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.

New to the SCN: Analyzing Institutional Publishing Output

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 “Analyzing Institutional Publishing Output: A Short Course” (available in the SCN OER Commons Hub as well as in Google Drive and Penn State’s ScholarSphere), contributed by Allison Langham-Putrow and Ana Enriquez, who both do scholarly communication work, at University of Minnesota Twin Cities and Penn State University, respectively. Here’s Allison and Ana to introduce their project:

We met way back in October 2018 at the “Choosing Pathways to OA” working forum held at University of California-Berkeley, a meeting at which attendees were encouraged to discuss a wide range of options for moving from a subscription-based world to one in which library budgets are used to support open access publishing.

We had both been analyzing publishing patterns for our institutions. Allison, influenced by an opinion piece by Liam Earney, a blog post by Danny Kingsley, and a class at the 2018 FORCE11 Scholarly Communication Institute by Katie Shamash titled “How Much Does Open Access Cost?”, had been looking into where researchers from University of Minnesota publish, trying to figure out how much was open access, and looking (in vain) for information on peer review and editorships. Ana was using publishing data to plan outreach programs and trying to learn about Penn State authors’ APC payments.

The “read-and-publish” agreement between MIT and the Royal Society of Chemistry was advertised as the first such agreement in the US. It received a lot of press, at least in the scholarly communication/open access world, and was a hot topic at the Choosing Pathways event. It was just a matter of time before the model came across the radars of our libraries’ administration. In fact, it was just about two months after we met.

Since late 2018, we’ve done analysis of publication patterns for our institutions and for the other members of the Big Ten Academic Alliance—overall publication and with specific publishers. We’ve learned a lot and proposed this course for the Scholarly Communication Notebook because it’s something we think will become even more important as publishers continue to design and push new types of OA publishing agreements.

We also just think data analysis is fun and want to share the fun.

So what is Analyzing Institutional Publishing Output: A Short Course? It’s a set of training materials that walk through how to create a set of publication data, gather additional information about the data through an API, clean the data, and analyze it in various ways. We separated it into two sections: Section 1 describes how to build a dataset using data from one of three sources (Web of Science, Scopus, and the Lens) and using the Unpaywall API, via OpenRefine, to enrich it with open access information; Section 2 has five lessons on analyzing the dataset. One of us prefers Excel for analysis; the other prefers OpenRefine. We learned a lot from each other, but no one’s mind was changed, so we wrote the analysis lessons with instructions for both.

By doing these analyses, librarians can develop a critical eye for the data and learn to work with it to make sustainable and values-driven decisions. Library agreements with publishers are at a crucial turning point, as they more and more often include OA publishing. Our short course prepares you to enter into negotiations with a publisher. Publishers hold a lot of power and having a deep understanding of what publishing looks like at your institution can make the uneven playing field of library-publisher negotiations slightly more even.

We hope you’ll take our course and that you’ll share it with others.

About the Authors

Allison Langham-Putrow is the Scholarly Communication Librarian at the University of Minnesota. She supports the University of Minnesota Libraries in exploring new approaches for sharing, preserving, and enhancing the impact of scholarly activity. Her background is in engineering, having earned a Ph.D. in chemical engineering, and she has over 20 years of research experience. She cares deeply about open access to research and works with colleagues and publishers on how to make open access happen in an equitable way.

Ana Enriquez is the Scholarly Communications Outreach Librarian at the Penn State Libraries. A copyright lawyer and librarian, Ana works to improve access to research at Penn State and through inter-institutional collaborations. She also teaches the university community about open access, publishing, copyright, and related topics.

New to the SCN: EDI in Scholarly Communications Outreach

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 “Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications Outreach” (available in the SCN OER Commons Hub as well as in Google Drive), contributed by Camille Thomas, who is also a contributor to our related open book project. Camille builds on a qualitative study (Perceptions of Open Access Publishing among Black, Indigenous, and people of color Faculty, forthcoming in College & Research Libraries News), offering instructional materials to help elucidate conclusions of that research. Here’s Camille to introduce the project:

The Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications Outreach contribution to the SCN is intended to fill a gap in the way we talk about scholarly communication work, particularly outreach. I am a co-PI on the in-progress study, Black, Indigenous, and Person of Color Faculty Perceptions of Open Access, with Tatiana Bryant at University of California Irvine. Though there are existing studies examining faculty perceptions of open access and BIPOC faculty experiences, there is not much on the intersection of the two. It is important not to treat researchers, faculty or otherwise, as a monolith when it comes to the experiences, communities, and values behind their publishing decisions. Our 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. It seemed like a natural contribution to the SCN.

Tatiana and I decided to provide separate contributions based on our own ideas. We discussed what might be most impactful for students based on preliminary analysis from the study and our own experiences as library school students, then professionals. We did a kind of internal review of each other’s work before submitting to the SCN team. Tatiana’s related contribution to the SCN is discussed in this News post. My contribution features readings, discussion questions, sample scenarios, and assignments that prompt reflection and learning on BIPOC perceptions of OA.

The most time consuming part of creating this contribution was getting clear on the scope and  approaching this subject matter in a practical, impactful and considerate way. I thought a lot about the audience for which the resource is primarily intended. I wanted to be careful to have students exercise empathy and procedures for scholars’ diverse values when it comes to supporting new models for scholarly work. This work is intended to create deeper engagement and understanding of one’s position in true partnership — as neither savior nor servile. I wanted library professionals and scholars alike to empower themselves and others to become aware of where their agency lies in interdependence (i.e., “power with”, “power to” and “power within”) — with neither awe nor inadequacy. After that, drafting was smooth sailing.

My work with EDI in scholarly communication builds on work by Charlotte Roh, April Hathcock, Leslie Chan, Harrison Inefuku, Jessica Dai and many others. Their work often speaks to the impact of systematic marginalization of certain scholars and scholarship in traditional and open publishing. I tend to examine how we might integrate considerations for equity, diversity and inclusion in our workflows as open advocates and scholarly communication librarians. The  expectations and labor in this area are complex, unwieldy and in many ways different from other types of librarianship. In my opinion, the message, the medium and the messenger matters.

Of course, we are all learning and unlearning the ways we perpetuate exclusion and inequity in our culture and by extension in research and higher education (and even further extension in our materials). There is no one lesson plan or assignment that will solve systemic inequities or capture what for most is deep, personal, and lifelong work. The purpose of my contribution is simply to get students and new professionals (and maybe some seasoned professionals) thinking about building equitable open infrastructure and an inclusive culture when discussing open access at institutions. It is also to get them thinking about what will have the most impact in advancing open and addressing barriers in the context of their organization. I want them to think strategically rather than replicate common practice alone.

Most of the provided sample scenarios are real experiences I have encountered in my career as a scholarly communication librarian. I actually edited the contribution quite a bit when thinking from a student perspective. I am a bit of an exception, in that I knew very early on in library school that I wanted to be a scholarly communication librarian. I planned my courses accordingly, cobbling and connecting relevant courses (Information Policy, Digital Libraries, etc.) together. There was definitely no open textbook on scholarly communication at that time and few if any Intro to Scholarly Communications courses.

One of the courses that prepared me the most and still impacts my approach today is Strategic Marketing. So, I based the Needs Assessment and Engagement Plan on templates I used in that class, which I continue to use. A lot of scholarly communication work and outreach benefits from strategic planning. It can help manage expectations and boundaries around the labor required as well as carve out diversity and inclusion work as a priority. It can also be a space to examine our power, privilege and consciousness when it comes to talking to diverse audiences.

About the Author

Camille Thomas is the Scholarly Communication Librarian at Florida State University Libraries and a former SPARC Open Education Fellow. Her professional interests include labor, leadership and equity in open access, open education and digital scholarship. She has an MLIS from Florida State University and a BA in English from the University of Central Florida. She’s on Twitter as @afrofuturistlib.