“The increasingly open and transparent nature of academic research is something I’ve touched upon many times on this blog in recent years. Further evidence of this general trend has emerged via the launch of MNI Open Research, a new platform for the publication of neuroscience research.
The platform aims to facilitate open and transparent peer-review, with all of the data used in the studies published, including null results, so that other researchers can avoid duplication, and also test the replicability of research.”
“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.”
“The event had a simple mission: to spur greater investment in agriculture and food nutrition data, especially in the G77 countries – a mission shared by the United Nations and the African Union this year.
The conference was co-convened by the Government of Kenya, the G77 Secretariat, African Union (NEPAD) and the Platform of African Farmers’ Organizations (PAFO).”
“44% of all peer-reviewed publications of the VU and the VUmc are published Open Access.
This includes all articles, letters, reviews and books that are available immediately and permanently free for everyone to read and download on the website of the publisher. The policy of the Dutch universities is starting to pay off. During the past two years, universities have made agreements with publishers including Springer, Taylor & Francis and Elsevier about funding Open Access publishing.”
“MIT’s provost, in consultation with the vice president for research, the chair of the faculty, and the director of the libraries, has appointed an ad hoc task force on open access to MIT’s research. Convening the task force was one of the 10 recommendations presented in the preliminary report of the Future of Libraries Task Force. The open access task force, chaired by Class of 1922 Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Hal Abelson and Director of Libraries Chris Bourg, will lead an Institute-wide discussion of ways in which current MIT open access policies and practices might be updated or revised to further the Institute’s mission of disseminating the fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible….”
“Presentation given at Open Repositories 2017, Brisbane, Australia. General track 13: Evaluation and assessment. This presentation discusses the open agenda supported by funder policies in the United Kingdom (UK), how these policies interact with one another and the resulting implications for higher education institutions using the case study of the University of Cambridge. The University of Cambridge has responded to the challenges of open research by founding the Office of Scholarly Communication and dedicating specialized teams to manage compliance with both Open Access and research data requirements. Since 2013 the Open Access Service has processed over 10,000 article submissions and spent more than £7 million on article processing charges. The experiences at Cambridge in responding to these challenges are an important lesson for anyone engaged in open research. This talk offers some insights into a potential way to manage funder mandates, but also acts as a cautionary tale for other countries and institutions considering introducing mandates around Open Access and what the implementation of certain policies might entail. The skills around management of open policies are significantly different to traditional library activity, and this has implications for training and recruitment of staff.”
“Arguments against APC funding like the one above are both frequent and angry-sounding, and have been flowing in again from the OAI10 Conference in Geneva twitter feed. They’re also problematic. The way the argument is put out suggests that the dichotomy is between APC-based Gold and Green OA. While it’s an understandable claim for more funding for Green OA-based infrastructure to which one is far from being unsympathetic, it follows a biased logic:
While fully respecting the demands for a more Green OA-friendly approach in research funder policies, my view is that since we happen to have this enormous opportunity that library-managed APC funding offers in terms of OA advocacy, it’s in everyone’s best interest to try to exploit it leaving aside controversies that divert the attention from the rather evident fact that it’s a co-existence of different models we’re clearly heading towards.”
“As working scientists, many of us become imbued (by processes of which few are conscious) with the principles articulated by Robert Merton that hold science to be a collective and cumulative activity in which the core responsibility is to communicate knowledge—even if it is distorted by career incentives that focus less on the substance of our accomplishments than where they are published. The duty of communication is primarily to other scholars, but from the formation of the very first learned societies the scientific community has a sense of its public obligations.
That sense of duty has been sharpened by the arrival of open access and extended by governments seeking better returns on public investment in research. The Finch report’s statement in 2012 that “The principle that the results of research that has been publicly funded should be freely accessible in the public domain is a compelling one, and fundamentally unanswerable” captured the zeitgeist and was accepted without demur by the UK government.(4) Similar proclamations have been made by administrations in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere.
Of course, words are cheaper than actions, and open access has yet to deliver fully on the promise of providing faster, fairer, and cheaper access to research information. In part this is due to historical baggage. The entanglement of the principles of scholarly communication with increased commercializm in publishing and with rising managerialism in university governance has intensified our preoccupation with journal-based measures of prestige. That has retarded the dissemination of knowledge as authors chase impact factors and locked in the market advantages of the largest publishers.(2)”