Building an “Empowering, Collaborative, and Just Architecture for Learning” with the Scholarly Communication Notebook

We are thrilled to share the news that IMLS has funded our proposal for the Scholarly Communication Notebook (SCN), “the locus for an active, inclusive, empowered community of practice for teaching scholarly communications to emerging librarians.” We believe that this project is a natural outgrowth of our work over the past two years on LIS+OER as well as a way to more fully embody our values of openness and open-enabled pedagogy.

As we continue to develop an open textbook with ACRL, we have worked hard to continue to bring in diverse voices and perspectives – more on that front soon! – but we recognize that any static text is necessary hierarchical and limited. Throughout our work we have continued to wrestle with the question of how to introduce the diverse and transformative potential of scholarly communication. The most exciting aspects of the field aren’t just about open licenses and removing paywalls, they are about revisiting core questions about the purpose and value of scholarship, the relationship between teachers and students, and the ways we aspire to, but often fall short of, the values of equity and inclusion.

We hope that this project can open a door to the multiplicity of approaches and perspectives in the field as well as centering the dynamic and ongoing work of scholarly communication. To do this, we have borrowed an approach from Robin DeRosa and Rajiv Jhangiani’s Open Pedagogy Notebook. Like OPN, the Scholarly Communication Notebook will host community-designed examples of teaching and doing scholarly communication that we hope will be regularly refreshed by librarians from across the field as well as LIS faculty and students completing coursework on these topics.

Several faculty members have already agreed to pilot this resource and invite their students to do coursework that culminates in contributions that center their own voices and experiences. We’re also planning to offer financial support to three rounds of contributors with an eye to recruiting the stories and experiences of scholcommies from a broad range of institutions and intersectional identities, particularly emphasizing marginalized and underrepresented perspectives.

We’re really excited about this opportunity to use open pedagogy to build a more active and inclusive community around teaching and practicing scholarly communication. We hope that the open textbook can provide a foundation that, paired with the SCN, can offer what DeRosa and Jhangiani describe as an “empowering, collaborative, and just architecture for learning.”

You can read more about the project and see all of our proposal materials on our OSF site. We’re so excited to see this project move forward and hope you’ll consider sharing your own stories, methods, and experiences.

-Will, Maria, and Josh

Open Data Section Editor

We’re very excited to announce that Brianna Marshall is joining our effort to create an open textbook of scholarly communication librarianship, which is currently under advanced contract with ACRL, to be published in 2020. Brianna is the Director of Research Services at the University of California Riverside Libraries and Chair of the ACRL Digital Scholarship Section. She’s generously agreed to serve as the editor of the open data section, a role that she is incredibly qualified to fulfill. We’re excited to bring her considerable expertise, knowledge, and enthusiasm to the project and look forward to working together on creating the best possible resource to support teaching and learning scholarly communication topics, including open data. Brianna kindly authored a post about her involvement, which is shared below. If you see any of us, Josh Bolick, Maria Bonn, Will Cross, and Brianna at ACRL in Cleveland next week, please say “hi”!

Hi all! I am excited to share that I have been asked to step in as editor for the open data section of the forthcoming open textbook on Scholarly Communication.

Many thanks to Josh, Will, and Maria for inviting me to join this project. They’ve laid out a solid outline for the book and I’ve been working closely with them to think through the open data section. As the authors have shared, the end product will be an introductory text intended to be useful to anyone interested in learning about scholarly communication librarianship. Contributing to this vision presents a fun and interesting opportunity. As someone who lamented the dearth of these topics in the LIS curriculum while I was a graduate student, it’s exciting to think of the possible impact that this type of open resource could have. Admittedly, this means that the pressure’s on to create something useful!

As I’ve started to consider the open data section, I’m imagining that it will touch on topics like reproducibility and managing data for re-use, sharing and publishing data, understanding funder mandates, and talking points for working with researchers. To tap into the collective wisdom of librarians who work with open data, I’ll be putting out a call for practitioner-contributed perspectives; Josh, Will, and Maria will be also be soliciting case studies for the book in the summer and early fall. Keep an eye out for more on those calls. For now, I would love to hear your ideas on what to include in the open data section!

  • 1. If you are a current student, what are you most interested in learning about in relation to open data (or open research more broadly)?
  • 2. If you are an instructor, what do you want to make sure your students learn about as they head into the field?
  • 3. And if you are a practitioner, what do you wish you had learned about when you were in graduate school? What do you want to pass along to new librarians and information professionals?

Feel free to tweet me at @notsosternlib or send me a note at briannahmarshall [at] I look forward to hearing from you! -Brianna

Reflections on a Busy Fall

The OER+Scholcomm team has been busy this fall! In early October, Maria and Josh joined 900+ OER advocates at the Open Education Conference in Niagara Falls, NY (Will was unfortunately waylaid by the remnants of Hurricane Michael moving up through the Southeast). Josh gave a lightning talk on our LIS faculty research, and Maria and Josh led a session on lowering barriers to participation in OER creation by focusing on granularity: small-scale projects. Will attended OpenCon in Toronto a few weeks later where he led an active discussion on the hidden curriculum of scholarly communication, and then immediately joined Josh and Maria in South Carolina for The Charleston Conference, where we ate all the oysters led a full-day preconference and hosted a “lively discussion” session.

Rather than intense breakdowns and analysis of each event (you can read some excellent examples of that, from Lillian Rigling at Open Ed and from Monica Brown at OpenCon), we wanted to share a few reflections across the events:

  1. DEI and related critiques are on the minds of many, and for good reason. Jess Mitchell’s OE keynote was a fantastic example of this, calling out many of the excellent sessions by our peers that centered on social justice and critical reflection. Jess asked us to critically reflect on who we’re leaving behind or excluding, even as we’re celebrating our successes. OpenCon made these issues the central theme of the event, with amazing speakers, hands-on workshops, and so many opportunities to meet and talk with new people that the event left one open scientist literally speechless!
  2. Like minds; we heard from colleagues who are doing related or adjacent work to ours. Lots of folks are thinking about practitioner-driven training for librarians, particularly in emerging or otherwise under-addressed areas of LIS curricula, and the best ways of identifying and addressing the gaps. This is really exciting! We’re not thinking in a vacuum, but as part of a growing movement to be proactive in identifying curricular gaps and filling them as practitioners. Check out “Everything Nobody Taught You About Library Acquisitions Work” by Lindsay Cronk and Rachel Fleming (mega bonus points for playing Bikini Kill to warm up the crowd in Charleston). We can’t wait to see what grows out of these spaces and projects and to discover the opportunities to collaborate and support each other.
  3. Community-owned infrastructure; it’s increasingly obvious to many that openness entails more than “5R” permissions. Along with the recognition that issues of inclusion and equity are critical to openness, the open community is exploring how openness can be grounded in a decentralized practice and space that empowers all participants. Steel Wagstaff and Billy Meinke spoke about this at OpenEd18 in the context of student data and open education, citing Chris Gilliard’s call to recognize open as freedom from “surveillance, extraction, and monetization of data.” As open education wrestles with the rise of for-profit services built around OER and Elsevier is developing a business model as an analytics company, this vision of openness built on decentralization and digital inclusion is increasingly vital to supporting the agency and autonomy at the heart of open values. As Robin DeRosa observed in her recent keynote for “Making Knowledge Public,” at the 2018 President’s Dream Colloquium at Simon Fraser University:

“open is most centrally about designing infrastructure from the perspective of our publics. This is not about openly licensing any one particular artifact. This is not about saving students $100 on a textbook here or there. This is about taking a stand for an ecosystem powered by infrastructure that actively strengthens the public good [and creating] open ecosystems in government, data, science, research, education, and software that are contextual, tied to community need, and reflective of the diversity of the real people who depend on our universities to do good work and improve the condition of the world.”

As we continue our own work on open, we are excited to make the OER+ScholComm project not just an openly-licensed resource or collection of resources, but the locus of an active, inclusive, and empowered community of practice for teaching and transforming scholarly communication and related areas. We’ll be talking more about this project in the spring, but we have great aspirations for the project as a model for openness that reflects the values of inclusion, the diversity of our communit[ies] of practice, and as infrastructure that goes beyond any single author or publisher to empower everyone to control their identities and share their stories on their own terms.

Good luck wrapping up your fall/year. Reach out to us if you have comments/questions/feedback.

High fives to everyone – Maria, Will, and Josh

Big News!

A couple weeks ago, I teased on Twitter that we have some exciting news:

Now we’re at #OpenEd18, which is a great place to share:

The ACRL New Publications Advisory Board recently “enthusiastically” approved our proposal to publish the cornerstone of our collaboration: an open textbook of scholarly communication librarianship! ACRL Content Strategist Erin Nevius wrote sharing this news, adding:

The board loves the idea of a text of this type and the open ethos around its publication

We’re thrilled to be working with ACRL on this, and deeply grateful to  Erin and the Advisory Board for advancing this piece of the project to the next step. We’re working on a Memorandum of Agreement to nail down some specifics, and to create a plan of work to get it done, with a probable publication date in 2020 under the new working title: Scholarly Communication Librarianship and Open Culture: Law, Economics, and Publishing. We’ll share more details as we have them. In the meantime, thanks to the many many people who’ve participated in conversations up to this point!

LIS Faculty Research Materials

The following materials (pdf and .xlsx) relate to research conducted under IMLS Grant LG-72-17-0132-17. Specifically, these materials sought to understand the perceptions and practices of a key stakeholder group in our project: library and information science (LIS) faculty who teach library school students. ALISE Focus Groups were held at the ALISE Conference in Denver, CO in early February, 2018. Both surveys were conducted in Spring 2018.

  1. ALISE Focus Groups
    1. Focus Group Protocol
    2. Focus Group Transcripts
  2. Scholarly Communication Survey
    1. Instrument
    2. Raw Data (Excel)
    3. Qualtrics report
  3. Textbooks Survey
    1. Instrument
    2. Raw Data (Excel)
    3. Qualtrics report