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 – 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.

Twitter Open Access Report – 26 June 2015

Björn Brembs has some stinging words for publishers in the ongoing discussion about open access, ultimately calling for an end to subscriptions now. Read his thoughts here.
Source: @brembs

Here is a nice roundup of average publishing costs in Gold Open Access journals from American Libraries Magazine.
Source: @amlibraries

Amber Griffiths at [foam] points out that making scholarly publications Open Access is only a first step. Paywalls and subscriptions are not the only obstacles to public access to scholarly work; people also need to be able to understand what they’re reading. [foam] put together a mini workshop and came up with a few suggestions.
Source: @_foam

Green Open Access sure sounds like a good idea, but getting academics to deposit their papers has been a stumbling block, even with mandates in place. Turns out, when libraries solicit manuscripts directly from authors, they’re more likely to comply. Maybe they just weren’t getting around to it?
Source: @LSEImpactBlog

Coventry University hosted a Radical Open Access Conference on 15th & 16th June. Looking forward to the videos! Here’s a cool Storify of the event while we wait.
Source: @RadicalOA

Marie Lebert has put together a useful and fascinating chronology of the open access movement, from 1665 to the present.
Source: @RickyPo

Juan Pablo Alperin (@juancommander) of the PKP has a dissertation filed in the Stanford Digital Repository (Congratulations Juan!). It’s on the public impact of Open Access in Latin America, and shows that traditional scholarly use accounts for only 25% of the total use of research that was published open access. The link is here.
Source: @RickyPo

Here’s an overview of the progress on open access journals in Latin America, courtesy of SciELO. International and interoperable, it definitely looks like a model to emulate.
Source: @Euroscientist

South Africa’s Mail & Guardian has an editorial on how open data can support the work of the courts, arguing that making court documents public will bolster the public’s faith in the judiciary. “Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done.” A similar movement is afoot in the U.S. state of Massachusetts.

A post on the Thompson Reuters Foundation’s website argues that we need to focus more on how open data can combat poverty and corruption. While a lot of work has been done on wholesale data harvesting, we need to think more about how we’re going to use it. Current results are long on anecdote, short on data. Read the whole thing here.
Source: @TR_Foundation

On a related note, participants at last month’s International Open Data Conference in Ottawa discussed ways in which open data can help us meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Lejla Sadiku summarizes their findings here, to wit: 1) greater participation is needed from the public; 2) The interfaces and tools at hand are not apolitical, and this needs to be taken into account; 3) It’s important to define the policy issues we want to address, and then look at the data through that lens.

Liam Earney of @JISC talks about what they’re doing to offset the costs of publishing in open access. Read it here.
Source: @HEFCE

Richard Poynder (@RickyPo) has a post on the probable effect of the big name publishers’ efforts to involve themselves in Open Access publishing. Overall, he’s not a fan:

“This is surely the long game publishers are playing: appropriate gold OA in a way that preserves their profits, while simultaneously seek to appropriate green OA in order to control it, and then gradually phase it out, thus ensuring a transition to a pay-to-publish environment that best suits their needs, and at a cost based on their asking price.”

Source: @jeroenson

The Atlantic finds an unanticipated benefit to MOOCs in the results of that Harvard/MIT study from back in April – as you’ll no doubt recall, the study found that a surprising number of participants were teachers. The Atlantic article notes that professional development courses for teachers, handed down from on high, are generally seen as a waste of taxpayers’ money and teachers’ time. But what if teachers could choose their own professional development courses? Enter the MOOC.

Educause Review has an article on how the social aspect of higher education is missing from most MOOCs, and how they might be improved by adding more opportunities for interaction such as meet-ups in the real world, Google hangouts, and opportunities to form groups based on shared learning objectives. Other ideas include getting students to act as citizen scientists, and using games like Civilization V and the Total War series to get students more engaged in the content. The article is longish, but definitely worth the time.
Source: @laurapasquini

Recent Conferences

In the last post, I listed the wrong hashtag for the CERN Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication, which took place last week in Geneva. The correct hashtag is #OAI9. The OpenAIRE blog has a list of take-aways here, and of course you can keep an eye on the hashtag for more summaries and reflections. There’s a searchable Twitter archive here, and a nifty interactive visualization here. See anyone you know?
Source: @mhawksey

The video proceedings from the European Commission’s conference last week, Opening Up to an Era of Innovation, can be accessed from this page.

The LIBER conference is just winding up, and the #LIBER2015 hashtag has been particularly entertaining these last few days.

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 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 – 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 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