New to the SCN: OA Publishing & BIPOC Faculty Qualitative Study Lesson Plan

This is the latest post in a series announcing resources created for the Scholarly Communication Notebook, or SCN. The SCN is a hub of open teaching and learning content on scholcomm topics that is both a complement to an open book-level introduction to scholarly communication librarianship and a disciplinary and course community for inclusively sharing models and practices. IMLS funded the SCN in 2019, permitting us to pay creators for their labor while building a solid initial collection. These works are the result of our first CFP (fall 2020). A second CFP was issued in May ‘21 (closed in early July), and a third call will be issued toward the end of 2021.

Today we’re excited to share “Open Access Publishing and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Faculty Qualitative Study Lesson Plan” (available in the SCN and eScholarship at UC Irvine), by Tatiana Bryant. We know that adopting open practices puts those with less privilege at greater potential risk than those with greater privilege, particularly where race is concerned. It’s important that we collectively acknowledge this unequal reality as we advocate for open practices, and respect the reasons why some researchers may hesitate or decide on other directions for their work. Tatiana here provides a great intro to these issues, situated in an opportunity to learn more about qualitative research methods. Here’s Tatiana with more information about this work:

Knowledge of open access stakes and initiatives is critical for understanding and promoting the fundamental role of faculty and librarians in the scholarly information cycle as academia aims to become diverse, equitable, and inclusive and make scholarship more accessible. Despite the open movement being decades old, there is still a gap in research on Black, Indigenous, and faculty of color (BIPOC) in the context of open access. This gap exists because LIS students and professionals may not be empowered or knowledgeable enough to produce research in this area. Understanding the motivations for and barriers against Open Access (OA) publishing (and the relationships between them) among BIPOC faculty helps LIS practitioners and Open advocates design incentives to increase participation and decrease lack of knowledge and stigma around OA.

In 2020, Principle Investigator, Tatiana Bryant and her research team designed an original qualitative study (Perceptions of Open Access Publishing among Black, Indigenous, and people of color Faculty, article forthcoming College & Research Libraries News) that uncovers ways in which pre-tenure and tenured BIPOC perceive attitudes towards the legitimacy of open access publishing, especially as it relates to their own tenure and promotion processes. This study illuminates how their perceptions motivate or diminish their own interest in and adoption of open access as well as their level of advocacy for open access in their field, campus, and department, et al. To advance this research, select study instruments (focus group question set, sample excerpts from a de-identified dataset, and a codebook template) have been published in the Scholarly Communication Notebook for reuse and adaptation as part of a lesson plan (featuring a pre/post class survey, a reading list, a structured assignment, and class discussion questions) designed to teach LIS students and professionals to consider how qualitative research methods can support their praxis as well as how to use the study instruments.

This Scholarly Communication Notebook contribution allows those interested to learn how to replicate our research methods, articulate their positionality as researchers and practitioners, consider hosting their own focus group(s) with BIPOC faculty, and practice analyzing the associated qualitative data. This resource aims to fill multiple gaps by increasing the facility with robust qualitative research methods among LIS students and workers as well as advancing the conversation around equity within the open movement. It can be used in LIS classrooms or by LIS workers in academic libraries. Questions about this contribution can be directed to

About the Author

Tatiana Bryant is the Research Librarian for digital humanities, History, and African American Studies at UC Irvine. She holds an MPA from New York University and a MLIS from Pratt Institute. She is a 2017 OpenCon Berlin fellow, a 2020 OER Research Fellow with the Open Education Group, and a 2021 Pedagogy Lab Fellow at The Center for Black, Brown, and Queer Studies. She’s on Twitter at @BibliotecariaT.