New Article: Finding Our Way

Amidst all the challenges of COVID-19 and its numerous implications for every aspect of our lives, we’re excited to have published Finding Our Way: A Snapshot of Scholarly Communication Practitioner’s Duties and Training in the Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. This is the first article reporting on research conducted under our FY2017 IMLS grant (https://www.imls.gov/grants/awarded/LG-72-17-0132-17).

In brief, we surveyed people who do scholcomm work in libraries and found that, by and large, their education didn’t much address SC topics, skills, and knowledge. We argue that scholcomm is core to academic library work and that everyone working in an academic library (and in some cases, non-academic libraries as well) would benefit from basic literacy in SC topics like copyright and fair use, licensing, open access, and open education work, among others. In practice, we (SC practitioners) get along through a variety of field-based continuous learning strategies and opportunities, but we (the authors) argue that better coverage in LIS programs is important in helping emerging librarians navigate the job market and supporting academic libraries seeking to hire folks with SC knowledge and skills.

The article doesn’t address COVID, of course, but there’s a growing sense that SC issues like open access and open education will be ever-more important moving forward in our present reality. We hope to meet LIS programs in the middle by creating open learning content that is suitable for LIS classrooms, ready to implement, and that reflects diverse perspectives, practices, and people engaged in SC efforts in libraries. That’s why we’re hard at work pushing the open textbook of SC librarianship towards completion, establishing the SC Notebook, and thinking about ways to create opportunities for field-based practitioners to create teaching and learning content that supports LIS instruction.

We’re looking forward to building on this and related work. There are a couple more articles in our data and we hope to someday find the time to write them. For this one, we’re really happy to have it in JLSC, and deeply appreciate the editors and reviewers that helped us get it out into the world, as well as the authors of things we cited, and all the folks that participated in the survey. We welcome feedback, and hope everyone is doing as well as can be hoped for given the challenging circumstances!

“Voices from the Field” CFP Results

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.

More soon.

-Maria, Will, and Josh

Unit 3 CFP Proposals Under Review

Colleagues!

We are so excited and grateful to have received almost 50 proposals in response to the CFP we posted in mid-November! That’s more than twice as many as we can accept, and we have hard choices to make (a great problem to have). There are so many fantastic ideas and projects. We are carefully reviewing each proposal and will communicate with authors as soon as possible. In the meantime, please know that we take this responsibility very seriously and are so appreciative of the time our peers invested in their proposal. Gratitude also to folks who amplified the CFP!  High fives to all of you!

Very best,

Maria, Will, and Josh

CFP: Scholarly Communication Librarianship and Open Culture: Law, Economics, and Publishing

UPDATE: due to holidays and related downtime, feedback from peers, and respect for everyone’s work/life balance (including our own), we’re extending the CFP by 2 weeks, to Jan. 19. We will begin reviewing submissions on the 5th in an attempt to maintain the timeline below, but we hope this takes a little heat off and encourages more folks to submit.

We are pleased to announce a call for proposals for Unit 3 contributions (see more details below) in our upcoming edited open book, Scholarly Communication Librarianship and Open Culture: Law, Economics, and Publishing, to be openly published by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) in electronic and print formats. Authors retain copyright of their contributions, but commit to open publication in the CC-BY-NC book.

Proposals will be accepted in three areas:

  • Perspectives – situated and self-reflexive discussions of topics of importance in scholarly communication
  • Intersections – examples of and reflections on the intersection of scholarly communication with other areas of academic librarianship or other stakeholders
  • Case Studies – stories and lessons learned drawn from experience by librarians engaged in scholarly communication work

Edited by (in alphabetical order)

Josh Bolick, University of Kansas Libraries, jbolick@ku.edu

Maria Bonn, School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, mbonn@illinois.edu

Will Cross, North Carolina State University Libraries, wmcross@ncsu.edu

Proposal Deadline: January 5, 2020 

Notification of Selected Authors/Contributions

January 24, 2020

Authors Submit Completed Contributions

March 30, 2020 (editors may provide feedback and make revision suggestions and will work with selected authors to set timeline for resubmission)

Description

Scholarly Communication and Open Culture was conceived as an open textbook of scholarly communication librarianship, which we hope may be a vehicle to increase instruction on SC topics in LIS programs, as well as serve as a resource for continuing education. The book consists of three units. Unit 1 defines scholarly communication and scholarly communication librarianship, and provides an introduction to the social, economic, technological, and legal backgrounds that underpin and shape scholarly communication work in libraries. Unit 2 begins with an introduction to “open”, broadly conceived, followed by guest-edited sections on Open Access (Amy Buckland), Open Education (Lillian Hogendoorn), Open Data (Brianna Marshall), and Open Science & Infrastructure (Micah Vandegrift). Unit 3, the subject of this CFP, will consist of concise (approx. 1,000 words) Perspectives, Intersections, and Case Studies.

Perspectives, Intersections, and Case Studies should serve to stimulate discussion and reflection on theory and implications for practice. They might dive into more niche subjects/topics, or emerging areas. Suggested further reading, discussion questions, and reference to existing resources for more information/training are welcome.

Perspectives

Perspectives are intended to offer situated and self-reflexive discussions of topics of importance in scholarly communication and the ways in which libraries or librarians respond to those topics. Scholarly communications work inevitably leads to engagement with issues upon which opinions vary, as do the courses of action that address those issues. Personal and professional experience, as well as institutional context, and personal and community identity inform and shape the opinions and approaches of scholarly communication professionals.

Examples of Perspectives might include reflections from a solo scholarly communication librarian asked to spin up a new program, a community college librarian working to support open access with faculty that do not prioritize publishing in scientific journals, or a scholar working on politically contested topics balancing a commitment to openness with safeguarding themselves from hostile alt-right trolls and doxxing.

Intersections

Intersections invites examples of and reflections on the intersection of scholarly communication with other areas of academic librarianship, obvious or otherwise. Almost all work in academic libraries is arguably and ultimately in service of scholarly communication. While libraries increasingly designate scholarly communications specialists, those specialists often collaborate with colleagues throughout their organizations to provide their expertise in addressing scholarly communication opportunities and challenges. Conversely, any area of library work might turn to a scholarly communications specialist for an informed perspective and expertise. Intersections will explore how scholarly communication work can or should interface with other areas of academic librarianship, such as undergraduate engagement, public services, tech services, DEI work, and so on.

Examples of Intersections might include exploration of library-press partnerships for sharing nontraditional research, open pedagogy work done as a collaboration between the library and a center for academic support, or a scholarly project that connects with the knowledge, innovations, and practices of indigenous and local communities.

Case Studies

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.

Selection Criteria
Proposals will be selected based on:

  • Alignment with goals and theme of book
  • A clear sense of intent/purpose
  • Quality of writing
  • Feasibility
  • Basis in theory, research, and/or practice
  • Contribution to book as a whole
  • Offering a new or underrepresented perspective on scholarly communication and scholarly communication librarianship

Acceptance of a proposal does not guarantee inclusion in the book. In addition to the above criteria, editors are keen to include contributions from a variety of institutional types, from authors at different career status, and with diversity and representation in mind. Co-authoring is welcome but not required, particularly where senior authors can partner with rising/early career authors.

Proposal Information required:

  • Section (Perspective, Intersection, or Case Study)
  • Title of contribution
  • Keywords
  • Proposal abstract (up to 250 words)
  • Justification: tell us why it’s important, including links to any supporting documentation (materials, sites, news stories, etc.)
  • Author(s) name, title, institution, and preferred email
  • Author bio (up to 100 words)
  • Acknowledgement of Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial license of the entire book

Submission Process:
Authors interested in submitting Unit 3 contributions should complete the proposal form on or before January 5, 2020. UPDATED: CFP open until January 19, 2020.

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.

Open Science and Infrastructure Section Editor

This is the last section editor announcement, and like the others, a very exciting one for a variety of reasons. Open Science and Infrastructure are super actively evolving spaces, and Micah Vandegrift is an ideal colleague to help us consider them and where they fit in the LIS scholarly communication landscape. Micah was the first scholarly communication librarian at Florida State University, where he built a phenomenal team and program, and mentored lots of folks who now work in scholcomm spaces (we call ourselves Vandeminions). Micah is a provocateur, challenging us to live up to our professed ideas. But he’s not reckless; he’s thoughtful and kind and supportive, which is evidenced in his post below. In mid-2018, Micah became the Open Knowledge Librarian at NCSU, and then promptly embarked on a five month tour of Europe imagining the future of open scholarship (which is to say: scholarship) and infrastructure. We’re really excited to have him engaged in the production of the open textbook of scholarly communication librarianship. Here’s Micah in his own words:

What is Open Science and Infrastructure, and What’s it Doing in Library School?

Friends, colleagues, folks, I am humbled and frankly pretty nervous to be an invited section editor for the forthcoming OER + ScholComm resource. I count my co-section-editors (Brianna, Lillian, & Amy) and Will, Josh, and Maria as inspirations and luminaries, and I am excited to play a small role in shaping the scholcomm minds of tomorrow.

The open umbrella is well on its way to becoming a big tent. Organizations like SPARC and communities like OpenCon have helped refine and define action areas in open data, open education, and open access. But, what does it mean when we simultaneously aim to open ALL OF science (read: wissenschaft), and the services, protocols, standards, software, and people (read: infrastructure) through which knowledge flows? Someone had a ludicrous idea to hire an “open knowledge” librarian, who tricked someone else into letting said librarian wander Europe asking these kinds of questions. And, so, here we are.

I’m cautiously treading into these topics, both because they are hyper-current (in 2019), and because they can be political, expensive, career-shaping, and organization/institution steering. Ever since my wee-Hack Library School days, I’ve been interested in poking holes in structures we assume as solid, and I intend to continue that impulse in the open science and infrastructure section of this text. My hope is that in compiling a primer on these interconnected topics, readers/learners/colleagues will gain a landscape perspective that will continue to advance what we have called “the library” deeper and broader into a more equitable, just, and open ecosystem for the circulation of knowledge.

So, I invite your suggestions – what is open science and infrastructure and what SHOULD it do in library school?