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The Nelson Memo: Public Access to Research and what this means for researchers 

TL;DR 

  • The Nelson Memo asks all federal grant agencies, including those providing funding in the Humanities & Social Sciences, to require immediate public access to the peer-reviewed scholarly publications funded by those grants as well as to the underlying research data. 
  • Researchers applying for grants will need a persistent identifier like ORCID 
  • Scholarly Societies relying on subscription models may be adversely affected when the Nelson Memo is implemented.
  • On Friday, October 28, IU Libraries will host a one-day symposium for conversations on open access in Wells Library Hazelbaker Hall.

What is the Nelson Memo? 

 The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a Memorandum on August 25 titled Ensuring Free Immediate & Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research, widely referred to as the “Nelson Memo.” When its provisions are implemented federal grant agencies are required to ensure that researchers who receive federal funds deposit their peer-reviewed scholarly publications in agency-designated public access repositories without any embargo or delay after publication. Prior to this the 2013 Memorandum titled Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research, widely referred to as the “Holdren Memo” allowed for up to 12 months’ delay in providing public access to research funded by certain federal grant agencies. 

Humanities & Social Science researchers 

Unlike the Holdren Memo which covered only federal grant agencies with over $100 million in annual research and development expenditures (grant budgets), the Nelson Memo covers all federal grant agencies. Humanities and Social Science HSS) researchers should pay attention to this as it means that many HSS grants that were not covered by the 2013 Memo are covered by the Nelson Memo. The Nelson memo explicitly cites peer-reviewed book chapters, editorials, and conference proceedings as being subject to its provisions. 

Researcher IDs 

The Nelson Memo also specifically addresses persistent identifiers and access to scientific data underlying peer-reviewed scholarly publications (research data) resulting from federally funded research. For persistent identifiers the Nelson Memo points back to the 2021 NSPM-33 Guidance for Implementing NSPM-33 on National Security Strategy for United States Government-Supported Research and Development which recommends persistent digital identifiers for federally funded individual researchers. It directs federal grant agencies to require that applicants have such a persistent identifier. An ORCID ID meets these qualifications and Indiana University Libraries is an ORCID member. Review our ORCID Guide to learn how to set up your ORCID ID and contact research impact and open scholarship librarian, Willa Liburd Tavernier, if you need further assistance.  

Research Data Sharing 

The research data sharing requirements carve out protections for human subjects data, trade secrets and confidential commercial information, personally identifiable information, and other information which is protected other law and policy. The Nelson Memo requires that federally funded research data should be made publicly and freely available at the time of publication in a digital repository that aligns with the National Science and Technology Council document entitled “Desirable Characteristics of Data Repositories for Federally Funded Research”. Indiana University Libraries’ DataCORE repository, is largely compliant. For questions, contact research data librarian Ethan Fridmanski

Research output and research data are not only expected to be publicly accessible online immediately upon publication but should be in formats that allow for machine readability and enable broad accessibility through assistive devices. 

For all researchers 

The Nelson Memo applies to all researchers on a paper, not just corresponding authors. It is applicable not only to research articles but to all peer-reviewed scholarly publications including book chapters and conference proceedings. Federal grant agencies with budgets of $100 million or higher, should have compliant public access policies in place by February 21, 2023, and other agencies have until August 20, 2023. Researchers should be prepared to comply with these policies by these deadlines. Researchers making grant applications now should include open-access publication costs in their grant budget. The Nelson Memo stipulates that federal granting agencies should allow for the inclusion of reasonable publication costs and costs associated with submission, curation, management of data, and special handling instructions. 

For Scholarly Societies 

We are aware that many of our researchers are heavily involved in scholarly societies. Many scholarly societies use a hybrid or delayed open access publication model, with embargos of varying length, and differing policies on what version of a published research article may be openly shared. Free access is often a perquisite of membership, while revenue from journal subscriptions contributes valuable funding for the society’s activities. Immediate public access to the peer-reviewed manuscript will significantly affect these ways of doing business. Other options for scholarly societies are – 

  1. Diamond Open Access publishers like library publishers which are institutionally financed and do not charge societies or authors for their publication activities e.g. Hindsight: Journal of Optometry History (iu.edu) 
  1. The community-supported model where institutions pay supporter, membership, or shareholder fees to finance open access publication Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development 
  1. Subscribe to Open, where existing subscribers commit to maintaining subscriptions at a sufficient level to allow the journal to make its content open access e.g. Berghahn Open Anthro (berghahnjournals.com) 
  1. Gold Open Access, where the society requires that authors pay article processing charges for all publications. Most publishers use a model where researchers in low-income countries can access discounts or complete waivers of these charges. 

What’s Next 

Supporters of the new initiative praise the removal of the embargo period, the requirement for identifiers, access to research data, and robust metadata requirements as enhancing the transparency and integrity of the research ecosystem. However, there are some concerns. The language of the Nelson Memo is not directive and states that federal agencies “should”, rather than are required to, bring their policies in line with the memo, which could create some lack of clarity and compliance. It is also possible that the Nelson Memo will lead to further dominance of the “author pays” open access model in the publishing world, where the publisher requires an article processing charge to publish the research work open access. A move in that direction will shift even more taxpayer resources to dominant commercial publishers, five of whom control over 50% of global research output. In addition, the Nelson Memo requires public access, not open access, which means that re-use rights beyond access might be severely curtailed by publishers’ licensing terms.  

IU Libraries has negotiated several open access publishing agreements with major publishers such as Cambridge University Press, and PLOS which employ other models and do not require IU corresponding authors to pay an article publishing charge.  

Learn More 

On October 28, 2022, IU Libraries will host a one-day symposium for conversations on Open Access in the Wells Library Hazelbaker Hall starting at 9:30 am. We will highlight IU authors’ experiences with publishing open access, showcase various models of funding open access publication, and frankly discuss challenges and limitations.  

If you have questions or need additional information about the Nelson Memo please contact IU Libraries Scholarly Communication Department at any time at iusw@iu.edu. 

The full text of the Nelson Memo can be viewed at https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/08-2022-OSTP-Public-Access-Memo.pdf.  

The full text of NSPM-33 can be viewed at Presidential Memorandum on United States Government-Supported Research and Development National Security Policy – The White House (archives.gov).   

To learn more about open scholarship services provided by IU Libraries Scholarly Communication Department, please visit https://openscholarship.indiana.edu

Course Material Fellowship Program Now Accepting Applications through September 12 

IU Libraries’ Course Material Fellowship Program (CMFP) is accepting applications for the 2022-2023 cohort! Now in its third year, the CMFP assists Indiana University faculty with improving the affordability and quality of their course materials. Fellows in the Program will be awarded a stipend between $2,000 and $5,000 and gain the support of IU librarians, Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL) instructional experts, and UITS technologists. Program Fellows will work with these experts and their cohort to find, adapt, and create low-cost course materials, including Open Educational Resources (OER). The ultimate goal for Fellows is to transform their course materials to be as low cost as possible and tailored to their particular course. Open Education Librarian Sarah Hare explains

“While it’s important that OER are free to students, they are also attractive to instructors interested in making course materials more effective for their specific course.”

Low-cost course materials and OER not only enable instructors to expand accessibility by making higher education more affordable for students, but also to enhance student learning by customizing course materials to suit their unique pedagogical goals. 

The CMFP began in fall 2020, supported by the Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council (WPLC), with the goal of supporting faculty’s adoption and creation of OER. OER are freely available course materials that also have specific licenses that legally permit others to adopt, revise, or remix these materials for their own teaching. The CMFP has since evolved in response to lessons learned from the first two years’ implementation. The Program thus far has resulted in over a dozen fellows’ successful adoption and creation of OER, which saved money and improved learning for over five thousand students at IU Bloomington and IUPUI. About half of the projects so far have reached students in 100- and 200-level courses and about half have reached advanced undergraduate students.  

However, like any new program (especially one launched in the midst of a global pandemic!), the initial years of the CMFP also involved unexpected complications. In order to best serve faculty and students, the Open Education Librarian and CMFP Implementation Group have continually refined the Program. The CMFP has used feedback from past Fellows, along with careful consideration of the Program’s goals, to modify the Program’s structure for the 2022-2023 academic year. 

The 2022-2023 CMFP focuses on assisting faculty with finding, adopting, and creating affordable course materials, with the overarching goal of making their courses as low-cost as possible. Low-cost or free materials may include OER, but they also encompass materials such as IU Libraries’ resources, works in the public domain, or open access academic articles.  

The Implementation Group has pivoted to this focus on low-cost course materials—beyond, but including, OER—due to the wide variety of possible projects. A project’s scope depends on existing resources, the specificities of a given course, and the instructor’s own objectives and capabilities. To accommodate our goals for low-cost materials and the different forms that Program participation may take, the CMFP will assign each accepted fellow’s project as either Tier 1 or Tier 2: 

  • Tier 1 projects require selecting, curating, and adapting affordable materials to move from a textbook to a low- or zero-cost course for students. The final project can take a variety of formats (Canvas course, book, etc.) and will not have to be shared publicly.  
  • Tier 2 projects require an original creation of at least 75% of the course content. The remainder can be adopted from existing open educational resources. The final product must be created in the book-publishing tool Pressbooks and submitted as a complete textbook that can be used to fully teach a course. The final text will be shared under a Creative Commons license. Participation in this Tier requires a significant time commitment, and fewer stipends will be available for this Tier. 

Accepted Fellows will meet with the Open Education Librarian to discuss their projects and agree upon the appropriate Tier, and associated stipend amount, for their affordable course material goals.  

All instructors of record at IU Bloomington are eligible to apply to the 2022-2023 CMFP; interested instructors should submit the Qualtrics application here (the application is also viewable as a PDF). Applications will be considered on a competitive basis and applicants are encouraged to consult the rubric the Implementation Group will use to evaluate applications. Applications are due September 12, 2022. 

We are excited by the new opportunities for teaching and learning that our focus on affordable course materials will bring. The CMFP will benefit students not only by mitigating the cost of higher education, but also by enhancing their learning through customized course materials. Similarly, participating instructors will both make their courses as affordable and accessible as possible and gain professional development through the CMFP’s library and pedagogical support. 

More information about the CMFP application and program can be found at our call for proposals and FAQ page. Any instructor interested in the CMFP or affordable course materials is welcome to email Open Education Librarian Sarah Hare at scrissin@iu.edu

Student Spotlight: The Land, Wealth, Liberation Digital Resource

The Scholarly Communication Department is excited to spotlight the students who worked on the recently launched public open-access digital resource – Land, Wealth, Liberation: The making and unmaking of Black wealth in the United States. The digital resource makes scholarly and historical information on historic black communities and pivotal figures available to the public in a bid to generate discourse and spur ideas and policies that foster socio-economic justice.

Land, Wealth, Liberation timeline launch at IU Bloomington on Thursday, March 24, 2022. (Photo by Chris Meyer/Indiana University)

The students

Rihona Bing-English is a first-year graduate student from the Indiana University School of Social Work. She is working towards becoming a clinical social worker to later become a therapist. One of her personal goals is to improve the racial and minority disparities in mental health access and the overall well-being of individuals and communities in those populations.

Rihona is profoundly excited to have contributed to this project; during her work, she has developed a better insight into the historical barriers that have systematically produced our current racial wealth disparities. She hopes that, beyond the launch of this project, she can further dedicate her time and knowledge to research that provides more historical context into minority disparities and can work towards redeeming those wrongs.

Rihona’s current favorite read is Set Boundaries, Find Peace by Nedra Glover Tawwab, a therapist. She recommends the book to everyone she knows. Rihona also loves chocolate – she eats at least one piece every day!

Apoorva Chikara is a student in the MPA program at the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He was born in India, and he joined this project to help expand his own and others’ knowledge about Black history and inform new perspectives. Apoorva is keenly interested in exploring paths to enact change in discriminatory social practices as he believes this is essential to working towards a peaceful society.

Previously, Apoorva has worked with the Year Back Foundation as Chief of Staff. He has also worked on setting up a suicide prevention helpline and has partnered with the government of India to create specialized counseling sessions for students, for which he raised over $10,000. He was awarded the Game Changer Award by the founder of the YuvaJanakalyan Party in India for his efforts to provide food grains to migrant workers stranded in Mumbai during the COVID-19 lockdown. He also works as a freelance writer and was granted the Humanity First Foundation Award of Excellence for his persistent contribution to social work in 2019.

Apoorva would like to leave us with a quote from B. R. Ambedkar: “Humans are mortal. So are ideas. An idea needs propagation as much as a plant needs watering. Otherwise, both will wither and die.”

Savannah Price, a sophomore pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in History and Gender Studies through the College of Arts and Sciences, joined the team through the Emerging Scholars Research Experience for Undergraduate Women with the Center of Excellence for Women & Technology. She chose this project because of her interest in expanding her own and others’ understanding of what American history truly is.

In addition to working on this project, Savannah is part of the Wells Scholars Program and is the Vice President of the History Undergraduate Student Association. Outside of her academic life, she is primarily known as a fiber artist through her work on her Instagram (@savannah.stitches), and she is currently working on her first book of crochet patterns, set to come out in Fall 2023.

“Humans are mortal. So are ideas. An idea needs propagation as much as a plant needs watering. Otherwise, both will wither and die.”

B.R. Ambedkar

MarQuis Bullock, a 2nd-year Library and Information Science graduate student in the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing & Engineering specializing in Archives and Records Management, was the first research assistant on the Land, Wealth, Liberation project. MarQuis did much of the original research and continued to volunteer his time after moving on to work with the Black Film Archive here at Indiana University-Bloomington. MarQuis was motivated by the need for a centralized space in which sources can be collected, organized, and shared to provide access to literature and scholarship that can keep the legacy of various Black Wall Streets in active circulation and memory. He noted that while the devastation of the most well-known African American neighborhood in the United States in Greenwood, Tulsa, Oklahoma, is becoming more widely known, it is essential to provide information and context for similar Black economic and social centers such as Jackson Ward in Richmond, Virginia, Hayti in Durham, North Carolina, and Indiana Avenue Historic District in Indianapolis, Indiana. Examining these neighborhoods’ history helps create a more comprehensive understanding of the historical circumstances that necessitated their existence and the varying but intersecting factors that led to their decline.

Abby Martin and Anna Long are IU School of Education students in the Secondary Social Studies Education program. Abby and Anna created the resources For Educators in the Land, Wealth, Liberation digital resource. They are both passionate about holistic education for a democratic society and recently advocated in this op-ed for students to have the opportunity to challenge their beliefs and form empathy for others.

April M. Urban, Ph.D. is a graduate assistant primarily working on Open Educational Resources for the IU Libraries Course Material Transformation Fellowship. She readily joined the team when asked in the final sprint to launch the Land, Wealth, Liberation digital resource. April created an accessible text and audio annotated bibliography on Afro-Indigenous intersections. For April, who is a Master’s of Library Science student in the Luddy School, this work provided a valuable opportunity to participate in building credible and openly accessible digital resources, which she views as vital to fostering education and understanding. April found the work on Afro-Indigenous intersections especially illuminating in the ways this history reveals the complex nature of American race and land relations beyond the black/white color line, and hopes this resource spurs conversation.

We thank all of our student workers for their dedication to this project, and we can’t wait to see what these talented students accomplish during their time at IU! 

Intersections: Technology, the Arts, and Collaborative Scholarship

Head shot of the author in a red dress against a wall made of various shades of beige stone.

Heather Sloan, DMA, MLS, Media & Maps Assistant, Herman B Wells Library

This reflection on arts-related work involving technology and data is inspired by my two-decades-long project on Dominican folkloric percussion, undertaken with my Dominican music and folklore mentor Professor Edis Sánchez. As our project has evolved, we have explored numerous possibilities regarding the digitization, preservation, and management of our preliminary (analog) work. In addition, we have worked with data specialists to experiment with numerous technologies—including coding, web design, digital mapping and storytelling, and data management tools—to enhance our research and increase accessibility. Here, I offer a few observations in the hopes of launching a broader discussion on the roles technology and data can play in arts-related research.

Bringing Forward Old-School Data

Professor Edis Sánchez and I have been working together since the year 2000. In August of that year, I moved to the Dominican Republic (DR). Supported by a Fulbright grant, I worked with Sánchez to learn about the folkloric music genres found on the eastern side of Hispaniola, the island shared by Haiti and the DR. By the time I met him, Edis already had a significant collection of unique folkloric music recordings from all over the country, mostly on cassette tapes. During my stay, I recorded events on a Sony Mini-DV camera and transcribed music onto staff paper (as opposed to using notation software). As artists first, Professor Sánchez and I have backed up our original recordings but have struggled to keep up with best practices for the long-term sustainability of our music research data. It can be difficult to balance time spent capturing new recordings of at-risk music with ensuring the sustainable storage of that which has already been recorded.

The Joys and Sorrows of Zoom

Picture of a man in a baseball cap seated facing a computer on a table. The author's face is visible on the computer screen. There are drums and furniture in the background.
Recording an interview over Skype in the home of Professor Edis Sánchez. Photo credit: Edis Sánchez. Used with permission.

Let’s face it: for those able to access it, the availability of video chat was key during the pandemic. With it, we could stay at least somewhat connected to one another. Professor Sánchez and I succeeded in conducting a number of valuable interviews while things were shut down in both countries. He would travel by car to a drum-maker’s house and set up a phone or computer with everyone masked and socially distanced. I would then contact them and record our interview on my computer. Our video chats captured important oral histories, and our participants’ vitality shone through. However, since a number of our community partners live in mountainous areas, video and audio quality were not guaranteed. We spent plenty of frustrating hours watching choppy screens and hearing garbled audio on both ends, and some of our footage is unusable. But in the end, we have some priceless interviews with Dominican drum-makers, aging artisans who had not shared their stories of craftsmanship, at least not outside their families and communities. As the older generations pass on and artisans’ customs change, this information is invaluable.

Picture of a man in a cap seated on a small outdoor patio. The patio is painted pink with blue accents. The man is holding a small drum between his knees. There are small percussion instruments in front of him and a large drum on his left-hand side.
Mr. Sixto Minier. Former “Capitan” (deceased) of the Brotherhood of the Holy Spirit of Los Congos, with some of his handmade drums and percussion instruments. Photo credit: Edis Sánchez. Used with permission.

In the broader scheme of things, as restrictions lift, scholars have an opportunity to consider the role of online interaction moving forward. We have certainly seen the convenience inherent in the technology. But for myself, I will continue to be a strong advocate for in-person research as the default. Without the bonds and trust that Professor Sánchez and I had built with our collaborators in person over decades, the remote communication would have rested on a tenuous foundation, incapable of supporting the deep interactions we desired. And to me, shaking the calloused hand of a person who has spent their life making drums provides a fundamental piece of information about their lived experience, one that is impossible to discover online.

Juggling Skill Sets and Finding Experts

Present-day arts scholarship is complex and demanding in the best ways: scholars are often challenged to consider the arts holistically, taking into account tradition, cultural context, physical embodiment, socioeconomic concerns, and many other aspects of cultural production. Ideally, engagement with community partners is more equitable; the “invisible labor” of contributors such as graduate students and other collaborators is foregrounded and transparent; and research outcomes are more accessible to a wider audience (e.g., results are published in open-access repositories—perhaps in multiple languages if the project itself has multilingual content—and with alt-text and other features compatible with screen readers). Certainly, these goals remain aspirational at times, but with continued focus and commitment they are slowly becoming embedded features of scholarship.

As arts research evolves, so do the resultant research documents, as well as the technologies needed to support and maintain them. Along with a text publication, research might take other forms: supplemental audio-visual content, a virtual museum tour, a 3D-printed object, a digital map or virtual timeline, an online archive, a database, network analysis, and more. The collection, curation, presentation, and management of these types of data can greatly enhance one’s own scholarship and, if made available to others, inspire new research based on the same data. However, this work can also require skill sets—e.g., data collection and cleaning—that do not often appear in Arts curricula. On top of this, new pathways for sharing the typical “print” publication have emerged, and scholars can choose innovative methods for linking together all of their various scholarly efforts, boosting their visibility, and ensuring long-term accessibility.

As lifelong learners, both Edis and I are happy to acquire new skills, but ultimately there is a lot to know given the limited hours in a day. And not reinventing the wheel has its value as well, of course! Project management skills become essential, especially if seeking funding. It is also important to identify what role(s) the researchers can fill versus what is best done through relationships with research-support entities.

Sometimes We Need Help Thinking About the Right Questions to Ask

At Indiana University, we are very fortunate to have a robust research infrastructure, both in terms of technological and human resources, designed to support every stage of a project. Just as importantly, many of those at IU who facilitate research recognize that community collaborators and other research partners may not have such support. As such, they are also committed to keeping abreast of cost-effective and widely accessible methods for conducting, sharing, and managing research.

The Scholarly Communications Department forms part of that structure. I encourage you to visit our landing page to learn more. The introductory paragraphs give an overview of what we do, and from there you can navigate to the Related Pages and Services tabs for more details. Ever wondered what DOI stands for in a published article link? Or why you might want to create a personal ORCID ID? Maybe you are curious about IUScholarWorks, whether it can host video content (it can!), and how to do that? Or perhaps you’ve been tasked with developing a data management plan for a grant proposal.

As I said, the technological aspects of contemporary scholarship can quickly feel overwhelming. The Scholarly Communications Department staff can help you explore options and make decisions that suit your particular research trajectory and resources. As someone with an arts background, the world of data felt opaque and intimidating to me for a long time. I needed to engage with real humans adept at various types of data-wrangling before I could understand its usefulness. If that describes you even a little bit, I encourage you to take a chance and jump in. While you are at it, take a look at the many excellent services and opportunities provided by IU’s Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities (IDAH). If your work includes teaching and learning, check out the website of the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL). Indiana University truly has an embarrassment of riches in terms of research support. It is well worth your time to explore them. HS

Do you have an anecdote, a question, or some pro-tips to share regarding arts-related research and technology? Please feel free to share in the comments. All observations—good, bad, or ugly—are welcome!

Announcing the 2021-2022 Course Material Fellowship Program Cohort

The Scholarly Communication Department is excited to announce the Course Material Fellowship Program cohort for the 2021-2022 academic year. Following our successful launch of the program in 2020-2021, we are welcoming a new group of faculty who are passionate about developing open educational resources (OER) that will be used in their classes and shared with the wider scholarly community. 

As fellows in the program, faculty will receive institutional support as they develop OER. OER are no-cost, freely accessible course materials which are licensed for others to reuse and revise. By participating in this program and developing their own materials, the 2021-2022 CMFP fellows will contribute to the mission of removing barriers to higher education. Fellows will transform their course materials over the 2021-2022 academic year and implement them in their courses starting in fall 2022.

The 2021-2022 CMFP cohort consists of eleven instructors from the IU Bloomington and IUPUI campuses who represent a wide range of academic disciplines. Our fellows teach in the humanities, STEM, business, law and public affairs, and philanthropy fields. The program will impact a broad array of students: by providing no-cost materials, fellows will tangibly mitigate education costs for these students.

We estimate that, altogether, the 2021-2022 cohort’s projects will directly impact over 2,000 students per academic year at the IUB and IUPUI campuses. This amounts to an approximate total cost savings of $233,500 per year.

The CMFP fellows’ OER projects will contribute to teaching and learning in their respective fields through the creative development of unique resources which:

  • Target distinctive student audiences
  • Incorporate values of diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Attend to currently relevant topics

For example, Gregory Carter of IUB’s School of Nursing is responding to the problem of astronomical medical/health textbook costs by developing an OER unique to their course. As Carter describes their project:

“What makes this course unique is the focus on community health as well as perinatal concepts. This forces us to use two different (expensive) textbooks in order to present the required materials. What we envision is to develop a resource that combines both areas and allows for a deeper dive into the barriers and facilitators of rural health. Because the Bloomington campus is more focused on rural nursing issues, the proposed resource would not only be unique, it would provide the information in a way that is more accessible to our students.

Meanwhile, L. Anne Delgado, an IUB English instructor, plans to address the current issue of Internet/media misinformation by including relevant readings in their OER text. Additionally, the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion are an important cornerstone of the program’s OER development. While all fellows are promoting these values in their work, some are making it a centerpiece of their OER development. For example, Lasana D. Kazembe of IUPUI’s School of Education will develop an OER focused on teaching for social and racial justice. 

Our CMFP fellows are enthusiastic about the promise of OER development to increase the accessibility of higher education and to strengthen teaching and learning materials. Adam Maltese’s project for their STEM for Educators course highlights the value of developing OER materials. Not only will OER allow Maltese to directly impact IUB students by cutting costs, but Maltese will also use OER to challenge common narratives of scientific endeavors as primarily white and male, which is important for their students, who are mostly women. OER development enables instructors to make decisions about the content of their textbooks; in this way, instructors can fully integrate the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion and appeal to students’ particular needs and interests. In eventually sharing their OER online, faculty fellows will also make their valuable resources widely accessible for the use of others.

We are excited about the Open Educational Resources our 2021-2022 CMFP fellows will develop and look forward to seeing the impact of these OER materials on the IUB campus, IUPUI campus, and beyond. 


The Scholarly Communication department also offers support to faculty outside of the program who wish to implement Open Educational Resources into their teaching. Please contact us at iusw@iu.edu for more information.

New Issue of Textual Cultures Published

Textual Cultures: Texts, Contexts, Interpretation has recently published its new issue for 2021. Published annually since 1983, Textual Cultures is devoted to the study of textual editing. The journal has been an IU ScholarWorks open access journal since 2017. 

While Textual Cultures has always focused on texts, textuality, and textual editing, the journal has sought to cultivate “an ever more inclusive and multi-voiced approach to issues of textual editing,” encompassing “redefinitions of textuality,” considerations of “diverse textual cultures,” and explorations into emerging cyberspace contexts. 

With the 2021 issue, the editors wanted to “evoke rather than replace” the papers that would have constituted the cancelled March 2020 Society for Textual Scholarship conference (1). This issue’s articles represent over half of the original entries in the conference program. Entitled “Borders of the Book,” this “lost conference” was to explore the “the translations and migrations that transmit texts and that texts themselves have prompted” (1). The issue begins with the two conference keynotes, followed by a theoretical case-study of the editorial theorist Paul Eggert, and concludes with articles addressing a number of different historical eras. 

Roger Chartier’s keynote, “Genealogies of the Study of Material Texts,” outlines the unique trajectory of French textual scholarship. Chartier notes that twentieth-century French book history deemphasized the material aspects of the printing process to focus, instead, on the book as both a commodity and a force of change (20). Under the influence of book historian Henri-Jean Martin, French scholarship also came to focus on the significance of formal elements like typeface and text layout. While Anglo-American and Italian works were gradually integrated, French textual scholarship has retained a distinctive focus on the ways in which the form of a text influences its meaning and reception.  

In his discussion of Eggert’s theories, Matt Cohen stresses the importance of understanding a scholarly edition of a work as one editor’s interpretation or argument about the meaning of a particular text. Using Eggert’s pragmatic approach, scholarly editors keep the needs of “a potentially broad readership” in mind while, at the same time, recognizing the importance of providing a useful interpretation of a work (28). From this perspective, the editor strives not to create the definitive edition of a work, but to offer new ways of understanding its significance. 

One of the highlights of the remaining essays is Jolie Braun’s discussion of the memoirs of nineteenth-century women book canvassers. Braun explains that, in the late 1800s, a number of women became book canvassers – traveling salespeople “who sold books on behalf of subscription publishers” (124). Although canvassing offered both independence and the opportunity to promote literacy, women canvassers had to balance cultural expectations with the traits of successful canvassing: women were expected to be docile and ladylike, but canvassers had to be assertive and tenacious. Braun’s essay demonstrates the importance of these canvassing memoirs, which offer detailed insights into the complicated challenges women faced working in the book trade (129). 

These are just a few highlights from an ambitious issue that exemplifies Textual Culture’s innovative approach. As editor Marta Werner explains, these proceedings “suggest that change is afoot in our ever-emergent field” (2). 

Course Material Fellowship Program Accepting Applications through September 15

The IU Libraries’ Course Material Fellowship Program is now accepting applications from faculty at the IU Bloomington, IUPUI, IUPUC, and IUFW campuses for the 2021-2022 academic year. These applications are due September 15. The CMFP successfully launched in 2020 with the goal of promoting Open Educational Resources (OER) as a means of mitigating the high costs of a college education. The CMFP provides instructors with the support of librarians, OER experts, and instructional technologists as they implement OER. Starting in October 2021, new fellows will learn about OER through a workshop series and individual consultations. They will then develop and implement OER for use in courses in the 2022-2023 academic year. Faculty can find more information about the CMFP at our FAQ page.

Our 2020 pilot group of CMFP fellows have developed OER and other affordable course materials, which will enrich the IU campuses’ teaching and learning. We have learned from the pilot group how to strengthen our support for faculty. As a result of the feedback gained and lessons learned from our pilot group of CMFP fellows, the CMFP is implementing several important changes, detailed below, for the 2021-2022 year.

OER are transformational because they can dramatically cut students’ costs and ensure that all students have access to course texts from the first day of class. Moreover, OER are shared under intellectual licenses which allow others to reuse, revise, remix, retain, and redistribute them. This means that faculty can, in many cases, find existing OER, adapt and modify them to the specific goals and needs of their course, and then share this work with others. OER creators and scholars aim to make educational materials accessible and collaborative and to advance the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

The CMFP application asks applicants to review currently available OER to identify if they will adopt, adapt, or create an OER during their time in the program. In order to assess the impact of each fellow’s participation, the CMFP application asks about the number of students in their course’s section(s) and the cost of currently required textbook(s). This information allows the CMFP Implementation Group to select fellows based on the biggest impact on students. 

The CMFP application includes questions which align with these goals of increasing cost savings, enabling adaptability, and advancing diversity and equity. Based on whether or not OER relevant to their course goals currently exist, faculty will do one of the following three tiers of implementation:

  • Adopt an existing OER for use in their class.
  • Adapt OER, or in other words, modify and/or customize an existing OER to fit their instructional goals.
  • Create an OER if no relevant OER textbook currently exists. 

 As a result of the feedback gained and lessons learned from our pilot group of CMFP fellows, the CMFP is implementing several important changes for the 2021-2022 year. These changes are as follows:

  • Timeline: We have pushed up the deadline for accepting applications, notifying fellows of their acceptance, and beginning workshops. This means that fellows will gain 2-3 extra months for developing and implementing materials for fall 2022. 
  • Stipends and Tiers: Each stipend will be awarded based on the tier of OER implementation and the associated work involved. Adopt fellows will gain a maximum $1,000 stipend; adapt fellows a maximum $3,000 stipend; and create fellows a maximum $5,000 stipend.
  • Emphasis: Although we welcome faculty from all teaching areas to apply, we are especially interested in fellows teaching general education courses. Many OER already exist for general education courses, so instructors of these courses would be ideal fellows for adoption or adaptation.

CMFP participation is valuable for faculty not only because it encourages the use of OER and their associated benefits, but also because it enhances this use through support. Faculty gain support and guidance from the CMFP Implementation Group in the form of consultations, technological support, workshops, and Canvas materials. The feedback from our pilot faculty fellows has been overwhelmingly positive. As one fellow put it:

“I think this has been great and I’m thrilled to be a part of it!”

CMFP fellow finalists will be notified in mid-October and workshops will begin in late October 2021. Fellows will begin to develop and implement their OER materials in January 2022. 

Faculty can find more information about the Course Materials Fellowship Program, including a link to the Qualtrics application, here. You can also preview this application as a PDF. Please feel free to email Sarah Hare (scrissin@iu.edu) if you have any questions!

Open Access in Asian and Asian Diaspora Studies

In recognition of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and paying tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched IU Bloomington’s research and scholarship, in this blog post we cover a number of resources available to scholars and academic departments interested in exploring Open Access in Asian Studies. 

We also recognize the additional burden placed on Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander members of our community at this time because of the rise in xenophobic bias and violence during the coronavirus pandemic. We stand with the AAPI community in condemning anti-Asian hate crimes. The Asian Culture Center at IU Bloomington provides a list of resources to fight racism in Covid-19 times. Additional avenues to educate ourselves and take action can also be found in this list of resources created by the Flexport Heritage of Asians/Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders Employee Resource Group.

Open Access in Asian Studies

While we have been using the term ‘Open Access’ as if it were a singular, consistent concept,  we acknowledge that open access resources and practices are not uniform across all academic disciplines. Generally, however, making a scholarly work open access means making that work freely available on the internet subject to such rights to reuse the work as determined by the author, usually making it subject to as few copyright restrictions as possible by way of a Creative Commons open license. Open Access is a model of scholarly publishing meant to remove restrictive paywalls, increase the impact and reach of scholarly works, and make works available to institutions and people who can’t pay the high subscription costs of traditional publishers. 

IU Press and IU Libraries

IU Press, the official academic publisher of Indiana University, publishes books and academic journals with a focus on humanities disciplines. Open Indiana: Asian Studies, a subcollection of 22 open access books relevant to East Asian studies, is available through IU Press. Through the Open Book Program, funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities Open Book Program, IU Press was able to establish Open Indiana, a collection of over 160 open access titles, including the Open Indiana: Asian Studies subcollection. The current NEH Open Book Program deadline is July 15, 2021. 

Indiana University also participates in Towards an Open Monograph Ecosystem or TOME, a multi-association initiative designed to help create a more sustainable model of open monograph publishing. You can find more information on how to get your work funded and published through TOME at Indiana University.

The IUScholarWorks – East Asian Languages and Cultures Collection is another resource for researchers. Managed by the IU Libraries Scholarly Communications Department, IUScholarWorks provides a platform to host open access scholarships. The Department’s website Open Scholarship at IU provides services, tools, and explanations of practices in open scholarship.

LibGuides are content management systems used by libraries to organize and present course and research resources. Indiana University Libraries provide various LibGuides in East Asian Studies, Tibetan Studies, South Asian Studies, and Southeast Asian Studies to serve the needs of students and researchers.

University of Michigan Press – OA Publishing in Asian Studies

On February 26, 2021, the University of Michigan Press hosted a virtual event on Open Access Publishing in Asian Studies, highlighting the Michigan Asian Studies Open Access Books Collection. During the virtual event researchers shared various open access resources in Asian Studies:

Miscellaneous Resources

Making it Count”: The Case for Digital Scholarship in Asian Studies is a blog post by the Association for Asian Studies (AAS). The post details ways in which Asian Studies departments can respond to the changes brought forth by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic through the strategic use of digital mediums and digital scholarship.

The Geiss-Hsu Foundation is a not-for-profit that sponsors research about the Ming Dynasty. They invite researchers to submit proposals for new or already published books. Successful proposals can receive funding to help make their published book open access.

The University of Michigan MBA/MA in Asian Studies: Retrospection and Reflections by Linda Lim is an oral history text discussing the history of the university’s dual MBA/MA in Asian Studies Program.

Studying the creation, exchange and use of pottery, Mahan and Baekje: The Complex Origins of Korean Kingdoms by Rory Walsh, uses ceramics to examine the political economies of Mahan and the Baekje Kingdom in Korea during 3rd to 5th century BC. 

As a companion to their eponymous joint virtual event, the Asian American Feminist Collective and Black Women Radicals provide a “Sisters and Siblings in the Struggle: COVID-19 + Black and Asian-American Feminist Solidarities” reading list which includes some open access sources. Among these are- 

ScholarLed and Lever Press are two useful options for publishing books open access. ScholarLed is a collective of ‘scholar-led’ open-access publishers that aim to create small-scale collaborative processes for academic publishing. Lever Press accepts proposals for works and series of works relevant to the publisher’s themes and interests. Lever Press also prides itself on being a ‘Platinum OA’ publisher, where the cost of publishing is not borne by the scholar, but rather by the institutions that sponsor Lever Press.    

The Directory of Open Access Journals is an independent online database containing over 15,000 reputable open access journals. While the directory isn’t exhaustive, it is a great resource for finding relevant and credible scholarly journals in Asian Studies. An equivalent directory is the Directory of Open Access Books, a database containing over 40,000 peer-reviewed open access Books. 


In conclusion, there are numerous resources available for Asian and Asian Diaspora scholars looking to make their work open access. Indiana University provides services and resources through IU Press and the library system, meanwhile outside organizations such as foundations, open-access publishers, and external institutions have options for funding, publishing services, departmental guidelines, and more.

Together, we are all a part of a developing ecosystem assisting researchers through the publishing process. Through open access methods and resources, we can help make research in Asian studies more accessible to a larger audience.

The Scholarly Communication Department Welcomes New Graduate Student

We are happy to welcome our newest graduate student, MarQuis Bullock. MarQuis is a new master’s student in the Information and Library Science Program (ILS) in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering. 

He is currently working on an open access Black Wealth Toolkit which is jointly led by the Neal Marshal Black Culture Center Library and the Scholarly Communication Department in the Herman B Wells Library at Indiana University Libraries. The Toolkit will explore the historical factors that have contributed to the racial wealth gap in the United States of America.

MarQuis is pursuing a Master’s in Library Science with specialization in archives and records management. He spent seven years working in Interpretation with the National Park Service where he researched and developed public programming spanning the subjects of school desegregation in the South, enslavement in the South Carolina Lowcountry, and the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. We look forward to working with MarQuis and can’t wait to see what he accomplishes during his time at IU! 

Navigating Course Material Services at IU Libraries

In response to the ongoing global public health crisis, universities across the country are embracing remote learning models that utilize digital resources. With most instruction occurring virtually, IU students need easily accessible and affordable digital course materials now more than ever. If you are experiencing challenges obtaining course materials, the IU Libraries Scholarly Communication Department provides resources to help instructors in all disciplines find and evaluate digital course materials. 

Student reading a book in the library
Image courtesy of Indiana University.

In a recent video, our graduate assistant Matt Vaughn outlines the options and services that instructors have for selecting course materials. These include:

Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) are digital course materials that you can legally customize to fit your needs. Open textbooks can help alleviate the burden of textbook costs for students and provide faculty with content that can be customized for their courses and used freely. The library can assist you with finding, evaluating, and creating these freely available materials. To learn more about OER options, explore this resource guide or contact Scholarly Communication Librarian Sarah Hare.

Temporarily Available Academic Resources – In addition to traditional open educational resources, many vendors and publishers are making scholarly content temporarily available for free during the ongoing pandemic. Discover these ever-changing materials here.

Analyzing Resources for Fair Use 

Another option to consider, especially if you normally use a physical book in your course or your students frequently utilize course reserves in person, is fair use. Fair use is a legal doctrine that permits the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works in certain circumstances. 

Fair use is important if you are considering scanning large portions of a book or journal for your students to access in Canvas. Generally, we recommend that you link to electronic book chapters, but you can upload PDFs of journal articles after you have downloaded them from a library database. IU has resources to help instructors analyze their intended use of copyrighted materials and to make informed decisions about use. For more information, explore this resource guide or contact Naz Pantaloni, Copyright Program Librarian.

Scanning Print Materials

After confirming that copyrighted materials may be used via fair use analysis, the Document Delivery Service unit can help you create digital scans of print materials for Canvas use via the Request Article Delivery program. You can use this service by accessing your Interlibrary Loan (ILL) account and completing the request form.

Finding and Acquiring Library Databases and eBooks

Lastly, IU Libraries may be able to obtain new materials to support your courses. Instructors can request that the Libraries purchase an eBook, a journal subscription, or access to an electronic resource via the Request A Purchase Form. It is important to note that you will need to send students to the eBook publisher’s platform to read these books, and publishers sometimes impose limits on printing and the number of simultaneous users. 

A number of library databases also include media particularly relevant to classroom use. Kanopy, for example, provides access to a wide range of films and documentaries. It can be helpful to discuss eBook and database options with your subject librarian in order to ensure long-term access for your students. 

For more information about these digital resources, visit the IU Libraries services page, contact your subject librarian, or reach out to the Scholarly Communication Department at iusw@indiana.edu.