Time to Reform Academic Publishing | Forum

“In particular, as graduate, professional, and medical students, we have been shaped by the relics of an inequitable publishing model that was created before the age of the internet. Our everyday work—from designing and running experiments to diagnosing and treating patients—relies on the results of taxpayer-funded research. Having these resources freely available will help to accelerate innovation and level the playing field for smaller and less well-funded research groups and institutions. With this goal of creating an equitable research ecosystem in mind, we want to highlight the importance of creating one that is equitable in whole….

But today, the incentives for institutions do not align with goals of equity, and change will be necessary to help support a more equitable system. Nor do incentives within institutions always align with these goals. This is especially true for early-career researchers, who might struggle to comply with new open-access guidelines if they need to pay a high article publishing fee to make their research open in a journal that is valued by their institutions’ promotion and tenure guidelines.

To these ends, it is imperative that the process for communicating research results to the public and other researchers does not shift from a “pay-to-read” model to a “pay-to-publish” model. That is, we should not use taxpayer dollars to pay publishers to make research available, nor should we simply pass these costs on to researchers. This approach would be unsustainable long-term and would go against the equity goals of the new OSTP policy. Instead, we hope that funders, professional societies, and institutions will come along with us in imagining and supporting innovative ways for communicating science that are more equitable and better for research….”

Investigating the dimensions of students’ privacy concern in the collection, use, and sharing of data for learning analytics

Abstract:  The datafication of learning has created vast amounts of digital data which may contribute to enhancing teaching and learning. While researchers have successfully used learning analytics, for instance, to improve student retention and learning design, the topic of privacy in learning analytics from students’ perspectives requires further investigation. Specifically, there are mixed results in the literature as to whether students are concerned about privacy in learning analytics. Understanding students’ privacy concern, or lack of privacy concern, can contribute to successful implementation of learning analytics applications in higher education institutions. This paper reports on a study carried out to understand whether students are concerned about the collection, use and sharing of their data for learning analytics, and what contributes to their perspectives. Students in a laboratory session (n = 111) were shown vignettes describing data use in a university and an e-commerce company. The aim was to determine students’ concern about their data being collected, used and shared with third parties, and whether their concern differed between the two contexts. Students’ general privacy concerns and behaviours were also examined and compared to their privacy concern specific to learning analytics. We found that students in the study were more comfortable with the collection, use and sharing of their data in the university context than in the e-commerce context. Furthermore, these students were more concerned about their data being shared with third parties in the e-commerce context than in the university context. Thus, the study findings contribute to deepening our understanding about what raises students’ privacy concern in the collection, use and sharing of their data for learning analytics. We discuss the implications of these findings for research on and the practice of ethical learning analytics

Preprint review should form part of PhD programmes and postdoc training

“We need a recognized, equitable way for PhD graduates to demonstrate the transferable skills they have gained.

For me, that way is to train them in preprint review….

Peer reviewing preprints would guarantee young researchers some concrete outputs that illustrate their ability to critique work, write about science and discuss subjects outside their immediate focus of research. By building such training into our scientific institutions, rather than relying on outside opportunities to which many do not have access, we can create a fairer system in which not just the well-connected can demonstrate their abilities….”

Open Textbooks Pilot Program

“The Open Textbooks Pilot program supports projects at eligible institutions of higher education that create new open textbooks and expand the use of open textbooks in courses that are part of a degree-granting program, particularly those with high enrollments. This pilot program emphasizes the development of projects that demonstrate the greatest potential to achieve the highest level of savings for students through sustainable, expanded use of open textbooks in high-enrollment courses or in programs that prepare individuals for in-demand fields.”


Updates on the Future for 2023 – openoregon.org

“Peeking around the corner into 2023, the barriers preventing faculty from more widespread adoption of OER are the usual ones: time and money. Further, Oregon’s statewide OER program is working with faculty who are worn out by the ongoing pandemic and responding to heightened student needs.

Beyond these obvious constraints, though, here are four big challenges we’re thinking about right now.

Do these resonate for your program? Do you have something different on your mind? Comments are open!…”

Open Access in der Berufsbildungsforschung

From Google’s English:  “Open access has arrived in the subject area of ??vocational training research as an important topic with regard to the publication of and access to research and work results. This volume is dedicated to the advantages and challenges associated with open access from different perspectives. The aim is to provide comprehensive information about open access on the one hand and to make the complex threads of discussion visible on the other.”

Oregon Tech faculty turn to open source materials to save students more than $1.2 million in textbook costs | News | heraldandnews.com

“Oregon Tech faculty are partnering with Oregon Tech Library’s Open Educational Resources (OER) program to reduce student costs associated with textbook materials, and throughout the past three years have saved Oregon Tech students $1,216,866 in textbook costs.

According to University Librarian John Schoppert, OER are freely accessible, high-quality coursework materials made accessible to students to alleviate the high costs of mainstream publisher textbooks. OER describes openly licensed materials and resources for any user to use, remix, reuse, repurpose and redistribute….”

MetaArXiv Preprints | The impact of open and reproducible scholarship on students’ scientific literacy, engagement, and attitudes towards science: A review and synthesis of the evidence

Abstract:  In recent years, the scientific community has called for improvements in the credibility, robustness, and reproducibility of research, characterized by higher standards of scientific evidence, increased interest in open practices, and promotion of transparency. While progress has been positive, there is a lack of consideration about how this approach can be embedded into undergraduate and postgraduate research training. Currently, the impact of integrating an open and reproducible approach into the curriculum on student outcomes is not well articulated in the literature. Therefore, in this paper, we provide the first comprehensive review of how integrating open and reproducible scholarship into teaching and learning may impact students, using a large-scale, collaborative, team-science approach. Our review highlighted how embedding open and reproducible scholarship may impact: (1) students’ scientific literacies (i.e., students’ understanding of open research, consumption of science, and the development of transferable skills); (2) student engagement (i.e., motivation and engagement with learning, collaboration, and engagement in open research), and (3) students’ attitudes towards science (i.e., trust in science and confidence in research findings). Our review also identified a need for more robust and rigorous methods within evaluations of teaching practice. We discuss implications for teaching and learning scholarship in this area.

Feds charge Russians linked to the ‘world’s largest’ pirated e-book library | Engadget

“US law enforcement isn’t just interested in shutting down video pirates. The feds have charged two Russian nationals, Anton Napolsky and Valeriia Ermakova, for allegedly running the pirate e-book repository Z-Library. The site was billed as the “world’s largest library” and held over 11 million titles, many of which were bootleg versions stripped of copyright protections.

The pair was arrested in Cordoba, Argentina at the US’ request on November 3rd. The American government disabled and seized the public Z-Library site at the same time. Napolsky and Ermakova each face charges of copyright infringement, money laundering and wire fraud….”

Z-Library shutdown ends years of free, but illegal, college textbook access – The Pitt News

“Sydnee Ruley has saved hundreds of dollars over her four years at Pitt by getting her textbooks from the library — Z-Library, that is. 

“I was able to save a lot of money just using Z-Library and using that for textbooks instead of paying like $70 for a textbook I was only going to use for one semester,” Ruley, a senior mechanical engineering major, said. 

But in early November, The Federal Bureau of Investigation seized a series of domain names from Z-Library, one of the largest and most popular sources for pirated books and articles, in early November. According to TorrentFreak, Z-Library held almost 12 million copies of digital books in its free internet archive. …”

NU students react to takedown of book piracy website Z-Library

“Medill freshman Josefina Espino began using Z-Library to download textbooks for free as soon as she got to campus.

“I was complaining about paying $300 for my books,” Espino said. “Then somebody told me, ‘Girl, don’t pay for your books. Nobody here actually pays for them.’”

But on Nov. 4, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York took down the online book piracy website. 

Z-Library was a “shadow library” providing users with free access to books and other written materials. But now, when opening Z-Library’s homepage, users are met with a message reading, “This website has been seized.” The website was also previously banned in France and India.

Within the past few days, Z-Library was relaunched on another domain….”

Z-library shutdown: What the popular pirated book website meant to students.

“Imagine you’re able to download any book for free, anywhere in the world.

The good news is that several such websites exist. The bad news is that they are, of course, illegal—they’re filled with pirated volumes. Recently, Z-library, one of the largest, went offline, and feds in the U.S. seem to be responsible.

While there are other ways to access pirated materials, Z-library is especially popular with college students and academics for several reasons. Now, the shutdown has left many students, particularly in the global south, scrambling for access to research and educational materials….”

Starstruck by journal prestige and citation counts? On students’ bias and perceptions of trustworthiness according to clues in publication references | SpringerLink

Abstract:  Research is becoming increasingly accessible to the public via open access publications, researchers’ social media postings, outreach activities, and popular disseminations. A healthy research discourse is typified by debates, disagreements, and diverging views. Consequently, readers may rely on the information available, such as publication reference attributes and bibliometric markers, to resolve conflicts. Yet, critical voices have warned about the uncritical and one-sided use of such information to assess research. In this study we wanted to get insight into how individuals without research training place trust in research based on clues present in publication references. A questionnaire was designed to probe respondents’ perceptions of six publication attributes. A total of 148 students responded to the questionnaire of which 118 were undergraduate students (with limited experience and knowledge of research) and 27 were graduate students (with some knowledge and experience of research). The results showed that the respondents were mostly influenced by the number of citations and the recency of publication, while author names, publication type, and publication origin were less influential. There were few differences between undergraduate and graduate students, with the exception that undergraduate students more strongly favoured publications with multiple authors over publications with single authors. We discuss possible implications for teachers that incorporate research articles in their curriculum.


Awareness, use and attitudes of the Indian higher educational institutions students about scholarly open access: an empirical analysis | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

Open access is a new scholarly publishing model that has appeared in place of the commercial publishing model. The aim of this study was to investigate the level of awareness, use and attitudes of the Indian students in higher educational institutions about scholarly open access.


Survey method was used in the study. The sample population of the study was 212 Indian students belonging to different higher educational institutions in India.


The results of the study reveal a gloomy picture about the open access (OA) awareness and use among Indian students. Unfamiliarity with the OA journals and high publication fee were the main obstacles for the students not to publish in OA journals. However, a majority of the students reported their willingness to publish in OA journals in future if the obstacles are removed. A very meager ratio of the respondents had published in OA journals so far. In addition, motivational factors for publishing in OA journals were also taken into consideration, and respondent’s indicated winning research grants, great impact and higher citations as main factors to publish in OA journals.

Research limitations/implications

This study is geographically limited to the students of the higher educational institutions located in India.

Practical implications

This study will help to understand the involvement and behavior of the Indian students toward scholarly open access. The study will also guide what measures need to be taken in the take up of open access movement.


Institutional repositories appeared to be relatively a novel term for the respondents, and in order to get the citation advantages and higher visibility, librarians can make an effort to persuade students to publish their research work in open access journals and institutional/subject repositories. The study recommends that institutions need to take appropriate measures to inform students about the importance and overall benefits associated with using of OA platforms in their scholarly work.

Preprint peer review enhances undergraduate biology students’ disciplinary literacy and sense of belonging in STEM | bioRxiv

Abstract:  Undergraduate education on science publishing and peer review is limited compared to the focus on experimental research. Since peer review is integral to the scientific process and central to the identity of a scientist, we envision a paradigm shift that makes teaching peer review integral to undergraduate science education, and hypothesize that this may facilitate the development of students’ scientific literacy and identity formation. To this end, we developed a curriculum for biology undergraduates to learn about the mechanisms of peer review, then write and publish their own peer reviews as a way to authentically join the scientific community of practice. The curriculum was implemented as a semester-long intervention in one class and as a module intervention embedded into a discipline-based class on vaccines. Before and after both interventions, we measured students’ scientific literacy, including peer review ability, using quantitative methods. We also carried out a longitudinal qualitative assessment of students’ perceptions of their scientific literacy and identity using thematic analysis of students’ writing. Here, we present data on the improvement in peer review ability of undergraduates in both classes, and data on the curriculum’s interrelated impact on students’ development of scientific literacy, identity, and belonging in academic and professional spaces. These data suggest that undergraduates can and should be trained in peer review to foster the interrelated development of their scientific literacy, scientific identity, and sense of belonging in science.