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. 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 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.

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 – 7 May 2015

A recent study by the Max Planck Digital Library recommends redirecting the money now locked in the scientific journal subscription system toward an open access model, and shows that it could be done without incuring any further costs. The abstract is here, and the whole document is here (pdf). Björn Brembs has some serious reservations here.
Source: @maxplanckpress

Could #opendata solve the problem of global food security? The Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) initiative thinks it’s worth a try. Read about it here.

The Inter-American Development Bank has launched an open data portal where anyone can access raw data on education, labor markets, gender participation, among other things, for Latin America and the Caribbean.  The portal is here.

The European University Association has an Open Access Checklist for Universities. Nice to have all the relevant information in a single document, here.

The OLH and Jisc have formed a collaboration that will make the transition to open access easier. More information here 

OAPEN UK hosted a series of workshops last month to look at various business models for open access monographs. The outcome of these workshops is posted here, including an overview of the various models, the strengths and weaknesses of each, and a list of attendees.
Source: @oapenuk

Members of Science Europe adopted four common principles on open access publisher services at their General Assembly meeting on April 15th. The four new principles are 1) indexing in the DOAJ, Web of Science, Scopus, or PubMed; 2) the author retains copyright with no restrictions; 3) publications must be sustainably archived; and 4) the full text, metadata, supporting data, citations, and publication status must be machiine-readable. Details here.
Source: @CameronNeylon has a paper on The Emergent Learning Model, written for the 11th International Scientific Conference eLearning and Software for Education. Fred Garnett and Nigel Ecclesfield contrast the resource scarcity in which our current formal and hierarchical institutional model of education developed, with the resource abundance brought about by the advent of the web, and the informal social processes of learning that it engenders. They discuss a framework for integrating the new possibilities for learning into the existing educational model, arguing that current strategies have had too much old and not enough new.

In the last update I mentioned a project to develop a model for co-operative higher education in the UK. If you’re interested in participating, an invitation is here.
Source: @josswinn

Der Spiegel reports that the German Federal Court of Justice has given university libraries the right to digitize their inventory, in order to make it available to all students. Read the article here (in German).

A New York Times article makes a strong case for post-secondary education as a public utility in College for the Masses
Source: @paulbacharach

…while an article in Slate outlines the dangers of applying neoliberal economic models to public utilities in A Good Professor Is an Exhausted Professor.
Source: @paulbacharach

A Times Higher Education (THE) study has found that the cost of developing a MOOC varies widely across institutions, which is to be expected at this point in their evolution. Details here.
Source: @timeshighered

Arizona State University is offering students the opportunity to bypass the usual admissions process and complete their freshman year via MOOC, in cooperation with EdX. There’s been lots of discussion around this. The US News report keeps it neutral, Wall Street Journal looks a bit more supportive, and the New York Times also seems fairly hopeful, but John Warner over at Inside Higher Ed calls ASU a super-predator. The Brookings Institution calls it a boon for students and a blow to traditional universities, which certainly raises the question of who the universities are supposed to be “for”. 

A report (.pdf) commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on the past and present state of distance and online learning observes that the sweeping predictions of the Death of the University at the hands of upstart MOOCs were perhaps a bit overwrought, and MOOCs are really just another way to learn

Cambridge University Press is launching an open access monograph publishing service, with support for both Gold and Green models. More here.
Source: @Paperity

ScienceOpen introduces peer review by endorsement, featuring non-anonymous, open, expert, post-publication peer review to answer some of the faults in the current process. Read the announcement here.
Source: @Science_Open

Recent Conferences

The ACRL’s conference last month is still producing some read-worthy tweets under the #acrl15 hashtag. You can watch Lawrence Lessig’s keynote speech, and if you’re not in Germany, you can watch the wrap-up video too. There’s also a good write-up on the Library Journal site.

The Royal Society held a symposium on the Future of Scholarly Scientific Communication (Part 1) on the 20th & 21st of April to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Scholarly Transactions, the first science journal. Follow the #FSSC hashtag for a lot of interesting discussion. There will be a Part 2 on 5-6 May.

Global Young Faculty held a conference on Open Knowledge and the potential of digital publishing in academia on 27 April in Essen. The conference page is here,  and #gyf3ok hashtag has been busy lately.


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, 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 – 19 March 2015

UNESCO’s Open Access curriculum is now online! Check it out here.
Source: @NestoriSyynimaa

LERU (The League of European Research Universities) embraces Open Access, calls for fundamental change in the finances of journal publishing. More here.
Source: @eacorrao

The FASTR Act, a push to ensure permanent public access to publicly funded scientific research, was reintroduced in the U.S. Congress. More here.
Source: @OpenAccessHulk

In “Copyright, Open Access, and Human Rights”, Kevin Smith of Duke University analyzes a report, prepared by Farida Shaheed for the UN, which asserts that access to science and culture is a fundamental human right, and that current intellectual property legislation should be limited in scope so as not to contravene this right. More here.
Source: @martin_eve

The benefits of open access are limited where internet access is restricted. Zimbabwe’s TelOne is moving to expand ADSL coverage to the whole country. More here.
Source: @VenturesAfrica

OpenAIRE is looking into open peer review to address some of the problems with the current model. Details here.
Source: @OpenAIRE_eu

SPARC Europe has launched an Open Access Diary to track news and developments in open access throughout Europe. More here.
Source: @oatp

Time Magazine joins the legions of people asking, Will Technology Kill Universities? A number of experts answer the question here. (Spoiler: probably not.)
Source: @RickyPo

“We’re still in the first phase of the education revolution.” The Future of the Collegiate Campus, here.
Source: @Nathan_Bee

Some Upcoming Conferences

A conference in Warsaw this May will look at Open Research Data: Implications for Science and Society. The call for papers closes March 31st. Details here.

SUNY Brockport will host a one-day conference on Publishing in Libraries on Friday, 20 March. The conference schedule is here.

The Westminster Higher Education Forum, with support from Elsevier, will hold a one-day conference on The Future for Open Access and the Move Towards Open Data in London on Thursday, 26 March. More information can be found here.

The Library Publishing Coalition will hold its second annual Library Publishing Forum at Portland State University from 29-30 March. The keynote speakers will be Martin Paul Eve and John Willinsky. The program is here, and you can follow the action with the hashtag #LPForum.

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

Twitter Open Access Report – 6 February 2015

Interviews with Martin Paul Eve and John Willinsky. The keynote speakers for this year’s Library Publishing Forum offer their thoughts on open access in the humanities and social sciences. Read here.
Source: @RickyPo

An interview with EdX CEO Anant Agarwal. “We are trying to really revolutionize the world of education. Large numbers of people around the world do not have access to a quality education, and at the same time, education itself has not dramatically improved in quality or in efficiency in a long time. Our aim is to increase access to learning to people all over the world.” More here.
Source: @College_Experts

New peer-reviewed open-access journal on citizen science published by Ubiquity Press. “The Citizen Science Association is delighted to announce the launch of its new flagship journal, Citizen Science: Theory and Practice. The journal will provide a central space for cross-disciplinary scholarly exchanges that are aimed at advancing the field of citizen science.” More here.
Source: @BLugger

The PSP 2015 Conference runs from 4-6 February 2015. Program here, follow at #psp2015

Call for Papers, Open Access Tage 2015. Die 9. Open Access Tage finden am 7. Und 8. Spetember 2015 in Zürich statt. Mehr hier.
Quelle: @dbeucke

Open Education Week 2015’s call for participation deadline is next Tuesday, 10 February. More here.
Source: @oeconsortium

The Confederation of Open Access Repositories has issued a statement on embargo periods in open access publishing, asserting that, while they may be useful in facilitating the transition to open access publishing, they still stifle innovation and should be kept as brief as possible, and phased out as soon as is reasonable. More here.
Source: @OpenAccessMKD

Open access must be open at both ends. The value of making publicly funded research available to the public should be clear to anyone. But Jonathan Foster argues that the increasingly popular gold open access, requiring as it does a fee paid to publishers by the author, may have a negative impact on the quality of published research, where journals may feel compelled to publish papers by anyone who can pay, regardless of quality; conversely, they may have to reject good work by scholars who can’t afford the fees. If gold open access is the way of the future, then a fair funding process will need to be developed. More here.
Source: @oatp

Publisher consolidation: who benefits? “A long-term hope of many OA advocates is that competition will help to moderate prices for Article Processing Charges (APCs). While there is some evidence that this is happening, it is also clear that the APC market is deeply dysfunctional – with APCs for OA in hybrid journals being significantly higher that those for pure OA journals from born-digital publishers.” More here.
Source: @RLUK_David

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s open access policy, effective from 1 January 2015. Any publications funded by the Foundation, as well as the data on which they are based, will be made available to the public. The policy indicates a preference for green open access and sets a two-year transition period to phase out embargoes. More here, and a similar statement from the Ford Foundation here.
Sources: @SPARC_EU, @lessig

The Norwegian Research Council is setting up a funding scheme for APCs in OA journals, sending a clear message in support of gold open access and against hybrid journals. An adequate peer review process is a prerequisite for inclusion in the scheme, and the journal must be listed in the DOAJ, which means hybrid journals are disqualified. More here.
Source: @digitalsci

Check out OAPEN’s repository of Open Access academic books here.
Source: @eacorrao

25,000 Early Modern English Books are now available as Open Access Texts. More here.
Source: @SPARC_EU

Harvard University provides writing guides for Psychology, Art History, East Asian Studies, and other disciplines, free to download here.
Source: @DalhousieESL

New MOOC for teachers and coaches focuses on learning differences in students. “The Spring 2015 Learning Differences MOOC begins February 9, and is intended primarily for teachers and teacher-coaches. Participants can learn about working memory, student motivation and executive function, and pick modules based on the grades or subject matter they teach.” More here.
Source: @educationweek

EdX offers an academic writing MOOC in partnership with the U.S. Department of State. ColWri.2.2x, Principles of Written English, was developed for English language learners and will focus on English grammar and essay writing. More here.
Source: @Nathan_Bee

The Universidad Autónoma de Madrid is offering its first MOOCs later this month, with offerings in app development, Spanish history, organic chemistry, and medical ethics. More here.
Source: @OpenEduEU

NASA’s Physical Science Informatics Database is now open to the public. “Though population of all data in the repository is not yet complete, new physical science data is being added daily as we work to complete data sets for previously flown experiments in the areas of Combustion Science, Complex Fluids, Fluid Physics, Fundamental Physics and Materials Science.” More here.
Source: @oatp

U.S. President Obama’s new budget as it pertains to Open Access, here.
Source @hjoseph

Summaries of Pasteur40A’s country case studies on open access can be found here. Pasteur40A’s February newsletter is here.
Source: @KUnlatched, @SPARC_EU

Open access at Elsevier – 2014 in retrospect and a look at 2015. “Key themes for 2014 were again collaboration and steady progress on both gold and green open access. These trends, unsurprisingly, are set to continue in 2015 and are part of broader activities to accelerate open science, including open research data.” More here.
Source: @RickyPo

Universität Leipzig bricht Verhandlungen mit Wissenschaftsverlag Elsevier ab. “Wir sahen uns zum wiederholten Male damit konfrontiert, dass eine Reduzierung des Angebots mit einer deutlichen Preissteigerung einhergehen sollte.”, sagt Prof. Dr. Beate Schücking, Rektorin der Universität Leipzig. Mehr hier.
Source: @KUnlatched

The VSNU Newsletter is out, with updates on the universities’ negotiations with Springer and Elsevier. Read here (pdf).
Source: @RickyPo

Twitter Open Access Report – 31 July 2014

Times Higher Education: Open access papers ‘gain more traffic and citations’. “It found that, after 180 days, articles whose authors had paid for them to be made open access had been viewed more than twice as often as those articles accessible only to the journal’s subscribers. A further analysis of more than 2,000 papers published in Nature Communications between April 2010 and June 2013 revealed that open access articles were cited a median of 11 times, compared with a median of seven citations for subscription-only articles. The paper concludes that open access papers enjoy a “small” citation advantage in all disciplines except chemistry.” More here.

Highlights of #altmetrics: July 2014 by Keita Bando. View feed here.
Source: @KeitaBando

WISER: Open Access Oxford – what’s happening? “A briefing on open access publishing and Oxford’s position: Green vs. Gold; funder mandates and publisher policies; Oxford Research Archive (ORA) and Symplectic; OA website/ helpline; what’s new.” Takes place on Wednesday, 20 August, 11:00-12:00 at IT Training Room, Social Science Library, Manor Road Building, Manor Road Building, Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UQ. More here.
Source: @KUnlatched

Scholarly Kitchen: Stick To Your Ribs: The Impact Factor’s Greatest Hits (and Misses), by David Crotty. ”

The release of new Impact Factors always results in a great deal of work for publishers, editors, analysts and consultants as we pore through the numbers and figure out exactly what they mean. Love it or hate it, the Impact Factor still holds major sway over the careers of academic researchers as well as the submission rates and overall health of journals. With that in mind, I dug back into our archives to offer up some of our articles examining the Impact Factor, from a variety of angles. We’ll return with a new post tomorrow, once the dust settles.” More here.
Source: @alpsp

Open access in the developing world: The meaning of ‘impact’: prestige or relevance for developing world research? “There is an interesting circularity about the impact story in the developing world. With the expansion of the number of developing country journals in the index, the inclusion of the Latin American open access journal platform, SciELO in the Wed of Science (the Thomson Reuters citation indexes), it would seem that there is a courtship going on in which the developing world is being drawn into the journal impact tables. This is a two-way process, as has recently been analyzed in the Latin American context by Vessuri, Guédon and Cetto where they express concern that the search for ‘international’ status for SicELO journals through a chase for impact factors tends to work against development agendas, giving rise to serious concerns about equity.” More here.
Source: @alpsp

Academic Matters: Open Access and the Public Purse. “Last year, we were introduced to a “Draft Tri-Agency Open Access Policy,” put forward by NSERC and SSHRC to harmonize their requirements with the CIHR. Under this policy, all peer-reviewed journal articles based on research funded by these councils must be made available through Open Access (OA), free and online. Researchers could either publish in a journal that is OA or has OA options, or deposit the article in an OA repository within twelve months of publication. There is much to applaud here, particularly for those of us who have long supported OA as a means of making our work more widely available to international research communities that cannot afford increasingly high journal subscription fees or Canadians who are not physically within reach of a university library. The view, however, gets a little different once we realize that this policy does not foster OA in general, just select research publications (grant-funded journal articles), and allows federally funded research grants to be used to pay the Article Processing Charges (APCs) sometimes required for OA publication. Because of this particular focus, one of the effects of the proposed policy would be to foster the transfer of considerable funds from federal research councils to the large multinational publishers who charge some very high APCs. Such implications are not addressed in the recently published overview of the feedback SSHRC and NSERC received on its proposal, “Opening Canadian Research to the World: Summary of Responses to Draft Tri‐Agency Open Access Policy Consultation” and arguably run counter to support for the “Draft” as a matter of taxpayer fairness (see, for example, Michael Geist’s column on this topic).” More here.
Source: @alpsp

Baden-Württemberg setzt auf E-Science: Strategiepapier und Förderprogramm. “Das Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst des Landes Baden-Württemberg hat gestern ein 120-seitiges “Fachkonzept zur Weiterentwicklung der wissenschaftlichen Infrastruktur” (PDFvorgestellt. Zur Umsetzung des Konzeptes werden Mittel in Höhe von 3,7 Mio. Euro breitgestellt. Mit dem Förderprogramm soll der “Ausbaus einer leistungsfähigen, effizienten und innovativen Informationsinfrastruktur für die wissenschaftlichen Einrichtungen in Baden-Württemberg” vorangetrieben werden.

Fachkonzept zur Weiterentwicklung der wissenschaftlichen Infrastruktur

Das Strategiepapier setzt auf dem “Gesamtkonzept für die Informationsinfrastruktur in Deutschland” der Kommission Zukunft der Informationsinfrastruktur (KII) und anderen Aktivitäten – z. B. der Schwerpunktinitiative “Digitale Information”  der Wissenschaftsorganisationen –  auf und widmet sich fünf zentralen Handlungsfeldern:

  • Lizenzierung elektronischer Informationsmedien
  • Digitalisierung
  • Open Access
  • Forschungsdatenmanagement
  • Virtuelle Forschungsumgebungen”

More here.
Source: @alpsp

Rijksmuseum case study: Sharing free, high quality images without restrictions makes good things happen. “The Rijksmuseum has found a way to support broad access to its rich collection of cultural heritage resources. And it’s done so in such as way that promotes interest by new audiences, recuperates costs, and upholds the principles of supporting unrestricted access to the digital public domain.” More here.
Source: @openarchives

Article vs Journal Impact – Perspective from PLOS ONE Editorial Director Damian Pattinson. “I don’t think the Impact Factor is a very good measure of anything, but clearly it is particularly meaningless for a journal that deliberately eschews evaluation of impact in its publications decisions. Our founding principle was that impact should be evaluated post-publication. In terms of the average number of citations per article, my sense is that this is changing due to the expanding breadth of fields covered by PLOS ONE, not to mention its sheer size (we recently published our 100,000th article). When you grow as quickly as we have, your annual average citation rate will always be suppressed by the fact that you are publishing far more papers at the end of the year than at the beginning.” More here.
Source: @Science_Open

The Guardian: Open access: are effective measures to put UK research online under threat? “The universities of the UK should not squander the opportunity to put in place an effective mechanism for making their published research freely available […] A great deal of water has passed under the bridge in the two years since the UK government reinvigorated its push towards open access – making publicly funded research papers freely available online. Although there is broad agreement on the policy, vociferous debates have raged over the details of implementation. Should the UK policy favour goldopen access – making research papers freely available via the journal where they are published – or green open access, where the paper (usually the author’s final revision following peer review) is placed in a freely accessible university repository? Much of the debate has revolved around efficacy and costs. It is widely believed that gold open access may be cheaper in the long run – particularly if it encourages transparent market competition – but it may be an expensive policy during any transition away from established subscription models. The policy implemented by Research Councils UK favours gold open access but leaves the final choice to the authors. While pragmatic, this approach risks ongoing confusion in the minds of academics in what is a complex policy area. However, moves towards open access received a significant boost earlier this year when the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HECFE) – acting on behalf of equivalent bodies for the rest of the UK – announced that only papers that have been placed in institutional repositories will be considered eligible for the next Research Excellence Framework (REF), a periodic exercise that assesses the quality of the outputs of UK university departments. This is a powerful linkage because REF assessments determine how HEFCE disburses its research funds and universities take them very seriously.” More here.
Source: @OpenAccessOnline

Times Higher Education: Should you Mooc and match? ‘Another professor’s learning materials? In my course? It’s more likely than you think. The non-profit research organisation Ithaka S+R this month released its highly anticipated report on its work with the institutions in the University System of Maryland, which for the past 18 months have experimented with courseware from Carnegie Mellon University, Coursera and Pearson in face-to-face courses. Backed by a $1.4 million (£0.8 million) grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the study aimed to produce some sorely needed research about massive open online courses and their usefulness to brick-and-mortar institutions. Eighteen months later, the Mooc frenzy has calmed, and Ithaka’s findings are similarly muted. “Our findings add empirical weight to an emerging consensus that technology can be used to enhance productivity in higher education by reducing costs without compromising student outcomes,” researchers Rebecca Griffiths, Matthew Chingos, Christine Mulhern and Richard Spies write. In other words, hybrid courses that mix online content with face-to-face instruction can be just as good, though not necessarily better, than traditional courses. But a second research question – whether faculty members can use course content created by their counterparts at other institutions, potentially saving both time and resources – produced less clear results.”‘ More here.
Source: @timeshighered

Bjöen Brembs: Are We Paying US$3000 Per Article Just For Paywalls? “This is an easy calculation: for each subscription article, we pay on average US$5000. A publicly accessible article in one of SciELO’s 900 journals costs only US$90 on average. Subtracting about 35% in publisher profits, the remaining difference between legacy and SciELO costs amount to US$3160 per article. With paywalls being the only major difference between legacy and SciELO publishing (after all, writing and peer-review is done for free by researchers for both operations), it is straightforward to conclude that about US$3000 are going towards making each article more difficult to access, than if we published it on our personal webpage. Now that is what I’d call obscene.

Just to break the costs of legacy publishing down in detail:

Publisher profits 1750
Paywalls 3160
Actual costs of typesetting, hosting, archiving, etc. 90
Sum 5000

View here.
Source: @MikeTaylor

Is There a Difference Between xMOOCs and cMOOCs? Of course, classifications in education are not about black & white, either/or boxes. Classifications like “xMOOC/cMOOC” are really more of generalized categories that kind of coalesce around certain characteristics. But most people know that they are not hard, fast lines. One problem that is emerging in education is misunderstanding what educational classifications are and what they aren’t. MOOC designs that mix elements of xMOOCs and cMOOCs are not a sign that the classifications are wrong. They are a sign that we need to understand the underlying differences even more or we could continue to confuse and polarize the issue even further. More and more learners are discovering the difference between instructivism and connectivism (even if they don’t know those words), and are wanting to learn in their preferred paradigm.” More here.
Source: @eacorrao

Peter Suber: The harm caused by myths about open access. ‘For a vivid sense of the harm caused by common misunderstandings of OA, read the comments in this survey carried out at the University of Saskatchewan in November 2012 and released this month.
It’s depressing how many respondents who like the idea of OA in theory turn away from it in practice because they believe one of three particular falsehoods about it:
1. All OA is gold OA (through journals). 
The truth: Green OA (through repositories) is an alternative to gold OA, and even more plentiful than gold OA. There are several ways to arrange for permission to provide green OA even for work published at the very best peer-reviewed journals.
2. All or most peer-reviewed OA journals charge publication fees. 
The truth: Most (67%) charge no fees at all. In fact, the majority (75%) of non-OAjournals charge author-side fees and only a minority of OA journals do so.
3. All or most fees at fee-based OA journals are paid by authors out of pocket.
The truth: Most fees (88%) at fee-based OA journals are paid by the authors’ funder or employer. In fact 96% of authors who make their peer-reviewed articles OA pay no fee at all, because they make their work green OA rather than gold, because they publish in a no-fee OA journal, or because their fee at a fee-based journal was paid by their funder or employer.’ More here.
Source: @OpenAccessOnline

 Steps to Implementing Open Educational Resources | Academic Impressions. ‘Join us for an online training to learn the key steps in OER implementation for a course or program. Our expert instructors will prepare you to address the challenges that arise including:

  • Selection of open educational resource and provider
  • Managing course design and modifications
  • Improving faculty adoption
  • Providing a quality student experience’

More here.
Source: @oatp

Open Education Summer Reading List.

More here.
Source: @okfnedu

Brill Announces New Suite of Open Access Journals. ‘Brill, the international scholarly publisher, announces a new suite of open access journals covering four major disciplines. In the Brill Open program, Brill is now announcing the launch of four new full Open Access journals in the following disciplines: HumanitiesSocial SciencesLaw, and Biology. These journals will offer a pure open access environment. Each journal will be divided in sections that align with the major subject areas in the discipline. Each of the four new Brill Open journals will have a dedicated editorial board and undergo the same rigorous peer review and uphold the same high-quality publication standards that Brill is known for. In addition, once accepted, papers will be published online in just one month. The Brill Open program makes research freely accessible online in exchange for an Article Publication Charge (APC). This can be by choice, or to comply with funding mandates or university requirements. As a rule, APCs are not charged until a paper is accepted for publication. In 2014 and 2015 the four new Open Access journals will offer reduced APCs and waive all submission fees.View the APC details here.’ More here.
Source: @oatp

OER Research Hub: July Round-Up. ‘July kicked off with the release of a range of our research on open textbooks during the aptly named Open Textbook Research week. With contributors from all of our fantastic open textbook collaborators, this was a great chance to see what work we’ve been doing together. Beck (OERRH researcher) and Megan Beckett (Siyavula) co-authored a series of blog posts on the survey findings in South Africa, Clint Lalonde of BCcampus told us more about the Open Textbook Project Geography sprint in an exclusive post and we also released the revised OpenStax College educator survey findings, preliminary student survey findings and three educator interviews. Phew! With 11 blog posts in total there’s a wealth of research to explore. […] Later in the month, we also released the full audio of last year’s OpenEd13 interview with co-author of OpenStax College Introductory Statistics, Barbara Illowsky. This is an incredibly rich interview with Barbara telling us about the journey of Collaborative Statistics, which she co-authored with Susan Dean, the students at De Anza College in California, why their open textbook is licensed CC-BY, her work with Cable Green to “influence OER policy”, student savings and how open has improved quality. Catch up on Part One and Part Two … perfect summertime listening! […] Half way through July Beck, Rob and Martin headed to Berlin to participate in this year’s Open Knowledge Festival (#OKFest14). The festival took place in the amazing Kulturbrauerei which provided a great space to host a vast array of sessions on openness in all different kinds of contexts, including education. Did you manage to catch our session on Wednesday at unFestival?! For the bigger picture check out our Storify and the official OKFest day-by-day reviews!’ More here.
Source: @OER_Hub

The Conversation: Technology improves higher learning, it doesn’t kill it. ‘As MOOC mania approached its peak in 2012, Anant Agarwal, the president of the Massive Open Online Course platform edXclaimed:

Online education for students around the world will be the next big thing in education. This is the single biggest change in education since the printing press.

The claim was repeated many times. Indeed, 15 years earlier, management guru Peter Drucker had anticipated this:

Thirty years from now the big university campuses will be relics. Universities won’t survive. It’s as large a change as when we first got the printed book.

That seemed improbable since university lectures have been as important in the five-and-a-half centuries since Gutenberg invented the printing press as they presumably were for the three-and-a-half centuries before. Yet printing had profound and pervasive effects on society, as has been established by many, notably Elizabeth Eisenstein in her study on The Printing Press as an Agent of Change. In a paper published recently in History of Education, I considered how printing changed universities, such as their lectures and libraries.’ More here.
Source: @MOOCsNews

Reports of MOOCs’ demise have been greatly exaggerated, by Craig Weidermann. ‘Last year’s exuberance about the impact of massive open online courses has fizzled. MOOCs have been widely eulogized as “overpromised,” “off course,” and just plain “enough already!” This much ballyhooed and belittled phenomenon is clearly neither the cure for all that ails higher education, nor the end of colleges and universities as we know them. But in our urge to find the next big thing, we shouldn’t ignore what MOOCs can offer to learners around the world and to institutions of higher education. Our true return on investment for MOOCs may be difficult to quantify — and it may not be monetary. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. “MOOCs have advanced the conversation and sharpened our focus on helping students learn. And that’s the ultimate return on investment. MOOCs are showing potential to attract applicants and engage alumni. Penn State’s GIS Mapping MOOC, for example, increased traffic to our GIS graduate program website by 400 percent. In addition, MOOCs are creating communities of online learners around the world and in some cases providing critical employment skills.’ More here.
Source: @MOOCsNews