Sustaining Scholarly Infrastructures through Collective Action: The Lessons that Olson can Teach us

Author: Cameron Neylon

Abstract: The infrastructures that underpin scholarship and research, including repositories, curation systems, aggregators, indexes and standards, are public goods. Finding sustainability models to support them is a challenge due to free-loading, where someone who does not contribute to the support of an infrastructure nonetheless gains the benefit of it. The work of Mancur Olson (1965) suggests that there are only three ways to address this for large groups: compelling all potential users, often through some form of taxation, to support the infrastructure; providing non-collective (club) goods to contributors that are created as a side-effect of providing the collective good; or implementing mechanisms that lower the effective number of participants in the negotiation (oligopoly).

In this paper, I use Olson’s framework to analyse existing scholarly infrastructures and proposals for the sustainability of new infrastructures. This approach provides some important insights. First, it illustrates that the problems of sustainability are not merely ones of finance but of political economy, which means that focusing purely on financial sustainability in the absence of considering governance principles and community is the wrong approach. The second key insight this approach yields is that the size of the community supported by an infrastructure is a critical parameter. Sustainability models will need to change over the life cycle of an infrastructure with the growth (or decline) of the community. In both cases, identifying patterns for success and creating templates for governance and sustainability could be of significant value. Overall, this analysis demonstrates a need to consider how communities, platforms, and finances interact and suggests that a political economic analysis has real value.

Citation: Neylon, C., (2017). Sustaining Scholarly Infrastructures through Collective Action: The Lessons that Olson can Teach us. KULA: knowledge creation, dissemination, and preservation studies. 1(1), p.3. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/kula.7

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Source: Sustaining Scholarly Infrastructures through Collective Action: The Lessons that Olson can Teach us

Building An Ethical Digital Humanities Community: Librarian, Faculty, and Student Collaboration

Authors: Roopika Risam, Justin Snow, and Susan Edwards

Abstract: This article examines work building a digital humanities community at Salem State’s Berry Library. The initiatives are comprised of a three-pronged approach: laying groundwork to build a DH center, building the DH project Digital Salem as a place-based locus for digital scholarship and launching an undergraduate internship program to explore ethical ways of creating innovative research experiences for undergraduate students. Together, these initiatives constitute an important move toward putting libraries at the center of creating DH opportunities for underserved student populations and a model for building DH at regional comprehensive universities.

Citation: Risam, R., Snow, J., and Edwards, S. (2017). Building An Ethical Digital Humanities Community: Librarian, Faculty, and Student Collaboration. College & Undergraduate Libraries, 24(2-4), 337-349.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10691316.2017.1337530

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Source: Salem State Digital Commons

Factors influencing Open Educational Practices and OER in the Global South: Meta-synthesis of the ROER4D project

Authors: Hodgkinson-Williams, C., Arinto, P. B., Cartmill, T. & King, T.

Abstract: This chapter provides a meta-synthesis of the findings from the Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) empirical studies based on the 13 sub-project chapters in this volume as well as other sub-project research reports. It does so by analysing how three phases of Open Educational Resources (OER) adoption – OER creation, use and adaptation – are observed in the studies as forms of Open Educational Practices (OEP), identifying where there are most likely to be disjunctures that inhibit optimal OER adoption processes and their longer-term sustainability. It compares the open practices reported in the ROER4D sub-project studies to an idealised or maximal set of open processes, modelled as the Open Education cycle framework. It draws upon social realist theory to uncover agential decision-making about OER creation, use and adaptation in relation to structural and cultural environments, and seeks to answer the ROER4D project’s overarching research question: Whether, how, for whom and under what circumstances can engagement with OEP and OER provide equitable access to relevant, high-quality, affordable and sustainable education in the Global South?

This chapter interrogates findings from the ROER4D empirical studies using a metasynthesis approach. Following a review of sub-project research reports (including, in some cases, primary micro data), the authors used a literature-informed set of themes to create the meta-level conceptual framework for claims about OER and OEP in relation to access, quality and affordability; the Open Education cycle; and structural, cultural and agential influences on the potential impact on access, quality and affordability.

Nvivo software was used to help reveal literature-informed and emergent themes in the studies, identifying the most frequently occurring themes to provide a more comprehensive and classified interpretation of the findings across the empirical studies. Insights and recommendations were then distilled according to Archer’s (2003; 2014) social realist theoretical framework which assesses social change – and its counterpart, stasis – according to dynamically interactive and structural, cultural and agential factors. The authors used these three factors to guide their analysis of the ROER4D findings, as understood in relation to the three broad phases of OER adoption (creation, use and adaptation) proposed in the Open Education cycle.

Findings show that in the Global South contexts studied, the ideal or maximal Open Education cycle is incomplete in terms of optimising the benefits of OER adoption. There are five key points of disjuncture: (1) the dependence on copying of existing OER and the corollary failure to localise; (2) the adaptation of OER, but with inconsistent curation and rehosting of derivative works on publicly available platforms or in repositories, limiting access to the derivative OER; (3) limited circulation of derivative OER due, in part, to the absence of a communication strategy; (4) inconsistent quality assurance processes; and (5) a weak feedback loop for continuous improvement of the original or derivative work.

The chapter concludes with a critical exploration of the range of influences of OER and associated practices on access to educational materials, the quality of educational resources, educators’ pedagogical perspectives and practices, and student performance as well as the overall affordability and sustainability of education in the Global South. It argues that full participation in the OER movement in the Global South requires that certain structural factors be put in place – including a minimum level of infrastructural support, legal permission to share materials and OER curation platforms – to curate curriculum-aligned OER in local languages. However, these structural adjustments alone are insufficient for the full value proposition of OER to be realised. While individual educators and some institutions are sharing OER, this willingness needs to be bolstered by a much stronger cultural change where communities of educators and students are given technical and pedagogical support to enable OER uptake – especially the creation and adaptation of OER produced in the Global South.

Citation: Hodgkinson-Williams, C., Arinto, P. B., Cartmill, T. & King, T. (2017). Factors influencing Open Educational Practices and OER in the Global South: Meta-synthesis of the ROER4D project. In C. Hodgkinson-Williams & P. B. Arinto (Eds.), Adoption and impact of OER in the Global South (pp. 27–67). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1037088

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OER and OEP in the Global South: Implications and recommendations for social inclusion

Authors: Arinto, P. B., Hodgkinson-Williams, C. & Trotter, H.

Abstract: The Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) project was undertaken to provide a better understanding of the uptake of Open Educational Resources (OER) and their impact on education in the Global South. The 18 sub-projects that comprise the larger project investigated the extent of OER adoption by educators and students; the factors influencing OER adoption; and the impact of OER adoption on access to educational resources, the quality of teaching and learning, and some of the costs of education provision in 21 countries in South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South and Southeast Asia.

The findings of each of the sub-projects are discussed in the various chapters comprising this volume, and a meta-synthesis of these findings is presented in Chapter 2. Using a social realist lens, the meta-synthesis provides a comparative analysis of OER use, adaptation and creation across the research sites, and identifies the structural, cultural and agential factors that enable and constrain these Open Educational Practices (OEP). It points out disjunctures in adoption processes in the countries and institutions studied, and draws insights regarding the extent to which OER adoption can expand access to educational materials, enhance the quality of educational resources and educators’ pedagogical perspectives and practices, and improve the affordability and sustainability of education in the Global South.

This concluding chapter explores the implications of the main research findings presented in the meta-synthesis for the attainment of social inclusion, which lies at the heart of the Open Education movement. The Paris OER Declaration of 2012 explicitly calls upon states to “[p]romote and use OER to … contribut[e] to social inclusion, gender equity and special needs education [and i]mprove both cost-efficiency and quality of teaching and learning outcomes” (emphasis added). The Ljubljana OER Action Plan of 2017 likewise recognises that, “[t]oward the realization of inclusive Knowledge Societies … [OER] support quality education that is equitable, inclusive, open and participatory”. Understanding how OER, OEP and Open Education more generally, can help to achieve social inclusion is particularly critical in the Global South where increased demand, lack of resources and high costs limit the capacity of education systems to provide accessible, relevant, highquality and affordable education. This chapter aims to contribute to this understanding the potential of OER and their accompanying OEP through a critical exploration of the ROER4D findings in terms of whether and how OER adoption promotes equitable access, participatory education and empowerment of teachers and students, and thus helps to achieve social inclusion. The chapter begins with a brief overview of the relationship between OER and social inclusion, details the implications of ROER4D’s findings as they pertain to social inclusion, and concludes with recommendations for advocacy, policy, practice and further research in OER and OEP in the Global South.

Citation: Arinto, P. B., Hodgkinson-Williams, C. & Trotter, H. (2017). OER and OEP in the Global South: Implications and recommendations for social inclusion. In C. Hodgkinson-Williams & P. B. Arinto (Eds.), Adoption and impact of OER in the Global South (pp. 577–592). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1043829

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Open Access and Global Inclusion: A Look at Cuba

Authors: Jardine, E.,  Garvey, M., & Cho, J. S.

Abstract: According to the open access (OA) movement’s formal statements, global equity and inclusion are among its central concerns. Still in question, however, is whether the scholarly community can make these goals a reality. Though many stakeholders agree on the importance of equity and inclusion as philosophical principles of OA, there also is some disagreement about current approaches to achieve these goals.

This paper aims to summarize some of the current issues surrounding OA, focusing on global north-south differences. This discussion was inspired by our 2016 trip to Havana, Cuba, where we observed such differences first-hand. Even though the situation in Cuba is unique due to the US embargo, the contexts and circumstances we observed there were an extreme case that illustrated information needs and challenges in developing regions more broadly. Some of these challenges are relevant to scholarly communications and within the purview of the OA movement. With OA in the development stages, we’re still in a period of opportunity where we can make choices for better outcomes for everyone.

We start this paper by presenting our observations about OA in Cuba. Then we discuss the larger context of OA in developing regions, including differing perspectives, technological challenges, and issues around scholarly communications. We end by summarizing our observations and recommendations for a more inclusive OA movement

Citation: Jardine, E.,  Garvey, M., & Cho, J. S. (2017). Open access and global inclusion: A look at Cuba [conference paper]. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/acrl/sites/ala.org.acrl/files/content/conferences/confsandpreconfs/2017/OpenAccessandGlobalInclusion.pdf

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Green on What Side of the Fence? Librarian Perceptions of Accepted Author Manuscripts

Authors: Ghaphery, J., Byrd, S. & Miller, H.

Abstract: There is a growing body of accepted author manuscripts (AAMs) in national, professional, and institutional repositories. This study seeks to explore librarian attitudes about AAMs and in what contexts they should be recommended. Particular attention is paid to differences between the attitudes of librarians whose primary job responsibilities are within the field of scholarly communications as opposed to the rest of the profession.

Citation: Ghaphery, J., Byrd, S. & Miller, H., (2017). Green on What Side of the Fence? Librarian Perceptions of Accepted Author Manuscripts. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. 5(1). DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2204

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Source: Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Data Management Practices of Health Sciences Researchers

Authors: Melissa Ratajeski, Carrie Iwema, Andrea Ketchum

Abstract: Librarians at the University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences Library System conducted a 25-question online survey of the data management practices of researchers within the six schools of the health sciences (School of Medicine, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Graduate School of Public Health, School of Nursing, School of Pharmacy, and School of Dental Medicine).

The survey was administered via SurveyMonkey.  Questions included researchers’ demographics and data management practices such as the use of file naming conventions, assignment of metadata to data files, storage of working and back-up data, data accessibility, and the use of data management plans (survey instrument provided). All multiple choice questions required a response and the majority were “check all that apply.”

Citation: Ratajeski, Melissa; Iwema, Carrie; Ketchum, Andrea (2017): Data Management Practices of Health Sciences Researchers. figshare. Fileset. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1600993.v1

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Source: Data Management Practices of Health Sciences Researchers

Motivation and Strategies for Implementing Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) at NCAR’s Earth Observing Laboratory – Past Progress and Future Collaborations

Authors: Janine AquinoJohn AllisonRobert RillingDon StottKathryn Young, Michael Daniels

Abstract: In an effort to lead our community in following modern data citation practices by formally citing data used in published research and implementing standards to facilitate reproducible research results and data, while also producing meaningful metrics that help assess the impact of our services, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Earth Observing Laboratory (EOL) has implemented the use of Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) (DataCite 2017) for both physical objects (e.g., research platforms and instruments) and datasets. We discuss why this work is important and timely, and review the development of guidelines for the use of DOIs at EOL by focusing on how decisions were made. We discuss progress in assigning DOIs to physical objects and datasets, summarize plans to cite software, describe a current collaboration to develop community tools to display citations on websites, and touch on future plans to cite workflows that document dataset processing and quality control. Finally, we will review the status of efforts to engage our scientific community in the process of using DOIs in their research publications.

Citation: Aquino, J. et al., (2017). Motivation and Strategies for Implementing Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) at NCAR’s Earth Observing Laboratory – Past Progress and Future Collaborations. Data Science Journal. 16, p.7. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/dsj-2017-007

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Source: Data Science Journal

The research life cycle and the health sciences librarian: responding to change in scholarly communication

Authors: Andrea M. Ketchum

Abstract: The Internet and digital technologies have profoundly affected scholarly communication, publishing, collaborative research, literature searches, and management of digital assets and data. In turn, our views of the research life cycle have changed. What does this mean for librarians in the health sciences who support or even actively participate in clinical research?

Citation: Ketchum AM. The research life cycle and the health sciences librarian: responding to change in scholarly communication. Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA. 2017;105(1):80-83. doi:10.5195/jmla.2017.110.

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Source: Journal of the Medical Library Association

Redistributing Data Worlds: Open Data, Data Infrastructures and Democracy

Author: Jonathan Gray

Abstract: Open data, defined as a set of ideas and conventions that transform information into a reusable public resource, is promoted for various purposes: to improve the transparency of public institutions, to create projects that strengthen democracy, to stimulate economic growth. The social and technical infrastructures that support open data recompose the “worlds of data”: new social collectives are formed, new practices creating meaning appear. Transnational political initiatives are emerging. Far from being a simple “release” of data, it does not go without translation, mediation, and new social practices. But can this movement serve as a basis for a richer democratic deliberation, or is it destined to socially institutionalize various forms of bureaucratization and commodification?

Citation: Gray, Jonathan, Redistributing Data Worlds: Open Data, Data Infrastructures and Democracy (Quand les mondes de données sont redistribués: Open Data, infrastructures de données et démocratie) (August 1, 2017). Gray, J. (2017). Quand les mondes de données sont redistribués: Open Data, infrastructures de données et démocratie. Statistique et Société, 5(3), 29–34.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3111720

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Source: SSRN