Open Access Week 2018!

During the last week of October, Indiana University joins institutions around the world from countries as diverse as Senegal, Ghana, Austria, Lithuania, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, and dozens of US states to host a great variety of events for International Open Access Week. The groups include institutions as varied as university libraries, academic publishers, governmental groups, scientific organizations and even Wikimedia. As previously covered in this blog and elsewhere, Open Access is vitally-important goal that is supported by Indiana University Bloomington. Indeed, as shown by the recent announcement by Science Europe, IUB and its faculty was ahead of the curve in embracing and supporting an Open Access policy for all faculty members.

To review, most Open Access is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. What makes it possible is the internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder. OA is entirely compatible with peer review, and all the major OA initiatives for scientific and scholarly literature insist on its importance. Just as authors of journal articles donate their labor, so do most journal editors and referees participating in peer review. (source)

Open Access means that knowledge is regarded as a public good and shared resource, and  authors use open access publishing to make the fruits of their research such as scholarly articles, datasets and source code, accessible  to the world for the sake of inquiry and knowledge without expectation of payment. Adopting such a policy reduces barriers to research and learning by making research available on the public internet to be downloaded and shared freely, making it possible for scholarship to be more widely read and cited than literature that appears in closed-access, licensed journal databases.

Open Access Week supports all of these goals–through a vast panoply of events and initiatives, OA Week seeks to raise awareness around Open Access and to encourage even more participation. No stranger to participation in OA Week, the Scholarly Communications Department, in collaboration with Indiana University Libraries, IU MoneySmarts, the Teaching and Learning Department and others in the Learning Commons are hosting a series of events for students and the public to learn all about Open Access, why you should care about it, and what you can do!

IUB’s Open Access Week events will include learning how to improve your Instagram and presentation game with CC0 images, reflecting on Wikipedia and its data, obtaining Open Access research, discussing course material costs, and learning more about open government information resources. Join us on the following dates –

  • October 22nd from 11am-1pm in Wells Library Learning Commons
  • October 23nd from 11am-1pm in Wells Library Learning Commons and
  • October 25th from 11am-12pm in Wells Library W138

The final highlight of the week from the Scholarly Communications department will be Sarah Hare’s presentation on how to start your own Open Access Journal. From the event page:

Anyone affiliated with Indiana University–students, staff, and faculty–can create an open access journal at no cost! This session will give an overview of the publishing platform, services, and support IU Libraries provides to those interested in starting a journal. The session will also provide information on flipping a closed journal to open access to those interested. Participants should bring any questions they have about journal publishing, open access, or their specific publication to the session.

Please RVSP here.

Office of Scholarly Publishing in the News

This summer, the Office of Scholarly Publishing has been reflecting on the services we provide and the value we bring to IU’s campus and open access scholarly publishing broadly. Simultaneously, the Office of Scholarly Publishing (OSP) has been mentioned in several recent articles and news pieces on open access publishing and author rights. I believe that these pieces start to answer our questions about the value, perspective, and expertise that we contribute to the larger community.

Jason Jackson’s post, which discusses Museum Anthropology Review’s business and labor model, highlights the instrumental role library publishers play in the open access ecosystem. Jason states,

I am not able to quantify the financial investments that the IU Libraries have made in MAR via the IUSW program, but the investment is significant and important…. just as MAR tries to serve the field without charging fees for that service, IUSW tries to serve projects like MAR without charging fees for that service. It is certainly the case that economies of scale have been realized by having library-based publishing support services that can concurrently help a wide range of (mostly small) journal projects.

Another recent piece, “What Happened, or, Impasses and Future Horizons for an Open Anthropology of Work” grapples with the challenges of operationalizing open access in the field of anthropology. The editorial cites conversations with the Office of Scholarly Publishing to make an important anthropology title, Anthropology Work Review, open access. While the effort was not successful and we do not currently publish AWR, the piece is important for demonstrating the values that IU’s OSP is dedicated to. Conversations with AWR were also a reflective exercise for our team, as they forced us to reflect on and operationalize our values, which in turn led to a better understanding of our own mission and ethics.

Finally, a recent op ed (first presented as a keynote) discusses the 50th anniversary of the Liberian Studies Association and mentions the association’s journal, the Liberian Studies Journal. The OSP currently hosts the journal’s back issues and is in conversations to help the publication renew publication efforts.

When I think about what OSP is and what we aim to be, I envision a meaningful partnership between IU Press and IU Libraries Scholarly Communication staff that encourages cross-pollination, harnesses disparate publishing resources, and pools expertise strategically in order to transform scholarly publishing at IU by:

  1. Serving IU faculty and students, through journal publishing, open access book publishing, and course material publishing.
  2. Moving conversations on publishing innovations forward on campus and in the larger community. This includes, but isn’t limited to, conversations around experimental peer review, course material affordability, hybrid OA models, open source infrastructure, and new modes of scholarship, including 3D object and multi-media integration.  
  3. Educating the next generation of scholars, both through supporting the creation of student publishing projects and creating programming and hands-on experiences for students interested in publishing, open access, and scholarly career paths.
  4. Moving the national conversation on library publishing, library/press partnerships, and open access forward.

I’m excited to see that we are already making a significant impact in several of these areas, including number four. The pieces above demonstrate that we are both inspiring and contributing to important national conversations that will impact the future of open access publishing.

The Importance of Undergraduate Student Research at IU

This semester I had the privilege of teaching “Academic Editing and Publishing,” a one-credit hour course for the Indiana University Journal of Undergraduate Research (IUJUR) student editorial board. I co-taught the course with a current undergraduate student and the former editor-in-chief of IUJUR, Sonali Mali. The purpose of the course was twofold: to give students a practical skillset for publishing a multidisciplinary undergraduate scholarly journal at Indiana University while also informing students of larger conceptual academic publishing issues.

Striking a balance between practical fundamentals—for example, learning the ins and outs of our publishing platform and evaluating submissions using IUJUR-specific rubrics—with larger concepts was sometimes challenging. Overall, I think that students appreciated the authentic learning experiences that resulted from using an active journal as a tangible example throughout the course.

I learned a lot about myself as an instructor and the importance of librarian perspectives in undergraduate publishing education. Library publishers are experts in ethical publishing practices, open access funding, and various peer review models. Students were most passionate when we discussed the cost of information, open access publishing, and new publishing innovations, including post-publication peer review, data publishing, and including 3D and media in traditional journal publishing. I was excited to talk about these developments in the context of the work that IU Libraries is pursuing and several of the case studies we discussed in class were pulled from work that the Office of Scholarly Publishing (OSP) and IU Press is currently engaged in. 

The Importance of Undergraduate Research

Throughout the course, I learned about the importance of undergraduate research and the integral role that IUJUR editors play as ambassadors for undergraduate research at Indiana University. I kicked off the first session of our course with asking students to articulate why undergraduate research was important. Students shared that IUJUR gave IU students a voice and presence on a research-intensive campus. They explained that an institutional commitment to undergraduate research provided space for all students to ask their own research questions and share their perspectives. They also noted that IUJUR gives student editors and authors access to faculty advisors, tangible career preparation, and opportunities to refine their voice and collaboration skills. Here were a few of my favorite responses from this activity:
undergrad research primes a generation of future researchers

prepares students for grad school and beyond

gives students the ability to take a proactive role in shaping the research climate on campus

These responses align with the growing body of literature that discusses how impactful and effective undergraduate research is. The Council on Undergraduate Research supports institutions of all sizes and missions that provide some kind of undergraduate research opportunity for faculty and students to collaborate on. They have a variety of publications, many of which are freely available to access. Some of the benefits of intensive undergraduate research that CUR has identified include:

Enhances student learning through mentoring relationships with faculty

Increases retention

Increases enrollment in graduate education and provides effective career preparation

Develops critical thinking, creativity, problem solving and intellectual independence

Develops an understanding of research methodology

Promotes an innovation-oriented culture

Similarly, undergraduate research has been called a “high-impact practice” or HIP. George Kuh wrote a landmark paper for the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) on high-impact educational practices in 2008. When researching why intensive undergraduate research, service learning, learning communities, and other learning opportunities were particularly effective, he found several similarities between HIPs (pgs. 14-17), including:

An extensive investment from students

Interaction and relationship building between peers and with faculty to solve “substantive” or real-world problems

Exposure to diverse perspectives and viewpoints

Consistent feedback to foster improvement and growth 

Kuh’s list applies to the intensive work that IUJUR authors and editors do to publish a multidisciplinary journal regularly.

Throughout the course I always tried to come back to our first session and the reasons that students identified for why undergraduate research is important. I can now articulate that the product–the final research output that others can read and cite–is only a piece of the puzzle. The process that IUJUR student editors and authors go through is just as fundamental. The process is where learning takes place. It’s where we train future researchers, scholars, and citizens to think critically about access to research and how we evaluate scholarship. It’s where we build relationships with students that transform their future career paths and broaden and enhance their existing interests. I am thankful to play a small part in the IUJUR student editors’ process and be part of a campus that prioritizes undergraduate research.

Additional resources:

Additional reading on undergraduate research journals:

  • Dawson, D. D., & Marken, L. (2017). Undergraduate Research Journals: Benefits and Good Practices of Involving Students in Content Creation and Other Scholarly Communication Activities. WILU 2017 Conference, University of Alberta.
  • Riehle, C. F. (2014). Collaborators in Course Design: A Librarian and Publisher at the Intersection of Information Literacy and Scholarly Communication. In 2014 LOEX Conference Proceedings.
  • Weiner, S., & Watkinson, C. (2014). What do students learn from participation in an undergraduate research journal? Results of an assessment. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 2(2).