Category Archives: Open educational resources

Scholarly communication brown bag discussions

The Scholarly Communication Group at UT Libraries organizes periodic brown bag discussions on a variety of schol comm topics. These brown bag sessions are open to anyone, although the primary audience is UT Libraries staff. They provide an opportunity to talk through either current or emerging issues for the Libraries and for the University.

Our next brown bag discussion is scheduled for Friday, February 17th, 2017, 12:00-1:00pm in PCL Learning Lab 2. The topic is misinformation and fake news.

Here is the history of our brown bag discussions:

  1. January 31, 2014: Economics of the scholarly communication ecosystem
  2. April 18, 2014: Green vs gold OA
  3. June 13, 2014: Altmetrics
  4. September 12, 2014: Preview of OA Week 2014
  5. November 21, 2014: UT Press
  6. February 20, 2015: Scholarly Communication Strategic Initiative report and Sherpa/Romeo
  7. March 13, 2015: Open Education Week
  8. April 10, 2015: ACRL round-up
  9. June 19, 2015: #icanhazPDF
  10. September 25, 2015: Texas ScholarWorks
  11. February 12, 2016: Ethical vs deceptive publishing practices
  12. March 2, 2016: Statistics in Texas ScholarWorks
  13. March 21, 2016: Finding and repurposing data
  14. April 15, 2016: Publication agreements and author rights
  15. July 14, 2016: Conference round-up
  16. September 23, 2016: Journal club
  17. November 2, 2016: Data question and answer with Mike Geruso and Elizabeth Vandewater

If you have a suggestion for a brown bag topic, please send it to tsw at utlists.utexas.edu

David Ernst coming to UT Austin

As part of the Year of Open programming, David Ernst, the Executive Director of the University of Minnesota Open Textbook Library, will be on the UT Austin campus Thursday, November 5th. He’ll be giving a talk on Open Textbooks: Access, Affordability, and Academic Success at 2:00pm in the Texas Governors’ Room (Texas Union 3.116).

More information about Year of Open and Dr. Ernst’s event can be found here: https://learningsciences.utexas.edu/initiatives/year-of-open

Open Textbooks save students $1.5 million

The University of Minnesota announced today that the Open Textbook Network has saved students $1.5 million dollars through the adoption of open textbooks. The Open Textbook Library has over 200 open textbooks that anyone can use.

For more information about this exciting achievement, see the official announcement: http://discover.umn.edu/news/teaching-education/u-ms-open-textbook-network-reports-student-savings-15-million-open-textbooks

Travel Scholarship Available

Are you interested in creating better access to research and educational materials? Do you want to help make that a reality on the UT Austin campus? If so, please consider applying for a travel scholarship to attend OpenCon 2015. OpenCon is an academic conference for students and early career researchers about open access, open education, and open data. It takes place November 14th-16th in Brussels, Belgium.

The chosen applicant will receive a $2500 scholarship to attend the conference. Conference planners have designed the conference so that $2500 will cover all expenses. This conference is an excellent opportunity to learn more about open access, open education, and open data, and to learn how to advocate for these issues. The program includes keynote talks, panel discussions, workshops, and hackathons. Last year there was an opportunity to lobby at the US Congress and conference planners are trying to plan something similar this year with the international organizations in Brussels. It truly is an international conference – last year’s conference included attendees from 5 continents!

The UT Austin applicant chosen to attend OpenCon 2015 will be expected to share what they’ve learned once they return to Austin. The attendee may choose to host a presentation and/or panel discussion in either fall 2015 or in spring 2016. Library staff will be available to help coordinate the event, but the attendee is expected to do most of the content planning. The attendee will also be expected to give reports on the conference to both Student Government and to Graduate Student Assembly.

Requirements:

UT Austin graduate student or postdoc. Attendee must be able to travel internationally. Attendee agrees to coordinate a presentation and updates to undergraduate and graduate student government upon their return.

To apply:

Please send a 500 word essay detailing why you would be a good candidate to attend OpenCon2015. You may include any experience you have with open access, open education, or open data, and any ideas you might have for an event upon your return. Submit your essay and resume/CV to c.lyon@austin.utexas.edu by August 15th, 2015. Applicants will be notified with a decision by Monday, August 31st. If you have questions about the conference or about the application process, please contact Colleen Lyon, 512-495-4244, or c.lyon@austin.utexas.edu.

OpenKnowledge MOOC

Stanford University is offering a public, online course this fall called, OpenKnowledge: Changing the global course of learning. Weekly topics include: technological change, digital identity, citizen journalism, citizen science, IP, copyright, open science, open data, open educational resources, evaluating open collections, scholarly publishing, student publishing, information literacy, global perspectives on equity, and the future of open knowledge.

The course is free. Registration and additional information available: https://class.stanford.edu/courses/Education/OpenKnowledge/Fall2014/about.

Open access monographs

The momentum towards open access journal articles picked up substantially this year. Even though we’re still a long way from the ideal world we wish we had, where all academic scholarship can be freely read and used by anyone, anywhere, at least we are well on the way. More and more, I hear people say out loud, “It’s inevitable.”

But books are a much harder case. The cost to go from “here’s my manuscript” to the satisfying thump of the hardback on the table is a lot more than the $1000 – $3000 for an OA article. There are not a lot of people demonstrating the myriad ways to fund those costs.

But, it is happening, in many places across our country. Publishers are publishing open access monographs. I recently consulted with two faculty members at UT whose book, several years in the making now, will come out open access. They are art historians. Solid humanities. Open access. I just read an article about Wellcome Trust and Palgrave Macmillan publishing a book on the history of a disease open access. History.

It’s possible.

Yesterday I listened to the panel of lawyers who attended the appellate hearing in the Georgia State e-reserves case discuss how the oral arguments went. Everyone is careful not to say that they think things will go one way or the other, but it is certainly clear that all were considering the prospect of losing on appeal. Open access may be the silver lining to that possible outcome. If publishers were to get what they say they want in that case — to limit course readings fair use to their 1978 Classroom Guidelines — it would encourage many who might doubt its viability today, to give open access monograph publishing a lot more thought tomorrow. We have it within our own hands to steward our scholarship in a more rational way. We might start by questioning whether our servants have become our masters, and then take back from them the responsibility for sharing what we do with the world. We create it. We pay for its distribution one way or the other. Why not up front, so our authors can have the wider audiences their scholarship deserves and that open access can give them?

OER bill introduced

A bill was introduced into the U.S. Senate that would create a competitive grant program to create open educational textbooks – meaning textbooks that are freely available online. The bill, called the Affordable College Textbook Act, was introduced by Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Al Franken (D-MN).

Senate bill 1704: A bill to expand the use of open textbooks in order to achieve savings for students: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/s1704