A Deeper Dive into Open Educational Resources: Myths, Barriers, and Current Issues

“Open Educational Resources (OER), or learning objects that are explicitly licensed so that others can retain, reuse, and revise them, continue to gain traction in higher education, both as a potential solution to the rising cost of textbooks and as an impetus for improving pedagogy. As a result, several libraries have established incentive programs and outreach to raise instructor awareness of OER and increase OER adoption and creation on their campuses. In order to lead these programs, librarians must intentionally prepare for instructor misconceptions, gaps in knowledge, and questions. Building upon Lyrasis’ introductory course on OER offered in August 2019, this course will provide participants with an overview of common myths related to OER, including concerns about peer review and comprehensiveness, as well as barriers instructors face when adopting OER, including a lack of familiarity with Creative Commons and the need for ancillary materials. Potential solutions and talking points will be discussed. The session will conclude with a short overview of current issues that librarians working with OER should be familiar with. While some background on OER will be covered, this session is intended for librarians that already have a working knowledge of how OER are defined and why they are important….”

Advocating for Change in How Science is Conducted to Level the Playing Field – YouTube

“Open science practices have the potential to greatly accelerate progress in scientific research if widely adopted, but individual action may not be enough to spur this change.

In this webinar, a panel of experienced policy advocates discuss how to advocate for policy improvements at the institutional level (journals, funders, and universities), while providing you with the tools to do so. Open practice policies are leveling the playing field for how science is conducted, yet advocating for these improvements requires coordinated action. Join us!…”

Unusual Business: A University Press Goes Private, And No One is the Wiser — G. Geltner

“On 11 March this year, a brief announcement by the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and Amsterdam University Press (AUP) marked the latter’s transfer into private hands. The upbeat text conjures up a healthy image: a rigorous restructuring had saved an ailing organization. Following a dire diagnosis, AUP achieved a great “track record” and “international visibility” and was “stable and growing.” “A good moment” presented itself to let AUP direct its own destiny, a “long-cherished dream” of its new owner, whose “network in the sector” reassured UvA Ventures Holding B.V., the company through which the UvA formally owned AUP, of the press’s bright future.

Anyone unversed in the corporate idiom of mergers and acquisitions could easily be forgiven for reading the press release as a tale of unmitigated success. The truth is more complex, and shrouded in secrecy since neither the UvA, nor UvA Ventures Holding B.V., nor AUP itself have been forthcoming about the precise circumstances of the press’s privatization. It seems, at any rate, that what led to the UvA’s decision was a desire to cut its losses, rather than faith in the press’s viability….

As a proud former author, advisory board member and a series editor at AUP until recently, I (like other colleagues I’ve polled) was never formally told in real time by the press about this rather dramatic change in its status. But perhaps even more telling is that the UvA never specifically disclosed the reasons why tax-paid scholarship and the labor of numerous staff members turn at the stroke of a pen into someone else’s private property, even if contributors originally signed up to publish, review, edit and indeed solicit scholarly texts on behalf of an ostensibly public press. Some of these “content creators” may not care that they are literally volunteering to produce wealth for a private company that is unaccountable to them, and which may fold or be sold to the highest bidder, with no guarantee that fields it supports today will be continued tomorrow. (On that topic, see, most recently, s.v. Ashgate). Others, like me, very much do care….”

DFG – Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft – Stellungnahme der DFG zur Gründung von „cOAlition S“ zur Unterstützung von Open Access

From Google’s English: “A coalition of several European research funding organizations (cOAlition S), supported by the European Commission and the European Research Council (ERC), has agreed to make full and immediate open access to science publications they support mandatory from 2020 onwards.

The German Research Foundation (DFG) works closely with European funding organizations in Science Europe and Knowledge Exchange, as well as with all relevant national organizations to build and develop a science and research-friendly open access environment. It therefore welcomes the coordinated cooperation of various funding organizations to implement an open access approach….

The DFG continues to support Open Access based on the interests of researchers and with a view to better cost transparency, both in terms of the cost of access to publications and publication fees. It supports the “cOAlition S” in a series of measures that the DFG has already begun implementing in the past….”

[But DFG did not endorse Plan S or join the Plan S coalition.]

Open Science Fair

“Open Science is a new research paradigm facing many challenges, mainly the ingrained research habits accompanied by non-incentive institutional and funder reward systems, the lack of embedded tools and services, the connection to non-academic communities.

OSFair2019 is organized as an emblematic initiative of OpenAIRE, co-organized by 3 other EU projects in the area of Open Science: FIT4RRI, EOSC Secretariat and FAIRsFAIR. It is locally curated by the University of Minho.

Open Science Fair will critically showcase the elements required for the transition to Open Science: e-infrastructures and services, policies as guidance for good practices, research flows and new types of activities (disseminate, mine, review, assess, etc.), the roles of the respective actors and their networks….”

Survey of Academic Library Leadership: Evaluation of the Institutional Digital Repository

Abstract:  This 48-page report, based primarily on a survey of 73 largely research-oriented colleges and universities, presents the views of library directors, deans, university librarians and other high level library officials about the current state of and future plans for the library’s institutional digital repository.  The study helps its readers to answer questions such as:  how much are libraries currently spending on their repositories and how much do they plan to spend in the future?  How much staff labor is being spent on the repository and have staffs or use of staff time grown in recent years? How satisfied is upper library management with the digital repository? What are its plans for the repository over the next few years – for outreach, marketing, platforms, and more?

Data in the report is broken out by institutional type and size and other variables; for example data is presented separately for R1 and R2 level research institutions, for doctoral institutions and for all other types of college.  In addition, the data is broken out for some personal variables of the survey respondent, such as job title and age range.

Just of few of the report’s many findings are that:

More than 88% of the R1 level institutions in the sample had an institutional digital repository.
49.32% of survey participants felt that their institutional spending on their repositories would remain more or less the same over the next year.
Over the past three years private colleges have been more active than public ones in adding staff to their repositories.”

Informed consent in the context of open licensing: some questions for discussion | Sustaining the Knowledge Commons / Soutenir les savoirs communs

The purpose of this post is to encourage sharing of knowledge and ideas on the topic of modifying informed consent when working with human subjects to accommodate open licensing. Examples of questions for discussion: COPE has provided guidance for the protection of journals in the case of one particularly sensitive type of material, medical case reports. Is anyone providing guidance for authors and their institution? What about other types of sensitive material that are common in disciplines such as education, health and social sciences? Has any research ethics board or similar body updated their guidance on informed consent in light of open licensing?

Financing open-access publication after 2024

“Several publishers are concerned about the timeline for implementing Plan S, the European initiative that will make all research papers free to access (see Nature 561, 17–18; 2018). Their main concern is whether their markets will be ready for a ‘pay to publish’ model by 2024, when funders’ support for transformative agreements ends. As co-chairs of the implementation task force of the international research-funder consortium cOAlition S (see www.coalition-s.org), we wish to clarify our position with regard to financially supporting the important transition to full open access after 2024….

After 2024, we will be encouraging institutional libraries and large consortia to switch from ‘read and publish’ agreements with publishers to ‘pure publish’ deals for portfolios of subscription journals that have become open-access journals. The cOAlition S funders will contribute to financing such deals, which will be more cost-effective and have fewer transaction costs than a single-paper charging system. The financial transaction would then no longer be between the author and the editor or journal, removing any concerns about perverse incentives for lax quality control….”