"In all the discussions about open access and copyright, I want to add my story as someone from the Global South who strongly advocates for open access. Before I do so, I need to admit my privilege: my institution has a great physical and electronic library with additional free document delivery – so I can literally get any article or book chapter I want, for free, and during my PhD I had additional access to the University of Sheffield’s eResources library. However, I know that most Egyptian academics have no such access. Public universities have very limited library resources. We cannot achieve a more equitable global knowledge landscape when academics in some regions cannot even read what others before them have published (among other inequalities)? This particular problem is shared by unaffiliated academics worldwide, of course.
Three things happened last week to prompt this post. First of all, someone called me out on calling copyright an unjust law. Lawrence Lessig’s arguments here and here express this better than I do: publishers and not authors are the main beneficiaries of copyright. Academics regularly publish in peer-reviewed journals and not get paid a dime (funny they can get paid for publishing in non-peer-reviewed magazines!)."
"Starting in the mid-20th century, academe became idolized, in good times, as embodying everything right about America, and demonized, in bad times, as embodying everything wrong. It’s neither, and both — a crazy, amorphous amalgam of interests and histories that couldn’t have been planned and won’t become extinct.
It was ragtag and subpar until World War II, then enjoyed a 30-year golden age. Afterward, it remained the world leader but has subsided into noisy fractiousness over credentialism and culture, politics and price. As we grope our way forward, calm, rational discussion and a little perspective might help. But a search for solutions in American academe’s linear, illustrious history surely won’t — because that past of sustained grandeur and gravitas never existed.
Frank Rhodes, a former president of Cornell, in 2001 described the university as "the most significant creation of the second millennium." Wow. That’s not how we thought of it when I was growing up."
"Copyright © 2015 by Roland Stull.
Available to use and share for free under a Creative Commons License (see bottom of this web page for details).
"Meteorology for Scientists and Engineers, 3rd Edition" (MSE3) was written in 2011. Additional changes were made in 2015 to half of the chapters, and the book was re-titled as "Practical Meteorology: An Algebra-based Survey of Atmospheric Science" (PrMet). Some readers prefer the original 2011 edition, so both editions are made available here. Both cover the same topics in the same order. [See a 3-slide presentation for pros and cons of an algebra-based university curriculum.] "
"Higher education and library organizations, led by the Association of Research Libraries, side with the Lingua editors and criticize Elsevier.
November 13, 2015
More library and higher education groups on Thursday threw their support behind the editors of the linguistics journal Lingua, upping the pressure on publisher Elsevier.
Lingua’s editors and editorial board members last month resigned en masse from the journal to protest Elsevier’s policies on pricing and open access. Since then, what started as a dispute between a journal and its publisher has grown into a wide-ranging debate about the sustainability of publishing, open access and ownership of intellectual property.
The debate expanded again on Thursday as the Association of Research Libraries said it supported the Lingua editors. In a statement, the organization said the departing editors' new journal, Glossa, will make it easier for researchers to fund and share their work.
“As organizations committed to the principle that access to information advances discovery, accelerates innovation and improves education, we share the significant concerns raised by the Lingua editors and we support sustainable open-access models,” the statement reads. “Furthermore, research is becoming increasingly international and we must develop a system that fosters global participation, regardless of geographical location or size of institution. To that end, we strongly support the Lingua editors’ decision to pursue an alternative solution, which will better serve the needs and values of higher education and the public that sustains it.”
Joining the ARL are the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the American Council on Education, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, the Confederation of Open Access Repositories, Educause, and the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition. While many library groups have long pushed for open access as a solution to rising subscription costs, organizations that represent college presidents have not always been as vocal or involved."
"A long, long time ago (in Internet years), maybe as far back as 2004, I began to think about starting a blog. I was angry at how the media consistently failed to engage with history in news stories, and I thought I could write lively commentaries on the historical contexts of modern issues. My friend Karen said I should call it "How Did We Get Into This Mess?"
Alas, I was busy. Instead of blogging, I wrote a dissertation. Then I lucked into two peak years of job openings for medieval historians. I landed a position, became a father, chased tenure, and totally missed the Golden Age of Blogging. Social media and Tumblr gradually eroded the ubiquity of blogs, and many Internet writers either drifted away to focus on their Twitter accounts, stopped doing informal self-published public writing, or began to find homes on one of the proliferating number of online media sites. I thought I’d missed my blogging window.
In fact, not only is "the blog" alive and well as a form, but one of its most vibrant subsections is the academic blog. While blogging is no longer the only — or primary — way that academics seek to broaden their audience, it remains a good avenue for engaging the public."
"This past fall semester, the Open Library of the Humanities, or OLH, officially launched their publishing arm. The OLH is:
a charitable organisation dedicated to publishing open access scholarship with no author-facing article processing charges (APCs). We are funded by an international consortium of libraries who have joined us in our mission to make scholarly publishing fairer, more accessible, and rigorously preserved for the digital future.
As you can tell by the spelling, it originated out of the UK. The project leads are Martin Paul Eve, Senior Lecturer in Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London, and Caroline Edwards is Lecturer in Modern & Contemporary Literature at Birkbeck, University of London. What started as a network of scholars, programmers, and librarians has evolved into a collective to support open-access publishing."
"Open-access advocates, however, see the Lingua case as an opportunity to break that cycle by getting more researchers to publish their work outside of high-prestige journals.
The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), an offshoot of the Association of Research Libraries, has for more than a decade offered a guide for editors considering “declaring independence.” The guide includes tips on how to diagnose a journal’s finances and reach, among other resources, in order to determine if it can survive a move to a new publisher.
In light of the Lingua case, SPARC is planning to revise the guide with a focus on open access, Heather Joseph, the organization’s executive director, said in an interview. The case, she said, marks the first time a team of editors has resigned specifically to create an open-access journal.
Mass resignations are rarely clean breaks, but the Lingua case is perhaps a particularly messy example. The back-and-forth between Elsevier and the editors kept the story in the news, while the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ statement in support of the editors helped expand the debate beyond bickering between a publisher and one of its journals.
“It signals a real shift in understanding of why editorial boards get so frustrated,” Joseph said about the APLU’s involvement. “It opens the door to having the conversation about breaking that reliance on high-impact commercial journals as the be-all and end-all for promotion and tenure.”"
"The Open Library of the Humanities operates under a different model: It's funded through a three-year, $741,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, as well as by fees from libraries in its consortium. Access is free to all, even those not in the consortium. The libraries that join and pay fees get to vote on which new journals the organization should publish, but the money is more a statement of support than a fee for a service.
Right now, there are 120 institutions in the consortium. As more institutions join, the fees get smaller. And larger colleges pay more than smaller ones.
Mr. Eve sees open access as a way to make publishing cheaper by spreading the costs across a large number of institutions. For organizations that aren’t motivated by profit, he thinks the model will work. As universities have faced budget cuts, he said, traditional publishers have continued to collect large amounts of revenue.
"They may have a different idea, in the mind of shareholders, as to what 'sustainable' actually means," Mr. Eve said."
"The editorial staff of a research journal have resigned to protest the company’s failure to embrace open access.
A prestigious academic journal has just experienced the closest thing to outright mutiny: All six editors and the entire editorial board of the well-respected linguistics journal Lingua resigned en masse last week. And the reason says a lot about the ongoing disruption taking place in the formerly sleepy world of academic publishing.
In many ways, academic publishers are going through the same kind of wrenching change that traditional media companies like newspaper and magazine publishers are. Subscription-based business models that worked for decades are coming apart at the seams, thanks in part to the web’s ability to distribute content much more cheaply and broadly. And academia itself is becoming much more open as well."
"Elsevier doesn't always respond in detail to criticism that advocates for open access direct at the journal publishing giant. Open-access supporters say publishing can have high academic quality and be free online without the high subscription prices Elsevier charges. The company says its critics underestimate the true costs of publishing.
But this week, with Elsevier facing intense scrutiny over the resignation of all the editors and editorial board members of the journal Lingua, the company answered back with some specifics. But the answer -- and especially the claim that Elsevier founded the journal -- appears to have only intensified the criticism. While Elsevier has faced protest resignations in the past, this one has people talking, including people in the corporate world, not just the academic world. Fortune wrote of a "mutiny" as evidence that "cracks are widening in the fortress of academic publishing.""
"Trickery by editors to boost their journal impact factor means that the widely used metric “has now lost most of its credibility,” according to Research Policy journal.
With many editors now engaged in “ingenious ways” of boosting their impact factor, “one of the main bastions holding back the growing scourge of research misconduct” has been “breached,” the publication warns in an editorial."
"More and more young people are learning about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in a wide variety of afterschool, summer, and informal programs. At the same time, there has been increasing awareness of the value of such programs in sparking, sustaining, and extending interest in and understanding of STEM. To help policy makers, funders and education leaders in both school and out-of-school settings make informed decisions about how to best leverage the educational and learning resources in their community, this report identifies features of productive STEM programs in out-of-school settings. Identifying and Supporting Productive STEM Programs in Out-of-School Settings draws from a wide range of research traditions to illustrate that interest in STEM and deep STEM learning develop across time and settings. The report provides guidance on how to evaluate and sustain programs. This report is a resource for local, state, and federal policy makers seeking to broaden access to multiple, high-quality STEM learning opportunities in their community."
"Learn about open access policies and their value to authors, readers, and the world at large in a new introductory video by the Coalition of Open Access Policies (COAPI). Start conversations on your campus about how to get started with an OA policy with this new short animated video, developed with generous support from SPARC and ACRL.
Feel free to embed the YouTube clip in your websites and to share it far and wide as you mark Open Access Week 2015 at your institution. Use COAPI’s short 5-step handout as a guide to getting started on the OA policy development path."
"All six editors and all 31 editorial board members of Lingua, one of the top journals in linguistics, last week resigned to protest Elsevier's policies on pricing and its refusal to convert the journal to an open-access publication that would be free online. As soon as January, when the departing editors' noncompete contracts expire, they plan to start a new open-access journal to be called Glossa.
The editors and editorial board members quit, they say, after telling Elsevier of the frustrations of libraries reporting that they could not afford to subscribe to the journal and in some cases couldn't even figure out what it would cost to subscribe. Prices quoted on the Elsevier website suggest that an academic library in the United States with a total student and faculty full-time equivalent number of around 10,000 would pay $2,211 for shared online access, and $1,966 for a print copy.
Under "bundling," in which academic libraries buy many journals together, the total could be less, but the journal might also not make the cut in the decisions of a library under pressure to buy access to journals in many disciplines. And many libraries complain that bundling doesn't create true savings, as the bundles include many journals they don't want.
Johan Rooryck, executive editor of the journal until his resignation takes effect at the end of the year, said in an interview that when he started his editorship in 1998, "I could have told you to the cent what the journal cost," and that it was much more affordable. Now, he said, single subscriptions are so expensive that it is "unsustainable" for many libraries to subscribe. Rooryck is professor of French linguistics at Leiden University, in the Netherlands, where academic and government leaders have been sharply critical of journal prices.
Rooryck said Lingua and most journals publish work by professors whose salaries are paid directly or indirectly with public funds. So why, he asked, should access to such research be blocked?
By quitting his position, Rooryck will give up his current compensation from Elsevier, which he said is about 5,000 euros (about $5,500) a year. He said the pay is minimal for the two to three days a week he works on the journal. "I would be better off going to flip burgers in that time," he said.
Rooryck expects to earn nothing when Glossa launches -- and he's fine with that. "I'm doing this for purely idealistic reasons. I've had it. I think you have to move forward and it might as well be linguistics" that does so. Rooryck said that while he is particularly bothered by Elsevier's policies, the criticisms extend to other corporate publishers. He said that some of his colleagues are already talking to editors of other journals, and hope that they will follow the lead of Lingua and that "linguistics can be a model for other disciplines" in standing up to publishers."
"College technology leaders appear more optimistic these days about open-source textbooks and open educational resources — teaching and learning materials that can be used at no cost.
According to the latest Campus Computing Survey of top technology officers at colleges, released on Thursday, 81 percent believe that open educational resources will be an important source for instructional material in the next five years. And 38 percent report that their institutions encourage faculty members to use open-resource content, compared with 33 percent in 2014.
That was just one of the many findings in the survey, perhaps the largest annual sampling of the views of campus IT officials. The results were released during the Educause Annual Conference, where top ed-tech officials gather to discuss what’s changed in higher-education IT. This year’s survey includes responses from IT leaders at 417 two- and four-year institutions.
“There’s a lot of angst and anger about textbooks,” said Kenneth C. Green, founding director of the survey. Especially for large, lower-division courses, he said, open educational resources are starting to look like a viable alternative to expensive textbooks."
"Advanced Series on Directions in High Energy Physics: Volume 23
60 Years of CERN Experiments and Discoveries
Edited by: Herwig Schopper (University of Hamburg, Germany & CERN), Luigi Di Lella (University of Pisa, Italy & CERN)"
"The OITP Copyright Education Subcommittee sponsors CopyTalk, a series of webinars on specific copyright topics that include orphan works, mass digitization, international copyright developments, pending and recent copyright court cases, the copyright implications of new technologies, and more. Find information on these sessions below:"
"Background: the emerging role of data management in research libraries
I first became aware of research data management as a frontier area of expertise for libraries and librarians almost 10 years ago. Tony Hey was one of the first to popularize the term ‘e-science’ and the idea that librarians had a role to play in managing research data. This call might have stirred little interest at another time. But at least two things were happening around then that might have caused this to stand out and catch interest: 1) libraries were in the midst of redefining their roles and place in the digital scholarly communication ecosystem; and, 2) the ‘data deluge’ made possible by the ubiquity and power of computation and networks was beginning to overwhelm traditional methods of data storage and management. It was becoming alarmingly clear that a new approach was needed to grapple with the burgeoning need.
This convergence of need and opportunity was not lost on the research library community. Not long after becoming interested in research data management as a role for libraries and librarians, I had the privilege of working with the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) in that community’s early efforts to explore the potential of this area.
One of the products of that work was a report and recommendations from the ARL Joint Task Force on Library Support for e-Science. Eight years on, I’m pleased to find that the report has held up reasonably well. It does so because it took an expansive view of the environment of scientific research and the effects of ‘e-science’ on it. It also steered clear of a proscriptive approach to what research libraries should do. Instead, it laid out a broad approach designed to enable ARL and its members to remain responsive to the needs of the scientific research community. Out of that, research data management is perhaps the most specific and concrete instance that has continued to develop."
"Abstract - Academic library budgets are the primary source of revenue for scholarly journal publishing. There is more than enough money in the budgets of academic libraries to fund a fully open access scholarly journal publishing system. Seeking efficiencies, such as a reasonable average cost per article, will be key to a successful transition. This paper presents macro–level economic data and analysis illustrating the key factors and potential for cost savings."
"There is a startling difference between the prices that university libraries must pay for academic journals owned by commercial publishers and the prices for journals owned by professional societies and university presses.
For example, in the fields of economics and ecology, the average institutional subscription price per page charged by commercial journals is about 5 times that charged by non-profit journals. These price differences do not reflect differences in quality as measured by number of recorded citations to a journal. For commercial journals the average price per citation is about 15 times that for non-profit journals. Similar price differentials are found across a wide variety of scientific disciplines. [ Table. ]
These price differences have grown rapidly over the past 15 years. In 2001, the average real (adjusted for inflation) price per page of journals owned by commercial publishers has approximately tripled, while that of non-profit economics journals has increased by "only" 50 percent. "