November 7th featured an event celebrating the launch of Under Creative Construction: A More Just World, an instructional video and the second Open Educational Resource (OER) created with the support of a Library Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF) grant. This grant has allowed the Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office to work closely with UBC faculty and partner in the creation of open educational resources.

The video explores the importance of creativity in social and environmental justice movements around the globe. Dr. Farah Shroff talks with prominent local activists Morgane Oger and Dale Edwards about the roles that creativity and art have played in their activism, and the potential they hold in supporting justice movements. The launch was attended by students and members of the community and was simultaneously made open, allowing the work to be shared with the public.

Zachary Foote, a Graduate Academic Assistant with the Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office, worked closely with Dr. Farah Shroff in making this project a reality. This has been a great opportunity for library and faculty to explore different kinds of open educational resources, and the creativity that can be brought to their creation. One of the most surprising results of this has been the abundance of media-based projects that faculty are developing for the classroom, along with open textbooks. The creation of the instructional video with Dr. Shroff shows the breadth of paths that OERs can take, and ways that the library can support those efforts.

A documentary released earlier this year and screened as a part of UBC’s Open Access Week, Paywall: The Business of Scholarship focuses on the need for open access to science and research. Produced and directed by Jason Schmitt, a professor at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, this movie questions the $25.2 billion a year paid to academic publishers and the huge margin of profit gained by those businesses.

Although profitable to publishers, paywalls (restricted access to a site unless the user has paid for a description) reduce the access to scholarship. Smaller universities are often unable to afford access to the latest research and people unaffiliated with a university are unable to access it at all. Open Access is the movement responding to this by working to provide an alternative to the business of academic research. The movie describes the ins and outs of research publishing, discusses proprietary and open access, the impact of dominant publishers such as Elsevier, and how a lack of accessibility affects research.

In order to explore multiple aspects of the issue, the movie presents the information through interviews a wide range of people, including professors, CEOs, librarians, PHD students, and those involved in the publishing industry. .

This movie is a great way to get an introduction to scholarly publishing and Open Access. As in keeping with the subject the movie is free to access and download. To watch the movie either click on the video above or  follow the link here.

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