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.
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.
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.
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.
Academia.edu 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.