University Press launches new open access publishing programs

Thursday, February 5th, 2015 | SIMON HART | No Comments

The University of California Press formally launched two open access publishing programs, Collabra (an open access megajournal) and Luminos (open access monographs). Both Collabra and Luminos launch with a distinguished group of advisory board members, editors, authors, and reviewers from universities and associations around the globe.

From the UC Press Announcement: “These programs have been shaped by hundreds of conversations with faculty, librarians, and other key stakeholders, [said Alison Mudditt, Director of UC Press].” “With Luminos, we will combine the global reach and visibility of OA with our unwavering commitment to publishing superior scholarship to create a speedboat, not a life raft, that will carry monographs forward and allow them to remain a vital resource.”


Direct to Collabra Web Site and FAQ

Direct to Luminos Web Site and FAQ

Videos (Supplied by UC Press)


The Gates go open

Monday, November 24th, 2014 | SIMON HART | No Comments

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced the world’s strongest policy in support of open research and open data. see:

As from January 2015, Gates-funded researchers must make open their resulting papers and underlying data-sets immediately upon publication. Papers must be published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (CC BY) allowing unrestricted re-use; including for commercial purposes.

We believe that published research resulting from our funding should be promptly and broadly disseminated” the Foundation states. During the transition a 12-month embargo period may apply. The Foundation will also meet any necessary publication fees.

Open Educational Practice – what, why and how?

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 | SIMON HART | No Comments

Free webinar: Open Educational Practice – what, why and how?

Tuesday 9th December, 1–2pm (Australian EDT) 3-4pm in New Zealand

OERs are only a part of the wider topic; OEP includes a different way of thinking, planning and managing for the open sharing of teaching practices. But how much is aspirational and how far have we got with implementation?


  • Carina Bossu and Luke Padgett:  OER Project leaders at the University of Tasmania and organisers of the very successful OER National Symposium held earlier this month.
  • Theresa Koroivulaono: Acting Director at the Centre for Flexible Learning at the University of the South Pacific. Working at a regional university that serves twelve small island developing states (SIDS), the transformative potential of OER in higher education is reflected in multifarious ways that include, selection and adaptation for use, development, testing for access and directly informing learning design.


The webinar is offered free of charge. If you wish to attend the webinar, please register by emailing by 4pm Friday 5th December (Australian EDT) at the latest. Details will be sent to you before the event about how to access and join in the webinar.

Further information

For more information on the speakers and the webinar topic, please visit the ODLAA website.

Selecting the right course resources

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 | SIMON HART | No Comments

Following the successful project to produce an open text book and document the process members of the Open Minds Group have developed a useful guide to selecting open course resources.

Refer: A Guide to selecting the right course resources

This guide outlines activities for selecting, compiling and maintaining peer reviewed content that will provide benefits to both students and the institution.

This is a timely release during Open Access week, and as academic staff reflect upon their teaching and student success during the past year. This guide will prove to be useful for teachers as they re-evaluate the learning resources that are recommended to students and for those preparing new courses.

The guide is a adaption of a worksheet developed by Dr. Judy Baker, Director of the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources, and it is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

Australia’s Chief Scientist comes out in support of Open Access.

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 | SIMON HART | No Comments

Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb, recommends in his newly released STEM strategy that the government “enhance dissemination of Australian STEM research by expanding open access policies and improving the supporting infrastructure.” and “Support the translation and commercialisation of STEM discoveries through: … a modern and flexible IP framework that embraces a range of capabilities from open access regimes…” Refer pages 18 and 28 of the full report,

A new open access model designed to set books free

Friday, April 11th, 2014 | SIMON HART | No Comments

Non-profit group Knowledge Unlatched is piloting a collective procurement approach to open access books. The model depends on many libraries from around the world sharing the payment of a single title fee to a publisher, in return for a book being made available on a Creative Commons license via the open access repository service OAPEN and the HathiTrust Digital Library as a fully downloadable PDF.

Because the title fee is a fixed amount, as more libraries participate in Knowledge Unlatched, the per-library cost of securing open access for each book is reduced.  By the end of February 2014 about 300 libraries had signed up to the pilot.

The Knowledge Unlatched Pilot Collection includes 28 new books from 13 recognised scholarly publishers.

Read more at: The Chronicle of Higher education Issue No:314

Watch the video on how it works at:

Accelerating impact

Friday, February 21st, 2014 | SIMON HART | No Comments

View exceptional real-world applications of Open Access research.

This 5min video features six teams of scientists whose innovative reuse of existing research enabled important advances in medical treatment and detection, ecology and science education. These examples demonstrate how the reuse of Open Access research can accelerate scientific progress and benefit society as a whole. Includes comments from Open Access advocates from publishing, academia and industry and features finalists, winners and sponsors from the Accelerating Science Awards Program (ASAP).

Mix & Mash: The New Storytelling

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013 | SIMON HART | No Comments

DigitalNZ have launched Mix & Mash 2013!  This is a competition that is about encouraging people to be creative with material that is free and legal to reuse, remix, mashup, to tell stories by re-purposing “open stuff” in compelling ways.

The programme for 2013 differs from the 2010 & 2011 competitions.  In 2013 there are three deadlines spread out across the year (May, August and November).  This means entrants can plan and pace their entries and learn from what others are doing. Prizes will be awarded throughout 2013 with special awards at the end of the year.

This years theme is “The New Storytelling” and entrants are challenged to weave openly licensed digital content and data into an original story.  The focus for the May competition window is “Stories about the past“.

You can sign up for Mix & Mash announcements and updates on the website

Australian Research Council shift position on open access

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 | SIMON HART | 1 Comment

Australia’s biggest research funding body the ARC is preparing to change its funding rules to mandate open access publishing for the research it funds.  The intention is to align with the new National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) policy which now requires that all researchers that it funds must add their outputs to an open-access repository within 12 months of publication.

This move is consistent with the broader Australian Government agendas of promoting digital economy and of supporting open government; as well as the direction happening in New Zealand, refer:  The benefits of this open access approach include an increased visibility of research, together with increased usage and impact, alongside an improved community awareness of research and its relevance.

Commenting on this Cathrine Harboe-Ree, (President, Council of Australian University Librarians, (CAUL) has said “it is critical that the ARC does align with the NHMRC policy in one very important way.  Unlike the approach taken recently by the Research Councils in the UK, the NHMRC has been careful not to insist that research publish in open access journals using the so called “gold” pay-to-publish approach or to pay extra to publishers to reduce embargo periods.  The repository infrastructure in Australian Universities allows us to support all forms of open access, including the deposit of peer reviewed final manuscripts (“green” open access).  There is no need for Australian funding agencies to mandate or fund the “gold” approach and indeed it may be detrimental to scholarly publication patterns and the cost of research to do so.”

It is worth noting that the repository infrastructure Cathrine mentions has also been established in New Zealand – all NZ Universities run a DSpace repository for research outputs.