Funder open access platforms – a welcome innovation?

Authors: Tony Ross-Hellauer, Birgit Schmidt, and Bianca Kramer

Abstract: Funding organisations commissioning their own open access publishing platforms is a relatively recent development in the OA environment, with the European Commission following the Wellcome Trust and the Gates Foundation in financing such an initiative. But in what ways, for better or worse, do these new platforms disrupt or complement the scholarly communications landscape? Tony Ross-Hellauer, Birgit Schmidt and Bianca Kramer examine the ethical, organisational, and economic strengths and weaknesses of funder OA platforms to scope the opportunities and threats they present in the transition to OA. While they may help to increase OA uptake, control costs, and lower the administrative burden on researchers, possible unintended consequences include conflicts of interest, difficulties of scale, or potential vendor lock-in.

Citation: Ross-Hellauer, Tony; Schmidt, Birgit; Kramer, Bianca. “Funder open access platforms – a welcome innovation?” LSE Impact Blog. July 4, 2018.


Source: Funder open access platforms – a welcome innovation?

From transaction to collaboration: scholarly communications design at UConn Library

Authors: Holly Jeffcoat, Gregory Colati

Abstract: The University of Connecticut (UConn) Library, in collaboration with the School of Fine Arts and the UConn Humanities Institute and with support from the Andrew W Mellon Foundation, is developing Greenhouse Studios (GS). GS is a scholarly communications research laboratory dedicated to using collaborative models and design principles in the creation of scholarly works. Scholarship laboratories that function as a combination of a scientific research lab and an art studio are a useful means of advancing the methods and outcomes of scholarly communications.

We intend to examine whether flattening hierarchies through the GS model is a significant challenge for librarians who work within transactional models of interaction and are closely tied to faculty-driven service models of research support. Other participants typically thought of as supporting faculty are embedded as equal participants in the design process. We will apply qualitative methods to examine whether the GS design process facilitates development of new models of interaction among faculty, librarians, design technologists and other experts. Preliminary experience finds most participants embrace the collaborative model and are energized by the experience. Our assessment will focus on GS techniques as drivers for role and scholarly output changes, how these experiences might translate into changes in library culture or services, and on practical findings related to space, technology usage and administrative hurdles.

This paper is the result of a presentation delivered at CNI (the Coalition for Networked Information) in early 2017 and encapsulates our thinking then and now (in early 2018) as we refine our assessment tools.

Citation: Jeffcoat, H., & Colati, G. (2018). From transaction to collaboration: scholarly communications design at UConn Library. Insights, 31, 17. DOI:

Source: Insights

What Happened, or, Impasses and Future Horizons for an Open Anthropology of Work

Authors: Nina Brown, Marcel LaFlamme, Sarah Lyon

Abstract: These words were never supposed to be stuck behind a paywall. That is, this editorial was to have welcomed you, our readers, to the first open-access issue of the Anthropology of Work Review. The fact that we cannot extend such a welcome means that we owe you an explanation. We offer it to ensure that the story does not get lost in buried email threads, but becomes part of the published record that can be consulted by future historians of the discipline. We offer it to inform advocates of open access in other disciplines of the challenges that they, too, may face by operating within the strictures of a larger scholarly society. We offer it to register our disappointment at the outcome of a four-year process that, for all of the urgency that set it into motion, ended up largely reproducing the status quo. Yet we also offer it as a token of our continued commitment to innovating open futures for the anthropology of work, at a time when the simultaneous intensification of demands on workers and the attenuation of protections for them demand wider engagement with this vital field of inquiry.

Citation: Brown, Nina, LaFlamme, Marcel and Lyon, Sarah. “What Happened, or, Impasses and Future Horizons for an Open Anthropology of Work.” Anthropology of Work Review, 39, no. 1 (2018) 44-47. Downloaded from


Source: Rice Digital Scholarship Archive

The Impact of Open Educational Resources on Various Student Success Metrics

Author(s): Nicholas Colvard, C. Edward Watson, and Hyojin Park

Abstract: There are multiple indicators which suggest that completion, quality, and affordability are the three greatest challenges for higher education today in terms of students, student learning, and student success. Many colleges, universities, and state systems are seeking to adopt a portfolio of solutions that address these challenges. This article reports the results of a large-scale study (21,822 students) regarding the impact of course-level faculty adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER). Results indicate that OER adoption does much more than simply save students money and address student debt concerns. OER improve end-of-course grades and decrease DFW (D, F, and Withdrawal letter grades) rates for all students. They also improve course grades at greater rates and decrease DFW rates at greater rates for Pell recipient students, part-time students, and populations historically underserved by higher education. OER address affordability, completion, attainment gap concerns, and learning. These findings contribute to a broadening perception of the value of OERs and their relevance to the great challenges facing higher education today.

Citation: Colvard, N., Watson, C. E., & Park, H. (2018). The Impact of Open Educational Resources on Various Student Success Metrics. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 30(2), 262-276. Retrieved from


SourceInternational Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Understanding Open Knowledge in China: A Chinese Approach to Openness?

Authors: Lucy Montgomery, Xiang Ren

Abstract: This paper examines the development of open knowledge in China through two case studies: the development of Chinese open access (OA) journals, and national-level OA repositories. Open access and open knowledge are emerging as a site of both grass-roots activism, and top-down intervention in the practices of scholarship and scholarly publishing in China. Although the language, vision and strategies of the global open knowledge movement are undoubtedly present, so too are the messy realities of open access and open knowledge innovation in a local context. In attempting to position open access developments in China within a diverse and contested global landscape of open knowledge innovation we draw on Moore’s (2017) conception of open access as a boundary object: an object that is understood differently within individual communities but which maintains enough structure to be understood between communities (Moore 2017; Star and Griesemer 1989). Viewed as a boundary object, the concept of open knowledge is making it possible for China to engage with the global open knowledge movement, as a beneficiary of the innovation of others, and as an open knowledge innovator in its own right.

Citation:Montgomery, L. & Ren, X., (2018). Understanding Open Knowledge in China: A Chinese Approach to Openness?. Cultural Science Journal. 10(1), pp.17–26. DOI:


Source: Cultural Science Journal

Scholarly Publishing is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It.

Authors: Jon Tennant

Abstract: TThe world of scholarly communication is broken. Giant, corporate publishers with racketeering business practices and profit margins that exceed Apple’s treat life-saving research as a private commodity to be sold at exorbitant profits. Only around 25 per cent of the global corpus of research knowledge is ‘open access’, or accessible to the public for free and without subscription, which is a real impediment to resolving major problems, such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Citation: Tennant, J. (2018).Scholarly Publishing is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It.


Source: Aeon

Academic Library Futures in a Diversified University System

Authors: Lorcan Dempsey and Constance Malpas

Abstract: Dempsey and Malpas consider the future of the academic library in the context of a diversifying higher education system. The academic library is not fixed. It is changing as it adapts to the changing research and learning behaviors of its home institution, which are the principal drivers of the library service. Dempsey and Malpas explore ways in which libraries are responding to the transition from a collections-based model to a more diffuse services-based model. This is in parallel with the evolving influence of the network on student, teacher and researcher practices and with the shift from print to digital. They describe diversification of the higher education system, around poles of research, liberal education and career preparation. Academic libraries similarly will diverge, with different service bundles depending on the type of educational institution they serve. This means that the model of excellence for libraries also will need to be plural, based on strategic fit to the needs of the institution they serve and not on collection size or gate count.

Citation: Dempsey L., Malpas C. (2018) Academic Library Futures in a Diversified University System. In: Gleason N. (eds) Higher Education in the Era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore.


Source: Academic Library Futures in a Diversified University System

Scholarship as an Open Conversation: Utilizing Open Peer Review in Information Literacy Instruction

Authors: Emily Ford

Abstract: This article explores the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy’s frame, Scholarship as a Conversation. This frame asserts that information literate students have the disposition, skills, and knowledge to recognize and participate in disciplinary scholarly conversations. By investigating the peer-review process as part of scholarly conversations, this article provides a brief literature review on peer review in information literacy instruction, and argues that by using open peer review (OPR) models for teaching, library workers can allow students to gain a deeper understanding of scholarly conversations. OPR affords students the ability to begin dismantling the systemic oppression that blinded peer review and the traditional scholarly publishing system reinforce. Finally, the article offers an example classroom activity using OPR to help students enter scholarly conversations, and recognize power and oppression in scholarly publishing.

Citation: Ford, E. (2018).Scholarship as an Open Conversation: Utilizing Open Peer Review in Information Literacy Instruction. In the Library with the Lead Pipe.


Source: In the Library with the Lead Pipe

Sustaining Scholarly Infrastructures through Collective Action: The Lessons that Olson can Teach us

Author: Cameron Neylon

Abstract: The infrastructures that underpin scholarship and research, including repositories, curation systems, aggregators, indexes and standards, are public goods. Finding sustainability models to support them is a challenge due to free-loading, where someone who does not contribute to the support of an infrastructure nonetheless gains the benefit of it. The work of Mancur Olson (1965) suggests that there are only three ways to address this for large groups: compelling all potential users, often through some form of taxation, to support the infrastructure; providing non-collective (club) goods to contributors that are created as a side-effect of providing the collective good; or implementing mechanisms that lower the effective number of participants in the negotiation (oligopoly).

In this paper, I use Olson’s framework to analyse existing scholarly infrastructures and proposals for the sustainability of new infrastructures. This approach provides some important insights. First, it illustrates that the problems of sustainability are not merely ones of finance but of political economy, which means that focusing purely on financial sustainability in the absence of considering governance principles and community is the wrong approach. The second key insight this approach yields is that the size of the community supported by an infrastructure is a critical parameter. Sustainability models will need to change over the life cycle of an infrastructure with the growth (or decline) of the community. In both cases, identifying patterns for success and creating templates for governance and sustainability could be of significant value. Overall, this analysis demonstrates a need to consider how communities, platforms, and finances interact and suggests that a political economic analysis has real value.

Citation: Neylon, C., (2017). Sustaining Scholarly Infrastructures through Collective Action: The Lessons that Olson can Teach us. KULA: knowledge creation, dissemination, and preservation studies. 1(1), p.3. DOI:


Source: Sustaining Scholarly Infrastructures through Collective Action: The Lessons that Olson can Teach us

Fair Use in the Visual Arts: Lesson Plans for Librarians

Authors: Alexander Watkins, Bridget Madden, Alexandra Provo, Danielle Reay, Anna Simon

Abstract: The authors guide art information professionals in crafting learning experiences that empower students to understand copyright and take advantage of fair use in their art, design, and academic practices. The College Art Association’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts, endorsed by ARLIS/NA in 2015, is a key document that has the potential to transform the use of images in the visual arts. Education will be an essential part of the integration of the Code into the visual arts, and art information professionals are well positioned to teach fair use and the Code. This book was created to further ARLIS/NA’s mission to support the evolving role of art information professionals, which increasingly includes copyright and fair use instruction. The lesson plans in this book will help those new to copyright instruction teach the Code through engaging activities and assignments. The lesson plans are also meant to inspire teachers experienced with fair use instruction through creative ideas and new ways to integrate copyright instruction into art classes, digital humanities projects, and design education.

Citation: Watkins, Alexander, Bridget Madden, Alexandra Provo, Danielle Reay, and Anna Simon, eds. Fair Use in the Visual Arts: Lesson Plans for Librarians. Occasional Paper no. 17, ARLIS/NA, 2018.


Source: Fair Use in the Visual Arts: Lesson Plans for Librarians