Technology Problems and Student Achievement Gaps A Validation and Extension of the Technology Maintenance Construct

Authors:  Jessica McCrory Calarco, Teresa K. Lynch

Abstract: How do physical digital inequalities persist as technology becomes commonplace? We consider this question using surveys and focus groups with U.S. college students, a group that has better than average connectivity. Findings from a 748-person nonrepresentative survey revealed that ownership and use of cellphones and laptops were nearly universal. However, roughly 20% of respondents had difficulty maintaining access to technology (e.g., broken hardware, data limits, connectivity problems, etc.). Students of lower socioeconomic status and students of color disproportionately experienced hardships, and reliance on poorly functioning laptops was associated with lower grade point averages. Focus group and open-ended data elaborate these findings. Findings quantitatively validate the technology maintenance construct, which proposes that as access to information and communication technology peaks, the digital divide is increasingly characterized by the (in)ability to maintain access. Data highlight overlooked nuances in digital access that may inform social disparities and the policies that may mitigate them.

Citation: Amy L. Gonzales, Jessica McCrory Calarco, and Teresa K. Lynch. Author’s accepted manuscript. “Technology Problems and Student Achievement Gaps: A Validation and Extension of the Technology Maintenance Construct.” Published in Communication Research. August 2018.


Source: Author’s accepted manuscript.

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

Liberation through Cooperation: How Library Publishing Can Save Scholarly Journals from Neoliberalism

Author: Dave S. Ghamandi

Abstract: This commentary examines political and economic aspects of open access (OA) and scholarly journal publishing. Through a discourse of critique, neoliberalism is analyzed as an ideology causing many problems in the scholarly journal publishing industry, including the serials crisis. Two major efforts in the open access movement that promote an increase in OA funded by article-processing charges (APC)—the Open Access 2020 (OA2020) and Pay It Forward (PIF) initiatives—are critiqued as neoliberal frameworks that would perpetuate existing systems of domination and exploitation. In a discourse of possibility, ways of building a post-neoliberal system of journal publishing using new tactics and strategies, merging theory and praxis, and grounding in solidarity and cooperation are presented. This includes organizing journal publishing democratically using cooperatives, which could decommodify knowledge and provide greater open access. The article concludes with a vision for a New Fair Deal, which would revolutionize the system of scholarly journal publishing by transitioning journals to library publishing cooperatives.

Citation: Ghamandi, D.S., (2018). Liberation through Cooperation: How Library Publishing Can Save Scholarly Journals from Neoliberalism. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. 6(2), p.eP2223. DOI:

In Pursuit of Equity: Applying Design Thinking to Develop a Values-Based Open Access Statement

Authors: Lillian Rigling, Emily Carlisle, and Courtney Waugh

Abstract: We wanted to rethink how our library supported open access, so we attempted to ask ourselves and our staff why they supported “open” and how they defined “open”. By unpacking our institutional and individual understandings of “open” using design thinking principles, we were able to not only create a strong and value-driven statement, but to also open the door for staff at all levels to engage in policy-making for the organization.

Citation: Rigling, L., Carlisle, E., & Waugh, C. “Applying design thinking to create an equitable library open access policy” In the Library with the Lead Pipe, July 25, 2018.

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.”


What is Open Pedagogy?

Authors: Robin DeRosa, Rajiv Jhangiani

Abstract: There are many ways to begin a discussion of “Open Pedagogy.” Although providing a framing definition might be the obvious place to start, we want to resist that for just a moment to ask a set of related questions: What are your hopes for education, particularly for higher education? What vision do you work toward when you design your daily professional practices in and out of the classroom? How do you see the roles of the learner and the teacher? What challenges do your students face in their learning environments, and how does your pedagogy address them?

“Open Pedagogy,” as we engage with it, is a site of praxis, a place where theories about learning, teaching, technology, and social justice enter into a conversation with each other and inform the development of educational practices and structures. This site is dynamic, contested, constantly under revision, and resists static definitional claims. But it is not a site vacant of meaning or political conviction. In this brief introduction, we offer a pathway for engaging with the current conversations around Open Pedagogy, some ideas about its philosophical foundation, investments, and its utility, and some concrete ways that students and teachers—all of us learners—can “open” education. We hope that this chapter will inspire those of us in education to focus our critical and aspirational lenses on larger questions about the ideology embedded within our educational systems and the ways in which pedagogy impacts these systems. At the same time we hope to provide some tools and techniques to those who want to build a more empowering, collaborative, and just architecture for learning.

Citation: DeRosa, Robin, and Jhangiani, Rajiv. “What is Open Pedagogy?” Open Pedagogy Notebook. Retrieved from

Racing to the Crossroads of Scholarly Communication and Democracy: But Who Are We Leaving Behind?

Author: April Hathcock

Abstract: Scholarly communication has tremendous potential to help build and sustain a democratic society. Nevertheless, in our race to the crossroads of scholarly communication and democracy, it is important to examine this work through the critical lens of broader librarian professional values—with particular attention to democracy itself, access, and diversity—to ensure that we are building systems that lead to true democracy for all. Using the feminist theory of intersectionality as inspiration, this paper builds on the talk I delivered as the Vision keynote speaker for the 2017 NASIG Conference and examines the crossroads of scholarly communication and democracy through the critical lens of librarian professional values, taking a close look at the ways in which these values intersect and interact to help ensure the race to the crossroads leaves no one behind.

Citation: Hathcock, April M. “Racing to the Crossroads of Scholarly Communication and Democracy: But Who Are We Leaving Behind?” In the Library with the Lead Pipe, August 22, 2018.

Funder open access platforms – a welcome innovation?

Authors: Tony Ross-Hellauer, Birgit Schmidt, and Bianca Kramer

Abstract: Funding organisations commissioning their own open access publishing platforms is a relatively recent development in the OA environment, with the European Commission following the Wellcome Trust and the Gates Foundation in financing such an initiative. But in what ways, for better or worse, do these new platforms disrupt or complement the scholarly communications landscape? Tony Ross-Hellauer, Birgit Schmidt and Bianca Kramer examine the ethical, organisational, and economic strengths and weaknesses of funder OA platforms to scope the opportunities and threats they present in the transition to OA. While they may help to increase OA uptake, control costs, and lower the administrative burden on researchers, possible unintended consequences include conflicts of interest, difficulties of scale, or potential vendor lock-in.

Citation: Ross-Hellauer, Tony; Schmidt, Birgit; Kramer, Bianca. “Funder open access platforms – a welcome innovation?” LSE Impact Blog. July 4, 2018.


Source: Funder open access platforms – a welcome innovation?

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