Which Open Is Which?

Happy Open Access Week! In celebration of OA Week 2022, as well as the upcoming spooky holiday, we’re excited to share a post from Jill Cirasella, Associate Librarian for Scholarly Communication at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Jill is one of the Curators for materials in the Scholarly Communication Notebook. For the past year Jill has been gathering open resources related to open access. Read on to learn more about the Curators’ work, the landscape of OA-focused OER, and to see some highlights from her collection. Here’s Jill:

Next week, on Halloween, you might have cause to ask, “Which witch is which?” In fact, there are numerous books with that title, so you might even find yourself wondering, “Which Which Witch Is Which is which?” But this week it’s Open Access Week, so this week let’s consider, “Which open is which?”

In my work as a scholarly communication librarian at the CUNY Graduate Center, I am immersed in both open access (OA) and open educational resources (OER). I regularly rattle off their definitions and discuss their commonalities and differences with our students, who are both graduate students and instructors of undergraduates. Nevertheless, while curating OERs for the Open Access collection of the Scholarly Communication Notebook (SCN) hub on OER Commons, I often had to step back, pause, and ponder, “Which open is which? Which open is this?”

It wasn’t hard to recall my favorite open resources about OA, and it also wasn’t hard to find additional ones that were new to me. But which of those open resources are open educational resources? Thinking through that question was surprisingly hard! And it reminded me that those definitions I so readily recite are deceptively simple distillations of complex realms.

How complex does it get? Consider these concentric circles of openness:

  • There are many works on the topic of OA. (Of course, there’s plenty of debate about what “open access” does and does not denote, but that’s a different issue.)
  • Some (but alas not all) of the works about OA are themselves OA.
  • Some of the OA works about OA are explicitly educational in nature, or could conceivably be used in an educational setting or for independent learning about OA.
  • And then some of the educational OA works about OA are licensed with an OER-compatible Creative Commons license (i.e., a Creative Commons license that does not include the NoDerivatives (ND) clause).
  • And, finally, some of those works have that extra dollop of OER-ness: some kind of “pedagogical apparatus” (exercise, assignment, quiz, discussion questions, etc.) that makes the resource ready for other instructors to deploy in, or adapt for, their classrooms.

I was unfamiliar with the term “pedagogical apparatus” (it’s a mouthful, but a meaningful one!) until undertaking this project—hat tip to SCN co-PIs Josh, Maria, and Will for introducing me to it and for urging the SCN curators to seek resources with that additional component. I did identify and include some such resources (e.g., materials for the workshop Open Access: Strategies and Tools for Life after College and for the full course Open Science: Sharing Your Research with the World). I also included some resources where the pedagogical opportunities are implied rather than explicit (e.g., search the Directory of Open Access Journals, edit the Open Access Directory, or apply Think. Check. Submit.). But I also included some resources with OER-compatible licenses that are “merely” educational OA works about OA (i.e., resources that fall under the second-to-last bullet above). Though lacking any pedagogical apparatus, they are so informative and clear that they would make excellent additions to course syllabi or self-study lists (e.g., the book Open Access and the video Open Access Explained!).

However, I can’t claim credit for adding all of the works that appear in the Open Access collection. In order for a resource to appear in the collection, a few different things must happen. In some cases, I identified a resource that wasn’t in the collection and deliberately performed the necessary step(s) to add it. In other cases, different people interacted with a resource in different ways, and—voilà!—the resource appeared in the collection. It’s not quantum entanglement, but there’s still a hint of “spooky action at a distance.”

So, while I add to the collection, I also learn from it. In particular, I learn each time a new SCN-funded OER pertaining to OA appears in the collection as a result of the wisdom, work, and curatorial clicks of others. For example, I have been delighted to discover these SCN-funded projects in the collection: Open Access Publishing Biases by Chelsee Dickson and Christina Holm; Labor Equity in Open Science by CJ Garcia and Anali Maughan Perry; and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications Outreach by Camille Thomas.

Needless to say, then, the collection is not yet finished. It will continue to grow through both my curation and the actions of others. Or, bringing us back to Halloween, “It’s alive!!!

Want to suggest an OER about OA for inclusion? Let me know at jcirasella@gc.cuny.edu!

New to the SCN: Open Access Publishing Biases

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 “Open Access Publishing Biases” (available through Digital Commons ). This work was created by Chelsee Dickson and Christina Holm to present an overview of the OA landscape and provide learners with tools to develop their own inquiries into the inequities present within the OA publishing industry. Here they are to introduce Open Access Publishing Biases:

The open access publishing landscape is complex. There are many different levels of “open” (often denoted by colors), Article Processing Charges (APCs) vary in cost by journal, and impact factors are sometimes skewed. Added to this complexity is the bias found within the publishing cycle. Today’s academics, authors, and researchers must look at open access through a lens not clouded by the desire for prestige but clearly see the benefits of and biases within the Open Access Movement. My coauthor Christina Holm and I, Chelsee Dickson, endeavored to highlight these issues in our OER.

We created this resource based on past experiences with open access publishing, the peer review process, and subvention fund management. During the publishing and peer review process, we discovered certain biases that lead to inequity. And as the manager of my institution’s subvention fund, which provides financial support for faculty open access publications, I recognized a lack of diversity and wanted to ensure I avoided discrimination and exclusivity. This led Christina and I to brainstorm exactly how we could make a difference within the field of scholarly communications and open access.
Our open resource, aptly titled Open Access Publishing Biases OER, contains a curriculum for instructors and assignments for students. These objects can be easily tailored to fit the needs of any library and information studies (LIS) course but can also be used as-is within a course module on scholarly communication. We have created: learning objectives; a literature review which synthesizes biases found within open access publishing; a PowerPoint presentation to accompany the literature review; discussion questions for further thought and reflection; an open access publishing landscape map activity; a statement of significance activity; and a cumulative final project. Also included are select readings for students with an interest in furthering their knowledge of these concepts.

Each assignment builds upon the students’ previous work, resulting in a detailed final project with elements of each assignment woven throughout. This resource was designed to help students identify inequities within open access publishing and analyze those inequities knowing that, as society evolves, so too will our thoughts on biases. We crafted this resource with flexibility in mind, allowing it to evolve as new diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) issues arise, while giving students and instructors the tools to analyze and (eventually) mitigate their own bias. We hope our audience finds this OER engaging and thought-provoking.

About the Authors

Chelsee Dickson is the KSU Library System’s Scholarly Communications Librarian. Chelsee holds an MLIS and a second MS in Information Technology, and she is passionate about open access, open educational resources, copyright, and technology in libraries. She supports faculty and students in their publishing endeavors, and she is interested in the intersection of diversity, equity, and inclusion as they relate to open access and intellectual freedom. Contact her at cdickso5@kennesaw.edu.

Christina Holm is the KSU Library System’s Instruction Coordinator and a Librarian Associate Professor. Christina holds an MLIS and is passionate about information literacy and ethics in higher education. With 9 years of professional experience in a public services department, Christina has led many professional development events and written several contributions to the profession. Christina’ areas of research include academic librarian burnout, bias in academia, and library service design. Contact her at cholm1@kennesaw.edu.

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.