New partnership between SUNY and Lumen aims to take open educational resources to scale

The State University of New York system has, with its sister City University of New York, become in many ways the center of the open educational resources universe, thanks in part to its size and in (larger) part to the state Legislature’s recent multimillion-dollar investments in OER.

On Wednesday SUNY took another step toward solidifying that role with an agreement extending and expanding its current relationship with Lumen Learning, one of the companies that has embedded itself in the open educational resources space to try to improve the quality and increase the usage of OER-based digital courseware.

Under the terms of the three-year agreement, SUNY will cover the costs for all students to use content provided through Lumen at no charge. (OER content itself is typically free, but platforms like Lumen typically charge a per-student, per-course fee to use the platform through which the content is delivered, which often includes homework and feedback tools and other services that textbook publishers have increasingly wrapped around their textbooks.) …”

Sustaining Values and Scholarship: A Statement by the Provosts of the Big Ten Academic Alliance

“The current system of academic publishing is complex and has evolved unlike traditional markets. In its current state, academic publishing behaves as a price-inelastic market, with little relationship between demand and price. Cost increases for publications have been unrelenting with highs of 10- 12% annual inflation in the 1990s and now a more “modest” rate of 5-6% that still outpaces the CPI. Publisher mergers and acquisition of non-profit society publications by commercial entities, along with “big deal” aggregations for publisher databases, have contributed to an unsustainable model. Today, five commercial publishers control a majority market share of academic journals, the venues in which a large proportion of our scientific and other discoveries are documented and shared. The majority of published research is locked behind paywalls and accessible only to a shrinking number of institutions whose libraries can afford the subscription or license.

In 2006, we shared an open letter in support of taxpayer access to federally-funded research. In 2012, we repeated our advocacy for open access in the face of potentially restrictive legislation to curtail that openness. Since then, our institutions have further invested in systems, repositories, and local policies to support open access to the works of our faculty. And we have encouraged our libraries and faculty to work together to assess the value of purchased or licensed content and the appropriate terms governing its use. With Big Ten libraries’ expenditures on journals exceeding $190 million, we recognize that our institutions are privileged in the level of access we provide our campuses, yet the status quo is not sustainable….

Demand for open access continues and has been furthered by the rise of open access publications, federal and institutional open repositories, and an insistence by public funders that research results must be widely available—that equity be fostered. While no current model offers a fully tested framework to recognize the intellectual and financial resources our universities contribute to publishing, it is incumbent on our institutions to advance more sustainable modes of funding publishing. …”

Sustaining Values and Scholarship: A Statement by the Provosts of the Big Ten Academic Alliance

Universities are fundamentally about creating and sharing knowledge. Research and scholarship reflect the cumulative benefits of recorded knowledge. And students learn by exploring the discoveries and creative endeavors that have been shared over time. Simply stated, past knowledge fuels new knowledge, advancing global progress and individual growth. However, our systems of sharing knowledge no longer work in support of our academic enterprise.

The Big Ten Academic Alliance continues its advocacy for a sustainable and open ecosystem of publication. Collectively, our institutions’ more than 50,000 faculty are supported by over $10 billion (2017) in research funding, and our institutions have similarly invested significantly in our capacity to further our missions to advance knowledge. Together, we produce roughly 15% of the research publications in the United States….”

Sustaining Values and Scholarship A Statement by the Provosts of the Big Ten Academic Alliance

“We, the provosts of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, are committed to sustaining and advancing equitable modes of sharing knowledge. Our 14 institutions embrace individual mission statements that support the common good, equity of access, and the global impact and reach of our research and scholarship. Collectively, our institutions’ more than 50,000 faculty are supported by over $10 billion (2017) in research funding, and our institutions have similarly invested significantly in our capacity to further our missions to advance knowledge. Together, we produce roughly 15% of the research publications in the United States….

In 2006, we shared an open letter in support of taxpayer access to federally-funded research. In 2012, we repeated our advocacy for open access in the face of potentially restrictive legislation to curtail that openness. Since then, our institutions have further invested in systems, repositories, and local policies to support open access to the works of our faculty. And we have encouraged our libraries and faculty to work together to assess the value of purchased or licensed content and the appropriate terms governing its use. With Big Ten libraries’ expenditures on journals exceeding $190 million, we recognize that our institutions are privileged in the level of access we provide our campuses, yet the status quo is not sustainable….”

 

 

OAUNI – wihoforschung

From Google’s English: “In view of the importance of open access (OA), the project investigates the question of how the publication output of German universities has changed in the direction of open access and what role disciplinary and organizational factors play in taking up OA. The aim is to describe the state of development of OA publishing for all universities in Germany and to develop empirical explanatory models. The collaborative partners work cooperatively on the following questions: While SUB Göttingen develops novel OA detection sources such as Unpaywall Data for bibliometric analyzes, the I²SoS subproject investigates determinants of OA publication behavior.

The project is scientifically-reflective-oriented in its aims and thus differs from initiatives aimed at the infrastructural implementation of Open Access (OA). The research design identifies three workspaces that are processed across all locations: 1) University OA publication profiles, 2) Determinants of university OA profiles, 3) Results assurance by means of guided expert interviews. The quantitative data basis is provided by the data infrastructure of the Competence Center Bibliometrics (section Web of Science) and novel OA detection sources. The explanatory models are also based on established data sources of science research and university reporting.

The project aims to improve understanding of current change processes of the scientific publishing system. It therefore addresses current challenges in the areas of scientific literacy and social participation in the scientific cognitive process. The results, including the data and analytical routines, are prepared for specific target groups and, if legally possible, published under an open license….”

The European University Association and Science Europe Join Efforts to Improve Scholarly Research Assessment Methodologies

“Evaluating research and assessing researchers is fundamental to the research enterprise and core to the activities of research funders and research performing organisations, as well as universities. The European University Association (EUA) and Science Europe are committed to building a strong dialogue between their members, who share the responsibility of developing and implementing more accurate, open, transparent and responsible approaches, that better reflect the evolution of research activity in the digital era.

Today, the outcomes of scholarly research are often measured through methods based on quantitative, albeit approximate, indicators such as the journal impact factor. There is a need to move away from reductionist ways of assessing research, as well as to establish systems that better assess research potential. Universities, research funders and research performing organisations are well-placed to explore new and improved research assessment approaches, while also being indispensable in turning these innovations into systemic reforms….”

The Guild: Recommendations for Open Access and the implementation of Plan S | Science|Business

In view of the forthcoming publication of the Plan S’ revised Implementation Guidance, The Guild has published a position paper presenting its proposals for a successful transition towards Open Access. With these recommendations, The Guild builds on its submission to the Plan S consultation, contributing to a wider debate about how Plan S can help realise the ambitions of Open Science.

Full position paper at https://www.the-guild.eu/news/2019/12_open-science.pdf  

Exploring factors impacting student engagement in open access courses: Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning: Vol 34, No 2

Abstract:  Studies on student engagement in learning have mainly focused on undergraduate degree courses. Limited attempts have been made to examine student engagement on open access enabling courses, which is targeted to underrepresented students in higher education. Students on open access enabling courses are at high risk due to a low academic achievement in high school, the gap between schooling, work and post-secondary education, and different kinds of personal and academic barriers. This paper reports on a pilot quantitative study using a survey method undertaken at an Australian university. The study examined a range of issues related to student engagement, including learning barriers, engagement and experience in learning, skills attained, motivation to complete study, career pathway, and key reasons for selecting a particular pathway. The study found that online students are less engaged in learning and, therefore, efforts need to be made to improve their sense of belonging to the university. The findings of the study are critical due to high attrition on open access enabling courses and it argues the need to improve the engagement, retention, and success of students on such courses.

Altruism or Self-Interest? Exploring the Motivations of Open Access Authors | Heaton | College & Research Libraries

Abstract:  More than 250 authors at Utah State University published an Open Access (OA) article in 2016. Analysis of survey results and publication data from Scopus suggests that the following factors led authors to choose OA venues: ability to pay publishing charges, disciplinary colleagues’ positive attitudes toward OA, and personal feelings such as altruism and desire to reach a wide audience. Tenure status was not an apparent factor. This article adds to the body of literature on author motivations and can inform library outreach and marketing efforts, the creation of new publishing models, and the conversation about the larger scholarly publishing landscape.