Priorities in Open Scholarship: Researchers (Featured Panel)

By Tully Barnett1, Susan Brown2, Constance Crompton3, Inba Kehoe4, Amanda Lawrence5, Deb Verhoeven6

1. Flinders University 2. University of Guelph 3. University of Ottawa 4. University of Victoria 5. Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology 6. University of Alberta

Barnett, Tully (Flinders U), “The page and its digital facsimiles: using creative workshops to explore the conceptual architecture of digital textual infrastructure”

Digitization continues to be a source of challenge and opportunity…

Listed in Presentation | publication by group Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE)

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Barnett, Tully (Flinders U), “The page and its digital facsimiles: using creative workshops to explore the conceptual architecture of digital textual infrastructure”

Digitization continues to be a source of challenge and opportunity in equal measure for the caretakers of cultural artefacts, often in the Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) sector, as well as for the community of users for whom access can be complicated by a range of factors. One of these factors is the lack of a conceptual architecture for articulating the specificities of the experience of interacting with digital objects and their relationship to their material doppelgangers. To better understand how the concepts of material and digital textuality circulate in complicated ways in the digital age, this paper reports on a series of hands on, creative workshops I have devised that enable participants to print a page, build a zine, digitize the material text and then house the work in a raspberry-pi library in publicly-accessible locations. The workshops step participants through the processes of material and digital text-making and thereby render visible the connections between the material object and the digital object that get extruded through the decisions that individuals, communities and institutions make about their textual infrastructures.

Brown, Susan (U Guelph), “The Evolution of a Linked Data Ecosystem in Canada”

This paper emerges from the LINCS cyberinfrastructure project, the Linked Infrastructure for Networked Cultural Scholarship, that is converting a wide range of existing datasets to linked data, as well as creating the conditions by which that data can be used and more data converted or created to interact with it. However, LINCS as a linked open data project is one part of a larger emerging ecosystem of linked data infrastructure both in Canada and internationally. This paper opens a discussion of the needs of this component of open social scholarship by walking through three evolving version of a diagram envisioning what such an ecosystem for cultural and other related scholarship might look like. Briefly reflecting on the use of the term “ecosystem” in the literature surrounding (digital research) infrastructure, I will use the diagram to lead into a discussion of how we can move towards such an ecosystem in Canada, what we can learn from other countries such as Australia about this kind of work, and where the most significant gaps and challenges lie.

Crompton, Connie (U Ottawa), “Renewing Older Media and Older Politics: The Sociality of Making Scholarship Open”

Kehoe, Inba (UVic), “Open Scholarship and its impact on Higher Education”

Scholars who engage in open scholarship practices do it in order to “broaden knowledge and reduce barriers to access to knowledge and information.” My role at UVic Libraries is to support researchers throughout the research and teaching lifecycle and this may include the following activities: Facilitate the sharing, as openly as possible, and preservation of the university’s scholarly output, including research publications, research data and related computer code, student digital scholarship, and open course materials. This may also include the creation of open access publications and author rights consultations. One of the biggest barriers to engaging in open scholarly practices are institutional tenure and promotion policies.

Lawrence, Amanda (RMIT), “Multisector Research Publishing in a Multicentric Policymaking Ecosystem”

Policymaking is a complex multicentric process involving a range of actors, institutions, networks, ideas and contexts (Cairney et al. 2019). This view of public policy also provides a framework for studying the role of research and research publishing in the public sphere, as part of the interactive, intersecting, co-production of policy problems, conditions and solutions across multiple sectors of society over time and space. Societies around the world make a considerable investment in research and development. According to UNESCO figures, global spending on R&D reached a record high of almost US$ 1.7 trillion in 2019. By sector, in the 2017-18 period, businesses in Australia spent over AUD$17 billion on R&D, higher education AUD$11 billion, government AUD$3 billion and the private non-profit sector over AUD$1 billion. From this investment in research we can expect to see some level of research communication and knowledge transfer, primarily via the production of research publications, but also through datasets and other formats, training and education, technologies and processes. While organisations in all four sectors of the innovation system are active producers and publishers of research, the nature of this publishing economy is often overlooked in discussions of the scholarly communication system. By producing their own publications and by publishing directly on their own websites, organisations across government, education, civil society and commercial sectors are able to customise, tailor and target their publications to audience, client and funder needs, creating alternative communication channels and cross-sectoral networks that operate alongside commercial and non-commercial academic publishing models. In this presentation I will outline some of the key aspects of the multisector research publishing economy and how it intersects with and contributes to open scholarship and a multicentric policymaking ecosystem.

Verhoeven, Deb (U Alberta), “Scholarship in a Clopen World”

The global COVID-19 pandemic has, without a doubt, reshaped our perception of the value of closure and openness. Here in Melbourne, the city that locked down the longest, we are emerging into a state of what has been called clopen* which means both/neither open and/nor closed. I want to take this opportunity to consider for a moment what scholarship in a clopen world feels like and how it might inform a different perspective of open scholarship initiatives. I have spoken previously about how open scholarship and open data are best understood, not in terms of the attributes of the data or scholarship itself, but rather in terms of processes of opening. For my mind, open scholarship is scholarship that creates the conditions for openness: that enables us to be open to whatever we are not, that opens us to being challenged, and most importantly to change. Creating checklists of attributes that characterise “open scholarship” is especially unhelpful and plays to a performative, neo-liberal culture of comparative metrics. Innovation startups, universities, research funding agencies, paywalling publishers, open science initiatives like the FAIR consortium and so on, use the language of openness but in reality reiterate longstanding closures. Perhaps we could rather see them as “clopen” – just open enough to disguise an underlying resistance to fundamental change. Alternatively, how might clopenness offer insights into the ways academic infrastructures (as iterations of patriarchy/capitalism/neo-liberalism) apply an “openness penalty” that works to obstruct new players (minorities) from entering?

*clopen has also meant different things at different times and in different contexts but is typically a reference to the overlapping of openings and closings.



This featured panel was part of Putting Open Social Scholarship Into Practice, an Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) Partnership Gathering held online from December 8-10, 2021. The session was chaired by Clare Appavoo (Canadian Research Knowledge Network).

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