Other News

Here are a few articles and news items dealing with open-source software and curricular materials in academics.

September 2012

Finnish teachers create open-source mathematics textbook in 3 days
29 September 2012—A group of Finnish teachers created an open-source mathematics textbook for secondary school in a 3-day sprint. While the book is in Finnish, it is a very interesting experiment in creating textbooks. See the blog post for more.
California will create 50 free digital textbooks
27 September 2012—California has passed a law to create 50 free digital textbooks targeting lower-division college courses. California also passed a law to create the California Digital Open Source Library. See the Los Angeles Times article for more details.
Particle Physics taking all journals to open-access
24 September 2012—”After six years of negotiation, the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics is now close to ensuring that nearly all particle-physics articles — about 7,000 publications last year — are made immediately free on journal websites. Upfront payments from libraries will fund the access.” See the Nature article for more.

June 2012

PeerJ Journal adopts “flat fee, all you can publish” model
12 June 2012—The PeerJ journal explores a model where authors pay a one-time fee to publish all the scientific papers they want. A Nature article talks about this and other models to reduce cost to access publications.
MLA Journals switch to “author retains copyright”
05 June 2012—The journals of the Modern Language Association have adopted a policy that authors will retain copyright to their articles. This means that authors will have no trouble posting their articles to open-access websites. See more at the MLA Press Release.

May 2012

UCSF Mandates Open Access
23 May 2012—University of California, San Francisco faculty senate voted unanimously for a policy requiring UCSF faculty to make each of their articles freely available immediately through an open-access repository. See more at the UCSF news article.
Fair use and e-reserves
12 May 2012—A judge just ruled on a case between publishers and Georgia State regarding fair use of materials in an e-reserve system. Most of the judgements came in favor of the university. Read more at Inside Higher Ed and Kevin Smith’s blog. Having open-source curricular material makes these sorts of complications moot, since copying and distribution of material is encouraged.