“Dr Harriet Downey (@HarrietFDowney, email@example.com) a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Cambridge announces a new global project to provide open access teaching materials for conservation educators and calls for more collaborators….”
“Higher education institutions are increasingly recognizing the value of open educational resources (OER) – or resources that are licensed to allow free access, use, adaptation, and redistribution – as OER eliminate textbook costs, contribute to student success, and allow for pedagogical innovation. Academic libraries often initiate and/or lead OER initiatives, however, OER intersect with and impact many other stakeholders across campus. It is important for OER leaders to understand the perspectives of these stakeholders, including students, instructors, instructional designers, the bookstore, administrators, and more. With an understanding of multiple perspectives around OER, academic libraries can generate buy-in, collaborate with campus partners, and develop broader support for the OER initiative. Attendees will engage with multiple stakeholder perspectives, consider how these perspectives are influenced by their specific institutional context, and develop strategies for collaborating with campus partners. 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….”
“When the public hears about something on the news and wants to learn more, they turn to Wikipedia. That’s as true during the COVID-19 pandemic as ever, with the site receiving record-breaking pageviews in April. But why does anyone consider it reliable? Who are the people volunteering their time to contribute to this content that so many people rely on? How do they organize themselves to coordinate improvement of the topic? There are thousands of articles about the pandemic in more than 150 languages. What kinds of topics do they cover? In what ways does Wikipedia and its sister sites, like Wikidata, collecting and using data about the pandemic?
The Symposium on COVID-19 and Wikipedia aims to answer questions the public may have about Wikipedia’s coverage of the pandemic. The event includes four speakers, all of whom are active contributors to the topic area on Wikipedia, but bring different perspectives, backgrounds, and interests. The event will be free and open to the public, broadcast live on YouTube and Facebook, and questions taken from viewers on these platforms. No prior experience with Wikipedia is expected….”
“Given the growth of preprint servers and alternative platforms, it is increasingly important to describe their disciplinary scope and compare and contrast policies including governance, licensing, archiving strategies and the nature of any screening checks. These practices are important to both researchers and policymakers.
Here we present searchable information about preprint platforms relevant to life sciences, biomedical, and clinical research….”
“As publishers provide students and faculty with temporary free access to learning materials during the COVID-19 crisis, concerns have been raised about access and time limitations associated with the offers. Working with members of the library community, SPARC has developed the following template that can be used to communicate with publishers about the restrictions….”
“The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) independent board of science advisers had harsh words for an agency plan to limit the types of studies it considers when crafting regulations, saying the EPA had failed to justify the need for the policy.
The policy was first proposed by former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in 2018 to battle “secret science.” He argued that in order to increase transparency, the agency should limit consideration of studies that don’t share their underlying data….
The SAB’s review is consistent with longstanding criticism of the proposal, as science and medical groups have argued it will lead the EPA to ignore important public health research that must protect the privacy of human subjects….”
“Scientists, librarians and publishers are all affected by the rapidly changing landscape of open access publishing, the proliferation of options available, and in some cases the confusion and uncertainty which can arise. The implementation of Science Europe’s “Plan S”, which stipulates that from 2021 scientific publications resulting from research funded by public grants must be published in compliant open access journals or platforms, will be a significant milestone. As well as examining the implications of Plan S in the UK and elsewhere, this meeting will explore the broader impact of open access publishing on the chemical sciences, addressing issues such as open access models, organisations’ and end-users’ experiences, licensing, ethics, benefits and pitfalls. Use cases illustrating new opportunities provided to chemistry by open publishing will also be presented….”
“Huge quantities of data are generated in the chemical sciences although frequently these data are behind paywalls or protected intellectual property of organisations. Recently however there has been a tendency for more openness in scientific data in general and specifically the chemical sciences. There is now a large quantity of open data mined from the literature over decades offering new opportunities to learn from these data thereby improving scientific endeavour. However ensuring data accessibility, discovery and quality is still a major issue. The meeting will offer guidance on data curation and wrangling in order to be able to be applied effectively….”
“All scientists working in chemistry need software tools for accessing, handling and storing chemical information, or performing molecular modelling and computational chemistry. There is now a wealth of open-source tools to help in these activities; however, many are not as well-known as commercial offerings. This workshop offers a unique opportunity for attendees to try out a range of open-source software packages for themselves with expert tuition in different aspects of chemistry. Attendees will be able to choose from sessions covering accessing online resources; data processing and visualisation; ligand and structure-based design, or computational chemistry. All software and training materials required for the workshop will be provided for attendees to install and run on their own laptops.”
“One of the oft-repeated adages in the scholarly communications world is that ‘the money is in the system’, it’s just badly distributed. This is one of the core problems with APCs; they don’t distribute funds in a similar way to subscriptions, so even if we could afford it, we still have a problematic distribution.
What if this isn’t true, though, that the level of funding will remain the same? We have 300 or so institutions supporting the Open Library of Humanities. There are a few notable institutional exceptions to the list, but this is a pretty good ‘who’s who’ of ‘libraries who/that are supportive of OA’. For more, see my recent blog post over at OLH. But 300 libraries is not the thousands of institutions worldwide who subscribe to traditional serial publications. These institutions silently continue to do what they have always done: buy a slim proportion of what material they can afford for their constituent local communities….
It seems likely, though, that many institutions with low- to zero- research outputs will just absorb the money they otherwise spent on subscriptions [and not redirect it to the support of OA]. I’m not being judgemental about this. These are not usually wealthy universities, even when they might be not-for-profit. They need to pay their staff and get the best deal for their students. But it would mean, in a new environment, that you could see a substantial long tail of money disappear – or a massive re-allocation of this long tail solely onto large research universities.
Of course, perhaps there is enough slack in the system to take this. 30% profit margins are common in for-profit scholarly communications, so if 20% of the revenue dropped off, you’d still see a sustainable return, even if the big players really wouldn’t like this. But I now feel much more sceptical about the argument that the same amount of money is going to stay in the system, even as publication volume will continue to increase.”