Monday, April 22, 2013

MIT's Global Open Access Outreach

Four years after MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy to facilitate the widest outreach possible globally to their research, Ellen Finnie Duranceau, MIT's Program Manager, Scholarly Publishing and Licensing, provided a fascinating analysis of where MIT's scholarship is being downloaded:
Only one-third of the use originates in the United States, while North America as a whole accounts for 36% of the activity. Downloads are otherwise widely distributed, with even the well-populated and research-intensive countries of China, India, and the UK contributing just 10%, 6%, and 5% respectively. Downloads from around the world include those from Nigeria and Argentina (both 0.1%), Estonia (.05%) and Malta (.02%). Europe is the origin of consistent activity, including from Italy (2%), Poland (0.7%), and Spain (.01%). Australia and New Zealand account for an additional 2% of downloads.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Open Educational Resources as Learning Materials

ARL has released a pre-publication version of an article on “OpenEducational Resources as Learning Materials: Prospects and Strategies forUniversity Libraries,” which will be featured in the forthcoming Research Library Issues (RLI) no. 280.

In this article, authors Marilyn S. Billings, Sarah C. Hutton, Jay Schafer, Charles M. Schweik, and Matt Sheridan provide an overview of open educational resources (OERs), discuss faculty use of OERs as alternatives to traditional resources, and describe the new Open Education Initiative at University of Massachusetts Amherst including the challenges and opportunities it presents. The authors conclude:
While assessment of student and faculty satisfaction is still under way, preliminary indications are that both groups are very satisfied with efforts to challenge the existing model of expensive commercial textbooks with a model using OERs. One-time savings to students of over $205,000 have resulted from an initial investment of $27,000—and these savings will multiply each time the course is taught. Working with faculty and commercial publishers to promote and facilitate the adoption of open educational resources and other hybrid models places the libraries in an excellent position to uphold their public land-grant mission and to gain support from campus administration, parents, and students.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Nature Publishes Special Issue: The Future of Publishing

Nature's latest special issue, The Future of Publishing (March 28th, 2013), addresses the many benefits, as well as some perils (identity theft of a scholarly journal!), found in an increasingly digital world of scholarly publishing.  Articles on open access literature and data discuss the role transformations required of researchers and libraries in this changing landscape.  Another raises logical questions about the high cost and relative value of scholarly publishers arising when inexpensive open access is an option.  One article highlights the enhanced discovery, as well as more elemental packaging, of article/research content allowed by open access and search engine enhancements.  Public access advocates give their prescriptions for pushing forward in this realm, while others address the straw men thrown up by those opposed to the Creative Commons attribution license. An interview with Robert Darnton, Director of the Harvard University Library, anticipates the April 18 - 19 launch of the Digital Public Library of America. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Journal of Library Administration's Editorial Board Resigns

The Editor and Editorial Board for the Journal of Library Administration have recently resigned due to the Journal’s restrictive author’s rights. Damon E. Jaggers, the former Editors  of JLA, has written:

“The Board believes that the licensing terms in the Taylor & Francis author agreement are too restrictive and out-of-step with the expectations of authors in the LIS community . . . . A large and growing number of current and potential authors to JLA have pushed back on the licensing terms included in the Taylor & Francis author agreement. Several authors have refused to publish with the journal under the current licensing terms. Several others have demanded to add addenda to the author agreement to clarify what they find to be confusing language about the exclusivity of the publishing rights Taylor & Francis requires . . . .After much discussion, the only alternative presented by Taylor & Francis tied a less restrictive license to a $2995 per article fee to be paid by the author.  As you know, this is not a viable licensing option for authors from the LIS community who are generally not conducting research under large grants. . . .Thus, the Board came to the conclusion that it is not possible to produce a quality journal under the current licensing terms offered by Taylor & Francis and chose to collectively resign.”

To learn more about this resignation, take a look at this article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, and a blog entry from the Association of College & Research Libraries.