Category Archives: open access

MIT voted unanimously to make all of their scholarly articles available free to the public online!

MIT is stepping to the front by making their scholarly articles available to the public. They will be available through an open source platform DSpace. See the article in Campus Technology News Update.

I like this quote from Hal Abelson, the Class of 1922 Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science ad chair of the Ad-Hoc Faculty Committee on Open Access Publishing:

“Scholarly publishing has so far been based purely on contracts between publishers and individual faculty authors.In that system, faculty members and their institutions are powerless. This resolution changes that by creating a role in the publishing process for the faculty as a whole, not just as isolated individuals.”

“Am I Making Sense Here?”: What Blogging Reveals about Undergraduate Student Understanding

journal cover

I’ve been spending time browsing through these open access journals mentioned on my previous post.
The Spring 2009 issue of The Journal of Interactive Online Learning has an article “Am I Making Sense Here?”: What blogging Reveals about Undergraduate Student Understanding.
This study examines how blogs can extend learning and facilitate transfer of learned concepts. Blogging was used after a nutrition course was finished to document and analyze the learning. Blogging conversations were explored over seven weeks to determine what happened in the blog conversations and to see how participants were making meaning of nutrition science concepts. Students were asked to post 21 times (3x per week) and comment on 35 posts by others (5x per week). Most posted and commmented more often than requested.

Four themes emerged from the analysis of how students made meaning of the nutrition concepts through their blog conversations. The first themes had students writing about nutrition science from the context of their daily lives as they strived to apply what they had learned. The second theme had participants recognizing and critiquing perceived barriers to successfully applying what they had learned about nutrition. The third theme had the students viewing the news media as an expert source of information as there was no instructor voice in the blogs. The fourth theme centers on unanswered questions in conversations and how these questions indicate gaps in students’ understanding of nutrition concepts.

The study has samples of the orientation materials used and interview protocol.It’s an interesting qualitative case study that could get us thinking about directions to head toward in future studies.

This online journal has lots of interesting articles. Its aims as listed on the “About” page are:

Provide a forum for the dissemination of research on interactive online education

Disseminate ideas that enhance the practical aspects of interactive online education

Further knowledge and understanding of emerging innovations in online education

Foster debate about the use and application of online education

Bypass expensive resources: Go directly to free

I’ve posted my frustrations about publishing research and the difficulty of access by all before, so this study really piqued my interest. It may yours as well so I thought I’d share.

This study, LIS Open Access E=Journal – where are you?, in Webology examines how the landscape of online journals has changed. It explores:

    whether the journals are known
    if their content is easy to find
    if they have gained acceptance in directories, indexes, and abstracting tools
    the extent to which they have established their reputation

The criteria to include the journals in the study included:

    being free
    published in 2000 or later
    the frequency of publication included any frequency up to and including those published annually

Journals were excluded that:

    were currently available in print
    English was not the primary language
    no publication in the last 2 years
    required subscription or membership

The article provides links to the various directories.

After checking the accuracy of the author’s established selection and exclusion criteria they were checked against information provided in standard bibliographic sources. They also checked in abstracting and indexing sources. You will find those links in the article, too.

They came up with a final list of 31 e-journal titles and all those links are provided, as well.

Google Scholar was noted as the search engine of choice and had the advantage of being free as opposed to expensive subscription based databases. Other resources to keep in mind are DOAJ, World Cat, and EBSCO.s LISTA. World Cat was mentioned as the source to go to to verify bibliographic information about a LIS e-journal. It had 100% coverage of all 31 titles and that made it stand out in relation to other examined source.

I’ve been spending some time browsing through these journals and they are good reads. I’ll try to post some links to noteworthy articles in my next post.