“Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. (NYSE: BNED), a leading provider of educational products and services solutions for higher education and K-12 institutions, today announced a deeper partnership with OpenStax™, the Rice University-based publisher of open educational resources (“OER”). Beginning Fall 2019, OpenStax will include the Business Law textbook from BNC OER+ (formerly known as LoudCloud Courseware) in its catalog of open educational resources, which are available to all educators at no cost. The expanded partnership between the companies for such content collaboration will further drive affordability and accessibility for students nationwide….”
“In October 2018, the US Department of Education gave LibreTexts, an OER portal based at the University of California, Davis, a $4.9 million grant to develop free, open textbooks in targeted subjects, including chemistry. The goal for the chemistry materials is to develop resources that will enable schools to offer an ACS-approved bachelor’s degree with zero cost for textbooks. ACS evaluates programs to determine whether they meet the guidelines established by the society’s Committee on Professional Training. The consortium developing LibreTexts includes 11 institutions beyond UC Davis, plus the California State University system. The consortium and its predecessor, ChemWiki, previously received funding from the US National Science Foundation….
Professors who want to use LibreTexts can use the existing materials as is, or they can mix and match the various textbooks available to make their own. The consortium currently contains 61 chemistry textbooks, 58 of which are in English and 3 of which are in Spanish.
Brett McCollum, a chemistry professor at Mount Royal University, in Canada, adopted LibreTexts for one section of his general-chemistry class in 2015. After a successful trial run, his department adopted it for all sections of both semesters of general chemistry the following year….
Rather than linking to existing LibreTexts pages, McCollum replicates those pages on his own course pages within LibreTexts and edits them to fit the focus of his class. “Having that freedom to tailor the book was really valuable to me,” he says….
McCollum envisions a future with most OER development funded by governments. In Canada, most provinces already have an OER initiative, he says. “Canada sees this as an important path forward for equity and for enabling students from diverse backgrounds to engage more fully in higher education,” McCollum says. “We have a vision of sharing nationally and internationally” the materials from the OER initiatives….
One thing that differentiates OpenStax from commercial publishing is the OER provider doesn’t need to constantly release new editions of its books to keep ahead of a used-book market. OpenStax books are available free to students electronically or for a nominal cost if a student prefers to have a printed version….”
“OpenStax, a nonprofit based at Rice University that publishes free online peer-reviewed textbooks, reports that more than two million students at U.S. colleges used at least one of its textbooks during the 2017-2018 school year. The nonprofit also estimates that students saved $177 million using the free textbooks in the 2017-2018 year. The increased use of of OpenStax textbooks comes as the AAP reported that sales of higher education course materials fell 7.2% in 2018.
According to OpenStax, its textbooks are in use at 48% of U.S. colleges and were used by 2.2 million students in 2017-2018. OpenStax textbooks, which are part of the larger Open Education Resource movement for free educational resources, have been used by more than 6.2 million students since it began publishing its own textbooks in 2012. OpenStax has published 32 free textbooks….”
“My path to OpenStax was a convoluted one. I went to Rice University to study opera performance, but like many students I had a change of heart somewhere along the way. Luckily, I had also been working as a technologist throughout college, doing website design and development for faculty. When I graduated in 2008, in the height of the recession, I was fortunate enough to have one of my supervisors recommend that I look into working at Connexions – the predecessor to OpenStax.
I joined the team as a content manager, thinking that this would be a good interim job where I could learn some new skills while I figured out what I was going to do with my life.
I quickly realized that I was working with brilliant people looking to solve a very interesting problem: how to democratize access to publishing and increase the availability of knowledge….”
“With the beginning of every new semester, one thing never seems to change — college textbooks are expensive, heavy, mostly required and often useless. At the University of Idaho, many are trying to do their part to ease that burden and Open Education Week is an attempt to demonstrate that. ASUI President Max Cowan said signing onto a partnership with OpenStax is one step forward the university has made this semester …”
“After a month of intense conversations and negotiations, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) will bring the ‘Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act’ up for mark-up on Wednesday, July 29th. The language that will be considered is an amended version of FASTR, officially known as the ‘Johnson-Carper Substitute Amendment,’ which was officially filed by the HSGAC leadership late on Friday afternoon, per committee rules. There are two major changes from the original bill language to be particularly aware of. Specifically, the amendment Replaces the six month embargo period with ‘no later than 12 months, but preferably sooner’ as anticipated; and Provides a mechanism for stakeholders to petition federal agencies to ‘adjust’ the embargo period if the12 months does not serve ‘the public, industries, and the scientific community.’ We understand that these modifications were made in order accomplish a number of things: Satisfy the requirement of a number of Members of HSGAC that the language more closely track that of the OSTP Directive; Meet the preference of the major U.S. higher education associations for a maximum 12 month embargo; Ensure that, for the first time, a number of scientific societies will drop their opposition for the bill; and Ensure that any petition process an agency may enable is focused on serving the interests of the public and the scientific community …”
“Impact is multi-dimensional, the routes by which impact occur are different across disciplines and sectors, and impact changes over time. Jane Tinkler argues that if institutions like HEFCE specify a narrow set of impact metrics, more harm than good would come to universities forced to limit their understanding of how research is making a difference. But qualitative and quantitative indicators continue to be an incredible source of learning for how impact works in each of our disciplines, locations or sectors.”
“Open access for monographs and book chapters is a relatively new area of publishing, and there are many ways of approaching it. With this in mind, a recent publication from the Wellcome Trust aims to provide some guidance for publishers to consider when developing policies and processes for open access books. The Wellcome Trust recognises that implementation around publishing monographs and book chapters open access is in flux, and invites publishers to email Cecy Marden at email@example.com with any suggestions for further guidance that would be useful to include in this document. ‘Open Access Monographs and Book Chapters: A practical guide for publishers’ is available to download as a pdf from the Wellcome Trust website.”
“The purpose of this post is to shed some light on a specific issue in the transition to open access that particularly affects small and low-cost publishers and to suggest one strategy to address this issue. In the words of one Resource Requirements interviewee: ‘So the other set of members that we used to have about forty library members , but when we went to open access online, we lost the whole bunch of libraries. Yeah, so basically we sent everybody ,you know, a letter saying we are going to open access online, the annual membership is only $30, we hope you will continue to support us even though there are no longer print journals, and then a whole flu of cancellations came in from a whole bunch of libraries, which we had kind of thought might happen but given how cheap we are, I have to say I was really disappointed when it indeed did happen especially from whole bunch of [deleted] libraries [for which our journal is extremely relevant]. I was going, seriously $30?’ Comments: for a university library, a society membership fee, when not required for journal subscriptions, may be difficult to justify from an accounting perspective. $30 is a small cost; however, for a university the administrative work of tracking such memberships and cutting a check every year likely exceeds the $30 cost. With 40 library members at a cost of $30, the total revenue for this journal from this source was $1,200. A university or university library could sponsor this amount at less than the cost of many an article processing charge. The university and library where the faculty member is located have a support program for open access journals; clearly the will, and some funding, is there. One of the challenges is transitioning subscription dollars to support for open access, as I address in my 2013 First Monday article. Following is one suggestion for libraries, or for faculty to suggest to their libraries: why not engage your faculty who are independent or society publishers to gain support for cancellations or tough negotiations and lower prices for the big deals of large, highly profitable commercial publishers that I argue are critical to redirect funding to our own publishing activities? Here is one scenario that may help to explain the potential …”
[From Google’s English] “UKB , the consortium of thirteen university libraries and the National Library, the objectives of The Hague Declaration endorsed by signing the joint declaration. All signatories state that there are no copyright restrictions are scientific results and research data. Everyone should be able to freely analyze facts and data.Licensing and copyright rules may not raise barriers before. The knowledge economy has an interest in global open access or open science. According to the statement must be contained in the European copyright rules that authors the right to (re) use of data and texts not lose by signing a contract with a publisher …”
” Demand for a service to help institutions capture their research outputs remains unabated, and any drive to help automate it will need to break challenging new ground. Jisc Publications Router is now set for a new phase of development as it seeks to do just that. It aims to become a permanent service in 2016, expanding at an accelerated pace the range of content it can deliver … It’s difficult for institutions to identify accepted research articles by their academics, according to a recent report to Jisc, as they seek to make progress in implementing the open access policy for the next REF. Jisc Publications Router is a system that gathers information about journal articles from content providers such as publishers. By looking at the affiliations of the co-authors, it then sends a notification to the relevant institution(s). This could be at or near the point of acceptance, for example, or final publication. It could consist of metadata only, or it could include full-text files as well, depending on what the content provider can send. The institutions can then capture this information onto their systems, including their open repositories. In some cases, the metadata will include details of an embargo period the repository should respect before it makes the full text freely available. The initial Router project, funded by Jisc and operated by EDINA (University of Edinburgh) aimed to demonstrate a prototype system. That has been a success: the system has delivered real articles to real institutions in ways that they have used and found helpful, saving them time and effort …”
“To advance the University of Iowa’s longstanding commitments to open inquiry, the free exchange of ideas, and public access to scholarly works, the staff of the University of Iowa Libraries have adopted an open access policy that will make their publications freely available and ensure their long-term preservation and findability. This policy complements the Libraries’ support of open access to freely accessible scholarship, advances the diverse roles staff play as producers and preservers of scholarly and professional literature, and reflects the values of the University of Iowa Libraries’ mission statement. All University of Iowa Libraries staff members grant the University of Iowa the right to archive and make publicly accessible the full texts of their professional publications. These include traditional productions such as journal articles and book chapters and extends to documents in other formats, such as conference presentation slides and audio and video recordings of public talks. This agreement provides the University of Iowa the non-exclusive, worldwide, irrevocable, royalty-free license to preserve and redistribute the work. Staff members will submit electronic versions of their works to the University of Iowa’s institutional repository, Iowa Research Online (IRO), within thirty days of each work’s publication, presentation, or transmission, respecting publishers’ requests for embargoes. Ideally the submitted version will be the publisher’s final version or the author’s final accepted manuscript. On a case-by-case basis, including cases in which a publisher refuses to accommodate the terms of this policy, staff members may opt-out of this agreement by sending a message to the Chair of the Scholarly Publishing Team (see membership at https://sharepoint.uiowa.edu/sites/libraries/sc/scc/default.aspx). The Scholarly Publishing Team will be responsible for interpreting the policy, resolving related problems, and revising it as necessary. The Scholarly Publishing Team will review this policy one year after its adoption and report its findings to the University Librarian.”
“The reproducibility problem in science is a familiar issue, not only within the scientific community, but with the general public as well. Recent developments in social psychology (such as fraudulent research by D. Stapel) and cell biology (the Amgen Inc. and Bayer AG reports on how rarely they could reproduce published results) have become widely known. Nearly every field is affected, from clinical trials and neuroimaging, to economics and computer science. Obvious solutions include more research on statistical and behavioral fixes for irreproducibility, activism for policy changes, and demanding more pre-registration and data sharing from grantees. Two Perspectives in this issue (pp. 1420and 1422) describe how journals and academic institutions can foster a culture of reproducibility. Transparency is central to improving reproducibility, but it is expensive and time-consuming. What can be done to alleviate those obstacles? Most scientists aspire to greater transparency, but if being transparent taps into scarce grant money and requires extra work, it is unlikely that scientists will be able to live up to their own cherished values. Thus, one of the most effective ways to promote high-quality science is to create free open-source tools that give scientists easier and cheaper ways to incorporate transparency into their daily workflow: from open lab notebooks, to software that tracks every version of a data set, to dynamic document generation. Moreover, scientists who use open-source software are not locked into proprietary software platforms with unclear monetization plans. If philanthropy or government funds new tools that the open-source community can iterate and improve on, the per-dollar return on investment can far exceed the costs. Infrastructural tools are now available, or in development, that should help to catalyze a change in scientific transparency. One example is the Open Science Framework (OSF), a free and open-source software platform for managing scientific workflow (supported by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation in partnership with the Center for Open Science). Among its many features, this platform can enable scientists to easily track the history of all versions of every document or data set and the exact contributions made by each team member. All project materials can be given persistent identifiers, and the tracking of provenance allows any subsequent research project to give proper credit to the original. Projects using this platform include the Shared Access Research Ecosystem project of the Association of Research Libraries and its partners …”
A slide presentation by Simon Inger from May 2015.