Open education resources to shape post-pandemic world

“For the past two decades, the world has been building open knowledge on a massive scale, with open educational resources as a cornerstone. The 2001 launches of MIT OpenCourseWare and Creative Commons formed a solid foundation of this global open educational resource movement, which now supports many millions of learners from all walks of life.

Now, as we begin to grapple with the long-term impacts and changes in education brought on by the pandemic year, it’s crucial to assess how open educational resource (OER) tools and resources are reaching those who need and use them most. In this article, we’ll focus on students in Africa….

Beyond its role in sustaining education through the pandemic, OER like MIT OpenCourseWare has several qualities that will be essential in the rebuilding and progress to come, supporting efforts to increase equity and live more sustainably as framed by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

• OER is inclusive, because it’s open for all to adapt for diverse needs and have all voices reflected.

• OER is resilient, always there when you need it, free to use in classrooms and carry with you through any future disruptions.

• OER is iterative, a collective work in progress that admits the latest insights into what’s working, and what’s not working, as knowledge is created and applied.

• OER is scalable, enabling hyper-local knowledge and lived experiences to be shared and built into a global pool of knowledge….”

Why we need to think about ethics when using satellite data for development | Devex

“To avoid these dynamics, Allan says it’s vital that stakeholders think carefully about who controls the collection of data, what platforms are being used to store and organize the data collected — and if those platforms are proprietary, or open-sourced — and what will happen to the data after the project is complete.

“The problem with proprietary data is that each NGO might be mapping different things, and they aren’t necessarily sharing that data,” Allan said. “So you might have Oxfam mapping one type of water source, but ignoring WaterAid, who may be mapping another, potentially leading to false resource reports.”

Another issue with proprietary data is that after the project is complete, it often becomes inaccessible to anyone except the NGO and donors, he said.

“The data is not only getting wasted, but it’s also potentially insecure, through lack of sustained ownership,” he said. “One way to get around this issue is to make data open-source, available in the public space, accountable to — and also update-able by — local communities.” …”

The SHRUG; Development Data Lab

“The Socioeconomic High-resolution Rural-Urban Geographic Platform for India (SHRUG) is a geographic platform that facilitates data sharing between researchers working on India. It is an open access repository currently comprising dozens of datasets covering India’s 500,000 villages and 8000 towns using a set of a common geographic identifiers that span 25 years….”

Development Data Lab

“Data limitations are a major constraint on good policy in developing countries. The sample surveys conventionally used for development policy and research are sparse, geographically imprecise, and weakly integrated. We collect many new kinds of data, including measures of well-being generated from satellite images, data exhaust from government programs, and archival administrative records not previously used for policy design. Our open data platform (the SHRUG) seamlessly stitches these data sources together, making it one of India’s first high-resolution geographic frameworks for socioeconomic analysis.

Our research uses cutting edge econometric and machine learning tools to generate policy-relevant insights that would be difficult to arrive at using other data sources. We focus on understanding how people born into poverty can live fulfilling and productive lives—and which policies and programs can help them do so….”

Meet the organisations receiving Open Data Day 2021 mini-grants – Open Knowledge Foundation blog

“The Open Knowledge Foundation is happy to announce the list of organisations from all over the world who have been awarded mini-grants to help them celebrate Open Data Day on Saturday 6th March 2021.

Thanks to the generous support of this year’s mini-grant funders –Microsoft, UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Mapbox, Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, Latin American Open Data Initiative, Open Contracting Partnership and Datopian – the Open Knowledge Foundation will be giving out a total of 61 mini-grants to help organisations run great online or in-person events on or around Open Data Day.

We received hundreds of mini-grant applications this year and were greatly impressed by the quality of the events being organised all over the world.

Learn more about Open Data Day, discover events taking place online or in your country and find out how to connect with the global open data community by checking out the information at the bottom of this blogpost.

Here are the organisations who will receive mini-grants for each of this year’s four themes:…”

Waiving article processing charges for least developed countries: a keystone of a large-scale open access transformation

Abstract:  This article investigates whether it is economically feasible for a large publishing house to waive article processing charges for the group of 47 so-called least developed countries (LDC). As an example, Springer Nature is selected. The analysis is based on the Web of Science, OpenAPC and the Jisc Collections’ Springer Compact journal list. As a result, it estimates an average yearly publication output of 520 publications (or 0.26% of the worldwide publication output in Springer Nature journals) for the LDC country group. The loss of revenues for Springer Nature would be US$1.1 million if a waiver was applied for all of these countries. Given that the subject categories of these publications indicate the output is of high societal relevance for LDC, and given that money is indispensable for development in these countries (e.g. life expectancy, health, education), it is not only desirable but also possible in economic terms for a publisher like Springer Nature to waive APCs for these countries without much loss in revenues.

 

Waiving article processing charges for least developed countries: a keystone of a large-scale open access transformation

Abstract:  This article investigates whether it is economically feasible for a large publishing house to waive article processing charges for the group of 47 so-called least developed countries (LDC). As an example, Springer Nature is selected. The analysis is based on the Web of Science, OpenAPC and the Jisc Collections’ Springer Compact journal list. As a result, it estimates an average yearly publication output of 520 publications (or 0.26% of the worldwide publication output in Springer Nature journals) for the LDC country group. The loss of revenues for Springer Nature would be US$1.1 million if a waiver was applied for all of these countries. Given that the subject categories of these publications indicate the output is of high societal relevance for LDC, and given that money is indispensable for development in these countries (e.g. life expectancy, health, education), it is not only desirable but also possible in economic terms for a publisher like Springer Nature to waive APCs for these countries without much loss in revenues.

 

Microorganisms | Free Full-Text | Microbiome Research: Open Communication Today, Microbiome Applications in the Future

Abstract:  Microbiome research has recently gained centre-stage in both basic science and translational applications, yet researchers often feel that public communication about its potential overpromises. This manuscript aims to share a perspective on how scientists can engage in more open, ethical and transparent communication using an ongoing research project on food systems microbiomes as a case study. Concrete examples of strategically planned communication efforts are outlined, which aim to inspire and empower other researchers. Finally, we conclude with a discussion on the benefits of open and transparent communication from early-on in innovation pathways, mainly increasing trust in scientific processes and thus paving the way to achieving societal milestones such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the EU Green Deal. View Full-Text

 

Towards societal impact through open research | Springer Nature | For Researchers | Springer Nature

“Open research is fundamentally changing the way that researchers communicate and collaborate to advance the pace and quality of discovery. New and dynamic open research-driven workflows are emerging, thus increasing the findability, accessibility, and reusability of results. Distribution channels are changing too, enabling others — from patients to businesses, to teachers and policy makers — to increasingly benefit from new and critical insights. This in turn has dramatically increased the societal impact of open research. But what remains less clear is the exact nature and scope of this wider impact as well as the societal relevance of the underpinning research….”