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.
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.
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.
Two Reports ago, we talked about what would be needed to make the leap to Open Access en masse. Martin Haspelmath (@haspelmath) has 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.
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.
Martin Tisne has a post on why Open Data is necessary at the Open Government Partnership Blog, wherein he points out, among other things, that it can be used to hold goverments to account. Medium.com has a very interesting case in point: a white paper about how Open Data helped uncover corruption in Myanmar’s jade industry.
A post on Yorokobu.es notes that MOOCs only have a 7% completion rate, and the headline offers some solutions for retaining them, though the article itself has more to say about predicting which users will drop out. The author does not stop to wonder why it’s so important that students complete the course, or whose priorities are being served when they do.
Tech Crunch has a more nuanced take on the once-popular notion that MOOCs would destroy the university system. As colleges become prohibitively expensive, the college degree will lose its status as the only qualification worth having, and MOOCs will be ready to step in and fill the gap – so, more of an end-run than a head-on collision.
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?