Doing Digital Scholarship

Authors: Sheila A Brennan, Megan Brett, Sharon M. Leon

Abstract: Doing Digital Scholarship offers a self-guided introduction to digital scholarship, designed for digital novices. It allows you to dip a toe into a very large field of practice. It starts with the basics, such as securing web server space, preserving data, and improving your search techniques. It then moves forward to explore different methods used for analyzing data, designing digitally inflected teaching assignments, and creating the building blocks required for publishing digital work.

Citation: Sheila A Brennan, Megan Brett, Sharon M. Leon. “Doing Digital Scholarship.” Digital Culture Program. Social Science Research Council Labs

SourceSSRC Labs

Uniform resolution of compact identifiers for biomedical data

Authors: Sarala M. Wimalaratne, Nick Juty, John Kunze, Greg Janée, Julie A. McMurry, Niall Beard, Rafael Jimenez, Jeffrey S. Grethe, Henning Hermjakob, Maryann E. Martone & Tim Clark

Abstract: Most biomedical data repositories issue locally-unique accessions numbers, but do not provide globally unique, machine-resolvable, persistent identifiers for their datasets, as required by publishers wishing to implement data citation in accordance with widely accepted principles. Local accessions may however be prefixed with a namespace identifier, providing global uniqueness. Such “compact identifiers” have been widely used in biomedical informatics to support global resource identification with local identifier assignment. We report here on our project to provide robust support for machine-resolvable, persistent compact identifiers in biomedical data citation, by harmonizing the and (Name-To-Thing) meta-resolvers and extending their capabilities. services hosted at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory – European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), and services hosted at the California Digital Library (CDL), can now resolve any given identifier from over 600 source databases to its original source on the Web, using a common registry of prefix-based redirection rules. We believe these services will be of significant help to publishers and others implementing persistent, machine-resolvable citation of research data.

Citation: Sarala M. Wimalaratne et al. Uniform resolution of compact identifiers for biomedical data. Sci. Data. 5:180029 doi: 10.1038/sdata.2018.29

Source: Scientific Data

Open Access Policy in the UK: From Neoliberalism to the Commons

Author: Stuart Lawson

Abstract: This thesis makes a contribution to the knowledge of open access through a historically and theoretically informed account of contemporary open access policy in the UK (2010–15). It critiques existing policy by revealing the influence of neoliberal ideology on its creation, and proposes a commons-based approach as an alternative. The historical context in Chapters 2 and 3 shows that access to knowledge has undergone numerous changes over the centuries and the current push to increase access to research, and political controversies around this idea, are part of a long tradition. The exploration of the origins and meanings of ‘openness’ in Chapter 4 enriches the understanding of open access as a concept and makes possible a more nuanced critique of specific instantiations of open access in later chapters. The theoretical heart of the thesis is Chapter 5, in which neoliberalism is analysed with a particular focus on neoliberal conceptions of liberty and openness. The subsequent examination of neoliberal higher education in Chapter 6 is therefore informed by a thorough grounding in the ideology that underlies policymaking in the neoliberal era. This understanding then acts as invaluable context for the analysis of the UK’s open access policy in Chapter 7. By highlighting the neoliberal aspects of open access policy, the political tensions within open access advocacy are shown to have real effects on the way that open access is unfolding. Finally, Chapter 8 proposes the commons as a useful theoretical model for conceptualising a future scholarly publishing ecosystem that is free from neoliberal ideology. An argument is made that a commons-based open access policy is possible, though must be carefully constructed with close attention paid to the power relations that exist between different scholarly communities.

Citation: Lawson, Stuart. “Open Access Policy in the UK: From Neoliberalism to the Commons.”


From transaction to collaboration: scholarly communications design at UConn Library

Authors: Holly Jeffcoat, Gregory Colati

Abstract: The University of Connecticut (UConn) Library, in collaboration with the School of Fine Arts and the UConn Humanities Institute and with support from the Andrew W Mellon Foundation, is developing Greenhouse Studios (GS). GS is a scholarly communications research laboratory dedicated to using collaborative models and design principles in the creation of scholarly works. Scholarship laboratories that function as a combination of a scientific research lab and an art studio are a useful means of advancing the methods and outcomes of scholarly communications.

We intend to examine whether flattening hierarchies through the GS model is a significant challenge for librarians who work within transactional models of interaction and are closely tied to faculty-driven service models of research support. Other participants typically thought of as supporting faculty are embedded as equal participants in the design process. We will apply qualitative methods to examine whether the GS design process facilitates development of new models of interaction among faculty, librarians, design technologists and other experts. Preliminary experience finds most participants embrace the collaborative model and are energized by the experience. Our assessment will focus on GS techniques as drivers for role and scholarly output changes, how these experiences might translate into changes in library culture or services, and on practical findings related to space, technology usage and administrative hurdles.

This paper is the result of a presentation delivered at CNI (the Coalition for Networked Information) in early 2017 and encapsulates our thinking then and now (in early 2018) as we refine our assessment tools.

Citation: Jeffcoat, H., & Colati, G. (2018). From transaction to collaboration: scholarly communications design at UConn Library. Insights, 31, 17. DOI:

Source: Insights

Understanding Open Knowledge in China: A Chinese Approach to Openness?

Authors: Lucy Montgomery, Xiang Ren

Abstract: This paper examines the development of open knowledge in China through two case studies: the development of Chinese open access (OA) journals, and national-level OA repositories. Open access and open knowledge are emerging as a site of both grass-roots activism, and top-down intervention in the practices of scholarship and scholarly publishing in China. Although the language, vision and strategies of the global open knowledge movement are undoubtedly present, so too are the messy realities of open access and open knowledge innovation in a local context. In attempting to position open access developments in China within a diverse and contested global landscape of open knowledge innovation we draw on Moore’s (2017) conception of open access as a boundary object: an object that is understood differently within individual communities but which maintains enough structure to be understood between communities (Moore 2017; Star and Griesemer 1989). Viewed as a boundary object, the concept of open knowledge is making it possible for China to engage with the global open knowledge movement, as a beneficiary of the innovation of others, and as an open knowledge innovator in its own right.

Citation:Montgomery, L. & Ren, X., (2018). Understanding Open Knowledge in China: A Chinese Approach to Openness?. Cultural Science Journal. 10(1), pp.17–26. DOI:


Source: Cultural Science Journal

Scholarly Publishing is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It.

Authors: Jon Tennant

Abstract: TThe world of scholarly communication is broken. Giant, corporate publishers with racketeering business practices and profit margins that exceed Apple’s treat life-saving research as a private commodity to be sold at exorbitant profits. Only around 25 per cent of the global corpus of research knowledge is ‘open access’, or accessible to the public for free and without subscription, which is a real impediment to resolving major problems, such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Citation: Tennant, J. (2018).Scholarly Publishing is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It.


Source: Aeon

Tribal Intangible Cultural Property: IP or Something More?

Authors: Rebecca Tsosie, Chante Westmoreland, and Jacob Metoxen

Abstract: Origin stories, sacred songs, and other types of sacred traditional knowledge are intangible cultural property belonging to tribes or indigenous people. Intangible cultural property is not merely information–it is essential to tribal way of life. Despite its importance, there are currently no federal laws protecting others from appropriating sacred traditional knowledge.

This type of knowledge should seemingly be protected by intellectual property or cultural property laws. Intellectual property laws offer protection for a limited time for works of authorship or inventions as a way to incentivize creation. Cultural property laws, such as the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), offer limited protection for some types of tangible cultural property. Neither IP laws nor NAGPRA protect tribal intangible cultural property. This lack of protection leaves tribal intangible cultural property open to appropriation.

Professor Rebecca Tsosie, Regents Professor of Law at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law with the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) Program and Special Advisor to the Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion for the University of Arizona, and Chante Westmoreland (JD Candidate ’18) discuss this gap in the law and the harm it perpetuates. Professor Tsosie is one of the leading experts in the field of federal Indian law and tribal law and policy, and has been instrumental in shining a light on the lack of cultural property protection.  She joins BTLJ to discuss the harm and complications that come from this lack of protection.

Citation: Chante Westmoreland, Rebecca Tsosie, and Jacob Metoxen. “Tribal Intangible Cultural Property: IP or Something More?” Student Podcast, Berkeley Technology Law Journal, April 24, 2018.


Source: Berkeley Technology Law Journal

Five principles for community altmetrics data

Author: Joe Wass

Abstract: These five principles are my answer to some of the difficulties and problems I have observed in the past couple of years. In that time I have been collecting the kind of data that altmetrics are built from, and talking and working with researchers. Altmetrics data is derived from the community. I think that community should continue to be at the heart of every step.

Citation: Wass, T. (2018). Five principles for community altmetrics data. Joe’s Blog.


Source: Joe’s Blog

Collections as data: Implications for enclosure

Author: Thomas Padilla

Abstract: In recent years a growing amount of interest has been dedicated to collections as data. A collections as data paradigm seeks to foster an expanded set of research, pedagogical, and artistic potential predicated on the computational use of cultural heritage collections. Collections as data raises the question of what it might mean to treat digitized and born digital collections as data rather than simple surrogates of physical objects or static representations of digital experience.

Citation: Padilla, T. (2018). Collections as data: Implications for enclosure. College & Research Libraries News, 79(6), 296. doi:


Source: College & Research Libraries News

JLSC Board Editorial 2018

Authors: Gail Clement, Nicky Agate, Samantha Searle, Danny Kingsley, Micah Vandegrift

Abstract: The current scholarly communication landscape is populated by a variety of actors and powered by an ever-increasing array of complementary and competitive systems for the production, publication, and distribution of scholarship. Recent years have also seen increasing numbers of proposals to recast these systems in ways that better align with the needs and values of the academy and its scholars. In this editorial, members of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication consider the present environment and contemplate the future of academy-owned and -supported scholarly communication, as well as the role of libraries in that future.

Citation:Clement, G. et al., (2018). JLSC Board Editorial 2018. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. 6 (1), p. None. DOI:


Source: Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication