Student Senate Support for the Open Textbook Initiative at George Mason University

The University Libraries is excited to report that the Student Government Senate has issued a resolution in support of open textbook adoption at Mason. This resolution encourages faculty to consider replacing expensive textbooks with open access materials and is a huge step on the path toward making college more affordable to Mason students.

What is an open textbook? It is a freely available digital book to which the author(s) has assigned a license permitting others, such as instructors, to use and adapt the content to suit their specific course learning objectives. That is, instructors can download, modify, remix, and share the item at no cost to themselves, their students, or their colleagues.

What do open textbooks offer students? Course material that is relevant, up to date, and varied in format, as well as accessible to all students as soon as a course begins. Concerns about the cost of pursuing a particular degree are diminished when textbook costs become immaterial. Not least of all, money that would have been spent on textbooks becomes available to help pay for rent, food, transportation, or even another course,.

What do open textbooks offer faculty? Some powerful incentives are:

  • the option to tailor course material selections to fit personal pedagogy,
  • the opportunity to work collaboratively with other disciplinary experts to select or create content that may be used and modified by colleagues around the globe, and
  • the ability to support students in a way that is deeply meaningful and purposeful, both inside and outside of the classroom.

The University Libraries invites your queries, discussion, and concerns about open textbooks. We are available to help you find these textbooks and other openly licensed materials to work with and integrate into your course(s). We are also experts in subscription content that may be appropriate for your course needs.

Please contact Claudia Holland in the Mason Publishing Group about the open textbook initiative when curiosity overcomes you or you need assistance with existing open projects. As the expert in research materials specific to your discipline (both open and proprietary), your Subject Librarian is also available for consultation and assistance.

OER Part 5: Articles and Research

The following Open Educational Resources (OER) collection includes scholarly articles and other research on the benefits, uses, development, and adaptation of OER. Given the rapid growth of the OER movement, both in terms of the academic credibility and attention of policy makers it has gained, it is important for us to monitor the OER landscape as it continues to evolve. To learn more about open educational resources in higher education and how you can get involved in the OER movement, check out the rest of the series:

Part 1: Course Content and Textbooks | Part 2: Open Courses and MOOCs | Part 3: Grants and Advocacy | Part 4: K-12 ResourcesContinue Reading OER Part 5: Articles and Research

Faculty Support to Explore Open Ed Resources

How can you, as an educator, have increased control over your teaching materials, be more creative in the classroom, AND lower student costs? Use existing open educational resources (OER) or create your own materials!

Mason 4-VA, in collaboration with the University Libraries and Mason Online, invites you to submit a proposal for innovative redesign of a course that integrates digital (and accessible) materials. That is, you supplant expensive textbooks either with digital works that you create, or with existing digital content that is in the public domain, licensed Creative Commons, or available in databases to which the University Libraries subscribes. To that end, you are reducing the cost of instruction to students and improving learning outcomes.

Courses of particular interest are those that:

  • have high enrollment,
  • are required for majors,
  • count in the Mason Core, or
  • carry high textbook costs.

This initiative is a Mason 4-VA pilot project. Any Mason full-time instructional faculty who teach high demand, heavily populated courses are eligible to apply, as are adjunct faculty who are part of a team proposal.

Depending on the nature of the proposed project and the level of team collaboration, you may receive a competitive grant ranging from $1,500 to $5,000. Funds will be distributed in Summer 2016.

Library faculty are poised to assist you with locating quality OER content, as well as answering questions related to copyright and Creative Commons licensing of your own materials. Mason Publishing Group, a department of the University Libraries, is available to aid faculty in developing OER textbooks or workbooks as a part of this pilot project. Let us know how we may help you! Contact your subject librarian, Claudia Holland (chollan3@gmu.edu), or John Warren (jwarre13@gmu.edu), Head, Mason Publishing.

For more information and cover sheet, see: Course Redesign: Using Open Educational Resources

Proposals due: March 18, 2016 EXTENDED to March 21, 2016!

Award notification: April 4, 2016

Submit your proposal electronically to:

Linda Sheridan,

Deputy Coordinator, Mason 4-VA

lsherid1@gmu.edu

 

Participate in the 101 Innovations in Scholarly Communication Survey

What research tools do you use to accomplish your work? How do your research habits compare with those of scholars in other parts of the world? To identify trends at Mason, we urge you to participate in the 101 Innovations in Scholarly Communication Survey.

Why participate? You will learn how your use of digital research tools compares to that of your peers, and you may discover some new tools. You will inform Mason Libraries about which tools you use so that we can optimize library services and resources to better suit your needs. And you will be contributing to a global effort to chart the evolving landscape of scholarly communication.

This survey, created by researchers at Utrecht University, is part of an international effort to study adoption and use of innovative digital tools for scholarly research and publication.

Results of this international survey, as well as the final anonymized dataset, will be posted on the 101 Innovations in Scholarly Communication site. Mason Libraries will share our community’s anonymized dataset and produce a publicly available report. In addition, survey results will help Mason Publishing, part of the Mason Libraries, evaluate alternative metric (altmetric) services we might offer to help you track the attention your scholarship receives.

The Innovations in Scholarly Communication Survey ends February 10, 2016. Visit http://bit.ly/ScholCommSurvey today to participate!

Share data

Open data is research data that can be freely used, reused, and redistributed by anyone. Making research data fully available and broadly accessible encourages researchers to collaborate and share resources, produce new findings, and gain deeper analytical insights into existing research.

Data Services offers support for many data-related activities including: software help, data analysis, management, archiving and sharing, as well as finding, using and acquiring data. Data Services has full-time professional faculty members who offer consultations by appointment to the Mason community as well as workshops and classroom presentations in their area(s) of expertise. For more information, contact Wendy Mann, Head of Data Services, at wmann@gmu.edu.

See below to learn more about the benefits of data sharing and the different resources you can use to support your research and manage your data.


Data Management

  • Data Management Basics (Infoguide) from George Mason University Libraries.  Provides information and tutorials on data management principles, data sharing and archiving of research data.

Data Management Plans

 

Intellectual Property Crash Course

This six episode miniseries by Crash Course producer Stan Muller explores the complex and persistent issue of intellectual property. This series of educational videos discusses the three major elements of intellectual property: copyright, patents, and trademarks. You can access the entire playlist here or watch the individual videos below:

Crash Course Intellectual Property  #1: Introduction to Intellectual Property

Crash Course Intellectual Property #2: Copyright Basics

Crash Course Intellectual Property #3: Copyright, Exceptions, and Fair Use 

Crash Course Intellectual Property #4: Patents, Novelty, and Trolls

Crash Course Intellectual Property #5: Trademarks and Avoiding Consumer Confusion

Crash Course Intellectual Property #6: International IP Law

Global survey of scholarly communication tool usage

101Innovations_website image

The availability and use of digital tools supporting the research workflow—tools for discovery, analysis, writing, publication, outreach and assessment—has exploded in recent years. Several major companies involved in publishing, distribution, and discovery have entered the “research services” space, along with numerous start-ups, large and small.

Here at George Mason University, for example, tools such as Zotero, Omeka, and PressForward have been developed by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media to help researchers organize, cite, curate, and publish research and collections.

Bianca Kramer and Jeroen Bosman, researchers at Utrecht University Library, are conducting a global survey on the use of digital tools in the research workflow. Kramer and Bosman have developed the “101 Innovations in Scholarly Communications” website, blog, database, examples of workflows, presentations, and posters supporting this project. Kramer and Bosman provide an excellent launching pad to explore the changes underway in research and scholarly communication; their database now includes more than 575 tools.

There are some advantages to participating in the survey:

  • You’ll be able to benchmark yourself against your peers—after completing the survey you can opt in to be provided with a visualization of your use of digital tools compared to your peers.
  • Institutions/universities can receive a customized URL that will allow them to see digital research tool usage within their institution/university.
  • You’ll contribute to the international effort to chart the evolving landscape of scholarly communication.

Anyone carrying out research (from Master’s students to professors), or supporting research (such as librarians, publishers and funders) can participate.

Faculty and students from George Mason University should take the survey from our custom survey ULR, which will allow Mason Publishing and the University Libraries to compare (anonymous) data from Mason peers.

The survey will run until February 2016.

It takes about 10 minutes to complete and you can opt to receive a visual characterization of your workflow compared to that of your peer group via email.

Kramer and Bosman’s report on the survey’s preliminary results indicate that through October 31, 2015, the survey has generated more than 5,373 responses, primarily from faculty and PhD students. Disciplines are fairly well distributed although Life Sciences has taken the lead with 1,903 responses. Kramer and Bosman also reported on the differences, to date, between librarians and researchers (Faculty/PhD students/Postdocs) regarding the use of tools to measure impact, such as Altmetric, Impactstory, Scopus, JCR, and others. Researchers are using traditional impact factor tools while librarians are using or recommending altmetric tools at a higher rate than their researcher counterparts.

For more information on this survey and its results so far: https://101innovations.wordpress.com

From free, open source tools like Zotero, to Thomson Reuters’ EndNote, from Hypothes.is to Google’s Ngram Viewer, the availability of new digital tools is changing the way students, faculty, and other researchers are creating, sharing, and processing information. This revolution is not being televised.

 

University Press Week:

This post is part of the #UPWeek blog tour.

Visit the other University Press blog posts on today’s topic, The Future of Scholarly Publishing:

Indiana University Press

Oxford University Press

University Press of Colorado

University Press of Kansas

University of North Carolina Press

The Open Media (R)Evolution

The theme for this year’s International Open Access Week was “Open for Collaboration,” highlighting the ways in which Open Access enables new avenues for collaboration and creativity among and between scholars, researchers, and innovators in all disciplines. Broadening the Open Access movement’s traditional focus on scientific disciplines, Mason’s nationally ranked Forensics Team explored how these themes of collaboration and “openness” have revolutionized the entertainment industry and fundamentally altered the ways in which we create, share, and experience media.

This roundtable discussion, entitled “The Open Media (R)Evolution,” was hosted by the University Libraries on October 22, 2015, as part of George Mason’s seventh annual observance of International Open Access Week.  The students covered topics such as entertainment revenue models in a collaborative world, Open Access and contemporary theater, the curation of online media, and issues of ownership in musical mashups. Forensics Team members leading this discussion were Nathan Leys, government and international politics major; Samuel Abney, communications major; Natalia Castro, integrative studies major; and AK Komanduri, government and international politics major.

George Dresses Up for Open Access Week!

Since 1995, when the statue was first brought to campus, Mason students and organizations have decorated George’s statue to share school spirit and promote events. On Monday, October 19, the Mason Publishing Group dressed up George to kick start Mason’s celebration of International Open Access Week. Many thanks to PLoS, Frontiers, and BioMed Central for providing George with all his Open Access Week finery!

International Open Access Week (October 19-25, 2015)

It’s that time of year again – International Open Access Week, October 19-25, 2015, is almost upon us! This will be Mason’s 7th year of celebrating Open Access Week, which began as a student-led national day of action in 2007. See below for our exciting line-up of workshops, presentations, and activities and join us at any or all of these events!

MONDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2015

MARS “Deposit-a-thon”

Jeri Wieringa and Claudia Holland (Mason Publishing Group)

Do you have scholarly items that you would like to upload to MARS but just haven’t had the time to start the process? To kick off International Open Access Week (October 19-25), Mason Publishing Group is hosting a MARS “deposit-a-thon” to help you get your scholarship into our institutional repository.

On Monday, October 19, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm, we will be in the Fenwick 2nd Floor Conference Room, ready to guide you through the process of setting up an account (if you don’t have one) and uploading content to MARS. Drop by with your CV and, if possible, a laptop, to get advice on your publishers, identify which versions of your published articles you can upload, and start entering those items into MARS. Start International OA Week by releasing your scholarship beyond the paywall!

We will have cookies but BYOD.

Monday, October 19, 1 to 3 p.m., Fenwick Library, 2nd Floor Conference Room, Fairfax Campus

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2015

Tips and Tricks for Sharing Your Research

Wendy Mann (Data Services) and Jeri Wieringa (Mason Publishing Group)

Is your grant funder or publisher requiring that you openly share your data and/or research findings? Are you interested in making versions of your scholarship and data available online with no pay barrier, but are not sure how? Join us on Tuesday, October 20, for “Tips and Tricks for Sharing Your Research.” Presenters will provide an overview of the services offered by the George Mason University Libraries to support researchers in preparing and openly distributing their scholarship.

Topics discussed will include: an overview of the repository services, how you can get your research (manuscripts, data, etc.) into our repository, and guidance on best practices for sharing research. There will be time for Q&A and discussion.

Tuesday, October 20, 3 to 4 p.m., Johnson Center, Gateway Library Instruction Room, Fairfax Campus

Info Table

Come pick up some free swag and ask one of our librarians about Open Access to research and open educational resources! The info tables will also feature materials about ORCID (orcid.org), a free service that provides researchers with a unique identifier to distinguish their research activities from those of others with similar names.

Tuesday, October 20 – Thursday, October 22, 4 to 7:30 p.m., Founders Hall Lobby, Arlington Campus

Tuesday, October 20 – Thursday, October 22, Gateway Library and Fenwick Library, Fairfax Campus

Tuesday, October 20 – Thursday, October 22, Mercer Library, Prince William Campus

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2015

Workshop: How to Make Your Published Articles Open Access

Stephen Robertson (RRCHNM/History & Art History), Jeri Wieringa (Digital Publishing Production Lead, Mason Publishing Group, University Libraries), and Claudia Holland (Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office, Mason Publishing Group, University Libraries) 

Regardless of what journals you publish in, you can make your articles freely available online in Mason’s institutional repository, MARS. Making publications open access in this way can raise the visibility of your research, and allow it to be shared with audiences without access to university libraries able to afford to subscribe to the journals in which you publish. In this workshop Claudia Holland (Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office, Mason Publishing Group, University Libraries) and Jeri Wieringa (Digital Publishing Production Lead, Mason Publishing Group, University Libraries) and Stephen Robertson (RRCHNM/History & Art History) will take you through the process of making your publications open access, addressing:

  • What versions of your articles you can make open access
  • When you can make your articles open access
  • How you deposit your open access articles in MARS, GMU’s institutional repository
  • What you can do with open access articles in MARS

Wednesday, October 21, 12 to 1 p.m., Johnson Center Conference Room A, Fairfax Campus

Info Table

Come pick up some free swag and ask one of our librarians about Open Access to research and open educational resources! The info tables will also feature materials about ORCID (orcid.org), a free service that provides researchers with a unique identifier to distinguish their research activities from those of others with similar names.

Tuesday, October 20 – Thursday, October 22, 4 to 7:30 p.m., Founders Hall Lobby, Arlington Campus

Tuesday, October 20 – Thursday, October 22, Gateway Library and Fenwick Library, Fairfax Campus

Tuesday, October 20 – Thursday, October 22, Mercer Library, Prince William Campus

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2015

The Open Media (R)Evolution

George Mason University Forensics Team

Online access to media has revolutionized how consumers experience music, television, film, and games. Free or low cost distribution and production models allow us to expand our appreciation for new genres and create exciting new material to share.

Join us on October 22 when student members of the nationally ranked GMU Forensics Team discuss how open media models have changed our role as consumers and as creators of new content. How have they sparked collaboration among established and new partnerships? What does the entertainment industry gain from making their material ‘free’? What are the barriers to this explosion in digital content?

Share your opinions and questions during this free discussion! Light refreshments will be served.

Featured speakers are Samuel Abney, communication major; Natalia Castro, integrative studies; AK Komanduri, government and international politics major; and Nathan Leys, government and international politics major.

Thursday, October 22, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Alan and Sally Merten Hall, Room 1202, Fairfax Campus

Info Table

Come pick up some free swag and ask one of our librarians about Open Access to research and open educational resources! The info tables will also feature materials about ORCID (orcid.org), a free service that provides researchers with a unique identifier to distinguish their research activities from those of others with similar names.

Tuesday, October 20 – Thursday, October 22, 4 to 7:30 p.m., Founders Hall Lobby, Arlington Campus

Tuesday, October 20 – Thursday, October 22, Gateway Library and Fenwick Library, Fairfax Campus

Tuesday, October 20 – Thursday, October 22, Mercer Library, Prince William Campus

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2015

Create a Dynamic Classroom Experience Using Open Educational Resources: a workshop for curious educators

Jane Rosecrans, Karyn Pallay, and Josh Watson (J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College) and Claudia Holland (George Mason University Libraries)

Online access to free learning materials has allowed educators, like you, more freedom and creativity than ever to tailor their courses. You have the freedom to reuse all types of media, to modify content to suit your pedagogy and your students’ learning styles, and to create completely new material. Furthermore, you have the opportunity to reduce textbook costs for your students!

But how do you know when content on the web can be modified and reused? Can you rely on the purported quality of, for example, open textbooks? What can you do to share materials you create with a broader audience and still get credit for the time and effort you put into them? Why consider using anything but the traditional textbook you have selected for a course? You might already be using open resources in your courses. Are you making this cost-savings known to potential enrollees?

The Virginia Community College System is a nationally recognized leader in using and building open educational resources. Join this experienced team of faculty in an interactive two-hour workshop to explore answers to these questions and learn more about the following topics:

  • Why OER?
  • Defining OER Terms and Concepts
  • Finding and Evaluating OER and free course materials
  • Building an OER Course
  • Understanding Creative Commons Licenses and Applying them to your own course materials
  • Evaluating the Quality and Effectiveness of OER materials in your course
  • OER and Student Success and Retention

The University Libraries wants to hear how your use of open resources can be supported. Please register for this workshop today and save your place! There are only 35 seats available.

Friday, October 23, 1 to 3 p.m., Johnson Center, Gateway Library Instruction Room, Fairfax Campus