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 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 ( 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

Course Material Transformation Fellowships Awarded

The Scholarly Communication Department is proud to announce the inaugural cohort of the 2021 Course Material Transformation Fellowship Program. The IUB Libraries and IUPUI Libraries launched the Course Material Transformation Fellowship Program in Fall 2020 for instructors interested in adopting or creating affordable course material, with generous support from the Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council.

Chosen from a competitive list of applicants, our Fellows comprise 13 faculty members and one graduate student who are dedicated to creating and cultivating an environment that allows students to have access to quality course materials without the burden of cost. Many of the fellowships will increase access to educational materials for underrepresented populations. The instructors come from Indiana University Bloomington (IUB) and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and teach courses ranging across the disciplines. In addition to learning methods for improving access to educational resources, Fellows will learn about available platforms such as Pressbooks, and new approaches such as Open Pedagogy in the classroom. They will be implementing the new materials in their courses during the 2021-2022 academic year. These may include Open Educational Resources (OER), library eBooks and databases, and instructor-created materials. 

Please join us in welcoming our Fellows. Their comments below provide a glimpse of their excitement about this new opportunity.

The Course Material Transformation Fellowship would yield a higher-quality OER text for my course and students, and provide me with a tremendous opportunity for continued learning and support.”- Miranda Rodak, Department of English, IU Bloomington

I would like to make [materials] interactive to ensure students are reading and getting immediate feedback on their understanding.” – Kim Donahue, Kelley School of Business, IUPUI

Creating a collection of no-cost materials specifically for IUB multilingual students means that I would be able to customize the content using existing Open Educational Resources.” – Megan Hansen Connolly, Second Language Studies, IU Bloomington

I am excited about this program because of the opportunity to work with experts and others in diverse fields.” – Kathy Berlin, Department of Health Sciences, IUPUI

The transformation of the course curriculum to better meet the learning objectives in the field and align with the General Education community contributions is my priority under my capacity of instructor and expert in the Culture and Health domain. The current Fellowship program offers a valuable opportunity to improve the learning experience in the field.” – Valia Kalaitzi, Department of Global Health, IUPUI

I want to ensure students are able to access and utilize course materials easily. Due to the course having a large quantity of students each semester, if the course materials were available completely online many students would be able to save money on course materials.” – Amy Powell and Julia Sanders,  ePortfolio, IUPUI

By using a multitude of resources, I can provide students with the most up-to-date, broad base of knowledge required to enhance the lives of people with disability across society.  I am excited to learn more about all the resources available to me to make this transition, especially the OER and ways to create my own, diverse set of instructor-created materials to support student learning.” – Heaven Hollender, Department of Health Sciences, IUPUI

My vision is to create cohesive course materials that align with the story I want to tell with each unit. I would like this to be through lecture videos (some redone to be in the form of whiteboard animations), supplemented with open-source text chapters when appropriate,  or source animations or simulations that are already available.” – Sapna Mehta, Department of Biology, IU Bloomington

“It is paramount that we give [students] a thorough background for the content that we are teaching.  We teach them professional communication and procedures while simultaneously teaching them the requisite medical terminology to get started.”Todd Peabody, School of Optometry, IU Bloomington

I would like to move a multitude of resources such as assessment materials into one resource that students have the ability to apply the content more easily.” – Roxie Barnes, School of Nursing, IU Bloomington

Every semester I have a handful of students who struggle to buy the book, for whom I usually put copies of the book on reserve at Wells. During the COVID pandemic, with library reserves shut down, this situation has become untenable… I have been looking for the time and intellectual space to identify and develop all-digital materials, and this fellowship would provide it.” – Kathryn Graber, Department of Anthropology, IU Bloomington

I appreciate the opportunity to learn from experts and colleagues about OER materials.” – Shana Stump, Department of Political Science, IUPUI

I’m interested in finding free materials to serve as a reference in the classroom for students.”Rick Hullinger, Department of Psychology and Brain Sciences, IU Bloomington

The Course Material Transformation Fellowship Program aims to:

  • Lower the cost of college for students in order to contribute to their retention, progression, and graduation
  • Encourage the development of alternatives to high-cost textbooks by supporting the adoption, adaptation, and creation of Open Educational Resources (OER)
  • Make course material access on the first day of class a reality for all students, regardless of socioeconomic status
  • Support instructors in navigating the variety of affordable course material solutions available and aggregate material instructor support across campus into one space

Even outside of the Fellowship Program, our Department provides support to faculty members who wish to introduce open educational resources and open pedagogy to the classroom. Consult our OER Libguide or contact us for more information.

Temporary Free Access to Academic Resources during COVID-19

In response to the pandemic, many vendors and publishers are making scholarly content temporarily available for free. IU Libraries have created a guide that aggregates academic resources that have been made freely available temporarily during the pandemic. This guide is intended to assist librarians, faculty, and researchers in finding resources to support teaching, learning, and discovery as classes have moved online for the foreseeable future.

The guide includes links to a number of community-built lists that are tracking free access to vendor resources. The International Coalition of Library Consortia, for instance, has created a list of information service providers who are offering expanded content access due to COVID-19. These lists cover a variety of free resources including textbook and monograph offerings, music, electronic resources, online learning services and platforms, as well as analytics platforms.

In addition, many publishers are providing temporary access to eBooks, scholarly journals, videos, and other media. Project Muse, for instance, is offering open access eBooks and journals from several distinguished university presses and scholarly societies. In an effort to support educators, the Association for Science Education has made its 2019 and 2020 journal content temporarily open access. Netflix has also made a selection of their documentary features available on the Netflix U.S. YouTube Channel. The IU resources guide provides links and descriptions for all of these resources.

Multiple publishers have made research specifically related to COVID-19 freely available. SAGE publishing, for instance, is providing researchers with access to all of their COVID-19 related content. For additional open access research specific to COVID-19, see the COVID-19 Research page in this guide.  Please note that a few of the research resources listed there are pre-print servers. That content is not vetted research as it has not been peer-reviewed.

The guide also includes a list of resources that are always open access. The benefit of these resources is that they are not only free to use, they can be openly used, edited, stored, and distributed. Additionally, many of these resources can be downloaded then accessed offline by students, even long after the end of a course. Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), for instance, organizes a wide range of cultural heritage resources that are free and immediately available in digital format. 

Finally, the Internet Archive is another extensive resource currently available. It holds millions of books, videos, audio files, and archived web pages on a wide range of topics.

Please note that access to many these resources is temporary, and a resource may be withdrawn without notice by the vendor. This guide will continue to be updated as we discover additional resources.