Open Access

SUNY faculty and libraries innovate to solve problems of high-cost textbooks by producing high-quality open textbooks

SUNY Faculty and libraries published two free online open textbooks today for Open SUNY Textbooks; Literature, the Humanities and Humanity by Theodore Steinberg, and Native Peoples of North America by Professor Susan Stebbins, Ph.D. are being released as part of Open Access Week, a global event now in its sixth year that aims to promote open access in scholarship, research, teaching, and learning.

Open SUNY Textbooks is an open access textbook publishing initiative established by State University of New York libraries and supported by SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grants. This initiative publishes high-quality, cost-effective course resources by engaging faculty as authors and peer-reviewers, and libraries as publishing infrastructure. The pilot launched in 2012, providing an editorial framework and service to authors, students and faculty, and establishing a community of practice among libraries. The first pilot is publishing 15 titles in 2013, with a second pilot to follow that will add more textbooks and participating libraries.

Participating libraries in the 2012-2013 pilot include SUNY Geneseo, College at Brockport, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, SUNY Fredonia, Upstate Medical University, and University at Buffalo, with support from other SUNY libraries and SUNY Press.

“Open SUNY Textbooks will dramatically cut costs for our students while enhancing the quality and efficiency of the textbooks used in some of SUNY’s most popular electives and majors, and allowing our faculty to reach a world-wide audience with their expert work,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “This program an exciting first-look into what Open SUNY will accomplish.”

Open access: The true cost of science publishing

Open access: The true cost of science publishing

Although journal list prices have been rising faster than inflation, the prices that campus libraries actually pay to buy journals are generally hidden by the non-disclosure agreements that they sign. And the true costs that publishers incur to produce their journals are not widely known.

The past few years have seen a change, however. The number of open-access journals has risen steadily, in part because of funders' views that papers based on publicly funded research should be free for anyone to read.

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History Group Slams Open Access

In a stunning demonstration of Poe's law, the American Historical Association has released a policy statement favoring the restriction digital theses ("with access being provided only on that campus") for fears that open access versions could be read. The basis for this argument is FUD about a tenure system that apparently cannot be changed. See Inside Higher Ed and The Chronicle for more coverage.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Where? Academic Publishing Scams

Phishing attacks targeting academia aren’t the most high-profile of attacks, though they’re more common than you might think. Student populations in themselves constitute a sizeable pool of potential victims for money mule recruitment and other job scams, in fact anything that promises an easy supplemental income, unfeasibly cheap or free trendy gadgetry, and so on. But I’m talking about attacks against the institutions, rather than their ‘customers’: for example, targeted social engineering attacks as a means of accessing intellectual property. Some academic research has appreciable monetary value in its own right, and much of it is developed in partnership with and funded by businesses with a direct interest in monetizing it: that makes it of interest to people with an interest in getting in first.

Open access: The true cost of science publishing

But publishers of subscription journals insist that such views are misguided — born of a failure to appreciate the value they add to the papers they publish, and to the research community as a whole. They say that their commercial operations are in fact quite efficient, so that if a switch to open-access publishing led scientists to drive down fees by choosing cheaper journals, it would undermine important values such as editorial quality.

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LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #233

A Librarian's Take on public domain and "public domain"

Jessamyn West:
"As librarians, I feel we have to be prepared to find content that is freely usable for our patrons, not just content that is mostly freely usable or content where people are unlikely to come after you. As much as I’m personally okay being a test case for some sort of “Yeah I didn’t read all 9000 words on the JSTOR terms and conditions, please feel free to take me to jail” case, realistically that will not happen. Realistically the real threat of jail is scary and terrible and expensive. Realistically people bend and decide it’s not so bad because they think it’s the best they can do. I think we can probably do better than that."

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Listed Predatory Publishers Fight Back, with Criminal Impersonation

Earlier this month, a new version of Jeffrey Beall's List of Predatory Publishers 2013 was posted at scholarlyoa.com. Since then, faked quotes have been posted to multiple blogs, claiming that Jeffrey Beall has been trying to extort money from publishers. This is an apparent smear campaign to discredit the efforts to name predatory publishers. The criteria for listing these publishers is also posted at scholarlyoa.com.

McGill Librarians announce support of Open Access movement

Good News!

Librarians at McGill are proud to announce their support of the open access movement. McGill librarians are granting the McGill University Library a nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license to exercise any and all rights under copyright relating to their scholarly articles, in any medium, and to authorize others to do the same, provided that the works are properly attributed to the authors and not sold for a profit.

Specifically, each librarian grants a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported license for each of his or her scholarly articles. The license will apply to all scholarly articles written while the person is affiliated with the Library except for any articles accepted for publication before the adoption of this policy and any articles for which the librarian entered into an incompatible licensing or assignment agreement before the adoption of this policy.

All such work by McGill librarians will be deposited in the institutional repository, making it freely available online.

The library also supports open access by making available all theses & dissertations through its institutional repository, [email protected] by digitizing rare and unique titles and making them available to the world through its digital collections, and by supporting the publication of open access journals including CuiZine, and the McGill Journal of Education.

Big Open-access deal for particle physics

The entire field of particle physics is set to switch to open-access publishing, a milestone in the push to make research results freely available to readers.

Particle physics is already a paragon of openness, with most papers posted on the preprint server arXiv. But peer-reviewed versions are still published in subscription journals, and publishers and research consortia at facilities such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) have previously had to strike piecemeal deals to free up a few hundred articles.

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