New to the SCN: Ethical and Policy Considerations for Digitizing Traditional Knowledge

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 one of three calls for proposals (our first CFP was issued in fall 2020; the second in late spring ‘21, and the third in late fall 2021).Today we’re excited to share “Ethical and Policy Considerations for Digitizing Traditional Knowledge” (available via Pressbooks and in the SCN OER Commons Hub). This work was created by Dr. Jenna Kammer and Dr. Kodjo Atiso. Traditional knowledge has often been appropriated and used in manners inconsistent with the community wishes, to detrimental effect. Tools like Traditional Knowledge badges and this lesson from Kammer and Atiso are responses to that colonial exploitation. It’s vital that librarians proceed with care and concern when working with these communities and their cultural heritage, and we deeply appreciate the work these colleagues have done to educate on these issues. Here are Jenna and Kodjo to introduce Ethical and Policy Considerations for Digitizing Traditional Knowledge:

 

Ethical and Policy Considerations for Digitizing Traditional Knowledge is a comprehensive instructional resource designed to introduce library professionals to the ethical and policy issues which accompany the digitization of traditional knowledge collections. This instructional resource includes a lesson plan, a slide deck, a case study with accompanying worksheet, and an annotated bibliography.  Instructors can llead students through a lesson plan which includes identification of prior knowledge, direct instruction, guided practice and independent practice. Through this “I do, we do, you do” approach, students will learn about the definition of traditional knowledge, how and why it might be preserved, ethical considerations when preserving it, and provides examples of traditional knowledge collections. The resource also includes an opportunity for students to work through an authentic case study from a library which digitized a traditional knowledge collection. Using a worksheet that includes guided criteria, students can review the case study to determine how the community was considered within each stage of the digital content lifecycle. The resource also includes background reading on digitizing and preserving traditional knowledge with brief annotations for both instructors and students.

The case study in this instructional resource was adapted from an authentic project conducted by a librarian in Ghana (who is also one of the authors of this resource). The project describes the development of a database of plants used for medicinal and educational purposes in Ghana to share with the public as a response to a need for access to general scientific knowledge. The project completed prior work which had been started by biologists in the mid 1900’s by digitizing plant materials, describing the traditional medicinal uses of the plants, and naming them in both English, Latin and the local Ghanaian language. The case study includes descriptions of how the local community was brought into the project, as well as special cultural considerations applied to describing the materials in the project.

We developed this resource after realizing that many textbooks related to organizing information did not discuss traditional knowledge collections and the cultural considerations that should be applied when collecting, describing, managing, sharing and reusing these materials. We also found that the real life example of the plant database was an excellent learning opportunity for others who would be embarking on such projects. Essentially, we wanted to create instructional materials which could explain to new and emerging professionals how to include community voices within a digitization project that may include cultural heritage, personal stories, history, traditional practices and local knowledge. We also felt like it was important to include examples of cases where digitizing local knowledge benefited the local community, but also examples where the community was exploited once the collections were made available. Both of these experiences are historically important to understand the value added by digitizing traditional knowledge, but also how traditional knowledge has been misappropriated and used for commercial purposes by people outside of the local community. We hope that this OER helps provide a framework for thinking ethically, including the communities involved with local collections, while also considering how to specify conditions for how the content in these collections can be used, shared or circulated.

About the Authors

 

Jenna Kammer is an Associate Professor at the University of Central Missouri. Her MLS is from the University of Arizona, and her doctorate degree is from the University of Missouri in the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies. She also holds a Masters of Arts in Education from New Mexico State University. At UCM, she teaches the Organizing Information class, and other courses related to library science. Kammer also teaches graduate students to create open educational resources.

Kodjo Atiso is the University Librarian at Cape Coast Technical University in Cape Coast, Ghana. His masters is in library science from the University of Ghana and his doctorate degree is from the University of Missouri in the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies. He has been involved in the development of several digital repositories and is the project director for the Endangered Archives Programme project at the British Library called Digitisation of pre-Independence herbarium in Ghana.

New to the SCN: Labor Equity in Open Science

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 one of three calls for proposals (our first CFP was issued in fall 2020; the second in late spring ‘21, and the third in late fall 2021).

Today we’re excited to share “Labor Equity in Open Science” (available in the SCN OER Commons Hub). This work was created by CJ Garcia and Anali Maughan Perry. It presents clear, actionable guidance on a tremendously important topic . Here’s CJ and Anali to introduce Labor Equity in Open Science:

Labor Equity in Open Science is an interactive lesson plan designed to introduce MLIS students to labor equity issues in open science practices. During the lesson, students are given a researcher persona encompassing various professional and personal identities. Students are then given multiple scenarios and asked to predict how their persona would respond and why. Through group discussion and personal reflection, students consider the ways that researchers in different positions and with different levels of institutional support engage with open science. Students are also encouraged to consider how personal identity, such as race and gender, often intersects with professional identity, and how that contributes to wider, structural barriers that impact the adoption of open science practices. The lesson culminates in an opportunity for the students to brainstorm how they, as librarians, can address and alleviate these barriers. While starting the conversation is important, the lesson goes beyond this and bridges the gap between learning and action.

In addition to the primary lesson plan, we have provided supporting material for instructor and student use, including an instructor presentation as well as student handouts with persona and scenario details. These are designed to facilitate both in-person and online, synchronous learning. We also include an alternative assignment that invites students to develop their own personas and scenarios to add to OER Commons and help the OER grow as a living resource while also providing a practical opportunity to introduce MLIS students to the OER ecosystem.

Throughout my time in graduate school, I became more and more invested in open science and scholarly communication, and was eager to contribute to conversations in this area. At the same time, I often found myself frustrated by many of the conversations I saw happening in the field that often neglected the human labor element of open science. Librarians and researchers are partners in creating an open system of scholarly research, and so we need to be in tune with the needs of researchers. Open science is often lauded as a mechanism by which the process of research can be more just and equitable, but as it stands open science relies on a vast amount of unpaid and often under-recognized labor. For many researchers, participating in standard open science practices may be impossible to do without jeopardizing one’s career or work-life balance. I know that finding a way to advance open science in a way that suits everyone is no easy task. That is why we built the lesson plan to be a conversation-starter and challenged students to start brainstorming solutions. Finding solutions is never easy, but it always starts by recognizing the problem, learning, reflecting, and collaborating.

Being able to contribute to the SCN was a fantastic opportunity to create the type of lesson we would have liked to receive while in graduate school, share it in a trusted open repository, and ensure it reaches our target audience of scholarly communication instructors and practitioners. We hope it will help generate increased awareness of researcher perspectives and consideration of the barriers they may face when trying to participate in open science practices.

About the Authors

Primary author CJ Garcia is the Liaison and Communications Librarian at A.T. Still University. He gained his MLIS from the University of Arizona in May 2022. He specializes in scholarly communication, online learning, and user experience. He is particularly interested in how open science practices in health sciences research translates to better patient outcomes. Outside of librarianship, he likes to play video games, build legos, and buy increasingly expensive toys for his cats.

Anali Maughan Perry is the Scholarly Communication Librarian at Arizona State University’s ASU Library where she leads institutional efforts to provide outreach and education to the ASU community regarding scholarly publishing and copyright, with particular emphasis on fair use, open access to scholarly information, and open education.

New to the SCN: Trans Inclusion in OER

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 one of three calls for proposals (our first CFP was issued in fall 2020; the second in late spring ‘21, and the third in late fall 2021).

Today we’re excited to share “Trans Inclusion in OER” (available in the SCN OER Commons Hub and via Pressbooks). This work was created by Kat Klement at Bemidji State and Stephen G. Krueger at Dartmouth. They have both been leaders in this area and have created an outstanding resource that can improve OER and help better-educate everyone in scholarly communication. Here’s Kat and Stephen to introduce Trans Inclusion in OER:

Information about trans and gender diverse people is constantly growing and changing, in addition to having aspects that are specific to certain regions and cultures. But gender identity is often oversimplified in educational resources, if it is acknowledged at all. Trans and gender diverse students and teachers often find their experiences absent, stereotyped, or described in language that perpetuates the gender binary. Outdated and inaccurate content leaves everyone with harmfully incorrect information about gender-related language, history, current events, health care, and legal issues.

Because of their flexible nature, open educational resources are ideally positioned to incorporate gender-inclusive language and accurate, relevant content on trans and gender diverse people. Trans Inclusion in OER is intended to raise awareness on this potential as well as to provide guidance on how to act on it within the context of scholarly communication.

Part 1 contains suggested materials on multiple topics: OER 101, Trans 101, Social Justice and OER, Trans and Gender Diverse Inclusion in OER. Readers are invited to pick and choose depending on their need. Perhaps one is well aware of trans and gender diverse issues but not OER, or vice versa. All of these sections are annotated resource lists except for the last, which is because there is little to no existing material specifically about trans and gender diverse people and OER (until now); this section outlines why the usual reasons for using and creating OER are especially relevant in the context of gender inclusion. Part 1 closes with a list of practical resources for creating and adapting trans-inclusive materials.

Part 2 is an instructor’s guide for a class session (or several) on how to make trans-inclusive OER. The lesson plan, discussion questions, activities, and assignments can be used as written, mixed and matched, or adapted and revised to suit a variety of class settings. They can also be valuable exercises for faculty and librarians to think through on their own, as they take the ideas and resources from Part 1 and demonstrate how to use them in practice.

It is our hope that this resource is the first of many on how OER can meet the enormous need for gender-inclusive educational materials.

About the Authors

Stephen G. Krueger (he/him/his) is the Scholarly Publishing Librarian at Dartmouth College, where he supports the use and creation of open educational resources. He is the author of Supporting Trans People in Libraries (2019, Libraries Unlimited), co-editor of Trans and Gender Diverse Voices in Libraries (forthcoming, Library Juice Press), and co-author of The Trans Advice Column. Stephen holds a B.A. in English from Warren Wilson College and an M.S.L.S. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and he is working on an M.A. in Arctic and Northern Studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Learn more at www.stephengkrueger.com.

Kat R. Klement (they/them/theirs) is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Bemidji State University, teaching courses primarily related to sexuality and gender. They received their Ph.D. in Psychology from Northern Illinois University and their M.A. in Psychology and B.A. in Psychology and Political Science from Concordia University Chicago. Their major lines of research examine attributions of sexual assault blame, how transphobia relates to other systems of oppression, and transgender patients’ healthcare experiences. They are co-founder and co-director of the Northwoods Queer Outreach, which provides training and resources for organizational staff, educators, and healthcare providers to better serve 2SLGBTQ+ people. Learn more at www.kathryn-klement.com.

CFP: Contributions to the Scholarly Communication Notebook

We are pleased to announce a call for proposals for materials to be included in the Scholarly Communication Notebook. Successful proposals will contribute openly-licensed educational materials (OER) about scholarly communication that reflect the broad range of people, institution types, and service models in scholarly communication and specifically fill gaps of representation in the current body of materials. With generous support from IMLS, we are able to offer $2,500 financial awards in recognition of the expertise and labor required to develop these resources. You can see the full application as a Google doc, read more below, and submit here (form deactivated).

Call for Proposals

The Scholarly Communication Notebook (SCN) team is excited to invite proposals for the development of open educational resources (OER) that reflect and encourage diversity in scholarly communication. The SCN is an online community/repository that is explicitly intended to support and educate a diversifying workforce of LIS professionals and to extend social justice values to all participants by intentionally and thoughtfully reflecting the broad range of people, institution types, and service models in scholarly communication.

With generous support from IMLS, we are able to offer $2,500 financial awards in recognition of the expertise and labor required to develop these resources.

We are particularly interested in proposals from authors from a broad range of institutions and intersectional identities, particularly emphasizing marginalized and underrepresented perspectives.

The Materials

The OER should be a learning object or collection of objects that is ready to be used in both a formal classroom setting and as a resource for self-guided learning. For the first of three rounds, we are leaving space for a variety of approaches to the design of the core resource and pedagogical apparatus. We are also committed to working with contributors to develop proposals before they are submitted and continuing to support development and refinement throughout creation.

Example Projects

Because this is a new project we invite proposals that reflect a variety of approaches to building open resources and supporting open practices. These examples reflect a small set of gaps in the literature that a proposal might help fill:

  • A lesson introducing a model open education program being run at an HBCU
  • An exercise exploring strategies for supporting open and public access at a community college
  • Narratives and discussion questions that highlight unique work being done on archiving and supporting engagement with local materials at a regional college or university
  • A podcast or videos describing a tribal college’s work developing tools that support digital scholarship that engages the college’s history and the communities it serves

Selection Criteria

Proposals are open-ended but should address the following areas:

  • An overview of the topic being presented (copyright, OER, digital scholarship, etc.)
  • The need for this resource and the gaps that it fills. Why is it important? Are you building on existing openly licensed content or creating something new?
  • Your approach to presenting this material. What methods are you using? How are you addressing the need you identified above?
  • The format of the learning object? Is it a selection of readings? A video? A podcast?
  • What sort of pedagogical apparatus will be included? Will you include discussion questions? A structured assignment? What will you add to make this an educational resource, not just a document? If you have concerns about this area we are happy to work with you to refine these through discussion.
  • What are the learning outcomes/objectives for these materials?
  • Suggested (foundational/canonical) further reading? What are the most important readings, either necessary or optional for a learner to engage with these materials?

Submission Process

Review of proposals will begin on October 20, 2020 and continue throughout the fall until awarded proposals are selected. Work on selected proposals will be conducted in the late fall and early winter, with specific deliverable due dates determined among SCN leads and awarded proposal authors according to needs of project.

Please direct questions to Josh Bolick (jbolick@ku.edu), Maria Bonn (mbonn@illinois.edu), and/or Will Cross (wmcross@ncsu.edu).

Note: this CFP is also available as a Google Doc with comments enabled. Feedback on the CFP itself (including suggestions for improving it) is welcome and appreciated.

Voices from the Field: Case Studies

We’re excited to share a series of updates on the development of our forthcoming book, Scholarly Communication Librarianship and Open Culture: Law, Economics, and Publishing (ACRL). More specifically, on the third and final unit, “Voices from the Field,” which consists of short practical pieces by practitioners engaged in scholcomm and related work, intended to provoke reflection and discussion. “Voices” is further divided into Perspectives, Intersections, and Case Studies. This is an update on the Case Studies contributions. A similar post for Perspectives was shared on 7/20/20, and another on Intersections will be posted soon.

When we issued the CFP in November, we really had no idea what the response might be. We ended up with more great ideas than we had room for, which was both wonderful and heartbreaking. In the end, we did our best to balance various considerations and selected 26 proposals to move forward. Honestly, all of the proposals were great and deserve development. Now that we’re seeing all those selected wrapping up towards final drafts, we couldn’t be happier with them! It’s so exciting to see all these excellent ideas come together, and to be able to provide a platform for them!

From the CFP:

Case Studies present stories and lessons learned drawn from experience. Case Studies should provide specific, contextualized examples of the kinds of tasks and questions librarians working in scholarly communication encounter and strategies for response. A case study will describe and evaluate a case, reflecting upon the issues involved and their implications for scholars and scholarship. It will suggest possible responses to the case and evaluate the effectiveness and possible challenges of those strategies. A case study grounded in actual experience might also describe the actions that were taken and reflect upon subsequent outcomes.

Examples of Case Studies might include a specific course marking project done at an institution working to support OER and textbook affordability, a digital humanities project that used interdisciplinary expertise in the libraries, or a library research data management initiative that helps researchers meet funder mandates for open data.

The Case Studies reflect a broad set of issues and practices grounded in the diverse environments where scholarly communication is practiced. From established scholcomm voices like Harvard and Simon Frasier to regional and emerging leaders, scholarly communication practitioners share successful models, first-of-a-kind projects, and strategies for building community.

While these case studies share important lessons about policies and formal structures, a core theme that appears centers around community-building. From Billings and Roh’s guide to successful mentoring, to Piper’s discussion of professionalization, to Keralis and Martin’s call for “A Journal of One’s Own”, these case studies offer models for building community at every stage of the scholarly communication life cycle and beyond.

Here’s the full list of Case Studies:

  • Marilyn Billings from UMass Amherst and Charlotte Roh from the University of San Francisco write about strategies for successful mentoring and professional development in “Development of a Scholarly Communication Librarian Residency Program.”
  • Kyle Courtney and Emily Kilcer introduce a model for distributing expertise at Harvard in “Copyright First Responders: Decentralized Expertise, Cultural Institutions, and Risk.”
  • Josh Cromwell from the University of Southern Mississippi explores the challenges posed by promotions and tenure systems in “Mind Your Ps and Ts: Promotion, Tenure, and the Challenge for Open Access.”
  • Spencer Keralis from Illinois and John Martin from the University of North Texas offer a successful model for open publishing in “A Journal of One’s Own: Developing an Innovative, Values-Driven Open Journal.”
  • Gemmicka Piper at IUPUI provides a firsthand overview of skilling up in a new position in “Professionalizing for New Performance Duties.”
  • Kerry Sewell and Jeanne Hoover from East Carolina University share their successes and challenges with “Navigating Open Access Initiatives in a Sea of Mixed Support.”
  • Jennifer Zerkee and Alison Moore from Simon Fraser offer insight into supporting open access in “So You Have an Open Access Policy – Now What? Evaluating Simon Fraser University’s Open Access Policy.”

Like the forthcoming companion Scholarly Communication Notebook, these case studies demonstrate that there is no one “correct” way to do this work. Instead, our understanding of scholarly communication must reflect the multiplicity of approaches and perspectives in the field as well as centering the dynamic and ongoing work being done at all sizes and types of institutions. We’re so grateful that each of the contributors has shared their experiences and we hope these case studies can offer some promising models to borrow and build on.

-Will (on behalf of Maria and Josh)