On January 19 we closed the CFP for Unit 3 of our to-be-published open book, Scholarly Communication & Open Culture. We are calling this unit “Voices from the Field” which consists of field-based Perspectives (on scholcomm issues), Intersections (of SC between adjacent areas and stakeholders), and Case Studies (on implementation of scholcomm initiatives, and lessons learned). We honestly didn’t know what the response might be, but were floored by the number and quality of proposals submitted!
We received 48 submissions, representing 64 authors from 45 institutions, including a couple of government agencies and one corporation. There wasn’t a lemon among them, which made the selection process very difficult. Given enough space, we could have accepted all of them. Space isn’t infinite, however, so we did our best to balance format, topic, relationship to the book as a whole, institutional type, career status, and diversity/representation. In late January, we communicated our sincere regrets to our peers whose proposals we declined. We’ve all been accepted and rejected, but being in the position to accept and reject is a responsibility we took seriously. We hope all the authors know we were deeply impressed with the quality of the work and didn’t make decisions lightly.
We were able to accept 26 proposals from 38 authors from 28 institutions. The R1s are there, of course, but so are smaller and more teaching focused institutions (where a great deal of excellent scholcomm work happens despite the frequent over-representation of R1s in scholcomm discussions). There’s a private institution you’ll recognize, too, as well as a community college (where a lot of the best open ed work is taking place). Overall there are ten Intersections, eight Perspectives, and eight Case Studies.
The big topics are present: open access, library publishing, open education, copyright, etc. There are also interesting reflections and connections with public libraries, collections as scholcomm work, university presses, DEI in SC work, and others. There are a number of essays that engage with interpersonal skills (communication, collaboration) as well as a group of them that we think of as “nature of the work” (accepting and learning from failure, dealing with challenges, working across knowledge and/or priority gaps). The interpersonal and “nature of the work” pieces are important, as those issues have arisen in many conversations we’ve had with colleagues over the last few years as this project has taken shape.
Writing is underway, and we can’t wait to see and share the finished products. When this project is done (in the sense that it’s really ever “done”), one of the things we will be most proud of is the people who contributed their knowledge and time to enrich it. We feel very grateful and lucky to be at the helm of this, but without a doubt, this work will belong to the community that is working together to make it happen.
-Maria, Will, and Josh