Author: Devin Soper

Open Education Week 2017

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Open Education Week, March 27-31, is an opportunity to celebrate and raise awareness about the abundance of free and open educational resources (OER) available to teachers and learners around the world. OER are written by experts and often peer-reviewed, just like their commercial equivalents, but they are published under open copyright licenses so that they can be downloaded, distributed, and adapted for free. Many excellent examples of OER are available through online portals such as OpenStax College, the Open Textbook Library, OER Commons, BCcampus, and MERLOT.

To celebrate the growth of OER and the exciting opportunities they present, educational institutions from all over the world are coming together during Open Education Week to showcase what they are doing to make education more open, free, and available to everyone.

To mark the occasion at FSU, University Libraries and the Student Government Association are partnering to bring the #textbookbroke campaign to FSU. #Textbookbroke is a national campaign aimed at informing students about open textbooks, OER, and other low-cost alternatives to traditional textbooks. It is also aimed at empowering students to provide feedback on their course materials and encourage their instructors to explore more affordable alternatives. Stop by our event tables at Strozier Library on March 28th and Dirac Library on March 29th to share how much you spent on textbooks this term and learn about textbook affordability initiatives at FSU!

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In addition, FSU Libraries will also announce the successful applicants for its Alternative Textbook Grants program, which was launched in late 2016 to support FSU instructors who are interested in adopting or remixing open textbooks and educational resources to replace commercial course materials. Based on the applications we have received thus far, participating instructors could save FSU students up to $100,000 by the spring of 2018!

For more information about the open education movement and related initiatives at FSU, see our research guide on OER, or contact Devin Soper, Scholarly Communications Librarian at FSU Libraries’ Office of Digital Research & Scholarship. And don’t forget to follow the conversation on Twitter! #textbookbrokeFSU

Open Access Week 2016

There is a serious, systemic problem in scholarly publishing that disadvantages academic authors, their institutions, the global research community, and the general public. The problem stems from the subscription-based model of scholarly publishing, whereby publishers place academic journal articles behind paywalls so that anyone can’t pay can’t read them.

Content by Jill Cirasella and Graphic Design by Les LaRue,  used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

Content by Jill Cirasella and Graphic Design by Les LaRue, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

Open Access (OA) is a movement based on the principle that this situation is fundamentally unjust, and that the fruits of academic endeavor should be freely available to everyone. OA archiving and publishing are the two main strategies for accomplishing this goal, and they promise to benefit both the global research community and individual authors, moving published research into the open and thereby broadening its readership and generating more citations. OA is also fast becoming a requirement for recipients of research funding, as many public and private funding agencies are enacting public access policies to make the results of funded research accessible to all.

Open Access Week, Oct. 24-30, is an opportunity for the global research community to learn more about this important movement and the many ongoing efforts to make it the new norm in research and scholarship. To celebrate the occasion, FSU Libraries is hosting a number of workshops related to OA publishing, and we hope you’ll join us to learn more about OA and how it can benefit you as a student, teacher, or researcher. In addition, we’d also like to take this opportunity to highlight some important milestones in efforts to advance OA at FSU over the past year:

So, what can you do to advance the cause of OA and start taking advantages of the benefits it can bring to you as a scholar?

For more information, see our research guide on Open Access, or contact Devin Soper, Scholarly Communications Librarian at FSU Libraries’ Office of Digital Research & Scholarship. And don’t forget to follow the conversation on Twitter! #OAweekFSU

How does Open Access relate to subscription journal pricing?

FSU Libraries have been forced to cancel a ‘big deal’ journal package with Springer. The available budget for library collections at FSU has remained flat for the past five years, while the cost of library resources has risen by 4-6% annually, and by as much as 9% for journal subscriptions in STEM-related fields. This situation is inherently unsustainable, and it is the product of the subscription-based model of scholarly publishing. Under this model, the cost of journal subscriptions has increased at 300% the rate of inflation since 1986, resulting in tremendous financial burden on academic libraries and their parent universities. The subscription model also restricts the dissemination of faculty research, placing it behind paywalls so that anyone who can’t pay can’t read it, and thereby limiting its impact on other researchers and the general public.

Open Access (OA) is a movement based on the principle that this situation is fundamentally unjust, and that the fruits of academic endeavor should be freely available to everyone. OA archiving and publishing are the two main strategies for accomplishing this goal, and they promise to benefit both the global research community and individual authors, moving published research into the open and thereby broadening its readership and generating more citations. OA is also fast becoming a requirement for recipients of research funding, as many public and private funding agencies are enacting public access policies to make the results of funded research accessible to all.

But how is OA relevant to FSU Libraries’ current budget crisis? Does OA provide viable alternatives to the subscription-based model of scholarly publishing? How does OA propose to counteract the predatory pricing practices of commercial academic publishers, and how successful has it been in that effort thus far? Do current developments suggest that OA will provide a long-term solution in future? To explore these questions, let’s take a closer look at the main forms of OA and how they compare to the traditional model.

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Open Access Week 2015

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Did you know that the e-journals you access through FSU Libraries are unavailable to most students and researchers in the developing world? What about people here in the US? Did you know that most members of the general public also don’t have access? The internet has revolutionized the way that we share and access information, yet most scholarly e-books and journal articles remain locked behind paywalls for the average reader.

Open Access is a movement based on the principle that this situation is fundamentally unjust, and that the fruits of academic endeavor should be freely available to the public. Open Access is also increasingly becoming a requirement for recipients of research funding, with governments and funding agencies increasingly adopting public-access policies to make the results of funded research accessible to all.

Making your work publicly available can also benefit you as an author, increasing the reach and impact of your work by making it more discoverable and potentially generating more downloads and citations than you would if your work remained locked behind paywalls.  

So, what can you do to start taking advantage of these benefits? And how can you get involved in the OA movement, more generally? (more…)