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Can we transform scholarly communication with open source and community‐owned infrastructure?|Learned Publishing

From Alison McGonagle‐O’Connell and Kristen Ratanin in Learned Publishing:

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When it comes to infrastructure, scholarly publishing has been slow to evolve, and recent consolidation has weakened the competitive landscape. Publishers are waking up to learn that their most valuable asset – their publishing pipeline and accompanying workflow data – is suddenly owned by a potentially competitive organization whose values may not align with their own. Options to break away are challenging due to contracts, vendor lock in, and migration costs.

When consolidation occurred in content, as larger publishers acquired smaller publishers, costs went up. The increasing consolidation in technology and services will likely drive the costs of the current platform vendors up as well and offer fewer choices. Small‐ and mid‐sized publishers are faced with a decision to try and operate independently or partner with commercial publishers or vendors. These partnerships increasingly challenge their core values, such as independence and autonomy, research‐driven mission and goals, and control over business models and workflow.

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Source: Can we transform scholarly communication with open source and community‐owned infrastructure? – McGonagle‐O’Connell – 2019 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

Open educational resources, student efficacy, and user perceptions: a synthesis of research published between 2015 and 2018 | Educational Technology Research and Development

From John Hilton in Educational Technology Research and Development:

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Although textbooks are a traditional component in many higher education contexts, their increasing price have led many students to forgo purchasing them and some faculty to seek substitutes. One such alternative is open educational resources (OER). This present study synthesizes results from sixteen efficacy and twenty perceptions studies involving 121,168 students or faculty that examine either (1) OER and student efficacy in higher education settings or (2) the perceptions of college students and/or instructors who have used OER. Results across these studies suggest students achieve the same or better learning outcomes when using OER while saving significant amounts of money. The results also indicate that the majority of faculty and students who have used OER had a positive experience and would do so again.

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Source: Open educational resources, student efficacy, and user perceptions: a synthesis of research published between 2015 and 2018 | SpringerLink

Blurring Lines — Considering the Future of Discovery, Access and Business Models in Support of Virtual Reality Content for Scholarly Research and Classroom Learning:  What Can We Learn from the Rise of OER and OA?  – Against The Grain

From David Parker in Against the Grain:in:

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The open educational resources (OER) movement began in the years between 1999 and 2002, during which time Rice launched its precursor to OpenStax and UNESCO’S 2002 forum on open courseware coined the term OER.; Since these early days the pace of growth in adoption of OER, while unsatisfying to some activists, has been, in my view, phenomenal. Studies, such as Opening the Textbook by Julia E. Seaman and Jeff Seaman from the Babson Survey Research Group, reported in 2017 that the OER adoption rate for large enrollment courses was 16.5%.  And when I attended OpenEd 18 this past fall in Niagara Falls, New York, I was astounded by the number of attendees and, most specifically, by the numbers of librarians in formal or informal support roles for OER at their institutions.

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Source: v31 #3 Blurring Lines — Considering the Future of Discovery, Access and Business Models in Support of Virtual Reality Content for Scholarly Research and Classroom Learning:  What Can We Learn from the Rise of OER and OA?  – Against The Grain

Big Deal Knowledge Base – SPARC

From SPARC:

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This database puts libraries on a more level playing field with vendors by detailing what thousands of peer institutions have paid for journal subscription packages. Institutions can leverage this pricing data, as well as the other resources on this site, to make clearer assessments about the suitability of these Big Deals and to strengthen their negotiating power.

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Source: Big Deal Knowledge Base – SPARC

Announcing “Mind the Gap,” a major report on all available open-source publishing software | The MIT Press

From the MIT Press:

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Mellon-funded report Mind the Gap: A Landscape Analysis of Open Source Publishing Tools and Platforms catalogs and analyzes all available open-source software for publishing and warns that open publishing must grapple with the dual challenges of siloed development and organization of the community-owned ecosystem

The MIT Press is pleased to release Mind the Gap: A Landscape Analysis of Open Source Publishing Tools and Platforms (openly published at mindthegap.pubpub.org), a major report on the current state of all available open-source software for publishing. Funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the report “shed[s] light on the development and deployment of open-source publishing technologies in order to aid institutions’ and individuals’ decision-making and project planning.” It will be an unparalleled resource for the scholarly publishing community and complements the recently released Mapping the Scholarly Communication Landscape census.

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Source: Announcing “Mind the Gap,” a major report on all available open-source publishing software | The MIT Press

Q&A: Cengage/McGraw-Hill Merger – SPARC

From Nicole Allen in SPARC News:

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Over the past year, one of SPARC’s top priorities has been tracking the evolution of the academic publishing industry and its implications for the future of research and education. The urgency of the issues outlined in our Landscape Analysis was put into sharp relief in May, when Cengage and McGraw-Hill—the second and third largest college textbook publishers—announced plans to merge. If approved by federal regulators, the merger would reshape the U.S. higher education course material market as a duopoly—with potentially dire consequences in terms of price, access, and control of student data.

Shortly after the merger was announced, SPARC began to explore avenues for taking action. Over the past two months, we’ve been working with industry and antitrust experts to build arguments against the merger, which we intend to file with the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. While we acknowledge that the current regulatory environment makes opposing any merger an uphill battle, we think that this is an important opportunity to educate antitrust enforcers about the unique challenges presented by the textbook market, and especially the implications of the growing control of academic publishers over key higher education infrastructure.

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Source: Q&A: Cengage/McGraw-Hill Merger – SPARC

Why Are So Many Scholarly Communication Infrastructure Providers Running a Red Queen’s Race? | Educopia Institute

From Katherine Skinner in Educopia Institute Community Cultivators:

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A few weeks ago, we at Educopia published the first project deliverable for the “Mapping Scholarly Communication Infrastructure” project, which we’re working on with Middlebury College and TrueBearing Consulting. The deliverable is a report and a set of data visualizations based on our deep dive into the organizational and technical infrastructures of “Scholarly Communication Resources,” (SCRs) or the tools, platforms, and services that undergird and support today’s digital knowledge infrastructures.

The report details our project team’s findings from the Census of Scholarly Communication Infrastructure Providers—a survey we ran this spring (and have recently reopened with IOI) to which 45 programs and organizations willingly gave hours of their time and scads of information about their technical development and design, their fiscal models, their revenue streams and expenditures, their documentation, and their governance and community engagement work.

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Source: Why Are So Many Scholarly Communication Infrastructure Providers Running a Red Queen’s Race? | Educopia Institute

Guest Post – Library Publishers Convene in Vancouver to Discuss Open Platforms and Open Educational Resources – The Scholarly Kitchen

From Heather Staines in The Scholarly Kitchen:

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From May 8 to 10th of this year, about two hundred librarians, publishers, and all flavors in between gathered at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Vancouver for the 6th annual Library Publishing Coalition Forum. The Pre-Conference on Wednesday, May 8th, focused on Open Educational Resources, had about 90 attendees. The open theme carried over into the main event with presentations on open publishing platforms of many kinds.

Increased interest in open platforms and open tools has grown after continuing industry consolidation of hosting and authoring tools — namely, Wiley’s acquisition of the Atypon platform and the latter’s subsequent purchase of the Authoria and Manuscript tools, along with Elsevier’s shift in emphasis on the researcher workflow with acquisitions of the Mendeley Scholarly Collaboration Network, Aries’ Editorial Manager, and the institutional repository provider, Bepress. Many posts here in the Scholarly Kitchen have focused on this trend and highlighted concern of vendor lock-in, as well as smaller publisher concerns of being “locked out.”

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Source: Guest Post – Library Publishers Convene in Vancouver to Discuss Open Platforms and Open Educational Resources – The Scholarly Kitchen

Renewing the system : Thinking broadly about equity, diversity, and inclusion in scholarly communication | C&RL News

From Karen Munro in C&RL News:

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The ACRL Board of Directors recently articulated a new core commitment of our strategic plan, the Plan for Excellence. Along with the association’s core purpose, “[t]o lead academic and research librarians and libraries in advancing learning and scholarship,” and our core organizational values, which include visionary leadership, responsible stewardship of resources, and the values of higher education and intellectual freedom, we have made an explicit commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI).

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Source: Renewing the system Thinking broadly about equity, diversity, and inclusion in scholarly communication | CR&L News

In act of brinkmanship, a big publisher cuts off UC’s access to its academic journals – Los Angeles Times

From Michael Hiltzik in the LA Times:

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The bitter battle between the University of California, a leading source of published research papers, and Elsevier, the world’s largest publisher of research papers, just got more bitter.

As of Wednesday, Elsevier cut off access by UC faculty, staff and students to articles published since Jan. 1 in 2,500 Elsevier journals, including respected medical publications such as Cell and the Lancet and a host of engineering and scientific journals. Access to most material published in 2018 and earlier remains in force.

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Source: In act of brinkmanship, a big publisher cuts off UC’s access to its academic journals – Los Angeles Times