New Website is Front Door to Science, Health, and Medicine Publishing Services

Scientific and medical publishing is in a very dynamic state — things are changing rapidly — and that provides for new and exciting opportunities to maximize the visibility and distribution of scientific and medical information. As publishing moves away from the traditional book and journal formats, the content itself becomes much more important than the vehicle by which it is published. This provides authors with more opportunities to disseminate content and data in novel ways. To help faculty, researchers, and students in the U-M Health System achieve their publishing goals, the Medical School provides Health Sciences Publishing Services to assist in navigating the wide array of opportunities, resources, and services that are available to them.

Health Sciences Publishing Services provide two forms of support for those looking to publish their research results or an article: an informational website and individual consultation services. The website provides a wealth of information about publishing options, opportunities, and resources, both within U-M and externally. The one-on-one consultation services are provided by Jasna Markovac, Senior Advisor for Publishing and Related Business Development at the Medical School. Jasna is trained in life science (Ph.D. Human Genetics, U-M) and, after several years in academics, changed careers to join the Science Technical Medical publishing industry. For the past three years, she has worked for the University of Michigan, first at MLibrary, and more recently at the Medical School, focusing on academic publishing initiatives, exploring new publication opportunities, and providing consultation services to the faculty, staff, and students for all aspects of the publishing process.

If you need help deciding how to publish, where to publish, or even whether to publish — Health Sciences Publishing Services can help you choose the best vehicle for maximum visibility and distribution of your content. Please start by visiting the website. If you have publishing questions and/or just to talk about new publishing opportunities, please contact Jasna Markovac (at Health Sciences Publishing Services works in close collaboration with other units on campus including, Open.Michigan and the Taubman Health Sciences Library.


We're three this year!

We’ve been celebrating a lot of milestones this year from winning the first ACE award for technical achievement to turning three years old. This just happens to be our 101th blog post, too! We’ve grown from a small group of passionate students and faculty into a full-blown initiative with four full time staff and a host of tools and resources to help people share their academic and learning materials with the world.

Last night we celebrated with a small group of folks (students, faculty and staff) at U-M who have been involved in our projects in one way or another. From LSA, to the Medical School, the School of Information and the Library, those who celebrated with us really highlighted the fact that the work we do at Open.Michigan is a community effort. Thank you for coming out and showing your support!

For those of you who couldn’t make it, don’t worry. We plan on continuing to work with you, listen to you and to develop resources, tools and opportunities for you to share both here at U-M and elsewhere. We’ll probably throw in a few parties here and there, too.

If you want to see a few highlights from last night, check out the awesome prezi Pieter created. Photos of the fun are up on our Flickr site. We’d especially like to thank the North Quad coordinators, Jamie and Matt, for letting us use their brand new exhibit space and being there to provide back up support. We’ll be back.

Let's share, collaborate and create at the next OCWC Global meeting

The Open.Michigan team was extra busy last week, giving presentations in Michigan and in Massachusetts, winning awards and playing #ocwcbingo. As a relative newcomer to the open education world, I’ve been trying to keep my ears open as to the history, perspective, innovations and models of OER production while also making my own contributions to the field. For these reasons, I was especially excited to attend the Open CourseWare Consortium (OCWC) Global Meeting this year as it celebrated 10 years of OpenCourseWare (U-M is a sustaining member of the Consortium). The program promised a range of historical and contemporary perspectives, from the beginnings of the MIT OCW program to new initiatives in Brazil and Indonesia. Ten years ago, the vision of leaders and administrators provided a strong foundation for beginning to imagine how the educational processes we engage in as academic institutions can be used and shared between teachers and learners across the world. Models for content production were created, replicated, and adapted. But the models of how people learn and how education is supported is rapidly changing, becoming more focused on distributed, pervasive and participatory communities of learners and teachers.

We as a consortium should consider opportunities for sharing with each other at the next OCWC Global meeting in Cambridge, UK. Some of the most interesting and fruitful conversations I had at this year’s meeting happened in the birds of a feather sessions, poster sessions and pre-conference workshops where folks had conversations about their work, shared their stories and collaborated on ways to strengthen each other’s efforts. And, as Tim O’Reilly mentioned in the keynote, we are in a participation age.

It was clear to me that while the movement itself can be viewed as relatively young, there are already lessons we can learn about how to adapt, evolve and change to consider the uses of our efforts more conscientiously. A lot of the presentations at this meeting represented a top-down 10,000 ft perspective of the contributions these organizations have made to the movement. Many OER/OCW efforts represented at this meeting focused on content production, emphasizing numbers of resources published, hits to their sites, and overall analytics as measures of impact. These organizations focus their efforts on content creation, curation, organization.

While it is all well and good to celebrate the past 10 years and the contributions all our organizations have made to open education, I was especially excited to learn more from the initiatives that are considering the communities of users and their motivations for sharing as the entry point into OER production and use. Especially exciting were P2PU’s badging pilot and ALTO’s Process.Arts project.

Supporting sharing among communities is an important perspective to consider as we move forward in an educational world that is becoming increasingly distributed, participatory and pervasive. Instead of creating content and a model for use that we impose on users, actually listening to our communities of teachers and learners and trying to foster sharing practices among and between these users may just be the impetus to drive demand and push OER use into the mainstream, as so many folks at the OCWC Global meeting (including funders) would like to see happen.

So, next time we meet let’s start sharing with each other and get our hands dirty. Let’s have more sessions where instead of listening, we talk, share, collaborate and contribute to each other’s work. We can take a lesson from some of the newcomers contributing to OER and OCW and start collaborating around our passions. And–can we play #ocwcbingo and OERopoly again next year?

OERbit Recognized for Technical Innovation

The 2011 ACE Award for Technical Innovation Open.Michigan has won an award for its new OERbit publishing platform! The OpenCourseWare Consortium (OCWC) recognized OERbit with their 2011 Technical Innovation Award for OpenCourseWare Excellence. Pieter Kleymeer, Open Education Manager, accepted the award on behalf of Open.Michigan and the OERbit development team at the OCWC Global Meeting on 5 May 2011 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

OERbit, a Drupal-based content management system, was developed in conjunction with the Ann Arbor-based company Switchback. Since launching OERbit in fall 2010, Open.Michigan now has a more efficient publishing workflow and a more flexible hierarchy for organizing and presenting content. A complete list of improvements is available on Open.Michigan’s Wiki. In keeping with Open.Michigan’s mission of open-sharing, the code for OERbit is publicly available under the GPLv2 license, and is available for download and distribution on GitHub.