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.
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.
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]
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.
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.
@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.”
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.
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.
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.