Working together to improve global access to research

Tutorial 1

and introduction to OSI tutorials

Tutorial 1

Over the next few months you will receive 5-6 sets of tutorial materials intended to help familiarize you with the world of scholarly communication, with a particular emphasis on open scholarship issues. For many of you, these tutorials will be superfluous—you are the very experts we’re citing. For others, these materials may help you fill some of the gaps in your understanding.

There are clearly volumes of authoritative books, reports, and studies that could be listed for you—indeed, the OSI organizing committee is preparing a long list of references that the more ambitious among you might enjoy adding to your winter reading list. But for the purposes of this conference, we are simply hoping that everyone will make time to review a few short videos over the next few months, and also skim through a few important reports in order to help level the playing field of issue familiarity. Please note that this familiarity is advantageous but not instrumental: The bulk of what you exchange and build upon at this conference will be your wealth of personal and professional knowledge, judgment and perspectives—including, importantly, your knowledge, judgment and perspectives that have nothing whatsoever to do with the current practice of scholarly communication.

Beginning with the first set of videos and reports listed below, the tutorials we’re sending you will range from providing an overview of the scholarly communications landscape to drilling down into the nitty gritty of issues like peer review and impact factors. You won’t need to review everything, and indeed, you may reasonably choose to only review the materials that are relevant to your assigned workgroup (which you will find out about later this month).

Finally, please note that some of these videos and reports clearly represent a singular perspective. In suggesting materials like this, the OSI conference organizing committee isn’t endorsing these viewpoints, merely providing them to help illuminate our broad conversation. We welcome your recommendations for additional materials to circulate. Please email and the committee will add your recommendations to the master reference list and possibly circulate these materials to delegates as well.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me at

Thank you in advance for your efforts on the road ahead, and for your desire to be part of this important initiative.


Glenn Hampson
OSI Program Director
Executive Director
National Science Communication Institute



OSI2016 tutorial 1

SHORT VIDEOS (44 minutes total)

  • What is open access? There are a wealth of materials that can provide a good overview of the OA landscape, from Peter Suber’s seminal 2012 book to the many instructional guides published by university libraries. Every description seemingly has its own focus, though—every advocate and critic can slice and dice these definitions because the concepts involved are nuanced, multifaceted and evolving. At a 10,000-foot level, this short video by Nick Shockey and Jonathan Eisen provides a clear and entertaining take on the fundamental motivations and philosophy behind open access publishing—why it’s important and where OA advocates would like to see it go. (PhD Comics: Oct 25, 2012)
  • What is the role of the publisher in the current model of scholarly publishing? This short video from Elsevier goes over some of the tasks that large publishers manage. This recording was made from a webcast and isn’t very high quality, but it does provide a reasonably thorough overview. (Elsevier: Sept 12, 2012)
  • Scholarship is evolving, as well as public attitudes and expectations toward open information. To embrace these changes, cultural and structural changes are needed in scholarly communication, which will require broad and frank conversations between many stakeholder groups. In this overview by JISC (featuring several OSI2016 delegates), the growing role and importance of open scholarship is described. (JISC: Oct 20, 2014)
  • A free flow of information goes to the heart of science, says OSI2016 delegate and PLOS CEO Elizabeth Marincola. Does free flow need to mean free, or is there a way to reconcile the tension between marketplace and public good? (TED: May 7, 2013)
  • Famed chemist George Whitesides gives a series of short interviews on science writing and publishing.  The single video linked below gives Whiteside’s quick take on the changing future of science communication. Also included in this collection of videos are details about the publishing process at the American Chemical Society (optional viewing). (ACS: April 29, 2011)

REPORTS (to skim)


  • Research Information Network, “Monitoring the Transition to Open Access.” Aug 2015. (Note: As stated in the executive summary of this report, “This study was commissioned in response to a recommendation of the Finch Group in its second report in 2013 that reliable indicators should be gathered on key features of the transition to open access (OA) in the UK.”)