Y’all may have already seen the announcement last week that the Bibsam Consortium in Sweden has decided not to renew their agreement with Elsevier. The Bibsam Consortium negotiates license agreements on behalf of Swedish universities, government agencies, and research institutes. The Swedish government has set a goal of immediate open access by 2026 and the Elsevier deal wasn’t helping them achieve that goal. This follows similar actions in Germany and France. There is definitely lots of movement in Europe towards greater access to research.
For our June discussion we’ll be talking about information security, privacy, social media, and algorithmic culture and how all those things are impacting our society. If you’d like to read up on any of this before the June event, here are some helpful resources.
Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy, by Siva Vaidhyanathan.
Siva Vaidhyanathan, Antisocial Media talk from ER&L 2018
Stay tuned for more information about this session.
A large group of scholars has signed a petition protesting the creation of a new subscription journal from Nature, Nature Machine Intelligence.
They argue that most journals in the field are open access with no charges for readers or authors. The people signing the petition have said they will not submit to, review or edit for the journal. I’m not sure how large the machine learning community is, but the petition has over 2400 signatures (as of May 2nd).
Nature has stated they respect the opinions of the petitioners, but they feel the new subscription journal can co-exist with others by providing an outlet for interdisciplinary work that has undergone rigorous peer review.
Florida State University has announced it’s canceling it’s “big deal” journals package with Elsevier. The dean of university libraries, Julia Zimmerman, released a statement about the cancellation. Instead of the big deal, FSU will subscribe to a sub-set of journals that are most-needed. The Faculty Senate voted unanimously to approve the planned cancellation.
Florida State is the most recent university to announce a decision like this. SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) maintains a list of institutions that have cancelled their big deals.
For our May scholarly communication brown bag event, we’re going to be showing one of the keynote addresses from Electronic Resources & Libraries – Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects People and Undermines Democracy by Siva Vaidhyanathan.
When: Tuesday, May 8th at 12:00pm
Where: PCL 1.124
You can get a sense of the talk from the accompanying Twitter thread. The talk is about 50 minutes, so there won’t really be time for discussion on the 8th. We are planning another brown bag discussion in mid-June where we’ll have an opportunity to talk more about these issues. Stay tuned for more information about that.
It looks like a national consortium of French academic institutions, Couperin.org, has decided to cancel their subscriptions to Springer Journals. They had been in negotiations with Springer for over a year, but were unable to come to an agreement on price. Couperin.org was advocating for a subscription price reduction due to the volume of APCs being paid by French authors. Springer had put forward a price increase. Access was supposed to be cut off on April 1st, but Springer has decided to keep access on while they continue to move discussions forward. You may remember that a similar event happened with German universities and Elsevier.
The omnibus bill that passed both the House & Senate last week and was signed into law included a $5 million provision for an open textbook grant program. This money will be awarded to higher education institutions as part of a competitive grant process. The call for proposals will likely go out soon as the funds for the awards need to be allocated by September 30th. SPARC has a useful page for finding out more information about this exciting news.
This funding was the result of many years of effort from SPARC, U.S. PIRG, and many others. Thank you to them for their efforts on everyone’s behalf.
If you’ve enjoyed the very creative OK Go videos, you’ll probably love this new resource they’ve put together in cooperation with the Playful Learning Lab at the University of St. Thomas: The OK Go Sandbox. The sandbox is designed to walk educators through the thought processes behind the OK Go videos and provide resources for incorporating some of those techniques in the classroom. From Damian Kulash:
“We want to give teachers whatever tools they need to connect the joy, wonder, and fun in our videos to the underlying concepts that their students are learning.”
The materials have a CC-BY-NC license so they are available for educators to remix and reuse. This is such a cool example of how learning can be fun and entertaining.
In recognition of Open Education week (March 5-9), the Libraries have created a display to highlight the value of open educational resources at a time when the cost of a college education is at a premium.
“Yes, We’re Celebrating Open Education!” will be hosted at the Scholars Commons in the Perry-Castañeda Library, on view throughout the entire month of March.
Since 1977, the cost of required materials such as textbooks has increased over 1000%, more than 3 time the rate of inflation, and the average student cost of textbooks is $900 a year.
The Open Education movement seeks to reduce or eliminate escalating costs by providing access to free, quality educational materials, so that students and educators can focus on teaching and learning instead of financial impediments.
The exhibit intends to increase awareness about Open Education, Open Educational Resources and how these resources can be adopted and used in our modern and ever-changing educational system.