Twitter Open Access Report – 21 January 2016

PLOS has an interview with John Willinsky on where open access publishing is headed, a very interesting update from a pioneer in the field. You can listen to the “PLOScast” (heh) here.

It’s the Netherlands’ turn to head up the EU Council, and it looks like they’ve hit the ground running: Education Minister Sander Dekker is using the opportunity to push for wider implementation of open access in scientific journals, and a conference on Open Science is scheduled for early April. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Bert Koenders is challenging app developers to come up with ways to make better use of open data. But wait, there’s more! Should be an interesting six months.

Can open data solve some of the PR problems that have plagued police forces in the United States have had recently? Seattle’s City Council is pushing its police department to open access to their data on civilian complaints and discipline. They hope this will cut the costs associated with disclosure requests, and increase police accountability. The Stranger has the story here.
Source: @RickyPo

The Guardian reports that ODINE, the Open Data Incubator Europe, has announced its next round of startup grant recipients, including, among others, an Austrian effort to increase public access to legal information; a Finnish app that will tell you whether your roof wants solar panels; and a German initiative to clean up city air – a timely idea, since the city of Stuttgart has an air pollution alert in effect this week.

Another Guardian article (also sponsored by ODINE) sees open data having a profound effect on activism and charity in the coming year. Governments will start to see data as infrastructure, journalists and charities will make better use of data to hold governments accountable, activists will start working to fill the gaps, data literacy will come to be regarded as a basic skill, and technology will race to keep up with the changes.

The peer review process has come under scrutiny lately, with some arguing that the process needs to be more transparent. Some like-minded academics have now launched the Peer Reviewers Openness Initiative: put simply, the Initiative asks that “reviewers make open practices a pre-condition for more comprehensive review.” You can read more about it and add your name here.
Source: @SciPubLab

A Canadian site has an interesting post on How Open and Free Content Will Transform Post-Secondary Education, which lays out the reasons for and implications of open educational resources and points out that we are in the middle of a massive paradigm shift. I kind of knew that, but it is good to be reminded.
Source: @RickyPo

A white paper on MOOCs (in German) asks whether MOOCs are hype or helpful, and concludes that they won’t revolutionize education, but they will become increasingly important, and schools should engage with them or risk being sidelined. You can read a more detailed summary or download the paper from here.
Source: @ayeshaasifkhan

The Conversation has an editorial suggesting that teaching students to write better would help them avoid plagiarism. I’d say it has a great many benefits other than that, but sure: if that’s what it takes to persuade more universities to teach students how to write, rather than assuming they’ll bring that skill to college with them, then let’s focus on that aspect. Whatever gets them in the door.
Source: @ConversationUK

Recent Conferences

Knowledge Exchange celebrated their 10-year anniversary in Helsinki on 30 November and 1 December last year. Here is a two-part Storify: Part 1. Part 2. And #KEevent15 has some good follow-up Tweets as well.

The last two days have seen some interesting Tweets from Academic Publishing in Europe’s 2016 conference in Berlin. All presentations were recorded and should be up soon, so follow #APE2016 on Twitter for the latest.

Twitter Open Access Report – 16 November 2015

The big news of the past few weeks has been the mass resignation of Lingua’s editorial staff. They’re leaving Elsevier over the latter’s refusal to convert the journal to open access, and plan to launch their own OA journal, which they will call Glossa. Ars Technica has the story, as does Inside Higher Ed and a host of other outlets. Here’s a nice roundup from Kai von Fintel.
Source: @RickyPo

We mentioned an EC workshop on Alternative Open Access Publishing Models in the last Report. You can now download all the presentations from that workshop from the EC website, here.
Source: @DigitalAgendaEU

While information wants to be free, the work of disseminating it does carry some costs. The Chronicle of Higher Education has a look at what the real costs of publishing are, and how open access publishers try to cover them. Read it here.
Source: @chronicle

Two Reports ago, we talked about what would be needed to make the leap to Open Access en masse. Martin Haspelmath (@haspelmathhas an idea: high-profile research institutions like the Max Planck Institute and the Wellcome Trust could create and fund their own journals; well-run journals with solid peer review practices would increase the prestige of the institutions, and running these enterprises as a public good rather than a profit-machine would free up money for research.
Source: @RickyPo

Sofie Wennström of the Stockholm University Library has a summary of the #AlterOA workshop and a call for higher-level support for sustainable OA. Read it here.
Source: @SofieWennstrom

The Open Access Spectrum Evaluation Tool ranks journals on their openness, and you can filter your search by different aspects such as reuse rights, machine readability, etc. Very useful when you’re deciding where to submit your article.
Source: @ayeshaasifkhan

Here’s a storify of Open Access Week tweets.
Source: @nxtstop1

Martin Tisne has a post on why Open Data is necessary at the Open Government Partnership Blog, wherein he points out, among other things, that it can be used to hold goverments to account. Medium.com has a very interesting case in point: a white paper about how Open Data helped uncover corruption in Myanmar’s jade industry.

A post on Yorokobu.es notes that MOOCs only have a 7% completion rate, and the headline offers some solutions for retaining them, though the article itself has more to say about predicting which users will drop out. The author does not stop to wonder why it’s so important that students complete the course, or whose priorities are being served when they do.

Tech Crunch has a more nuanced take on the once-popular notion that MOOCs would destroy the university system. As colleges become prohibitively expensive, the college degree will lose its status as the only qualification worth having, and MOOCs will be ready to step in and fill the gap – so, more of an end-run than a head-on collision.
Source: @TechCrunch

Martin Ebner has a presentation on where MOOCs are headed at the TU Graz’s e-learning blog (in German, but easy enough to follow even if you’re not fluent). Check it out here.
Source: @mebner

In an article in The Atlantic, Victoria Clayton wonders why academic writing is so unnecessarily complex. She blames elitism and tradition, as well as the disconnect between academics and the public, but notes that current moves toward Open Access might force academics to write more accessibly – after all, what is the point of making your work available to the public if they can’t understand it?

Twitter Open Access Report – 19 October 2015

A Dutch initiative called LingOA has launched, in which the editorial boards of five linguistics journals have begun the process of leaving their publishers or renegotiating their agreements in order to publish with Ubiquity Press in association with the Open Library of Humanities. Here is the press release from the University of Nijmegen.

Times Higher Education has an infographic showing that universities’ journal bills are rising due to the need to pay APCs for open access publications – because subscription charges are not going down, the APCs are currently an added cost. The headline seems to imply that OA is the problem, but shedding those subscriptions would seem to be the best way forward.

International Open Access Week officially starts today, 19th October, with 229 events listed on the website so far! Perhaps this is not the week for sleep.

On 6 November, @martin_eve will be in Helsinki to talk about The Humanities in the Digital Age: Access, Equality and Education. Dr. Eve will discuss the context and controversies around Open Access, and discuss alternative models for publishing research.

Speaking of context and controversy, @StephenPinfield has used discourse analysis tools to look at the state of the debate on Open Access. He comes up with 18 propositions which are too long to go into here, but the article is definitely worth a look.
Source: @ClareHooperLUP

The EU’s Research Commissioner, Carlos Moedas, has called on scientific publishers to accept that open access is the way of the future, and adapt their business models accordingly.
Source: @scibus

One of the obstacles to a broader and speedier transition to open access is a lingering doubt about the quality of such publications. After all, traditional publishers have had decades, some of them centuries, to build up a reputation. Utrecht University is hosting a workshop led by @jeroenson tomorrow, 20 October, to address such concerns and teach interested researchers how to assess the quality of an OA publisher, and which metrics are used to determine quality. Information and registration here.

The Open Library of Humanities launched on 28 September, with 7 journals to begin with, and certainly more to come. There are no APCs for authors – the project is funded by a consortium of libraries, and more institutions are joining every day.
Source: @openlibhums

Most of the discussion around open access publishing seems to focus on journal articles, but publishing OA monographs throws up a different set of challenges. Guide to Open Access Monograph Publishing, a book addressing these issues, has now been published and can be downloaded here.

OA is making huge strides in Latin America; in many ways, they are well ahead of Europe. Here’s a look at the OA publishing landscape there: Made in Latin America: Open Access, Scholarly Journals, and Regional Innovations. [pdf]
Source: @stevehit

Predatory journals have been drawing negative attention to the open access movement – are they a serious drawback to this kind of publishing, or is the threat overstated? Chenyu Shen and Bo-Christer Björk of BioMed Central have conducted a study on such journals and have concluded that the problem is restricted to a few countries.
Source: @BioMedCentral

LERU (the League of European Research Universities) has issued a statement asserting that “Christmas is over”: with the results of researchers’ labor locked behind paywalls, soaring subscription fees, and often exorbitant APCs, for-profit publishers are getting a lot of free money. This should stop, says LERU, who will call on the EC to speed the transition to open access. You can read and sign the statement here.
Source: @Jeroenson

@timeshighered reports on a study that finds that open peer review produces better results than the traditional, single-blind model. One of the study’s authors speculates that reviewers might behave better if they know their comments will be seen by the public.

The Guardian has an article about how some European cities are using open data to get smarter, with a few nifty examples of what the new technology can do for citizens.

In “MOOCs Making Progress after the Hype has Died”, Coursera co-founder Daphne Koller talks to Don Huesman about how MOOCs will move forward now that rumors of their death turn out to have been somewhat exaggerated. She points out that the initial hype was that MOOCs were going to put universities out of business, and when, after two years, that hadn’t happened yet, they were said to have failed – but that was never the point of MOOCs in the first place, so you can’t really call it a failure. They are attracting students, including students outside the reach of traditional universities, and it looks like they will continue to do so.

Meanwhile, a report in the Stanford News claims that MOOCs haven’t really worked out, but again, the hype was overblown, and it’s a bit much to expect anything to completely reshape education in three years.

MIT is launching a pilot project that will offer a “Micro-Master’s” in Supply Chain Management, combining MOOCs and on-campus education to effectively halve the price of the degree.

“Students who do well in a series of free online courses and a related online examination offered through MIT’s MOOC project, MITx, will “enhance their chances” of being accepted to the on-site master’s program, according to a university statement. Students who come to the program after first taking the MOOCs will then essentially place out of the first half of the coursework, so they can finish the degree in a semester rather than an academic year. That effectively makes the master’s program half the usual price.”

Source: @chronicle

Next month is NaNoWriMo! Folks in academia might want to consider #AcWriMo, a solid month to dive in, focus on that dissertation or article, and Get It Done. Also an excellent excuse to stay inside and avoid all that weather.

Recent Conferences

The presentations from last month’s Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing (#COASP) are online now.
Source: @Nancydiana

Sebastian Nordhoff has a nicely succinct summary of the workshop on Alternative Open Access Publishing Models held in Brussels last week. It seems there was a lot of information flying around, but not much time for discussion, given the tight scheduling. Overall, though, some exciting new possibilities were discussed, and although the workshop was  organized by a political body, there were surprisingly few calls for political action. #AlterOA is bound to be interesting on Twitter for the next few weeks.
Source: @langscipress

Upcoming Conferences

University College London will host an Open Access Conference on 21 October from 2-5 pm, where a group of Open Access luminaries will discuss the current OA landscape and various emerging publishing models. Sounds fascinating. Hope someone blogs about it after.

Outsourcing Editing? Part I

I recently tweeted a question:

The question came to me after resurfacing from several intense months in the editorial office, where my team and I had been working at a fever pitch to complete an array of challenging publishing tasks: We produced two very demanding issues of our flagship publication Transcultural Studies, developed the content for Heidelberg University’s first MOOC, built the workflows and much of the website for heiUP, the university’s open access publishing house, which will be launched this fall. There were workshops and courses, conferences, one book series to be set up and another to be maintained, manuscripts to be edited, layouts to be created, reviews to be written, funding to be considered, not to forget business models to be tested.

Particularly the latter brings up the issue of whether editing academic manuscripts is necessary and affordable. While I firmly believe that good editing is at the core of good publishing (as I have argued elsewhere), the fact that most publishers, open access or for-profit, offer little of it, is irrefutable. (See for example the recent article by Lorenz M. Hilty “What do academic publishers still offer?”). But if publishers do not engage with the content they publish, how can they produce quality?

Hence my tweet. However, as I lifted my head above the parapet to survey the academic publishing landscape, I noticed that something was slightly different. It seems there has been a recent increase in the number of editing companies offering to plug the hole in the publishing workflow where in-house editing once took place.

This development is interesting insofar as it suggests that the need to secure quality control remains undiminished, while the financial responsibility for ensuring it is being thrown around like a hot potato. Many publishers let their authors pay for editing, either to maximise their profit or because they cannot stem the costs. The rationale is often peculiar: they may be shouting “we are the biggest,” or “most ethical,” or “most prestigious” publisher, but do not wish to pay what it costs to ensure those claims amount to more than posturing. So the solution is to saddle the authors with the bill. Some funding bodies may help cover some of the costs, if that kind of quality control is part of an APC for an open access publication for example, but if an author needs their manuscript edited, even after it was accepted for publication, chances are they have to pay for it out of pocket.

There are some exceptions: initiatives like Language Science Press or The International Journal of Dream Research recruit the community of a discipline into the production of their output. Then there are models where some editing is done on campus by students who are schooled and employed as assistants by the institution’s publishing branch, like Athabasca University Press. Heidelberg University is investigating this latter possibility, too. Last, but by no means least, it will be very interesting to see how The Open Library of the Humanities will fare with their new model. Most manuscripts, however, are edited during countless unpaid hours invested by journal editors, researchers, colleagues, and students.

Enter the editing companies. They make big promises, such as “quick turnaround,” “editors with university degrees,” “seasoned editors,” “guaranteed quality,” and feature countless exuberant, 5-star reviews along with impressive lists of customer names. That sounds amazing, not just to the lone author who is trying to get her book or article into the best possible state, but also to those managing journals, book series, or small publishing ventures, who consider outsourcing this aspect of quality control.

Editing, particularly copy-editing, is hard, time-consuming, at times soul-destroying work, so for those of us, who have some budgetary wiggling room, the often reasonably priced offers promised by these companies are a welcome option in a world where publishers no longer assume, or even give a damn about, the responsibility of editorial quality. It so happens that developing a sustainable business model falls within my remit as managing editor, which means I will find out more.

Starting this week in Hall 4.2 at the 2015 Frankfurt Bookfair, I am contacting some of these companies to see what kind of offers I receive. My sample will be a projected turnaround of several books and 4-6 journal issues that need editing work of various depth: from thorough copy-edits (including non-Latin script materials, bibliographies, and the like) to quick proof-reading.

I will analyse editing samples, engage in price negotiations, and discuss delivery times to form an opinion about whether editing companies can be trusted with some of our workload in the future.

I also hope to get input from colleagues and you about experiences with outsourcing editing, so I can place my results in a wider context. Once I have numbers, samples and feedback, I will write Part Two. Should be informative. Stay tuned!

Twitter Open Access Report – 11 June 2014

Martin Eve (@martin_eve) discusses the relative merits of switching subscription journals to open access, as well as gold OA journals, with and without APCs, here.

Mike Taylor sketches some possible futures of gold versus green open access scholarly publishing, concluding with a plea to avoid in-fighting in the OA movement. The important point is not whether access is green or gold, but whether it’s open or closed. Read it here.

Panthea Lee at Reboot observes that we risk getting too bogged down in the technical details of making Open Data a reality, without clarifying the big political questions, like what kind of change do we want to see, and how will opening up data bring about that change? Read it here.

FIFA’s been in the news lately for a corruption scandal that was decades in the making. Here’s a look at how Open Data might prevent future such incidents, courtesy of the Open Data Institute.

The Center for Open Data has launched an interactive impact map to map open data use cases around the world. It has a lot of great examples of exactly how open data can provide economic growth and social benefits.

The European Commission has a pilot project to finance gold OA publication for certain projects, working through OpenAIRE. The policy guidelines are here, and there will also be a workshop to provide further information for interested applicants, on 24 June at the LIBER conference in London.

The Scholarly Kitchen has a nice roundup of the SSP Annual Meeting from multiple viewpoints.
Source: @scholarlykitchn

University College London has launched the UK’s first fully open access university press. Publications will be freely available in digital format, and commercially available in print and e-book formats. Check out the press release here.

Johns Hopkins University has a Mellon Foundation grant to develop a means of distributing open access monographs, called Project Muse. Read the press release here.
Source: @KUnlatched

NYU also has a grant from the Mellon Foundation, this one to develop infrastructure to create a new kind of open access monograph. The Enhanced Networked Monograph will feature new workflows for the creation of monographs, and new ways for readers to interact with the texts. Details here.

Meanwhile, in public education, the State of New York put up a library of academic materials to help state educators meet Common Core standards, and the materials have been downloaded over 20 million times, by users across and even outside of the United States. The public demand for open education resources is clearly strong and growing. Read all about it here.

The eLearning Africa Report 2015 is available for download here, with loads of information on how technology is driving education and development all over the continent.
Source: @eLAconference

The Washington Post has another piece on the folly of treating a college education like a commodity. “Yet most public discussion of higher ed today pretends that students simply receive an education from colleges the way a person walks out of Best Buy with a television.” This is an important contribution to a debate that desperately needs to be reframed.
Source: @scholarlykitchn

The last post mentioned the EMOOCs Stakeholders Summit that took place last month. You can now listen to podcasts of some of the talks here.

PhD coach Olga Degtyareva has a 40-minute interview on how to beat procrastination and stick to a writing routine, here.

Recent Conferences

The 3rd International Open Data Conference took place in Ottawa at the end of last month, and had a lot of really interesting outcomes. Their homepage has some great links to recaps, and you can follow #IODC15 on the homepage, as well as on Twitter.

The Open Data Science Conference took place in Boston immediately after the Ottawa conference. The slides are available from their homepage, and you can find links to podcasts and recaps at #ODSC.

The 10th International Conference on Open Repositories will wrap up today in Indianapolis. Follow #OR2015 for the latest.

Upcoming Conferences

The CERN Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication will take place in Zürich next week, 17-19 June. Follow developments at #OAI92015 and on the event homepage.

The European Commission will hold a conference on 22-23 June in Brussels on Opening Up to an Era of Innovation, which will address infrastructure for open science, among other things. The program is here.

London will host the LIBER Conference from 24-26 June. You can follow the excitement at @LIBEReurope and the conference homepage.

Early registration is now open for the 7th  Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing, which will take place in Amsterdam, 15-17 September. The conference page is here, the registration page is here.

Twitter Open Access Report – 21 May 2015

The Hague Declaration, signed by over 50 organizations, calls for changes to intellectual property laws to open up access to data. SPARC Europe has a brief notice and links to further information here, as well as an invitation to sign the declaration.

Richard Poynder (@RickyPo) has an interview with John Willinsky (@JohnWillinsky), including a great deal of background information to place his contributions in context. It’s a fascinating read, and the link to the .pdf is here.

OpenAIRE2020 has launched a pilot project in cooperation with Liber to set up a €4 million fund to cover the publication costs for research articles meeting certain criteria. Though it currently only covers journal articles, if the project is successful we can hope for a similar initiative for monographs. More information here.
Source: @JVLazarus

We don’t report on every new OA journal that launches (because there are so many lately, yay!), but Social Media + Society is an emerging field that may be of particular interest to our particular community. Follow them at @SocialMedia_Soc

The Open Data movement is creating some very interesting opportunities for journalists and publishers in Africa. The Media Online has a few examples of innovative data use here.

The Open Data Research network is conducting a long-term, multi-country study on the impact of open data in developing countries. More detailed information is here, and an article at phys.org has a few examples, here.

Dorothy Bishop of the Wellcome Trust has a proposal in the Guardian for an alternative approach to publishing scientific articles. She envisions a cooperative model based on open access and collaboration. Details here.
Source: @SPARC_EU

COAR has released a statement against Elsevier’s new sharing and hosting policy, asserting that it does the opposite of what it claims. Inside Higher Ed has more detail on the matter.

In an interview with Fortune magazine, Coursera’s CEO says Colleges Will Survive the Online Education Revolution. It’s an interesting look at the differences between the online and the on-site experience, with some nuanced and realistic assessments of where we’ll probably go from here.

On the other hand, maybe it isn’t MOOCs that will kill the university system. The Open Library of Humanities has a very interesting CfP on The Abolition of the University. Details here.
Source: @martin_eve

Katy Jordan has collected data on MOOC completion rates plotted against other variables such as total enrollment, length of course, and grading policy. Check it out here.
Source: @ayeshaasifkhan

The Australian National University has collected a list of resources for graduate students that looks really useful, here.
Source: @gemma_s_king

Recent and Upcoming Conferences

The EMOOCS 2015 conference just ended, and the proceedings are already available for download on the conference website. Follow the #eMOOCs2015 hashtag for first impressions, and stay tuned for conference reports. In the meantime, you can read Inge Ignatia de Waard’s (@ignatia)liveblog of the keynote here, in which Dave Cormier talks about “rhizomatic learning” – a model of education as the roots of a plant, which can grow in any direction without defined boundaries.

The next OpenCon Community Call will be on Wednesday, 27th May, at 4pm CET. Information on how to join the call can be found here.

The 3rd International Open Data Conference is happening next week in Ottawa, Canada. The conference page is here. Registration is now closed, but following the #IODC hashtag on the 28th and 29th should be interesting.

Another conference will take place on the same weekend in Warsaw: Open Research Data: Implications for Science and Society. The website is here.

Two days later, Boston Massachusetts will host the Open Data Science Conference. It looks like a busy weekend, with 72 presentations and 21 workshops. The program can be found here, and the hashtag to follow is #ODSC.

The 10th International Conference on Open Repositories will take place from 8th-11th June in Indianapolis, Indiana. The full program is available here, and you can follow the conference at @OR2015Indy.

Twitter Open Access Report – 16 April 2015

In “Social Sector Knowledge Sharing: A Manifesto for 2015 and Beyond”, Lisa Brooks notes that the open  access ethos is nothing new for the social sector, though it has been somewhat haphazardly applied. Her “starter manifesto” advocates a more systematic approach to sharing and publishing information. Check it out here.
Source: @MarketsForGood

Nature has a review of the UK’s progress toward open access, noting that it’s currently difficult to track RCUK-funded papers, so it’s hard to know if authors are complying or not. There are also questions about the cost, and about the sustainability of the gold model. Read the article here.
Source: @NatureNews

At Recht.nl, Leo van der Wees argues that the Dutch Open Access mandate needs more teeth. At the moment it only applies to articles, and the details are unclear and therefore easy for authors to ignore. Unless the mandate is strengthened, it will have no effect at all. His full argument can be read here (in Dutch).

Two professors at the University of Regina have written a book, “Free Knowledge: Confronting the Commodification of Human Discovery”. You can purchase a hard copy or download a free PDF here.
Source: @openatvt

An opinion piece by Justin Podur argues that universities are experiencing a kind of mission creep as administrators take on more functions. Their focus on income streams and market forces lead them to make decisions that are not in line with the central purpose of a university, which is to create, develop, and share knowledge.  Read it here.
Source: @RethinkingUni

The Social Science Centre in Lincoln is launching a year-long research project to develop a model for a co-operative university in the UK, including pedagogical approaches, business plans, constitutional rules, and a model for federation. The project starts this month, and will wrap up in March of next year. More detailed information here.
Source: @martin_eve

Over at Publishers Weekly, marketing expert David Vinjamuri argues that libraries and publishers should forget their rivalry and work together. Particularly when brick-and-mortar bookshops are disappearing, libraries still have the space to showcase new books. Read more here.
Source: @ApostropheBooks

A group of academic editors have resigned from the editorial board at Scientific Reports, in protest at its new paid-for fast-track peer review option. Their concern is that it will create a two-tier system that disadvantages certain fields and researchers from poorer institutions and/or countries, and that it will be unable to ensure scientific neutrality. Scientists wishing to sign in support of this letter can do so here.
Source: @kaveh1000

Daniel R. Shanahan of BioMed Central has a proposal for an entirely new model of publication for research articles. Technological innovations now make it possible to replace the current model of multiple publications appearing in multiple journals with a single evolving document. The abstract is available here, and the full version will be available shortly.
Source: @Science_Open

A report on the ALA site looks at how academics resort to ethically dodgy P2P sharing of scholarly material because the Interlibrary Loan system is proving inadequate. Read the whole thing here (PDF).

@Impactioneers hosted its first #MOOChour, “the ultimate Twitter chat on anything MOOCs” on April 14th. Follow the hashtag to see the conversation.
Source:  @jimangei

Anant Agarwal has an article on LinkedIn about the future of MOOCs. Up to now, the mission has been to scale education up, make it more widely available. The next step is to make MOOCs more personal, for instance by creating smaller groups within a class to collaborate on projects, or by applying the “Choose Your Own Adventure” model used by video games to create adaptive and personalized responses to individual students. The article, along with three short video interviews, can be found here.
Source: @Impactioneers

Here is a link to a report on the results of a survey on MOOCs in Europe. It shows that MOOC use is still increasing , but that Europe’s cultural and regulatory diversity presents different challenges than those that face MOOCs in the U.S. The site also links to a collection of 15 position papers for European cooperation on MOOCs.
Source: @tore

A fair few opinion pieces have pointed to the low completion rates as a sign of the failure of the MOOC model, but is that really a valid measure of a MOOC’s success? As part of the OER15 panel on MOOCs and OERs, Open Education Europa invites the public to weigh in on this assumption in the comments here.
Source: @OpenEduEU

April’s European MOOCs Scoreboard inlcudes more than 1250 courses! It shows that MOOCs are becoming more popular, especially in Spain and Britain. Check it out here.
Source: @OpenEduEU

Umberto Eco’s “How to Write a Thesis” has finally been published in English. The LSE has a book review here. The New Yorker’s review is here.
Source: @jetpack/@newyorker

The Guardian lists 15 top tips for finishing your Ph.D thesis, from people who’ve been there and done that.
Source: @GdnHigherEd

For people just starting their thesis, Harvard University has some advice here (PDF).
Source: @ANU_RSAT

Recent conferences

Library Journal’s roundup of last month’s Association of College and Research Libraries conference (#acrl2015) is here.

Scholastica has a roundup of the Library Publishing Forum (#LPForumhere.

Adam Smith has some reflections on #uksg15 here.

The OER15 conference wrapped up yesterday. The #oer15 hashtag should be busy over the next few days.

The SPARC_COAR conference is happening now! Check the conference page for a link to the conference live stream. The hashtag to follow is #coarsparc2015.

Today is the last day of the London Book Fair. There’s a great video feed on the Book Fair homepage, and loads to see at #LBF15.

Twitter Open Access Report – 5 March 2015

Open Belgium held a 1-day conference on 23 February! Keep an eye on the #openbelgium15 hashtag for blog posts, presentations, and videos.

The CERN Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication (OAI9) is open for registration! The program can be found here, the registration page is here. Those unable to attend can follow it on Twitter via #OAI9.
Source: @ahacker

The University of Tromsø has made four short videos promoting open access for their academic staff.
Source: @UiThelsefak

The Asian Development Bank keeps its development research in an open access repository, here.
Source: @ADB_HQ

The Publishing Research Consortium has put out a legal guide to open access licensing in science communication. Read it here.
Source: @ALPSP

Glyn Moody (@glynmoody) argues that academics who worry about making their work available for commercial re-use via a CC-BY license are looking at it the wrong way in What Open Access Can Learn from Open Source.
Source: @oatp

In looking for new financial models for open access publishing, it’s important to look at all of the costs involved, so as not to repeat the shortcomings of the current models. Kevin Smith, director of Duke University’s Office of Copyright and Scholarly Communication, has some thoughts on this here.

Brian Martin offers a helpful overview of OA publishing models and the reasons behind some people’s resistance to adopting them, here. Like many others, though, his article ignores some aspects of publishing that are not generally done by volunteers, such as copy-editing, markup, formatting, and hosting.
Source: @oatp

The labor that traditional publishers don’t pay for, the writing, refereeing, and editing, also has value. Relying on volunteers may not be sustainable in the long term, as this Obituary for an Open Access Journal may demonstrate.
Source: @KUnlatched

Speaking of costs, @figshare has a chart on APCs in the UK in 2014, here
Source: @figshare

…and the Wellcome Trust has published data on how much it spent on APCs in 2013-2014. Lots of details and analysis here.
Source: @Protohedgehog

The Sociological Review has a £1.2m surplus. Martin Eve has some questions on the ethics of this, here.
Source: @martin_eve

Leuven University Press’s first open access book is a success! 669 downloads in 61 countries, more here.
Source: @eacorrao

The Scholarly Kitchen (@scholarlykitchn) has an article on the factors involved in converting a journal to Open Access, here.
Source: @dstokes01

Opensource.com will feature a monthly column on open source and the humanities in the digital age. The first installment is here.
Source: @KUnlatched

James DeVaney of the University of Michigan asks, “Why are we motivated to write the history of MOOCs so soon? This level of impatience seems at odds with the typical longevity of experimentation with teaching and learning.” See his answer here.
Source: @culturehacker

@SPARC_NA announces the theme of its 2015 International Open Access Week: “Open for Collaboration”. Details here.
Source: @Protohedgehog

The Dutch Parliament has declared open access to scientific articles an inalienable right for authors. More here (in Dutch).
Source: @KurtDeBelder

A study in PLOS One looks at why researchers hesitate to share data, and advocates for better incentives. Read here.
Source: @Protohedgehog

Not news, but certainly useful for those just getting into academic writing: a comprehensive template for writing a journal article, pdf here.
Source: @ANU_RSAT 

The shares tips to use in MOOCs, here.
Source: @ayeshaasifkhan

Twitter Open Access Report – 19 February 2015

BC Campus will sponsor a series of open webinars for Open Education Week. Details here.
Source: @openeducationwk

Addressing the challenges of education in Africa through MOOCs. Andile Ngcaba (@andile_ngcaba), a South African businessman and ICT leader, talks about the possibilities that MOOCs offer for education, and why it’s a good idea to proceed with implementation even before the infrastructure is in place. Watch here.
Source: @paulbacharach

The European University Association looks at policy developments in open access and their relevance for research publications. The report shows “a clear trend towards the creation and consolidation of frameworks for the open sharing of publicly funded research results.” Download the .pdf here.
Source: @eacorrao

The Confederation of Open Access Repositories announces the publication of its COAR Roadmap: Future Directions for Repository Interoperability. Download the .pdf here.
Source: @SPARC_EU

The Open Science Initiative Working Group has published a report, “Mapping the Future of Scholarly Publishing”. You can download the .pdf here.
Source: @Paperity

The MOOC Hype Fades, in 3 Charts. A survey of academic leaders indicates that their faith in MOOCs’ sustainability and utility is falling. More here.
Source: @Nathan_Bee

Martin Paul Eve (@martin_eve) proposes the development of financing schemes for APCs, read here.
Source: @copeland_sugar

Law professor Kiichi Fujiwara of the University of Tokyo reflects on MOOCs, their strengths and limitations in transcending boundaries. More here.
Source: @paulbacharach

A textbook is made available for free for the participants of a particular MOOC. Perhaps this is a good transitional step for academic publishers who are wary of the changes heralded by the open access movement. More here.
Source: @Nathan_Bee

Getting Your Writing Back: Some tips on getting on with it for those to whom it doesn’t necessarily come easy, here.
Source: @DrMagennis

Coursera adds corporate partners to MOOC sequences. The MOOC provider will work with companies like Google, Shazam, and Instagram to develop capstone projects for certain Specializations. More here, see also here.
Source: @ayeshaasifkhan

The 10th International Digital Curation Conference, held last week in London, has a Storify here.
Source: @digitalcuration

At the Washington Post, Arthur Camins ruminates on the purpose of education today: is it about the search for truth, or the search for a decent job, and why can’t it be both? Read here.
Source: @jordosh

The Openbelgium15 conference will take place next week. You can follow the livestream here.
Source: @OKFN

Science Set Free: 10 takeaways from the OpenAIRE2020 launch. Read here.
Source: @OpenAIRE_eu

A new forum on research and scholarly publishing will launch at this year’s London Book Fair in April. Facilitated by Toby Green, Head of Publishing at OECD, and Alicia Wise, Director of Access and Policy at Elsevier, the forum will look at how best to adapt to the disappearance of physical barriers to disseminating information, what different cultures and markets can learn from each other, and how best to evaluate and fund research. More here.
Source: @LondonBookFair

The Elsevier boycott appears to be gaining momentum. The Cost of Knowledge boycott page is here (source: @Protohedgehog), and here, in an FAZ interview, the director of the University of Leipzig Library says that so far they’ve saved money by in dropping their Elsevier subscriptions and paying per article.

Open Access and the Research Excellence Framework: Strange bedfellows yoked together by HEFCE. Richard Poynder has some concerns about making OA compliance compulsory in the UK. Read here.
Source: @RickyPo