Open science: European universities have more homework to do on data handling | Science|Business

“According to the latest data from the European University Association (EUA), only 21 per cent of surveyed higher education institutions have policies on research data management in place. Another 38 per cent of universities were in the process of developing them. However, almost 40 per cent reported that they lacked or were not in the process of developing such policies.”

Arizona State Working with Community Colleges in Interactive OER Pilot — Campus Technology

Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College is working with three of the largest community college systems in the country to adopt the use of interactive open educational resources. The Consortium for Open Active Pathways, as it’s called, will use technology to increase the availability of college-level educational materials, particularly in healthcare studies, a big component of community college education. The work is being funded by a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

The other institutions involved are Maricopa Community Colleges in Phoenix, Florida’s Miami Dade College and Indiana’s Ivy Tech Community College….”

University Journals – innovative academic publishing

The University Journals offers an alternative to the current journal ecosystem, Linked to university repositories, University Journals publish reviewed articles, data and other academic works on an accredited open access platform.

The University Journals platform is owned by the university community and offers Open Access journal publications to researchers affiliated to its university partners.

University Journals is a joint initiative from 14 international European universities. Initial development is funded by the PICA foundation and the University of Amsterdam.

Universities should be working for the greater good | Times Higher Education (THE)

What might happen if the provost of a highly visible research university that had recently reconfirmed its public-facing mission gathered the entire campus together – deans, department chairs and faculty – in rethinking the university’s promotion and tenure standards from top to bottom? What might become possible if that provost were to say that our definitions of “excellence” in research, teaching and service must have that public-facing mission at their heart? What might be possible if that public mission really became Job One?

The provost paused. Then he gave his answer: “Any institution that did that would immediately lose competitiveness within its cohort.” …

The pursuit of prestige is not the problem in and of itself, and excellence is, of course, something to strive for. In fact, friendly competition can push us all to do better. But excellence and prestige and the competitiveness that fuels their pursuit are too often based in marketing – indeed, in the logic of the market – rather than in the actual purposes of higher education. It’s a diversion from the on-the-ground work of producing and sharing knowledge that can result in misplaced investments and misaligned priorities….”

 

2017-2018 EUA Open Access Survey Results

“The publication of the results of the fourth EUA Open Access Survey coincides with the emergence of two important approaches in the construction of an Open Science environment. The first is „Plan S“, signed by an increasing number of research funding organisations. The second is the development of „Publish and Read“ models in negotiations with publishers by scholar negotiating consortia. These can be considered as complementary in the sense that the first aims to rapidly expand Open Access to research publications, and the second to control the total amount of funds spent by research performing organisations, that is, universities and research institutes, to publish in and to have access to scientific journals. The need to address these two major aims concurrently is the main goal of the work of the EUA Expert Group on Science 2.0/Open Science, and more generally EUA’s central objective for the future of scientific publications….

Key results regarding Open Access to research publications

• 62% of the institutions surveyed have an Open Access policy on research publications in place and 26% are in the process of drafting one.

• At institutions with an OA policy in place: – Almost 50% require publications to be self-archived in the repository – 60% recommend that researchers publish in OA – 74% do not include any provisions linking Open Access to research evaluation. Only 12% have mandatory guidelines linking OA to internal research assessment.

• Despite the fact that most surveyed institutions have implemented an Open Access policy for research publications, 73% had not defined specific Open Access targets or timelines.

• 70% of these institutions monitor deposits in the repository. However, only 40% monitor Open Access publishing and only 30% monitor related costs (gold OA).

• Librarians are most knowledgeable about and most committed to (~80%) Open Access (publishers’ policies, H2020 rules) followed by institutional leadership (~50%). For researchers, including early-stage researchers, the figure drops to ~20%. 

• Raising awareness and developing additional incentives for researchers to make their work available via Open Access are top priorities….”

Most European universities failing to monitor open access costs | Times Higher Education (THE)

Less than a third of European universities are monitoring how much they spend on open access publishing, a new survey has found.

The costs of article processing charges fees paid to publish in open access journals have come under scrutiny as universities switch away from subscribing to closed publications.

But just 31 per cent of universities surveyed by the European University Association said that they were keeping track of costs. Sixty-one per cent said that they were not, while the rest did not know….

In the UK, a report from 2017 found that the average APC had risen by 16 per cent in three years, well above inflation. As open access takes off, the amount that a sample of British universities were spending on APCs had increased more than fourfold, it discovered….

Only 43 per cent of institutions were actually monitoring how many research papers end up in open access journals….”

Elsevier’s Presence on Campuses Spans More Than Journals. That Has Some Scholars Worried. – The Chronicle of Higher Education

Lyon, a librarian of scholarly communications at the University of Texas at Austin, listed scholarly-publishing tools that had been acquired by the journal publishing giant Elsevier. In 2013, the company bought Mendeley, a free reference manager. It acquired the Social Science Research Network, an e-library with more than 850,000 papers, in 2016. And it acquired the online tools Pure and Bepress — which visualize research — in 2012 and 2017, respectively.

Lyon said she started considering institutions’ dependence on Elsevier when the company acquired Bepress two years ago. She was shocked, she recalled in a recent interview.

“It just got me thinking,” she said. Elsevier had it all: Institutional repositories, preprints of journal articles, and analytics. “Elsevier, Elsevier, Elsevier, Elsevier, Elsevier.”

Scholars are beginning to discuss the idea of Elsevier-as-monolith at conferences and in their research. Not only are librarians and researchers speaking openly about the hefty costs of bulk subscriptions to the company’s premier journals, but they’re also paying attention to the products that Elsevier has acquired, several of which allow its customers to store data and share their work….”

Assembly Democrats’ Bill to Make College Textbooks More Affordable Heads to Governor – Insider NJ

The bill (A-327-3254-1149) requires each institution of higher education to submit a plan to the Secretary of Higher Education to expand the use of open textbooks and commercial digital learning materials. “Open textbooks” are educational resources for college courses that are available online for free or at a reduced cost….”

Statement from University Librarian Elaine L. Westbrooks on the UC System’s Termination of Elsevier Subscriptions – UNC Chapel Hill Libraries

I support and applaud the UC system for taking this bold step to transform scholarly publishing.  

At Carolina, we soon will have our own decisions to make. Our Elsevier Science Direct subscription—which bundles titles of significance with those of less value to our campus—is set to expire December 31, 2019. Other publisher agreements will soon follow. …”

Transformation from subscription model toward OA publishing model: JUSTICE OA2020 Roadmap

“JUSTICE has seen that there is no other way to overcome the situation except to consider new models, and has been gathering information about worldwide trends. As part of information gathering, we endorsed the OA2020 Expression of Interest in August 2016, and we have analyzed Japanese financial and publication data to confirm the feasibility of transformation. Creating the JUSTICE OA2020 Roadmap is following this work. Our goal is to clarify the way to go through the transition period until a fully OA publishing model can be realized. Academic institutions, including Japanese ones, have already paid APCs(4) in addition to subscription fees as the cost of scholarly communication, and total amount of these costs have been increasing. If we leave the cost increases unchecked, we will not be able to keep the subscription model (cannot read) or pay for APCs (cannot publish). We need to shift our axis from read to publish to avoid this future, and at the same time, we have to find a model which is able to manage the total cost of publication (subscription fees plus APCs)….”