Volume 3, Number 1, 2019
Methodologies of Understanding and Enacting Open Scholarship
Guest-edited by J. Matthew Huculak
Beyond Open: Implementing Social Scholarship
Guest-edited by Alyssa Arbuckle, Luis Meneses and Raymond G. Siemens
Implicit in the notion of understanding and enacting open social scholarship is that there is something broken with the current model of scholarly communication. This introduction outlines issues in the current models of academic publication while the essays explore potential futures in the academic publishing industry.
On January 10–11 2018 the Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) Partnership held Beyond Open: Implementing Social Scholarship, a gathering that brought ~60 researchers, students, librarians, and academic-aligned groups together on the topics of scholarly communication, open access, and community engagement. This special issue is a snapshot of the event proceedings, organized around open social scholarship theory, infrastructure, and projects. Wide-ranging in content, the authors included here all come together under the banner of imagining more social, community-minded applications for academic work.
Digital games have the tools and capacity to build interactive worlds that can both share knowledge and decolonize. Even though games have been accused of reinforcing white supremacist systems that tend to privilege profit over humanity, digital games by Indigenous and Indigenist artists and scholars provide evidence that games have the tools to facilitate decolonization. Along these lines, this paper is an exploration of how digital games can help to decolonize and reframe how Indigenous literature is read in the postsecondary classroom, specifically academic editions of Indigenous literatures.
This paper proposes to answer several questions that arise from the actions of American scientists between 1840 and 1890. How did the broader organization of science in the late nineteenth century create a system of professional disciplines? Why did the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) form, and why did specialized societies like the American Chemical Society (ACS) later found an organization separate from the AAAS? Why did these professional societies create journals, and how did these journals help to communicate science? This paper combines both quantitative textual analysis and qualitative historical and sociological methods within the context of nineteenth-century American science. It is hoped that by broadening the methods used, and by better understanding the early deliberations of scientists before there was a formal scholarly communication system, it may be possible to contextualize current debates about the need for changes in the scholarly communication system.
Game design communities often come together during ‘Game Jams,’ open social events in which game makers creatively respond to a design provocation by generating numerous prototypes over a short period of time. Such prototypes are often discussed between participants at the end of the event, then shared with a larger public audience. This fruitful process, which encourages collaborative sharing rather than competition between participants, differs in purpose, structure and outcome from many existing models of academic scholarship and scholarly communication. Inspired by the potential of such events, this paper argues that the game jam paradigm, and more generally, ‘spaces apart,’ can be effectively adopted, adapted, and repurposed to facilitate a broader social generation and dissemination of research creation prototypes, modelling an alternative kind of scholarly making in the humanities that runs parallel to, and is as equally valued and valid as, existing publication models.
This article interrogates how digital text annotation tools and projects facilitate online engagement and virtual communities of practice. With the rise of the Web 2.0 movement and the proliferation of digital resources, annotation has evolved from an isolated practice to a collaborative one. This article unpacks the impact of this shift by providing an in-depth discussion of five web-based tools and two social reading projects. This article examines issues of design, usability, and applicability to pedagogical intervention as well as underscores how productive group dynamics can be fostered through digital, social annotation.
Standardization both reflects and facilitates the collaborative and networked approach to metadata creation within the fields of librarianship and archival studies. These standards—such as Resource Description and Access and Rules for Archival Description—and the theoretical frameworks they embody enable professionals to work more effectively together. Yet such guidelines also determine who is qualified to undertake the work of cataloging and processing in libraries and archives. Both fields are empathetic to facilitating user-generated metadata and have taken steps towards collaborating with their research communities (as illustrated, for example, by social tagging and folksonomies) but these initial experiments cannot yet be regarded as widely adopted and radically open and social. This paper explores the recent histories of descriptive work in libraries and archives and the challenges involved in departing from deeply established models of metadata creation.
University-industry partnerships are common in the Sciences, but less so in the Humanities. As a result, there is little understanding of how they work in the Humanities. Using the Implementing New Knowledge Environments: Networked Open Social Scholarship (INKE:NOSS) initiative as a case study, this paper contributes to this discussion by examining the nature of the university-industry partnership with libraries and academic-adjacent organizations, and associated benefits, challenges, measures of success, and outcomes. Interviews were conducted with the collaboration’s industry partners. After several years of collaboration on the development of a grant application, industry partners have found the experience of working with academics to be a positive one overall. Industry partners are contributing primarily in-kind resources in the form of staff time, travel to meetings, and reading and commenting on documents. They have also been able to realize benefits while negotiating the challenges. Using qualitative standards, measures of success and desired outcomes are being articulated. This work developing the partnership should stand the larger INKE:NOSS team in good stead if they are successful with securing grant funding.
This essay responds to a challenge of the INKE 2018 gathering: To highlight activities that focus on the engagement and implementation of networked open social scholarship. One response to this challenge is to distribute scholarly communication as storytelling through multiple digital media channels. The author participated in an international, multidisciplinary fellowship focused on how to implement such an undertaking. This narrative describes the collaborative efforts, presentations, and practices that emerged from this open, social scholarship endeavor.
Advocates of the Open Access (OA) movement have been fighting for free and unfettered access to research output since the early 1990s. Open access is a crucial element of a fair, efficient scholarly communication system where all are able to find, interpret, and use the results of publicly-funded research. Universal open access is more possible now than ever before, thanks to networked technologies and the development of open scholarship policies. But what happens after access to research is provided? In this paper I argue that versioning scholarship across varying modes and formats would move scholarly communication from a straightforward open access system to a more engaging environment for multiple communities.
In this paper we describe our current efforts towards building a framework that extends the functionality of an Open Access Repository by implementing processes to incorporate the ongoing trends in social media into the context of a digital collection. We refer to these processes collectively as the Social Media Engine. The purpose of our framework is twofold: first, we propose to challenge some of the preconceived notions of digital libraries by making repositories more dynamic; and second, by challenging this notion we want to promote public engagement and open scholarship. As a work in progress, we believe that a real challenge lies in investigating the implications that these two points introduce within the context of the humanities.
The historiography of gay liberation publishing offers much to the digital humanities, especially if read through Peter Stallybrass’ argument that ‘reading is a technology of inventorying information to make it reusable.’ He suggests ‘commonplacing’ to make clear that every individual’s thoughts are informed by others’ voices. This paper asks how we might best go about this commonplacing work using linked data, building on the DIY practices of gay liberationists.
In this paper we report on the experience of two research projects that intended to experiment with crowdsourcing models for opening up their scholarly materials to the wider public. Both the Howitt & Fison project, and Mapping Print;Charting Enlightenment were designed to take into consideration particularities of the Australian academic environment: in the former case, sensitivities around materials relating to First Peoples; in both cases, geographical distance from potentially interested communities, and the difficulties of formal recognition and categorisation of time spent on activities that lie at the intersection of research and outreach. They had similar challenges in terms of needing to process a large amount of data before analysis and progress towards the projects’ main research goals could begin. They also had similar goals in terms of eventual use of the project data, for example, making historical texts available online, and producing maps, networks, timelines and digital exhibitions of images and texts. In the end, one project has found crowdsourcing invaluable for building connections with interested publics the other discovered that crowdsourcing was not necessary to produce the results the project needed, and has moved away from this to focus its efforts instead on the linking of existing data and automation of structuring and categorisation. This paper discusses how the projects came to take these different directions, and how the above-mentioned Australian contexts contributed to their evolution.
This annotated bibliography responds to and contextualizes the growing ‘Open’ movements and recent institutional reorientation towards social, public-facing scholarship. The aim of this document is to present a working definition of open social scholarship through the aggregation and summation of critical resources in the field. Our work surveys foundational publications, innovative research projects, and global organizations that enact the theories and practices of open social scholarship. The bibliography builds on the knowledge creation principles outlined in previous research by broadening the focus beyond conventional academic spaces and reinvigorating central, defining themes with recently published research.
The digital humanities (DH) has a long and successful history of creating, using, and maintaining DH centres, as evidenced by the vast centerNet network. Furthermore, some of the most successful centres are constantly evolving in form and function. In this paper, we propose that the next phase in the evolution of the DH centre may involve a related phenomenon from the design research community, called the ‘Living Lab.’ The European Network of Living Labs describes them as dedicated to open forms of design for social good: ‘Living Labs (LLs) are defined as user-centred, open innovation ecosystems based on a systematic user co-creation approach, integrating research and innovation processes in real-life communities and settings.’ Current member labs deal with topics ranging from health and well-being (52%) to mobility (14%), but there are few that focus on issues central to DH, such as open social scholarship. We argue that incorporating more DH into the Living Labs network, and more Living Labs into DH centres, would benefit everyone involved. Specifically, DH labs could benefit from Living Labs’ experience with complex problems, and Living Labs could benefit from DH centres’ experience producing research.
How does open access relate to scholarly communication? Though there are many modern definitions stressing the accessibility of knowledge to everyone, sharing scientific knowledge has a much longer history. What might the concept of ‘open access’ have meant to scientists and knowledge practitioners over the past several hundred years? This paper poses some relevant questions and calls for better historicization of the idea of the knowledge commons at different periods of time, particularly the era of the ‘Republic of Letters’ and the ‘Modern System of Science.’ The concept of open access as it relates to academic publishing has been very nuanced, and hopefully, understanding the history of ‘open access’ in relation to scholarly communication can help us to have more informed debates about where open access needs to go in the future.
In September 2016, members of the Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) Partnership—a broad, diverse group working to advance understanding of, and resolve critical issues in, the production, distribution and widespread engagement of digital scholarship in Canada and beyond—met to discuss future directions and focus areas. One of the resulting initiatives is the Open Scholarship Policy Observatory. The Open Scholarship Policy Observatory tracks national and international policies and policy changes in order to assist INKE partners with developing timely and responsive policies. This paper describes the development of the initiative, and reports on the initial impacts the project has had to date.
Given the current state of digital technology, there is a clear opportunity to revamp scholarly communication into a multi-faceted, open system that integrates and takes advantage of the near-ubiquitous global network. In doing so, the values of collaboration, sharing, and transparency inherent to open social scholarship can be integrated into knowledge dissemination methods. The Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) community is currently organized around the idea of open social scholarship, but putting this into practice will involve assessing and revising INKE’s own scholarly communication processes. In this paper, we explore the current state of open access to academic research and ruminate on next steps, beyond open access. We consider the role of collaboration in contemporary academic practice, and the importance of transparency in regards to multiplayer work. Further, we examine the standard scholarly communication model, especially as it pertains to INKE. Finally, we make recommendations and suggest alternatives for transforming our stock scholarly communication models into open social scholarship practices.
Geospatial humanities projects rely on information found in gazetteers to supply the infrastructure for projects. However, a majority of spatial gazetteers provide place names and geographical coordinates but lack contextualizing information that give meaning to a place, making them insufficient resources for humanities inquiry. In this article, I explore contemporary approaches to data collection and models for cultural gazetteers set forth by early modern chorographical traditions to lay the foundation for building community-driven, open cultural gazetteers. Concurrently, the role of the public in providing Volunteered Geographical Information (VGI) by harnessing user-friendly tools is explored.
Social knowledge creation, citizen scholarship, interdisciplinary collaborations, and university-community partnerships have become more common and more visible in contemporary academia. The Electronic Textual Cultures Lab (ETCL) currently focuses on how to engage with such transformations in knowledge creation. In this paper we survey the intellectual foundation of social knowledge creation and major initiatives undertaken to pursue and enact this research in the ETCL. “Social Knowledge Creation: Three Annotated Bibliographies” (Arbuckle, Belojevic, Hiebert, Siemens, et al. 2014), and an updated iteration, “An Annotated Bibliography on Social Knowledge Creation,” (Arbuckle, El Hajj, El Khatib, Seatter, Siemens, et al, 2017), explore how academics collaborate to create knowledge, and how social knowledge creation can bridge the real or perceived gap between the academy and the public. This knowledgebase lays the foundation for the “Open Social Scholarship Annotated Bibliography” (El Hajj, El Khatib, Leibel, Seatter, et al. 2019), which draws on research that adopts and propagates social knowledge creation ideals and explores trends such as accessible research development and dissemination. Using these annotated bibliographies as a theoretical foundation for action, the ETCL began test-driving open social scholarship initiatives with the launch of the Open Knowledge Practicum (OKP). The OKP invites members of the community and the university to pursue their own research in the ETCL. Research output is published in open, public venues. Overall, we aim to acknowledge the expanding, social nature of knowledge production, and to detail how the ETCL utilizes in-person interaction and the digital medium to facilitate open social scholarship.
Much of our scholarly thinking of the ‘social’ in digital editing has been with respect to the human processes of building an archive or an edition. This paper explores the idea of the ‘social’ with respect to the archive’s materials themselves. Taking the John Donne Society’s Digital Prose archive as a test case, this paper explores the infrastructure and resources available for creating an open ‘sociable’ knowledge network of linked bibliographic resources.
In academic contexts, digital games are often studied as texts or are used as pedagogical tools to teach basic concepts in early education situations. Less usefully, their systems and economies are often co-opted and decontextualized in short-sighted attempts to “gamify” various aspects of learning or training. However, given that games are highly controlled, conditional, choice-and-consequence-based, problem-solving environments in which players are expected to interact with simulated settings and elements after agreeing to take on particular roles and subject positions, there are promising potential uses of these experiences in academic contexts that have not been fully considered. Motivated by the imperative to explore alternative modes and methods of scholarly research and communication, and guided by the values of open social scholarship practices, this paper reconsiders games not as things to study, but as instruments to study with. Given that games can function as simulations, models, arguments and creative collaboratories, game-based inquiry can be used as a potential method of post-secondary and post-graduate humanities research and scholarly communication. While these ideas have been explored in a preliminary way in relation to a number of different academic disciplines (Donchin 1995; Boot 2015; Mitgutsch and Weise 2011; Westecott 2011) this paper is meant to catalyse a humanities-calibrated consideration of the pragmatics and potentials of game-based research, games as instances of critical making and scholarly communication, and more complex forms of game-based learning than those currently practiced. A number of examples that make use of the open source Twine platform will be featured.
In this paper I discuss the adoption of artistic research creation methodologies, the creation and exhibition of artistic works closely aligned with scholarly research, as a way to increase public engagement with academic research. I begin by discussing the need for scholars to consider the ‘public first’ when developing research communication plans, and draw upon the emergence of ‘mobile first’ interface design as a metaphor. With mobile first development, also known as progressive enhancement, ‘You start by establishing a basic level of user experience that all browsers will be able to provide when rendering your web site,’ but you also build in more advanced functionality that will automatically be available to devices, such as desktop computers (W3C 2015). I argue that we need to prioritize public first research outputs if we are truly serious about engaging the public in our research. I then move into a discussion of various research creation methodologies and explain how they are similar to, and differ from, critical making, another emergent humanities research practice that is based upon the making of physical objects. Finally I provide examples of successful research creation activities, including some related to my current SSHRC-funded project, The Post-Digital Book Arts.
Many academic teams and granting agencies undergo a process of reflection at the completion of research projects to understand lessons learned and develop best practice guidelines. Generally completed at the project’s end, these reviews focus on the actual research work accomplished with little discussion of the work relationships and process involved. As a result, some hard-earned lessons are forgotten or minimized through the passage of time. Additional learning about the nature of collaboration may be gained if this type of reflection occurs during the project’s life. Building on earlier examinations of INKE, this paper contributes to that discussion with an exploration of seventh and final year of a large-scale research project.
Implementing New Knowledge Environment (INKE) serves as a case study for this research. Members of the administrative team, researchers, postdoctoral fellows, graduate research assistants, and others are asked about their experiences collaborating within INKE on an annual basis in order to understand the nature of collaboration and ways that it may change over the life of a long-term grant. Interviewees continue to outline benefits for collaboration within INKE while admitting that there continue to be challenges. They also outline several lessons learned which will be applied to the next project.
This article details corrections to the article: Ulinskas, M., 2018. The Terezita Romo Papers: Capturing the Spirit of Collective Action in Archives. KULA: knowledge creation, dissemination, and preservation studies, 2(1), p. 4. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/kula.22