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!

New to the SCN: Equity and Consent in Open Education

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 our first CFP (fall 2020). A second CFP was issued in May ‘21 (closed in early July), and a third call will be issued toward the end of 2021.

Today we’re excited to share “Equity and Consent in Open Education” (available in the SCN OER Commons Hub as well as in Google Drive), by Natalie Hill and Jessica Dai. Natalie and Jessica created case studies and teaching materials that ask participants to consider how our advocacy for OER and related open practices might have disparate impacts, particularly on those with less intersectional power and privilege. Here’s Natalie and Jessica to introduce their content:

“Equity and Consent in Open Education” aims to foster culturally responsive and equity-minded LIS professionals who are better equipped to engage in open education with students, scholars, and community members from historically underrepresented backgrounds and/or with marginalized identities. The lesson plan includes a slide deck, three case studies, and discussion questions to guide students toward equity-centered practices. Though originally developed for graduate Library and Information Science (LIS) students, the lesson plan can and should be adapted for different audiences and contexts.

Openness is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Though many open practitioners discuss and leverage open education as a means of democratizing education and information access, we must remember that learners and scholars face harm when we adopt openness with a paternalistic mindset. Working in the open is not without its risks, and these risks manifest differently for individuals based on their identities, background, and status. Keeping this reality in mind, LIS professionals need to leverage feminist and critical pedagogical frameworks to build informed consent into our open educational practices to best serve all of our communities, especially the communities that have historically been excluded out of participation. With this contribution to the Scholarly Communication Notebook, we hope that LIS instructors center equity and consent earlier with their students, so they are better equipped to navigate these situations as practitioners.

We intentionally selected openly published pieces—and where possible—we selected pieces written by scholars of color. As a framework for thinking about social justice in open education, Lambert’s (2018) article asks us to integrate the three principles of redistributive justice, recognitive justice, and representational justice into our open educational practices. Open education is not just about saving students money (redistributive justice) and we must reckon with ways to prioritize the inclusion of experiences of marginalized groups in our educational materials (recognitive justice), especially as told by members of those marginalized groups (representational justice). Bali‘s (2020) chapter challenges readers to think beyond paternalistic and colonial mindsets that frame open education through technical concerns around licenses and permissions rather than as an endeavor to improve the human experience. Though an OER may have remixing and revising permissions, what happens when abled educators continue to claim social justice as a value without taking the appropriate steps to make their OER accessible? Belarde-Lewis (Zuni/Tlingit) and Kostelecky’s (Zuni Pueblo) 2021 chapter use tribal critical race theory (TribCrit) to challenge information practices that historically and currently exclude Native and Indigenous ways of knowing. The authors use selected tenets of TribCrit such as “Colonization is endemic to society” and “Indigenous people have a desire to obtain and forge tribal sovereignty, tribal autonomy, self-determination, and self-identification” to analyze three Zuni projects. Orozco’s (2020) book chapter offers a practical example of applying informed open pedagogy in an eight week credit-bearing library course. As students collaboratively create a zine for their final project, they encounter and reflect on their engagement with all six frames in the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. All of these pieces have shaped the development of this lesson plan, so we thank all of the authors for pushing the conversations about what it means to be educators and library practitioners working to make libraries the social justice institution we claim it to be.

In alignment with open educational principles, we encourage instructors to modify Equity and Consent in Open Education to local and instructional contexts. We ask that you engage with any changes to this lesson in the same way we are asking students to engage, i.e. with critical, ethical, and equity-informed lenses.

About the Authors

Natalie Hill is an Instructional Designer with the University of New England. She is dedicated to open education advocacy and increasing representation of historically underrepresented groups in teaching, learning, and research materials. Most recently, she served as the Open Education Librarian with the University of Texas Libraries. She holds an MLIS from Drexel University and a BA in Literary Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas. Find Natalie @ChillNatalie on Twitter.

Jessica Dai (she/her) is the Equity and Open Education Librarian at West Virginia University. She has an MLIS from the University of South Carolina, an MA in Communication Studies from West Virginia University, and a BA in English from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. Her professional interests include anti-oppression in LIS, open education, feminist and critical pedagogies, and the intersections in between. Find Jessica @ralphratheriled on Twitter.

Create #LISOER with us in Charleston!

TL;DR We’re doing a full-day granular OER design/create workshop in Charleston in November and we’d love to see you there! Register here.

In early 2018 we presented a workshop at The Library Collective (an excellent, affordable, fun, and participant-centered conference, btw) titled Soup from a Stone: Collective Development of OER that Welcome Underrepresented Voices to Scholarly Communication. In short, we proposed to increase practitioner perspectives in LIS instruction (focusing on scholcomm topics, but not to the exclusion of other areas/emphases) by facilitating practitioner creation of open learning objects that share a skill, knowledge, or practice that we need our future colleagues to know. We used a modified version of the Open Canvas, which is part of Mozilla Working Open Workshops, as a way to scope/design a lesson plan, video, game, or anything participants might conceive as a tool for teaching and learning. In addition to creation time, we talked about Creative Commons licensing and brainstormed places to put creations where they’d be discoverable.

It was a great session and well attended, and participants were enthusiastic, but we realized that this kind of workshop would work better in a longer format. So we’re really excited to try that longer format in Charleston as a day-long preconference in early November, titled “Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom: Planting Local Open Educational Resources that Will Spring Up Across the Field” (conference themes amiright?).

Here’s the description:

Open education has emerged as a powerful movement for reducing costs and improving student success. As a community, however, academics have only begun to scratch the surface of the potential for open education to transform the way we share knowledge. By empowering librarians, students, presses, and practitioners to share their expertise and experience, OER can shine a light on underrepresented voices and share cutting edge practices in new and exciting ways.

Building on our current IMLS-funded work (LG-72-17-0132-17) on collaborative creation of OER for teaching issues in scholarly communication, this hands-on workshop will prepare you to design an open learning object like a video, lesson plan, game, or hack, that shares your own story and expertise.

As librarians with significant experience with open education, copyright, and publishing, we will lay a brief foundation for the work with a general overview of open pedagogy with an emphasis on the concept of renewable assignments, and then devote most of the time to working collectively to develop the materials. Using a modified Open Canvas, attendees will design a roadmap for understanding and solving a problem in their field and create a resource that improves practice and reflects the unique value they bring to the field. Finally, we will end the session by working together to openly license and deposit the community-generated OER in an appropriate repository such as MERLOT or OER Commons. You will leave with an openly-licensed educational resource that demonstrates your own creativity and expresses an aspect of scholarly communication from your own perspective. In addition, you will deepen their understanding of OER and open pedagogy as well as your skills in using Creative Commons licenses to openly share their work.

If you’re attending Charleston and that sounds interesting, consider attending? You can register here; note that early bird registration has been extended to Friday September 28 due to Hurricane Florence (all 3 of us are either Carolina natives or lived there at some point, so we’re watching the storm closely and with concern for our friends, families, colleagues, and all the folks in the region who may be impacted).

-Will, Maria, and Josh