Open Scholarship Press Collections: Community/Introduction

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Creating Open Scholarship With & Across Communities[edit | edit source]

Alyssa Arbuckle (UVic)

The emergence and evolution of open, digital scholarship has shone a light on the possibilities for academic work beyond the real or perceived boundaries of postsecondary institutions. Academic research can now be produced, published, and shared in a way that extends past the hallowed halls of a long-established university or the compact shelves of that university’s library. The Open Access movement has been pivotal for the largescale reconsideration of who does and who should have access to the world’s research. Community-university partnerships and concerted knowledge translation and mobilization efforts have also formalized efforts to bring various publics together around issues of shared interest. The evolution of open access to open scholarship to open social scholarship is also representative of changing notions around the purpose and possibility of academic work.

This Open Scholarship Press Community research scan draws together recent thinking and writing on these topics. By no means complete, this scan represents a snapshot of resources relevant to the aims of the Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) Partnership Community cluster. The research scan, made up of nearly 300 individual annotations, is divided into three core themes: Public & Community Engagement, Open Social Scholarship, and Scholarly Communication, each of which is subsequently divided into relevant sub-sections. Some resources are relevant for more than one sub-section, and the citations for these resources have been duplicated where appropriate and marked with F, as well as an indication of the previous sub-section in which the full annotation may be found. Many annotations represent original research, formally published in this scan for the first time. Other annotations are drawn from previous annotated bibliographies and research scans compiled by members of the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab (ETCL). Entries drawn from “Open Social Scholarship Annotated Bibliography” (El Khatib et al. 2019) are marked with +.[1] Entries drawn from “An Annotated Bibliography of Social Knowledge Creation” (Arbuckle et al. 2017) are identified with †.[2] Unpublished annotations originally developed by Vitor Yano or Anna Honcharova through Mitacs Globalink internships in the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab (2018–2019) are marked by *; unpublished annotations developed by Alan Colín-Arce during his 2021 Mitacs Globalink internship in the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab are noted with Δ. Annotations concurrently published in the Open Scholarship Press Connection Collection and written by Graham Jensen are signaled by Ω; those in the Policy Collection written by Caroline Winter and Jesse Kern are noted by Ψ.

Long equated with such exclusionary metaphors as the ivory tower or the walled garden, academia is now considered to be a space for more inclusive and community-engaged work—at least by some. Calls for more public-facing and public-engaged scholarship have emerged over recent years, as emphasized by many of the authors included in the Public & Community Engagement section and especially the “Public Scholarship & Public Humanities” sub-section (see Christie et al. 2014; Jay 2012; and Rogers 2020; among others). Julie Ellison (2013) considers the “new public humanists” (291) to be more mainstream figures than previous public humanists, who were poised in a contrarian or alternative position vis-à-vis their more traditional academic colleagues. Kathleen Fitzpatrick (2019), in Generous Thinking: A Radical Approach to Saving the University, places community-mindedness and community engagement at the heart of her recommendations for how academia should evolve to become more relevant for and aligned with contemporary society. Still others argue that the university, as a social institution, has moved too far away from its civic mission of public service and education and that more publicly-oriented activities could realign academia more appropriately (Cuthill 2012; Gibson 2009; Glass and Fitzgerald 2010; Hsu 2016; Woodward 2009). These institutional visions reveal a more engaged, open establishment than the old-fashioned metaphors of the ivory tower or walled garden infer.

Following this line of thinking, postsecondary institutions can be refigured as sites of collaboration and arenas for collective knowledge creation and sharing. Many of the authors in the “Collaboration, Partnership, & Engagement” sub-section focus on the importance of community-university partnerships, and how these can be undertaken ethically (Avila et al. 2010; Barnes 2009; Bowden and Carpenter 2011; Hall 2011; Hall and MacPherson 2011; Hart and Northmore 2008; Hart and Wolff 2006; Holland and Ramaley 2008; Hoy and Johnson 2013; Silka et al. 2008; Silka and Renault-Caragianes 2006; Silka and Toof 2011). Others look to where collaboration is already happening, especially in digital spaces. For instance, Susan Brown (2016) reflects on scholarly collaboration in the humanities and Lynne Siemens (2009) focuses on digital humanities teams. Overall, the authors collected in this sub-section move from a foundation of valuing engaged universities to considering how collaboration and partnership are undertaken in practice.

The concept of social knowledge creation is also aligned with values of public scholarship, collaboration, partnership, and engagement. Social knowledge creation encapsulates activities that promote multiplayer knowledge production in contrast to the old-fashioned notion that knowledge is created by a solitary, lone genius. In the sub-section “Social Knowledge Creation, including Wikipedia & Crowdsourcing,” authors discuss a variety of projects that purposefully facilitate social knowledge creation. The oft-discussed Wikimedia suite of initiatives, for example, is considered by many authors as a potent site for collaboration and knowledge development (Bruns 2008; Crompton et al. 2015; Jemielniak and Aibar 2016; Pfister 2011; Rosenzweig 2006; Siemens et al. 2012; Vandendorpe 2012, 2015; Willinsky 2007)—although Wikimedia is not without its issues and areas for improvement (Berson, Jones, and Tamani 2021; Gruwell 2015; Shane-Simpson and Gillespie-Lynch 2017). Crowdsourcing, too, is considered as a mechanism for creating knowledge across and with varied communities, as explored by the Transcribe Bentham team (Causer and Terras 2014; Causer, Tonra, and Wallace 2012; Causer and Wallace 2012; Terras 2017) and commented upon by other authors (Carletti et al. 2013; Bradley et al. 2009; Estellés-Arolas, Enrique, and Fernando González-Ladrón-de-Guevara 2012; Hendery and Gibson 2019; Holley 2010; Manzo et al. 2015; Ridge 2013; Rockwell 2012; Ross, Christie, and Sayers 2014; Walsh et al. 2014; Wiggins 2011). Social knowledge creation tools and techniques often rely on networked technologies, offering an interesting counterpart to more embodied, in-person collaborations considered in earlier sub-sections.

In recent years, many creative academic practices and areas of study have emerged under the auspices of research creation. The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council defines research creation as “An approach to research that combines creative and academic research practices, and supports the development of knowledge and innovation through artistic expression, scholarly investigation, and experimentation.”[3] Digging deeper, Owen Chapman and Kim Sawchuk (2012) suggest:

Research-creation can […] be read as a methodological and epistemological challenge to the argumentative form(s) that have typified much academic scholarship. In research-creation approaches, the theoretical, technical, and creative aspects of a research project are pursued in tandem, and quite often, scholarly form and decorum are broached and breeched in the name of experimentation. (6)

Such endeavour is often an intuitive fit with the ethos of community engagement and social knowledge creation. The final sub-section of Public & Community Engagement, “Research Creation in Theory & Practice,” includes resources on research creation activities with a community engagement bent, including social media, podcasting, and games/game studies: areas that often align with broader public engagement due to their accessible modalities. In Social Media in Academia: Networked Scholars (2016), George Veletsianos explores how academics have embraced social media (or not) and the possibilities such public engagement entails for knowledge mobilization, professionalization, and broader community engagement. Other authors, such as Tatyana Dumova (2012), Claire Ross (2010), and Julie Letierce, Alexandre Passant, John Breslin, and Stefan Decker (2010) consider social media ripe for study as a digital scholarship practice. Podcasting can be a more focused way of engaging with varied communities using digital means, as Honae Cuffe (2019) demonstrates through her argument for the value of the history podcast. Looking to the connection between games and more open academic practices, Jean-Claude Bradley, Robert J. Lancashire, Andrew SID Lang, and Anthony J. Williams (2009) explore the intersections between a game-based approach to learning that intersects with open data, crowdsourcing, and the undergraduate classroom. Overall, the Public & Community Engagement section offers a view into the many approaches to and reasons behind reorienting academic work into a more public, and more social, space.

Building on public and community ideals and activities, one can look to the contemporary open movement in academia as framed in the Open Social Scholarship section. The INKE Partnership defines open social scholarship as “academic practice that enables the creation, dissemination, and engagement of open research by specialists and non-specialists in accessible and significant ways.”[4] Indeed, open social scholarship centres public and community engagement, but it also focuses this engagement through the creation and sharing of research and research outputs. In this sense, it adds another layer to the concept of open scholarship or open science. In the “Open Scholarship” sub-section, many authors consider open scholarship to be a crucial step beyond mere access to research publications (Arbuckle 2019; Aspesi, and Brand 2020; Maxwell 2015; McGregor and Guthrie 2018; Meadows 2015). Authors such as Veletsianos and Royce Kimmons (2013) are more critical of the technoutopic ethos and application of open scholarship to date, however, and Leslie Chan, Bud Hall, Florence Piron, Rajesh Tandon, and Lorna Williams (2020) strongly promote a decolonial approach to open scholarship practices. Still other authors would like to see a more experimental and less polished approach to open scholarship and scholarly communication in general, as Kaja Marczewska, Janneke Adema, Frances McDonald, and Whitney Trettien (2018) advocate for in their collaborative pamphlet, The Poethics of Scholarship.

Despite varying opinions on the current and future form, function, and feasibility of open scholarship, open access remains a foundational building block for open scholarship as well as open social scholarship. Various sources included in the “Open Access” sub-section demonstrate how central open access to research publications is to larger digital research infrastructure projects and activities. Much research and writing has been done on the Open Access movement and its various components, from models for books and monographs (Adema 2014; Asmah 2014) to humanities-specific concerns (Eve 2014) to impact on citations (Gargouri et al. 2010). Early open access advocacy tends to be quite optimistic about the impact the movement could have in regard to global access and knowledge democratization (see Willinsky 2006, for example). Authors such as Ahmed Allan (2007), Denisse Albornoz, Angela Okune, and Chan (2020), Laura Francabandera (2020), Piron (2018), and Thomas Herve Mboa Nkoudou (2020) are more critical of open access, however, and suggest that in many ways the Open Access movement has reinscribed rather than overturned an inequitable scholarly communication system. Regardless, the value of more open and more accessible research output—in principle—is a constant throughout the literature.

Open scholarship incorporates other open areas as well, including open data and open education—additional sub-sections included in the Open Social Scholarship section. In keeping with the ethos that open access to research output is beneficial for multiple stakeholders, open data supporters argue that data should be as accessible as publications. Heather A. Piwowar and Todd J. Vision highlight the efficiency and possibility for reuse that open access to data entails (Piwowar and Vision 2013; Vision 2010); Tim Davies (2010) argues that open government data empower citizens and improve government transparency and accountability. Other authors are more critical of open data: Michael B. Gurstein (2011) voices concern about marginalized communities being exploited via open data analysis and use and Jeffrey Alan Johnson (2014) argues similarly that open data could exacerbate social injustices. Open education discussions follow a similar trajectory, with broad support for the concept of open education but concerns about exploitative or problematic consequences of this evolution. Among other sources, the value of open education and open educational resources (OERs) is espoused throughout Rajiv S. Jhangiani and Robert Biswas-Deiner’s (2017) edited collection, Open: The Philosophy and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and Science. But Pauline van Mourik Broekman, Gary Hall, Ted Byfield, Shaun Hides, and Simon Worthington (2015) raise flags about the potential exploitation of higher education via open education mechanisms, and Veletsianos (2021) suggests OERs might heighten inequities by privileging well-known and well-cited information over more diverse knowledges. The many strands of open practices interweave to form open scholarship, and, with an eye to broader and more community-engaged practices, open social scholarship.

The ways in which academics communicate their work have evolved over time and are, in the twenty-first century, increasingly influenced by more open and more social practices. The Scholarly Communication section brings together contemporary issues, digital artifacts, critical approaches, and knowledge translation and mobilization. Current scholarly communication discussions encapsulated in the “Contemporary Issues” sub-section are broad and include deliberations on copyright and intellectual property rights (Boon 2014; Johns 2009; Lawson 2017a; Martin 2017), metrics (Fitzpatrick 2012a), Indigenous knowledges (Kimmerer 2020), digital research infrastructure (Government of Canada 2013, 2015; Leadership Council for Digital Research Infrastructure 2014; Minister of Industry 2015; Neylon 2017b; Research Data Canada 2013), publication platforms (Laakso et al. 2017; Lovett et al. 2017; Pooley 2017), and data management (Borgman 2015; Wilkinson et al. 2016), among other themes. Some authors—such as Daniel J. Cohen (2012), Kathleen Fitzpatrick (2019), Stuart Lawson (2017b), and Colleen McKenna and Jane Hughes (2013)—zoom out from those more focused topics and explicitly consider a wider, values-based approach to scholarly communication. For instance, in Living Books: Experiments in the Posthumanities, Janneke Adema (2021) argues for a more values-based approach to creating knowledge outputs that embodies flexibility, openness, and process over fixity and commercial gain. Many of the subjects outlined in the “Contemporary Issues” sub-section also emerge in the “Digital Artifacts: Articles, Journals, Monographs, Scholarly Editions, & Other Books” sub-section, where authors consider the state of these scholarly communication forms in the contemporary academy.

Moving beyond contemporary issues and their ramifications for specific academic artifacts, the “Critical Approaches to Digital Scholarship” sub-section takes a more pointed look at scholarly communication. Authors like Moya Z. Bailey (2011), Wendy Hui Kyong Chun (2004), and Laura Francabandera (2020) look at the gendered and/or racialized aspects of digital scholarship and knowledge production. In Data Feminism, Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren F. Klein (2020) take a feminist approach to examining data science practices. As noted above, Chan et al. (2020), Allan (2007), Albornoz, Okune, and Chan (2020), Piron (2018), and Nkoudou (2020) all suggest to varying extents that scholarly communication should be approached through a postcolonial or decolonial framework.

Issues of how best to communicate scholarly work have preoccupied researchers for some time now. In the “Knowledge Translation & Mobilization” sub-section, authors from across disciplines—including the social sciences and health sciences—consider best practices and detail previous and proposed approaches to effective knowledge sharing. Authors like Amanda Cooper and Ben Levin (2010) and Ian D. Graham, Jo Logan, Margaret B. Harrison, Sharon E. Straus, Jacqueline Tetroe, Wenda Caswell, and Nicole Robinson (2006) outline some of the challenges inherent to knowledge translation or mobilization. In sum, the Scholarly Communication section spans many pressing issues and hot topics for those concerned with current modes and methods for communicating academic research findings.

Much research remains to be done on the multiple ways to create open scholarship with and across communities. As Adema (2021) writes in relation to open access specifically, “The politics and ethics of open access publishing and archiving are not predetermined, do not simply come prepackaged; they need to be creatively performed, produced, and invented by their users in an ongoing manner in response to changing technologies, practices, and conditions” (177). This research scan aims to collect and summarize recent thinking on public engagement, open social scholarship, and scholarly communication related to the INKE Partnership Community cluster. Overall, the collection suggests that not only are there multiple branching areas of interest related to these topics but many nascent research questions, too. At any rate, the twenty-first century postsecondary sector and its practitioners are well positioned to take on academic research for, with, alongside, and of interest to broader communities.

This annotated bibliography is an output of the Open Scholarship Press. For related work, please see the Connection, Policy, and Training bibliographies.

Symbol Meaning
Φ Annotations appearing in more than one sub-section
+ Annotations drawn from “Open Social Scholarship Annotated Bibliography” (El Khatib et al. 2019)
Annotations drawn from “An Annotated Bibliography of Social Knowledge Creation” (Arbuckle et al. 2017)
* Annotations developed by Vitor Yano or Anna Honcharova
Δ Annotations developed by Alan Colín-Arce
Ω Annotations developed by Graham Jensen for the Connection Annotated Bibliography
Ψ Annotations developed by Caroline Winter and Jesse Kern for the Policy Annotated Bibliography

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. El Khatib, Randa, Lindsey Seatter, Tracey El Hajj, Conrad Leibel, Alyssa Arbuckle, Ray Siemens, Caroline Winter, and the INKE and ETCL Research Groups. 2019. “Open Social Scholarship Annotated Bibliography.” KULA: Knowledge Creation, Dissemination, and Preservation Studies 3(1): n.p. DOI:10.5334/kula.58
  2. Arbuckle, Alyssa, Nina Belojevic, Tracey El Hajj, Randa El Khatib, Lindsey Seatter, and Raymond G. Siemens, with Alex Christie, Matthew Hiebert, Jon Saklofske, Jentery Sayers, Derek Siemens, Shaun Wong, and the INKE and ETCL Research Groups. 2017. “An Annotated Bibliography of Social Knowledge Creation.” In Social Knowledge Creation in the Humanities: Volume I, edited by Alyssa Arbuckle, Aaron Mauro, and Daniel Powell, 29-264. Arizona: Iter Academic Press and Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
  3. See
  4. INKE Partnership. n.d. “About INKE.”