Please do a bad job of putting your courses online

Online instruction | Higher Education | Distance learning

via Please do a bad job of putting your courses online

 

by Rebecca Barrett-Fox

March 12, 2020

I’m absolutely serious.

For my colleagues who are now being instructed to put some or all of the remainder of their semester online, now is a time to do a poor job of it. You are NOT building an online class. You are NOT teaching students who can be expected to be ready to learn online. And, most importantly, your class is NOT the highest priority of their OR your life right now. Release yourself from high expectations right now, because that’s the best way to help your students learn.

If you are getting sucked into the pedagogy of online learning or just now discovering that there are some pretty awesome tools out there to support student online, stop. Stop now. Ask yourself: Do I really care about this? (Probably not, or else you would have explored it earlier.) Or am I trying to prove that I’m a team player? (You are, and don’t let your university exploit that.) Or I am trying to soothe myself in the face of a pandemic by doing something that makes life feel normal? (If you are, stop and instead put your energy to better use, like by protesting in favor of eviction freezes or packing up sacks of groceries for kids who won’t get meals because public schools are closing.)

Remember the following as you move online:

 

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Yeshiva Academic Institutional Repository [YAIR]: A spotlight on our collections

Institutional repositories | Scholarly communication | Student publications

by Stephanie Gross, On January 15, 2020 · Leave a Comment

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Cover for latest issue of Women in Science 2018-2019. YU Office of Admission credit is given on back cover of the issue. This publication is used to promote Stern College for Women and its various programs and achievements in over 7 fields, including Biology, Chemistry, Mathematical Sciences, Physics, and Psychology.

 

In May of 2018, Yeshiva University Libraries launched YAIR, the official institutional repository, of Yeshiva University. The plan had been in the pipeline for several years. With the adoption of a new strategic plan, plans were quickly put into place. At the helm was Head of Library Web and Digital Services Hao Zeng, who chose a cost-effective, open source platform, D-Space, to host scholarly output of both faculty and students. Stephanie Gross, Scholarly Communication Librarian, took on the outreach and processing of material to be posted. Teamwork has been essential and has included collaboration with staff from Archives as well as Metadata Services.

The collection began primarily as an open-access showcase for both faculty publications and student theses and dissertations. The idea behind making all work open access is to allow scholars and researchers across the globe to read intellectual and creative output by Yeshiva University’s community without charge. As the project has progressed, other repository collections have been created. For instance, back issues of student publications have been scanned, annotated and posted. Some have been out-of-print (and out-of-view) for over decades. This summer, these publications were added: The Azrieli Papers, Gesher, Nahalah, Chronos, The YU Clarion, Derech HaTeva, Kol Hamevaser, The Orthodox Forum, Science and Ethics, The Exchange (SSSB), Horeb, Kol, Kol Hamevaser, Perspectives in Psychology, PrismTen Da’at and Yeshiva University Undergraduate Research Abstracts. Consultations with faculty advisors and department chairs have provided positive feedback. Just recently, faculty members from the Sephardic Studies faculty as well as the Belz School of Music expressed interest in contributing articles and book chapters to the repository.

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How to Be A Good Peer Reviewer

Academic Publishing | Peer review | Journalism | Best practices

By Jasmine Wallace

In my experience, the streamlined process of peer review is complicated when reviewers with good intentions do bad things. A reviewer who does bad things displays behaviors that slow down or lessen the effectiveness of peer review. A good peer reviewer displays efficient behaviors and adds value to the process. The good thing about a reviewer who does bad things is that they can change. There are quite a few ways to shift bad behaviors and habits of reviewers to become not just good, but great peer reviewers.

Read more…Evil and Angel Eggs

Paywalls block scientific progress. Research should be open to everyone

Open Access | Scholarly Communication |Academic Journals | Research

To democratise scholarly publishing, individual academics need to take action
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‘It’s a case of either giving broad society access to scientific advances or allowing these breakthroughs to stay locked away for financial gain.’ Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

Paywalls, which restrict access to content without a paid subscription, represent a common practice used by academic publishers to block access to scientific research for those who have not paid. This keeps £19.6bn flowing from higher education and science into for-profit publisher bank accounts. My recent documentary, Paywall: The Business of Scholarship, uncovered that the largest academic publisher, Elsevier, regularly has a profit margin between 35-40%, which is greater than Google’s. With financial capacity comes power, lobbyists, and the ability to manipulate markets for strategic advantages – things that underfunded universities and libraries in poorer countries do not have.

Furthermore, university librarians are regularly required to sign non-disclosure agreements on their contract-pricing specifics with the largest for-profit publishers. Each contract is tailored specifically to that university based upon a variety of factors: history, endowment, current enrollment. This thwarts any collective discussion around price structures, and gives publishers all the power. Read more…

 

 

 

Leaders Keep Learning | Leading from the Library

Leadership | Continuing Education | Professional Development | Influencers

by Steven Bell | Mar 20, 2019 | Filed in Opinion
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If leadership is mostly learned rather than an innate ability, then continuous learning is a vital contributor to leadership growth. “Never stop learning” is good advice, but it is one of those tasks that’s easier said than done.

This column is predicated on the idea that no library leader is fully formed, possessing all the skills required for success. Rather, the path to leadership is one of continuous learning. I routinely see library literature and social media posts about low library worker morale and toxic leaders, leading me to question how it is that our profession has so many awful leaders. We have an abundance of leadership development programs. Many academic institutions have internal management and leadership programs. There is no dearth of opportunities to develop and improve as a leader. Possible causes for this failure are many, from library leaders simply not giving a damn to a total absence of self-awareness. For those leaders who do care about staff morale and strive for a workplace where staff want to be, constant learning is a must. So allow me to share some ideas that I’ve recently come across for making a stronger commitment to learning to be a better leader.  Read more…

Paywall:L The Business of Scholarship (CC BY 4.0)

Open Access | Paywall | Academic Libraries | Scholarly Communication Jason Schmitt Published on Sep 5, 2018 Paywall: The Business of Scholarship, produced by Jason Schmitt, provides focus on the need for open access to research and science, questions the rationale behind the $25.2 billion a year that flows into for-profit academic publishers, examines the […]

Ask The Chefs: The Future Form Of Scholarly Communication

Scholarly Communication | Academic Publishing | Digital Scholarship

  • Jan 24, 2019

It’s always a good time to think about the future, but somehow the beginning of the year seems an especially appropriate time. With the changes afoot in scholarly communication practices, sentiment, and business models, this couldn’t be a better time to consider what the target might look like. What are we all aiming for?

For the moment, let’s put business models aside and think about the form and flow of research and discovery. Is the article (pre- or post-publication), book, journal, etc — our current containers — and the byproducts that surround them the best we can do?

This month we asked the Chefs: What form might scholarly communications take in the future?

"Changes ahead"traffic sign

Joe Esposito: As Bill Clinton said, It all depends on what the meaning of “is” is. What do we mean by “the article”? If the article is a report on a specific research topic, then the article will be with us for a long time, as (barring witchcraft) we will always have research and a need to communicate results. The article will differ from what we mostly see today in that it will be integrated into a broad suite of services, from discovery to analytics, as the act of publication will be the equivalent of plugging into a network; the principal audience will be machines. From such small contributions great things will come. The standards for plugging in will be proprietary, as the not-for-profit sector cannot compete with the narrowly focused aims of someone bent on making money. There will be at most 2-3 such networks of information in every broad discipline, and perhaps only 2-3 overall. The key policy question of this future will not be access but antitrust. Silicon Valley witticism: A standard is a good thing; everybody should have one.  Read more…