New to the SCN: Perspectives on Scholarly Communication

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 “Perspectives on Scholarly Communication: A Student-Created Open Textbook” (available in the SCN OER Commons Hub as well as in Open Science Framework), contributed by Christopher Hollister. Christopher, who teaches a graduate MLIS course at University of Buffalo, used an open pedagogy assignment to have students author essays on scholarly communication topics of their selection. Here’s Christopher to introduce the project:

Dear SCN Readers…

As noted by the SCN Team, this project involves the experimental use of open pedagogy to teach the Scholarly Communication course in a graduate-level library and information science (LIS) program. Open pedagogy is variously defined, but generally understood as a framework that requires students to be active creators of course content rather than passive consumers of it. Proponents view this as a form of experiential learning in which students demonstrate greater understanding of content by virtue of creating it.

Students in this course learn by doing; that is, they learn about scholarly communication by participating in the process. Each student is required to develop a chapter—on a scholarly communication topic of their choosing—to be included in an open access monograph. Following the semester, the text is published under a Creative Commons license on the University at Buffalo’s institutional repository as an open educational resource (OER), allowing for reuse or repurposing in future sections of the course or in similar courses in LIS programs at other institutions. To date, students have created the following open monographs: Perspectives on Scholarly Communication, Volume 1 (2019), Perspectives on Scholarly Communication, Volume 2 (2020); and Perspectives on Scholarly Communication, Volume 3 (2021). Support for the development and production of the third volume was generously provided by the SCN Team and its 2019 IMLS grant

Immediate outcomes of the “learn by doing” aspect are clear. The experience of publishing engages students in the applied side of concepts they are introduced to by way of lectures, readings, and other class activities. This experience is invaluable for those entering academic librarianship, particularly for those who will have scholarly communication responsibilities. Immediate outcomes of the open pedagogy aspect are also quite compelling. Research shows that students ascribe a positive learning experience to the implementation of this framework, and they hold for its continued use in future sections of the course. Students are enthusiastic in their embrace of creating renewable versus disposable coursework. They express great satisfaction with contributing to the professional literature, building the discipline’s nascent OER record, and having a publication to feature in their curricular and professional dossiers. The experience also resonates with students on a philosophical level; LIS students are characteristically inclined to support activities that align with the field’s abiding “free to all” ethic.

Long-term outcomes for the Scholarly Communication course are emerging as this experiment continues to unfold. Most notably, select chapters from these volumes are used as required readings. The following student-created chapters, for example, are required readings for the upcoming 2022 fall semester:

  • Moving toward multilingualism in scholarly communication to combat the linguistic injustices caused by English as a lingua franca (Huskin, 2021)
  • Indigenous knowledge in academia (Neumaier, 2021)
  • Flipping the script: Creating equity for BIPOC academics in scholarly publishing through open access (Poenhelt, 2020)
  • Ethics and academic tenure: The struggle for female identifying scholars to achieve tenure (Roberts, 2020)

About the Author

Christopher Hollister is the Head of Scholarly Communication with the University at Buffalo Libraries. In that role, he advances initiatives related to scholarly publishing, open access, and open education. A longtime advocate and activist for transforming the current system of scholarly communication into an open one, Chris is co-founder and co-editor of the award-winning open access journal, Communications in Information Literacy. He also teaches the Scholarly Communication and International Librarianship courses for the University’s Department of Information Science. His current research interests include scholarly publishing and open educational practices. 

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.

Open Peer Review: Part 2.3 Open Education

Late last year, we announced that we would be releasing portions of our forthcoming book, Scholarly Communication Librarianship and Open Culture: Law, Economics, and Publishing, for open review as they were ready. Work on this project has progressed slower than we’d like due to the pandemic and the different pressures it has placed on everyone’s lives, but we’re steadily moving forward, extending grace and understanding to all involved (and trying to extend the same to ourselves; which is easier said than done). Today, we’re happy to invite comments on drafts of the Open Education Section. Reviewers will benefit from taking a look at information about Part 1 and other sections of Part 2 to understand how this section relates to the others, and the whole.

The Open Education Section is edited by Lillian Hogendoorn, Curator of Digital Experience Librarian at the University of Toronto. Previously, Lillian was the Manager of Digital Access and Open Educational Resources at eCampusOntario. She also teaches the Library Juice Academy Introduction to Open Educational Resources course. Her extensive experience and knowledge places her in an excellent position to lead this section, and we’re very proud to work with her. She’s also brought on some rock star contributors that we’re excited to have. We hope you’ll consider reading their drafts and providing your feedback to help us get the most accurate snapshot possible of this dynamic area of work. Lillian introduces the section and guiding questions below, along with links to the drafts and info for reviewers. The big guidance we want to reinforce is to be the reviewer you wish you had by providing thoughtful critical feedback without berating or belittling. These drafts will be available for comments for a period of six weeks ending on January 21, EXTENDED TO FEB  4, 2022. – Josh, Maria, and Will

Here’s Lillian:

While Open Education is not new to scholarly communications work, it’s starting to take centre stage in the role of many ScholComm librarians and departments. There are a vast number of learning opportunities to get foundational knowledge about Open Education and OER, from conferences to courses, from Twitter threads to journal articles. There are certification opportunities and mentorship programs abound. There are even fully open textbooks on open education.

So why, in a world where there are so many avenues to learn about open education, would we compile this section? I asked myself this many times over the course of the last two years. What makes this work unique, and how does it help folks learn about Open Education in a way that adds value to the ever-expanding Open Ed space?

This section is largely written by early career librarians for aspiring librarians. It is for those ready to dip their toes in the Open Ed waters. With so much heart and thoughtfulness, each author included has tried to pass down what they wish they had known, what they could tell their former selves on the cusp of their journey in open education work in libraries.  And now we are all inviting critique in service of care in hopes that even one future reader feels excited and inspired to not simply dip their toes in, but elegantly swan dive into the depths of open education work.

As you make your way through this section, I invite you to consider these questions for yourself:

  • Would this have appealed to you as a library school student? Would it appeal to you now if you were an instructor?
  • Are there things that have been overlooked? How might we include them?
  • Is the section too sparse, too detailed, or just right?

I have no doubt that Open Education work in libraries will continue to evolve and change. Foundational texts have yet to be published, and large waves have yet to hit the shore. This text is meant to lay the foundation for future practitioners to make those waves, and I am so happy to be a small part of that.

  1. Introduction to Open Education, featuring:
    1. Defining Open Education and Open Educational Resources by Lillian Hogendoorn
    2. A Short History of OER by Emily Carlisle-Johnston
    3. Benefits, Barriers, and Myths by Camille Thomas, Ariana Santiago, and Laura Miller
  2. Libraries and OER, featuring:
    1. Why Libraries? Why Librarians? by Regina Gong
    2. How Libraries Support OER by Abbey K. Elder
    3. Day to Day OER Work by Amanda C. Larson
  3. Open Pedagogy, featuring:
    1. Defining Open and OER-Enabled Pedagogy adapted from Robin DeRosa and Rajiv Jhangiani
    2. Critical Information Literacy and Open Pedagogy by Will Engle and Erin Fields
  4. Current Issues by Margaret McLaughlin, Ali Versluis, and Sarah Hare

*links deactivated after review period closed on 2/4/22

Instructions for Reviewers

We’re using Google Docs, set to allow comments via the links above. When you open the documents, you may see comments in the drafts that indicate areas where the authors would like particular feedback, or noting that they will be making future additions. Some formatting and citation adjustments still need to be made, along with the addition of discussion questions and other supporting materials; however, these drafts represent a close-to-final version of the content as we envision it being published. The book will receive professional copyediting from ACRL, so your time may be better spent focusing on content and substantive feedback rather than grammar and punctuation (but if that’s your thing, knock yourself out).

Anonymous review is permitted (log yourself out of Google!). Reviewers who wish to have their review acknowledged should sign their review with their preferred spelling. Critical feedback is welcome and appreciated; abusive or combative comments will be deleted and/or ignored. Be the reviewer you wish you had; help make this work the best it can be. For more information, please see this process overview and conduct expectations doc.

Thank you in advance to everyone who will take the time to share constructive ideas with us. We appreciate it!


We’re grateful for the opportunity to participate in the virtual portion of the CNI conference next week. Our session, Taking a Page from the Scholarly Communication Notebook to Transform LIS Education, was pre-recorded, and provides a brief (~16 minutes) introduction to the SCN; how we got here, the current state of affairs, and where we’re heading. We’re always interested in feedback and suggestions, so reach out any time. Enjoy!

CFP Round 3: Contribute to the Scholarly Communication Notebook (SCN)

We are pleased to announce our third (and final, from our current funding) 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.

Note: the SCN is distinct from, but related to, an open book project that we’re also pursuing. Learn more about the relationship and distinction, if you’re interested.

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 that is ready to be used in both a formal classroom setting and as a resource for self-guided learning. We are leaving space for a variety of approaches to 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. The following examples are results from our first CFP (Fall 2020):

But don’t let these examples limit your thinking! Creativity is welcome! The following hypothetical 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? Video/s? 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

Submit a proposal here. Proposals will be due by December 17, 2021. We hope to communicate acceptances in January 2022 with work to take place through May 2022 (we’ll work with accepted projects to agree on a timeline that makes sense, and remain as flexible as we can be along the way). In the first round, we accepted 10 proposals, and intend to do roughly the same in this round.

To view the entire proposal application as a Google Doc, click here. To use it as a template, click here to create your own editable template.

Please direct questions to Will Cross (, Josh Bolick (, or Maria Bonn (