Big Deal Cancellation Tracking – SPARC

“Large publishers have marketed bundles of journals at a discount off of aggregated list price since the late 1990’s.  The value proposition for publishers is a guaranteed revenue stream at a high overall dollar value.  The perceived benefit for the institutions has been access to a large volume of journal titles, at a lower per-title price than ala carte purchasing would afford. Over time, however, the actual value of these “big deals” has grown less clear. Publishers have often raised the price of the packages by 5-15%, far outpacing library budgets.  This has been justified, in part, by the addition of a growing number of specialized journal titles, launched in quick succession.  Libraries have found a growing chunk of their budgets allocated to servicing these big deals, as well as their ability to curate resources and build collections most appropriate for their communities severely hampered.

What was once a no-fuss way to get a significant collection of journals at a discount off of list price has devolved into a restrictive agreement that limits financial and strategic flexibility.  The “big deal” has often been compared to a cable or satellite TV package, an apt analogy insofar as the customer cannot choose to pass on content that is of no interest, with initial price breaks quickly giving way to locked-in increases.  Much like the millions of consumers who have chosen to “cut the cord”, a growing number of libraries are electing to critically appraise these big deals by assessing their collections, the value for money they are receiving from these packages, and how they might more strategically spend their finite collections resources….”

Addgene Depositors Get More Citations

“Professor Feng Zhang’s original 2013 gene editing paper on CRISPR/Cas amassed nearly 2,400 citations in its first four years (1). In addition to publishing in Science, Professor Zhang deposited the associated plasmids with Addgene. Since then, Addgene has filled over 6,500 requests for these plasmids. While clearly an outlier, this story had us wondering: is there a larger trend here? Do papers associated with Addgene deposits accumulate more citations than those without Addgene deposits? Even more interestingly, could we tell if depositing a plasmid with Addgene causes a paper to get cited more? …So what do we find [from Web of Science]? Lots more citations for the papers with plasmids deposited at Addgene – typically about four times as many as papers without plasmids deposited with Addgene….”

ScholarlyHub – Scholars launch crowdfunding campaign for non-profit academic platform | Progressive Geographies

ScholarlyHub has launched a crowdfunding campaign to build a new, multi-disciplinary open-access platform for scholarly communications. It aims to boost interaction among scholars and enhance their ability to share their work with the public at large, free from the constraints placed by publishing conglomerates and myopic government policies. ScholarlyHub will be an inclusive but critical space where curiosity and creativity can flourish and where scholars’ independence is protected for their own benefit and that of society at large.This non-profit platform will redefine social networks for scholars. The major academic social networking sites have been backed by venture capitalists, whose primary goal to profit from scraping and selling scholars’ data. ScholarlyHub, by contrast, is committed to scholarship, not profit. It aims to repair an unjust academic system and a global disparity in access to research, which is often publicly funded. By creating a member-run social network, ScholarlyHub will become a sustainable alternative for bringing scholars closer together in an increasingly fragmented academic landscape….”

» Institutional memberships for open-access publishers considered harmful The Occasional Pamphlet

“Some open-access publishers offer institutional memberships, whereby a fixed annual fee, often based on the size of faculty or expected number of submitted articles, covers all or a percentage of article-processing fees for the institution for the year.

The issue of OA publisher memberships is interesting and fraught. Harvard University is not currently a member of any of the major OA publishers—BioMed Central, Hindawi, or Public Library of Science. (Actually, Harvard Medical School is a PLoS member.) I’m not involved in Harvard’s decisions about institutional memberships, although I am not a fan of memberships in general, as you will see. I’ll explain my own view of the difficulty with memberships in terms of the market design for publisher services, and then talk about what alternatives there are….”

Harvard DART – Digital Assets for Reuse in Teaching

“Since 2012, HarvardX has developed over 35,000 learning assets for the edX platform, yet the use of these resources on-campus has been limited to small specialized experiments. A contributing factor to this limited use is that edX educational assets are only accessible behind the firewall of an edX registration page. MOOC learners, course staff, and faculty leads must all register for a course in order to even simply browse resources. Allen & Seaman (2016) indicate that two of the most cited obstacles to adoption of open educational resources by university faculty in the U.S. are the difficulty of finding high quality resources and the lack of comprehensive catalogue of resources….”

Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D)

“The Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) project aims to provide evidence-based research from a number of countries in South America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. The primary objective of the programme is to improve educational policy, practice, and research in developing countries by better understanding the use and impact of OER….”

Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D)

“The Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) project aims to provide evidence-based research from a number of countries in South America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. The primary objective of the programme is to improve educational policy, practice, and research in developing countries by better understanding the use and impact of OER….”