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!

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! 

COVID-19 demonstrates the value of Open Access. What happens next?

This is an excerpt from an article published in College & Research Libraries News May 2020.

In the wake of COVID-19, many publishers have tacitly agreed that open access is beneficial to scientific advancement and necessary to move science forward to combat disease. Publishers have committed to open access publication of scientific articles relating to the disease. Some are facilitating rapid and open peer review and fast-tracking the publishing of related research. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Hiltzig refers to this convincing demonstration of the value of open access to scientific research as one of the most important positive disruptions caused by COVID-19.

The World Health Organization maintains a global research hub with links to several publisher sites for access to coronavirus research, and the United States Centers for Disease Control has compiled a similar list. Elsevier (and its high profile journals like Cell, and The Lancet), Wiley, SpringerNature, The New England Journal of Medicine and scores of other publishers and publications have provided open access to COVID-19 research. Even news magazines like Wired and Medium, which usually allow readers access to a limited number of free articles without a subscription, began providing free unlimited access to stories about COVID-19 shortly after it was classified as a global pandemic. They also offered an invitation to sign up for email updates, as if our anxiety levels were not already high enough. SpingerNature is encouraging researchers to use their In Review pre-print system while articles are being peer-reviewed and to share datasets widely. Many vendors are offering free access to online learning solutions and educational resources for the remainder of the spring semester. Some researchers have chosen to bypass traditional journals altogether, putting their work on disciplinary pre-print servers.

While the absence of peer review on these platforms has the potential to widely disseminate misinformation, the robust use of pre-print servers by the scientific community has worked to rebut spurious claims, in effect crowd sourcing rapid expert peer-review. (So no, there is no evidence that COVID-19 was manufactured in a lab. ) It is also worth noting that Nature’s Outbreak Science Rapid PREview server, which was established in response to COVID-19, allows scientists with an ORCID ID to submit a review while reading pre-prints pulled in from the medRxiv, bioRxiv and arXiv repositories.

Government officials in the US, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and the UK are now calling for even wider access. This would encompass the text of journal articles as well as machine-readable text to enable analysis using artificial intelligence, along with research data made available through sources like PubMed Central and the World Health Organization’s COVID database. Outside of the realm of scientific publication, the Taiwanese response to the outbreak highlights how easy, free public access to reliable information is beneficial to a robust, effective response across a complex system which requires the co-ordination of governance, institutions, individuals and their varying points and levels of interaction. Taiwanese analyst Victor (Lin) Pu argues that “the free flow of information is the best treatment for the coronavirus outbreak.”

At the time this article was written, the current outbreak was expected to subside within a few months, with health authorities using shutdowns, social distancing and quarantines in an effort to ‘flatten the curve’ of contagion.  When the pandemic subsides, where do we go next in academic publishing? Clearly, most stakeholders in this pandemic situation regard knowledge about the disease as an open access common pool resource — a public good that should be freely accessible. Does this change in the absence of a crisis? Is it then acceptable to slow the progress of science? And who has the right to make these decisions?

Read the complete article in College & Research Libraries News.

5 Tips to Amplify the Impact of Your Scholarly Work

Individuals, departments and institutions are increasingly concerned with understanding and evaluating scholars, their output and productivity, as well as the impact of their scholarly work.  If you are an instructor or researcher, your own personal curiosity may lead you to search for strategies to demonstrate impact, or it may be a requirement for academic promotion, or to get tenure.  Here are 5 ways you can increase the impact of the work you do.

1. Make your work available to as wide an audience as possible

Making your work (or some version of it) open access is a great way to increase impact. Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of scholarly work, coupled with the rights specified by the scholar to reuse this work. Indiana University provides the IUScholarWorks and IUScholarWorks Open repositories to help scholars disseminate and preserve their work.  Works deposited in these repositories are assigned a permanent identifier that will not change over time, as well as descriptive keywords to make works discoverable to others. 

IUScholarWorks Open hosts articles published after February 2017 that are subject to the Indiana University Bloomington Faculty Open Access PolicyIUScholarWorks is a wider repository that is designed to host, preserve, and make discoverable a variety of scholarly work by any IU affiliate (e.g. white papers, presentations, data, educational materials, research articles,  poster presentations, etc.).

In addition, IU Libraries provides open access journal publishing options.  IUScholarWorks Open Journals is a suite of over 55 journals that offer open access publishing in a variety of disciplines such as education, vascular medicine, optometry history, digital heritage, newborn developmental care, languages, folklore, disability studies, and interdisciplinary undergraduate research.

2. Manage your scholarly identity and promote your work

Managing your online scholarly identity is an important strategy for scholarly impact – research offices and employers increasingly look at online profiles as a surrogate CV, and some services are already tracking and collating the work of scholars and generating impact profiles.  Two easy first steps in taking charge of your online identity are creating an ORCID iD and a Google Scholar profile. 

An ORCID iD is a persistent numeric identifier that is unique to you. Using ORCID connects you with a trusted record of your education and employment affiliation, and work that you have contributed including presentations, publications, or educational materials.  You can use the permanent identifier provided by IUScholarWorks in ORCID, so that others can access your work. Go to  or consult our ORCID Libguide:  

Google Scholar is a tool that can be used to keep track of your own publications, and publications that cite your work. It can help you increase search engine optimization (SEO), and make your work more discoverable. Google Scholar indexes material deposited in IUScholarWorks and can send you an alert when it indexes work that should be attributed to you. For more information see  If you already have a Google Scholar profile, review it to ensure that the record of your work is accurate and up to date.  

Many academics also social media and social sharing platforms to promote their work.  You can write a short plain-language summary of your work and include your IUScholarWorks permanent identifier so that others can review the work for themselves. You can also include your ORCID iD so that potential readers can see the full range of work that you have done.

3. Make an impact plan

The beginning of a semester is a great time for forward planning.  An impact plan should include:

  • The factors you will be evaluated on.
  • One or more achievable goals for your scholarly work over the semester.
  • Strategies and tools to help you increase, track and document the impact of that work.
  • A roadmap detailing steps and timeframes to implement the strategies and tools.

4. Learn what quantitative and qualitative indicators are suitable for evaluating your work and how they might be used

Best practice in scholarly evaluation recommends using multiple indicators to provide a more robust picture of attention, influence, and impact.

A common metric is citation counts, or the number of times that a published work has appeared in the reference list of research articles or books. This metric is best used in evaluating the usefulness of research articles, books, and datasets, but citations take time to accrue, and a work may be cited to critique or disparage it rather than for its usefulness.  Journal Impact factor is a venue-level measure reflecting the annual average number of citations of recent articles published in that journal. It can be useful in comparing the relative influence of journals within a discipline but is not a good indicator of the quality or usefulness of individual articles or authors.

Altmetrics include item views, downloads, media coverage, government policy mentions, and social media mentions.  These track attention, but are not accurate indicators of whether someone has actually read your work. Some social sharing sites (Mendeley, offer readership statistics – again, this does not track actual reading but rather the number of users who have added an article into their personal library.

Altmetric providers and some repositories also track a user’s geographic location when they access an item.  While this can illustrate the geographic reach of a scholarly work, it can be affected by the use of VPN (virtual private networks) and some ISP (internet service provider) practices that mask users’ true locations

Qualitative indicators are equally important and may include:

  • Invitations e.g. to speak, facilitate, intervene, exhibit or consult
  • Grant funding
  • Patents/Licenses
  • Changes in professional or technical standards
  • Incorporation in workflows or implementation in your field
  • Participant feedback

IU librarians can help you use appropriate indicators to create a narrative around the scholarly contributions that are most valuable to you to make your case for scholarly excellence.

5. Consult with a Librarian

IU librarians will partner with you to:

  • Manage your online scholarly identity
  • Increase the visibility of your work.
  • Incorporate practices within your teaching and scholarship to facilitate gathering data on impact.
  • Understand how metrics and altmetrics are calculated and used, their benefits and limitations, and how to apply them to your work.
  • Identify and use qualitative indicators of impact.
  • Recommend other relevant services such as IU Libraries CV Service   

To learn more about the impact services offered by IU Libraries, review our impact services page, or contact the Scholarly Communication Department at


ORCID requirement for NIH – 2nd deadline fast approaching

The National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control, and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality have implemented the 1st phase of the new requirement for ORCID iDs for researchers supported by new training (T), fellowship (F), education, or career development (K) awards in fiscal year (FY) 2020. The requirement for ORCID identifiers was incorporated into the appointment process for trainees, scholars, and participants supported by institutional research training, career development, and research education awards that require new appointments through the xTrain system in October 2019At the time of appointment, the xTrain system will check whether appointees have ORCID iDs and appointments will be not be accepted for agency review unless an ORCID iD is linked to the individual’s eRA Commons Personal Profile.  

An ORCID iD is a single persistent numeric identifier that is unique to you. Researcher names are neither unique nor static. Many researchers may have the same name, and your name may change over time with life events. Using ORCID connects you with a trusted, verifiable record of your education and employment affiliation, grant funding, research, and work that you have contributed such as presentations or publications. This verification along with its data transfer capacity i.e. ORCID’s ability to move information through connected information systems designated by the user (via APIs or  Search & Link functions), makes ORCID a natural partner for integration into the eRA Commons PPF. 

Beginning with receipt dates on or after January 25, 2020, the requirement for ORCID identifiers will be enforced at the time of application for new individual fellowship and career development awards. The requirement does not apply to fellowship and mentored career development non-competing renewals, or to individuals supported via administrative supplements to enhance diversity.

Researchers must create an ORCID iD (Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier) and associate it with their eRA Commons Personal Profile. The eRA Commons is an online interface where grant applicants, grantees and federal staff at NIH and grantor agencies can access and share administrative information relating to research grants. The Personal Profile (PPF) in eRA Commons is the central repository of information on all registered users. It is designed so that individual eRA system users can hold and maintain ownership over the accuracy of their own profile information, and provides a single profile per person, regardless of the various roles they may hold throughout their relationship with the agency (e.g. trainee, graduate student, principal investigator, etc.), assuring data accuracy and integrity. Learn how to create and link your ORCID iD to the eRA Commons here.

At Indiana University, you can connect your ORCID iD with Digital Measures for annual reporting. 

You can also link your ORCID iD to other professional accounts such as PubMed, SciENcv, Web of Science, and ScholarOne.   Learn more about how to register for and use ORCID in our guide – ORCID@IU

Scholarly Communications, Equity and Inclusion: Part 2

This blog post is part of a two-part series addressing the 2018 theme of Open Access Week: “Designing equitable foundations for open knowledge.”

In my last post I framed the issue of diversity in scholarly communications within the context of the profession of librarianship.  I asked

If, as I argue, diversity has intrinsic value, why then should the qualification for professional librarianship not reflect diverse approaches?

Restructuring entry to the profession with diversity in mind can take many different pathways.  A diverse approach could consider whether an undergraduate degree in librarianship can be a path to professional librarianship.   It could consider means of evaluating on-the-job training, as well as other means of providing certifications, perhaps by structured professional development courses, immersive summer schools, or other avenues for cumulative certifications that can eventually provide a professional qualification. It could consider whether access to those certifications can be provided to wide constituencies such as persons holding undergraduate degrees, persons with professional experience, persons with associate degrees, and persons who can competently pass an entrance examination. It could also consider developing and promulgating standards for library technicians and other classes of library professionals.

In terms of access to opportunities within academic programs, individuals with power within academic institutions must make conscious decisions to critically analyze conceptions of ‘best fit’ candidates and ask themselves whether this is simply privileging a particular cultural experience.  Such individuals must recognize the value that persons from different backgrounds can contribute to their institutions and make decisions to create space for such persons.  At the institutional level academic programs must be reformed to ensure that work experience is built into the programs for every entrant and that there is flexibility for entrants to change positions as their interests develop.

Most, if not all of these steps carry risks.  There is the risk in creating ‘diversity hire’ positions, that the scholarly community will suspect that the selected candidate was not necessarily the most qualified person for the job.  My own position, the Open Scholarship Resident Librarian, is a diversity residency created by the IU Libraries, and I have wondered whether others may think I was offered this position based on my race rather than my qualifications.

There is the risk in moving the discourse beyond representation and inclusion to think about the intrinsic value of diversity. The risk is that shifting the focus from representation can be used to perpetuate exclusion of underrepresented populations, on the basis that any individual necessarily brings a diversity of experience to the community.  There is also a risk that diversifying paths of entry to the LIS field would lead to devaluation of the worth and work of professional librarians as well as salary degradation.

We have to investigate these risks. These risks can be departure points for further scholarly inquiry.  We must ask what kinds of data must be collected, what practices must be put in place, and what decision making behaviors must be interrogated to address these concerns.  However, this should not inhibit work toward the deconstruction of established exclusionary systems.

These proposals can be applied in other areas of academia beyond librarianship.  The broad need for restructuring of credentialing is pointed to by Jonathan Finklestein of digital credentialing service Credly, in this article on alternative credentials.  Using alternative paths to credentialing is one step, the next step is to figure out how to get a wider array of voices into the scholarly and cultural record.

The institutional repository of Indiana University – IU Scholarworks – is a good example of a how to provide an access point for diverse voices.   Access to the repository is not limited to faculty and scholars. Anyone with a connection to IU can deposit work into the repositories, and once deposited the works are freely available for anyone to access.  The same applies to our Open Journals platform, which provides a low or no-cost digital journal publishing service.

The Indiana University Libraries Diversity Strategic Plan and the work of the Diversity Committee reflects an appreciation of the risks and nuances, while doing actual work to transform the library into a space that people from traditionally excluded groups can access and thrive.  The collections are being revamped, alternative qualifications are specifically referred to in job postings whenever possible, a member of the Diversity Committee takes part in the search and screen committees, and job applicants are specifically questioned on their commitment to diversity. The Diversity Committee plans outreach to cultural centers, the office of disability services, veteran support services and many other campus bodies that serve staff as well as faculty, in its work. IU Libraries joined the ACRL Diversity Alliance and created its first Diversity Residency – my position, the Open Scholarship Resident Visiting Assistant Librarian.

In my work I investigate the publishing output of the Indiana University Bloomington Libraries through Open Journals and the university repositories.  The goal is to identify gaps, and reach out to underrepresented communities and provide them with access to publishing.  Indiana University maintains several repositories for articles, thematic series, theses and dissertations, and images and video.  Our librarians can help you assess your rights to place your work into the repositories.  The goal is to create a scholarly environment without cost, geographical, or systemic barriers.  You can reach out to me at

Scholarly Communications, Equity and Inclusion: Part 1

This blog post is part of a two-part series addressing the 2018 theme of Open Access Week: “Designing equitable foundations for open knowledge.”

The landscape of scholarly communication has become more diverse, moving beyond traditional book and journal publishing.  We now have an entire spectrum of methods of open scholarship available, with varying levels of formality, recognition and acceptance, such as –

  • open access publishing;
  • self-archiving by depositing scholarly data, pre-prints and post-prints in open repositories;
  • digital platforms for sharing data, articles and source code;
  • social networks;
  • blogs; and
  • podcasts. 

This diverse spectrum of scholarly communications challenges us to think about diversity within our profession, as well as equity and inclusion in terms of who and what is reflected in the scholarly record.

I believe diversity is an imperative, not only because we serve diverse communities, but because diversity is a service in itself.  I refer to this as the intrinsic value of diversity.  Our differences allow us to bring a variety of perspectives that enrich each other’s lives and the lives of the communities we serve, even if that community is completely homogenous.   We want all the best minds to contribute to scholarship, regardless of race, ability, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status,  or geographic limitations.  Therefore, discussion of diversity must include, but move beyond, representation of the diverse communities we serve, and we must take a critical look at the structures of power that perpetuate exclusion.

As Alice Meadows points out in her recent article – Eight Ways to Tackle Diversity and Inclusion in Peer Review – it has become apparent that there is a serious lack of diversity and inclusion in publishing, scholarly communications and academia.  Her thoughtful piece shows how academia has constructed an exclusionary system that permeates through all facets of the scholarly communications landscape.

Librarianship reaches into all areas of academia, and over the last 2 decades has taken the lead in promoting a more open equitable environment for scholarly communications.  However, it is also a discipline that exemplifies that exclusionary system, despite the proliferation of diversity initiatives  over the last decade. The LIS profession generally regards itself as committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, as a safe space for persons of all abilities, sexual and gender orientations, and as anti-racist.   These narratives are welcome, and when they are translated into practices that actively recruit and foster the development of persons from underrepresented groups, they contribute to a more equitable scholarly environment.  However, a 2017 Ithaka S&R study of academic research libraries (Schonfield, R and Low, J “Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity:Members of the Association of Research Libraries Employee Demographics and Director Perspectives” (2017)) revealed the critical lack of diversity in the profession despite 20 years of diversity initiatives, beginning with the ALA Spectrum Scholarship in 1997.

However, these initiatives have not dismantled the exclusionary construct of the scholarly field or the profession.   One important issue that has been lacking from the diversity narrative is an interrogation of the structure of LIS as a profession.

Two structural issues that impact diversity in present-day librarianship are barriers to entry, and access to opportunities during LIS studies.  Prior to 1950 librarianship qualifications varied, including apprenticeship within a local library, summer training schools, and even and undergraduate degrees (see also Reports of the Iowa Library Commission 1901-1916 available at

This is no longer the case.  As a general rule, to become a librarian, an advanced degree is required, usually an MLS or its equivalent, or in more recent years, institutions have been increasingly willing to accept a subject-matter Masters degree. Within graduate programs, access to opportunities for meaningful experience are structured around concepts and expectations that align with North American, white, middle class cultural experiences.  While increasing numbers of entrants come to librarianship as a second career, the educational trajectory of most entrants is strikingly similar and coalesce around this same cultural experience.

People of color, people in lower socio-economic brackets which are disproportionately comprised of people of color, and people who are from the global south, again generally comprised of people of color, do not necessarily have this cultural experience.  Many of these persons may also have faced societal opportunity gaps and unequal access to resources from the earliest stages of formal education.  Moreover, persons within these groups are not one dimensional –  they may have other characteristics which inhibit access, such as disabilities, age, being a parent, and gender and sexual orientation.  When we consider the layering of all these facets, entry to the field of librarianship and space to thrive within it, becomes increasingly difficult to navigate for persons within these groups.

As a result, while narratives of diversity proliferate within LIS, access to the field is largely limited to a homogenous cultural and socio-economic trajectory.  If, as I argue, diversity has intrinsic value, why then should the qualification for professional librarianship not reflect diverse approaches?

I explore this question further in a following post.

The Scholarly Communication Department Welcomes Open Scholarship Diversity Resident

The Scholarly Communication Department welcomes our new Open Scholarship Diversity Resident this week – Willa Liburd Tavernier. Willa is the IU Libraries’ first Diversity Resident. She will be working with the Scholarly Communication Department and IU Press to advocate for and assess the impact of policies and practices that make research, educational materials, and data, openly accessible.

Image: Photo of Willa Liburd Tavernier
Willa Liburd Tavernier, IU Libraries Open Scholarship Resident

Willa’s current research interests include investigating the underlying theoretical basis for open scholarship, and critical information literacy.  Before joining IU, Willa worked as a student specialist at the University of Iowa conducting bibliographic analysis of open access funded research and assisting with administration of the institutional repository.

Willa earned her MLIS from the School of Library and Information Science at the University of Iowa together with a Graduate Certificate in College Teaching.  She also holds a Master of Laws from American University Washington College of Law, a Legal Education Certificate from Norman Manley Law School and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill.

Please join us in welcoming Willa to the IU Libraries!