plunkett (Fall 2019); and Data Feminism by Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren Klein (Spring 2020), which is available now for community review.

The series is edited by David Weinberger, an author and senior researcher at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, and will be published open access with financial support from the MIT Libraries….”