Monday, September 29, 2014

As the open education resources (OER) movement continues to evolve - most recently through high-profile university MOOCs and distributed open collaborative courses (DOCCs), as well as in nontraditional online educational opportunities such as those at Khan Academy and General Assembly - an even greater urgency arises for an open, sustainable scholarly information ecosystem. How can OERs succeed if the research and scholarship that students and faculty need to learn and teach is inaccessible?

In the 12 years since the Budapest Open Access (OA) Initiative launched the OA movement, we've made considerable strides toward widespread adoption of OA principles. Practice, however, has often lagged behind, as both credibility and business models have struggled to gain traction. The transition to OA from subscription-based scholarly society publishing operations in the humanities and social sciences (HSS) has been particularly difficult, for reasons that expose many current OA models' limitations:

  • in HSS, articles are not the only publication type of value or even the most valued type of publication;
  • external funding for research is minimal or nonexistent; and
  • HSS societies often consider their publications to be the primary benefit they offer their members and thus find it difficult to imagine how they might support their society's activities if current publishing operations change

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