Bibliodiversity and OER: A Student Perspective

We’re excited to be developing the  Scholarly Communication Notebook (SCN), 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 (coming along) and a disciplinary and course community for inclusively sharing models and practices. We’re currently working with ISKME to establish the SCN as an OER Commons Hub, coming soon. With generous support from IMLS, we’re pleased to be able to financially support the development of model resources for the SCN. Last fall we issued a CFP (the first of three) for projects to support the initial population of the SCN, and we’re starting to see those projects come to fruition. Here, we’re excited to share the first of a series of posts about those projects. This one, by MLIS student Allison Kittinger, is about a great bibliodiversity project that she and Jennifer Solomon created. It’s fantastic to see a collaborative project like this between a student with an interest in SC and an instructor/practitioner like Jennifer; it’s a great example of the sort of thing we’re hoping to see more of in the future! Kudos to both of them! Look for additional posts over the coming months, along with the second of three calls for proposals soon. Here’s Allison introducing their project:

Although I worked in academic publishing for two years, I first learned about the concept of bibliodiversity in Jennifer Solomon’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Open Access class as a library science master’s student at UNC-Chapel Hill. One of our assigned readings was Shearer et al.’s “Fostering Bibliodiversity in Scholarly Communications: A Call for Action!” (2020), which describes bibliodiversity as “Diversity in services and platforms, funding mechanisms, and evaluation measures” allowing “the  scholarly communication system to accommodate the  different workflows, languages, publication outputs, and research topics that support the needs and epistemic pluralism of different research communities.” The course opened my eyes to the importance of critical perspectives on open access, and I started seeing the concept of bibliodiversity crop up more and more, both explicitly and implicitly, in conversations around open access and scholarly communications. I decided I wanted to be a part of that conversation, to lend a student voice and advance bibliodiversity in my own work.

I began this work at North Carolina State University’s Copyright and Digital Scholarship Center, where I have worked as a graduate student assistant. I co-researched and -wrote a sort of white paper entitled “A Response to the Call for Bibliodiversity: Language, Translation, and Communicated Scholarship” (2020) with my supervisor, Micah Vandegrift. After finishing the paper, I knew I wanted to continue down this path. I feel as though not enough library science students – even students interested in scholarly communications – know the foundations of this important concept. As an early-career scholarly communications professional myself, I want to effect positive change towards more inclusive scholarly publishing systems, and I think bibliodiversity is a crucial part of that work.

I was looking for the next opportunity when I came across the Scholarly Communication Notebook call for proposals for open educational resources. Creating an open educational resource about bibliodiversity for library students like me and early-career librarians appealed to me because I feel strongly that bibliodiversity should be a topic in all scholarly communications classes, and I want to facilitate that. In addition, I had some experience creating an OER already, so I felt prepared to take on this level of work and commitment.

Of course, I immediately thought of Jennifer as a potential collaborator when I read the Scholarly Communication Notebook application. She agreed to work with me, and we drafted the application and the resource together. Having her perspective and experience to inform the resource was invaluable.

Going through this OER development process taught me quite a bit. In incorporating material into the OER, I learned about various bibliodiversity strategies that I hadn’t before considered. I also thought a lot about OER development and the types of conversations I wanted the OER to spark, as well as the perspective of people learning about this concept for the first time. I thought about my own learning journey and wove that perspective into the OER alongside Jennifer’s pedagogical and professional expertise.

Overall, Jennifer and I had a blast creating this OER. Working together on something we are both passionate about was enjoyable and even felt hopeful. My own hope is that this resource can provide an accessible entry point into conversations around bibliodiversity and multilingualism in scholarly communications for students and early-career scholarly communications professionals like me.

About the Author

Allison Kittinger is a Master of Science in Library Science student at UNC-Chapel Hill. She co-developed the OER Introduction to Bibliodiversity in Scholarly Communications with Jennifer Solomon for the Scholarly Communication Notebook.

CFP: Contributions to the Scholarly Communication Notebook

We are pleased to announce a 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.

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 of objects that is ready to be used in both a formal classroom setting and as a resource for self-guided learning. For the first of three rounds, we are leaving space for a variety of approaches to the 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. These 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? A video? 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

Review of proposals will begin on October 20, 2020 and continue throughout the fall until awarded proposals are selected. Work on selected proposals will be conducted in the late fall and early winter, with specific deliverable due dates determined among SCN leads and awarded proposal authors according to needs of project.

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.

Meet Jenna!

We’re excited to introduce you to our colleague, Jenna Strawbridge, who’s been doing incredible work developing the Scholarly Communication Notebook (SCN). You’re going to be hearing more from Jenna, her great work, and the SCN soon, but for now we asked her to write a short introduction. Help us welcome Jenna!

Jenna standing in front of triceritops skeleton.

Hello! I joined the Scholarly Communication Notebook initiative in February 2020 as a graduate research assistant. My interest in the SCN platform, including the behind-the-scenes technological and metadata wonders, stems from my background in museum collections and higher education. After getting my BA degree in anthropology from the University of Texas in 2011, I sought an MS degree in evolutionary anthropology with a graduate certificate in museum studies from the University of New Mexico. While at UNM, I taught undergraduate laboratory courses in human evolution which really sparked my interest in teaching. I spent about 7 years on-and-off in the museum and archives field with the Texas Historical Commission’s Curatorial Facility for Artifact Research, Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, Albuquerque Museum of Art & History, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, Western Archeological & Conservation Center, and the University of Arizona’s Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research. I was most interested in records management related to archaeological and natural history museum collections.

In 2018, I started my MLIS degree from the University of South Carolina and just recently graduated. I worked for one year as a librarian at Morton College, a small community college outside of Chicago in 2019, and began working in technical services at Duke University in early 2020. When I saw the job listing pop up to work with the SCN team, I knew this would be a great opportunity to meld together some of my previous museum collections and data management experience as well as my newly acquired library technical skills and personal interest in open education, pedagogy, and the entire research process.

I’m looking forward to getting to know the OER and scholarly communication communities better!

Jenna’s CV

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