"I’ve written before on how I believe pedagogy should focus on the process and not the product of learning. I could write about this in theory forever, but I realized that I succeeded last semester in doing it in practice, so I thought I would share what I’ve done.
For context, I co-teach a Creative Thinking and Problem-Solving course, which is a liberal arts option at my institution. The module I teach constitutes half the course, and is focused on educational game design. My students are undergraduates, mostly freshman, mostly Egyptian. The largest assessment in my module is a group project where students design their own educational game. In the past, I’ve focused on the learning process in the way we build towards this activity, but I’ve had part of the grade focus on the quality of the actual game the students produce. This semester, I did not put any grade on the actual product."
"The Authors Guild's decade-long legal battle with Google reached the U.S. Supreme Court last Thursday, as the professional organization asked the court to settle whether or not book digitization represents "copyright infringement on an epic scale."
The appeal does not mean the Supreme Court will hear the case and issue a broad ruling on copyright, however. The court receives thousands of appeals a year (known as petitions for a writ of certiorari) and hears less than 5 percent of them. Authors Guild v. Google joins this year's total, but legal experts said it is unlikely the case will make the cut.
"The Supreme Court typically takes cases when there are important unsettled issues of law that need to be decided or in cases of overwhelming importance," said James Grimmelmann, professor of law at the University of Maryland at Baltimore. "This case might have seemed like a case of overwhelming importance a decade ago, but it has dragged on for so long and the ground has moved so much in copyright that it doesn't have that urgency.""
"Before I give more instructions on how to submit let me briefly recap the philosophy of the Open Journal project.
We no longer need traditional academics journals to disseminate research in astrophysics and cosmology. We all post our research to the arXiv and read other papers there too. It's been years since I last accessed a paper in a journal. The only useful function that journals provide is peer review, and we in the research community do that (usually for free) anyway. We only need journals for peer review, although we also like the prestige that is associated with them. But traditional journals have an unnecessarily slow and expensive editorial process, along with a nasty habit of placing the articles they publish behind a paywall."
"After one especially doubt-riddled crop of papers, I responded, "Whoa!" (or words to that effect). Science, I lectured sternly, has established many facts about reality beyond a reasonable doubt, embodied by quantum mechanics, general relativity, the theory of evolution, the genetic code. This knowledge has yielded applications—from vaccines to computer chips—that have transformed our world in countless ways. It is precisely because science is such a powerful mode of knowledge, I said, that you must treat new pronouncements skeptically, carefully distinguishing the genuine from the spurious. But you shouldn't be so skeptical that you deny the possibility of achieving any knowledge at all.
My students listened politely, but I could see the doubt in their eyes. We professors have a duty to teach our students to be skeptical. But we also have to accept that, if we do our jobs well, their skepticism may turn on us."
"The consolidation of the scientific publishing industry has been the topic of much debate within and outside the scientific community, especially in relation to major publishers’ high profit margins. However, the share of scientific output published in the journals of these major publishers, as well as its evolution over time and across various disciplines, has not yet been analyzed. This paper provides such analysis, based on 45 million documents indexed in the Web of Science over the period 1973-2013. It shows that in both natural and medical sciences (NMS) and social sciences and humanities (SSH), Reed-Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Springer, and Taylor & Francis increased their share of the published output, especially since the advent of the digital era (mid-1990s). Combined, the top five most prolific publishers account for more than 50% of all papers published in 2013. Disciplines of the social sciences have the highest level of concentration (70% of papers from the top five publishers), while the humanities have remained relatively independent (20% from top five publishers). NMS disciplines are in between, mainly because of the strength of their scientific societies, such as the ACS in chemistry or APS in physics. The paper also examines the migration of journals between small and big publishing houses and explores the effect of publisher change on citation impact. It concludes with a discussion on the economics of scholarly publishing."
"With the advent of Google Scholar and other metrics for faculty productivity, advancing one’s career as a professor is much more of a numbers game than it used to be. Still, the traditional system of peer review in hiring, tenure and promotion decisions has retained a good deal of nuance. Scholars in the same field as those they’re evaluating know that while one project may not be as prestigious as another, for example, a good degree of academic innovation might be worth a little professional risk.
But is that system under threat? Full-time faculty members at Rutgers University at New Brunswick say that it may be, in light of the university’s contract with a faculty productivity monitoring company called Academic Analytics.
Rutgers professors say they don't need the system, which is based on a patented algorithm for measuring faculty productivity, and that what little data they’ve been able to obtain to so far include some serious errors. On Monday, the faculty of the School of Arts and Sciences will vote on a faculty union-backed resolution asking the university not to use Academic Analytics data in personnel and curricular decisions, and to give faculty members access to data collected by the company.
“I think in everybody in academia has an interest in collective and individual measures of productivity, but these are very blunt forms of measurement,” said David Hughes, a professor of anthropology and president of Rutgers’ American Association of University Professors and American Federation of Teachers-affiliated faculty union. “Most universities already have a very robust system of assessing faculty output, with [numerous] categories for your scholarship, so why would we want to dilute that for these indexes?”"
"A study published in 2011 found that 24 percent of students on 17 CUNY campuses (including Kingsborough) had experienced both food and housing insecurity in the previous year. Other surveys, including a large study released last week, have suggested that such problems may be more prevalent than previously thought. This is especially true at community colleges, where students tend to be older and saddled with additional debts and responsibilities.
Ms. Elmore talked to The Chronicle about students’ struggle for upward mobility through higher education. Following is an edited and condensed version of that conversation."
– The results of the factor analysis indicate the possibility of 46 variables under six factors being important for the success of institutional repository implementation. These six factors are “Management”, “Services”, “Technology”, “Self-archive Practices”, “People” and “Resources”.
– This study has empirically tested and consolidated the factors which are important in institutional repository implementation worldwide and documented them as critical success factors.
– It also frames questions about the possible value of developing some guidelines or standards related to success factors to be able to monitor the deployment of institutional repositories."
"2. Problem statement
Prior studies have revealed that library managers and academic librarians are largely taking the lead in terms of planning, implementing, and maintaining IRs (Rieh & Jea, 2008). Administrating an IR requires a long-term commitment to safeguarding, preserving, and making accessible the intellectual content of an institution. When the significance of an IR is not understood, the value of its services may be underestimated and, consequently, organizational support to ensure IR survival and growth may dwindle. This is further complicated by the fact that IRs are not yet universally accepted by faculty as necessary (Burns, Lana, & Budd, 2013). Lynch (2003) argues that hosting an IR is a “stewardship [that] is easy and inexpensive to claim; [but] it is expensive and difficult to honor, and perhaps it will prove to be all too easy to later abdicate” (Section 4, para. 12). If academic librarians seek to build and support IRs for the long term, and if they wish to know what kind of value the repository adds to the community they serve, then they need to understand the factors that can influence the success of IRs. In other words, what are the conditions needed to implement and operate an IR successfully?
This study explores the critical success factors in the deployment of IRs. It analyzes the perspectives of IR managers concerning how they perceive the importance of the factors identified as critical and considers the actual performance of IRs relative to those factors. This research represents an effort to identify IR critical success factors based on the perceived importance and the actual performance of the factors in the IR implementation and operation. The critical success factor (CSF) approach (Caralli, 2004), was popularized by Rockart (1979) as “the limited number of areas in which results, if they are satisfactory, will ensure successful competitive performance for the organization.” (p.90).
This research contributes to the base of understanding about the conditions that are critical to the success of IRs worldwide. The results have implications for the actual performance (achievement) on each of those factors in established IRs, and would enable IR administrators to effectively support requirements for the success of IRs. There has been no comprehensive study on the success factors of IRs in the library context and no investigation of success factors in real-life contexts of IR activities."
"This study seeks to give libraries a plan for interinstitutional cooperation for institutional repositories that will benefit all involved: researchers, institutions, and, ultimately, global scholarship. This research uses repository studies, interviews with existing repository managers, and the input of libraries considering a repository to inform the exploration of the opportunities for collaboration in IR development and maintenance. This article proposes opportunities for collaboration between institutions in order to convince libraries that it is possible and effective to work together toward a common goal: highlighting existing working groups or alliances, sharing technology and hardware, building separate interinstitutional bodies to house repositories, and sharing the work of specialists."
"Pinfield, S., Salter, J., Bath, P.A., Hubbard, B., Millington, P., Anders, J.H.S. and Hussain, A. (2014) Open-access repositories worldwide, 2005-2012: Past growth, current characteristics and future possibilities. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. Article first published online: 28 APR 2014.
This is the latest version of this eprint.
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/asi.23131
This paper reviews the worldwide growth of open-access (OA) repositories, December 2005 to December 2012, using data collected by the OpenDOAR project. It shows that initial repository development was focused on North America, Western Europe and Australasia, particularly the USA, UK, Germany and Australia. Soon after, Japan increased its repository numbers. Since 2010, other geographical areas and countries have seen repository growth, including East Asia (especially Taiwan), South America (especially Brazil) and Eastern Europe (especially Poland). During the whole period, countries such as France, Italy and Spain have maintained steady growth, whereas countries such as China and Russia have experienced relatively low levels of growth. Globally, repositories are predominantly institutional, multidisciplinary and English-language-based. They typically use open-source OAI-compliant repository software but remain immature in terms of explicit licensing arrangements. Whilst the size of repositories is difficult to assess accurately, the available data indicate that a small number of large repositories and a large number of small repositories make up the repository landscape. These trends and characteristics are analyzed using Innovation Diffusion Theory (IDT) building on previous studies. IDT is shown to provide a useful explanatory framework for understanding repository adoption at various levels: global, national, organizational and individual. Major factors affecting both the initial development of repositories and their take up by users are identified, including IT infrastructure, language, cultural factors, policy initiatives, awareness-raising activity and usage mandates. It is argued that mandates in particular are likely to play a crucial role in determining future repository development."
"Professors contribute to Institutional Repositories (IRs) to make their materials widely accessible in keeping with the benefits of Open Access. However, universities' commitment to IRs depends on building trust with faculty and solving copyright concerns. Digital preservation and copyright management in IRs should be strengthened to increase faculty participation."
"Transaction log analysis (TLA), content analysis, and grounded theory procedures were used to explore the use of an institutional digital repository and social networking website by the academic community of a graduate school of education in the northeastern United States. Three successive years of usage records were gathered and analyzed to determine: (a) the numbers and categories of persons signing up to use the repository during each school semester, (b) the type of content being archived and its rate of growth, and (c) the possible influence of the repository on collaborative, online and open access scholarship within the institution. Findings show a steady increase in the usage of the repository for archiving and sharing digital resources, and an item-tagging scheme that suggests user preference of the resource as a platform for enhancing professional rather than personal interests. User interactivity by way of textual scholarly discussions on the repository platform is however almost nonexistent."
– Due to their current perceptions of the value of institutional repositories, subject librarians are not yet promoting them as an information resource. If institutional repositories are to be successful, library managers must not only ensure that content is being input into the repositories, but also that they are being promoted to library clients as valuable information resources, so that the content is being accessed and used.
– While there has been much research in recent years about institutional repositories, the focus has been predominantly on issues related to motivating individuals to input content into them. This research shows that institutional repositories are not yet being perceived or promoted as a valuable information resource by academic subject librarians, who view them as having varying value to their clients."
"Digital repositories have been with us for more than a decade, and despite the considerable media and conference attention they engender, we know very little about their use by academics. This paper sets out to address this by reporting on how well they are used, what they are used for, what researchers' think of them, and where they thought they were going. Nearly 1,700 scientific researchers, mostly physical scientists, responded to an international survey of digital repositories, making it the largest survey of its kind. High deposit rates were found and mandates appear to be working, especially with younger researchers. Repositories have made significant inroads in terms of impact and use despite, in the case of institutional repositories, the very limited resources deployed. Subject repositories, like arXiv and PubMed Central, have certainly come of age but institutional repositories probably have not come of age yet although there are drivers in place which, in theory anyway, are moving them towards early adulthood. "
"For institutional repositories, alternative metrics reflecting online activity present valuable indicators of interest in their holdings that can supplement traditional usage statistics. A variable mix of built-in metrics is available through popular repository platforms: Digital Commons, DSpace and EPrints. These may include download counts at the collection and/or item level, search terms, total and unique visitors, page views and social media and bookmarking metrics; additional data may be available with special plug-ins. Data provide different types of information valuable for repository managers, university administrators and authors. They can reflect both scholarly and popular impact, show readership, reflect an institution's output, justify tenure and promotion and indicate direction for collection management. Practical considerations for implementing altmetrics include service costs, technical support, platform integration and user interest. Altmetrics should not be used for author ranking or comparison, and altmetrics sources should be regularly reevaluated for relevance.
Konkiel, Stacy and Scherer, Dave New Opportunities for Repositories in the Age of Altmetrics. Bulletin of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 2013, vol. 39, n. 4. [Journal article (On-line/Unpaginated)] "
"In this paper the author compares the use of digital materials that have been deposited in The Ohio State University (OSU) Knowledge Bank (KB). Comparisons are made for content considered in scope of the university archives and those considered out of scope, for materials originating from different campus sources, and for different types of content. Results show that both mediated and unmediated content is used and therefore justifies the preservation costs for unmediated content. Results also show articles and undergraduate theses are most frequently used type of materials leading to the conclusion that it is important to collect content from all levels of the educational process."
"A study released Friday found significant proportions of community college students at a variety of institutions around the country reported high levels of food and housing insecurity. Thirteen percent said they experienced some form of homelessness while a student, and more than half said they had experienced at least some level of food insecurity.
“Such high rates of food and housing insecurity among hardworking college students indicate that the nation faces a serious crisis,” write two of the study’s authors -- Sara Goldrick-Rab, founding director of the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, and Katharine Broton, Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison -- in a New York Times op-ed about their study’s results. “Much of the conversation in Washington concerning college costs -- whether it’s about simplifying the financial aid application or refinancing student loans -- seems almost trivial in comparison with the problems these students face.”
HOPE released the study in collaboration with the Association of Community College Trustees, the nonprofit Single Stop and the annual web-based Healthy Minds Study. Researchers sent web surveys to a random sample of students at 10 community colleges across the country with a response rate of 9 percent, or 4,312 students (which is on the low side for this type of survey). Some of the colleges, like Montgomery County Community College in Pennsylvania, operate in communities with lower-than-average poverty, others hew closer to the national average and one, Delgado Community College in Louisiana, is in an area with a very high poverty rate of 27 percent."
"Consider this oft-heard statement: "Facebook is dead to teens." A third of admissions officials believe it’s true, the paper says. Yet two-thirds of teenagers consider Facebook the most valuable form of social media they used when researching colleges.
'It's not that teens totally discount what admission officers say, but there are other information sources that are much more important to them.'
The paper was written by Gil Rogers, director of marketing and enrollment services at Chegg, a student-services company, and Michael Stoner, president and co-founder of mStoner a marketing and communications firm. Their findings were drawn from recent surveys of teenagers as well as a survey of admissions officers that included "parallel questions," which allowed the researchers to compare the two groups’ responses. Mr. Rogers and Mr. Stoner previously presented their findings at an enrollment conference last July."
"When Ashgate Publishing was bought last summer by Informa, a large corporation, some academics feared for its future. What would happen to the family-owned publishing house, which had spent four decades building a reputation for social responsibility and close relationships with its authors?
In November those fears started coming true. According to a Change.org petition called "Save Ashgate Publishing," Informa has shuttered Ashgate’s U.S. office, putting several editors out of their jobs. There are rumors that their counterparts in England might soon suffer a similar fate.
"Academic presses are more than profit margins, income from the backlist, utility bills, payroll, and marketing campaigns," wrote the petitioners, who have collected 7,000 signatures online.
Critics worry that Informa will respect the desires of its shareholders more than those of the scholars who supply its product.
The new bosses have done little to assuage the fears of Ashgate loyalists. "We aren’t making any comments or statements on these matters at this time," wrote Louise Riordan, Informa’s head of corporate communications, in an email.
Informa, a company that also organizes trade shows and sells "business intelligence" products, has become the latest adversary for academics worried about consolidation in academic publishing. The company’s scholarly-publishing division is its biggest moneymaker, accounting for $616 million of Informa’s $1.7 billion in revenue in 2014. The Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa subsidiary, has bought a number of smaller publishers over the years, and it now has thousands of books and journals under its umbrella."